Rotterdam is unlike anyother city I’ve seen.
It’s the second largest city in the Netherlands, but much different than the nation’s capital, Amsterdam, a city much loved for it’s historic canal houses and bustling bike paths.
Instead, much of Rotterdam’s historical centre was destroyed during the heavy bombings of World War 2.
Over the years, it has been rebuilt into a modern city and embraced a wide-variety of architectural styles. In fact, Rotterdam has been home to world-renowned architects such as Piet Blom, Ben van Berkel, Rem Koolhaas, and more, who have all left a mark on the city.
If you’re at all interested in architecture or urban spaces, I would highly recommend a day-trip to the city. Bring your walking shoes and spend the afternoon exploring the city, admiring dynamic buildings and a dramatic skyline.
A trendy foodhall, named Markthal, has also recently opened in the city and is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat during your visit. Not only is there a wide-selection of tasty restaurants and food-stalls, the building itself is stunning! Anchored at each end by windows that are several stories high, the interior of this building is painted from top to bottom in dramatic murals.
Getting to Rotterdam from Amsterdam is easy; simply board an Intercity direct or Thalys train from Amsterdam’s Central Station. The journey will take as little as 45 minutes and cost approximately €30 return if traveling second class or €50 for 1st class (N.B. 2nd class travel on these trains is very comfortable and so I personally don’t see any reason why you would need to buy a 1st class ticket, especially for such a short journey).
If traveling via InterCity Direct, please note that you will have to pay a surcharge on your fare (about €2.30 each way). This means that you will need to check-in your ticket/OV chipcard as you enter the station and then check-in your surcharge ticket/OV chipcard once again on the platform to pay for the surcharge. If you’re unsure how to do this, there are officials at the train station who will be happy to help you.
After an afternoon in Rotterdam, I left the city with a new interest in architecture. I know very little about the subject, but it’s plain to see how complex and unique the designs in this city are. Without a doubt, Rotterdam is a great city for a day of walking and admiring the sites.