Last month I had the opportunity to visit the Netherlands, which is where my Grandfather was from. For a few days I got to explore Delft, Leiden and Rotterdam.
I spent 24 hours in Rotterdam and it was fabulous! There is so much to do in this city and to be honest, I don't think that 24 hours is enough time.
Here's how I spent 24 hours in the beautiful city.
Rotterdam is known for its lively culture, maritime heritage and artistic designs. Rotterdam was almost destroyed in World War two but, instead of replicating Rotterdam's buildings the city decided to reinvent itself as an architectural landscape. The view over Rotterdam is lined with skyscrapers, each higher than the next. When my mum last visited Rotterdam she reminisces how the Euromast was the highest building. The Euromast is no longer the highest building in the Netherlands and every year the view over Rotterdam changes. Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands, so it's no surprise that the Dutch have started to build upwards.
As we were travelling from Delft to Rotterdam, we decided to grab a croissant on the go and eat on the bus. But Rotterdam is known for its cafe culture, so it's not hard finding a pastry and a coffee for breakfast. Have a coffee to go and walk across the Erasmusbrug, a beautiful bridge that connects the South and North parts of the city.
Find a view
We were meeting my Cousin for a few hours first during our trip tp Rotterdam. But I would definitely recommend that you find a great view of the architectural city. We were able to go into my cousin's office. To replicate my view visit The Euromast.
Fenix Food Factory
We wander the bike lanes and over the large bridges towards an industrial looking warehouse called Fenix Food Factory. Inside there are different stalls of food and drink, I watch people as they eat on what looks like a chopping board at old school desks. The furniture looks up-cycled and pallets line the restaurant. This rustic eatery is exactly what I love about Rotterdam. I opt for a cheese board, which is literally a wooden board with different types of cheese, a slice of bread and a sauce that looks and tastes like Branston Pickle.
I indulge in my first bite. The first cheese has an aniseed and an almost Indian spice flavour. I’ve already forgotten the name of the first cheese as I take a bite into the second. It’s blue cheese. Its strong poignant taste is not something that is pleasing on my palette; I scrape it across to one side. I look to the shelves of the large wheels of cheese that surround the stall where my lunch is from.
Next, on the agenda is visiting the legendary cube houses. The bright yellow colouring and quirky design isn't hard to miss as we approach the stairs of the complex. It's hard to understand how the layout works looking at it from the outside. But people live in these houses and part of it is a hostel.
The houses were constructed by architect Piet Blom in the 1970's. The design is meant to represent a forest of trees, with the white on the tops of the houses.
After visiting the Cube Houses, walk down the steps onto the riverside view with all of the cafes. Of course you need a picture of this view. Enjoy a coffee or a cold glass of cassis whilst taking in the view.
After a glass of fizzy Cassis at the restaurant, venture into Markthal where there is so much food and drink. Even if you're not that hungry the Markthal is definitely a stop that you need to make on your trip to Rotterdam. We indulge in frozen yoghurt with amazing topping. The fresh market and food hall has every food imaginable. The design of the hall is in the shape of a giant airplane hangar with brightly coloured fruit on the ceiling.
Visit the many museums and architecture that Rotterdam has to offer. Don't forget to check out the shops as well. My favourite shops in Rotterdam are Hema and Rituals. I found lots of shops in Rotterdam Centraal station.
Some of the top museums to visit include: