Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most popular travel destinations. You can see why in my previous posts about the beautiful city (here, here, and here). What most people don’t know is that there is a beautiful place in South Holland, only 40 minutes away from Amsterdam by train, that has much to offer as well. Yes, I’m talking about you, Rotterdam.
This riverside city is home to Europe’s largest port. You’ll find it shockingly different from Amsterdam. That is largely due to the catastrophic bombing that occurred in WWII, leveling most of the historic buildings in the area. Rotterdam has evolved and changed since then, as visible in their current appearance. You’ll still find that shipping is just as important as it was in the 1300s, but this industrial wonderland has its fair share of culture, art, and interesting architecture as well.
While in Rotterdam, we stayed in the famous Cube Houses. Check out the Airbnb listing here. Our host, Lilian, was incredibly kind and helpful. If you’re going to be in the area, you must stay here! What an interesting piece of architectural history, designed by Piet Blom in 1977.
The Cube Houses are located directly across from another gorgeous building, the Markthal (translated Market Hall). People live in the upside-down U and a marketplace sprawls across the open area that is glassed in below. It’s a great place to grab something to eat or drink while you marvel and the oddity of it all.
If you’ve ever been to Europe, you know they love their needles. I greatly appreciate that because I love seeing a city from above. I’ve spent my fair share of time in different observation towers, but none have come close to the Euromast. This modern concrete crow’s nest has an elevator that lifts and spins you around at the same time. They also have a fancy-schmancy restaurant and a very odd room where you can sleep high up in the sky.
If you’re a beer lover, you’ve gotta swing by De Pelgrim Brewery and enjoy a brew or two in their hop garden.