Visiting Rotterdam for the first time: Tips and tricks

To visit Rotterdam in the Netherlands is to visit a European destination at the confluence of the Rhine and Meuse rivers that you might not have thought of, yet Rotterdam is a surprising and very dynamic city.

Accessible in just 2h37 from Paris by Thalys, the 2nd largest city in Holland is a very pleasant urban getaway for a weekend or longer. The city is a real centre for architectural experimentation. Buildings that are all different, with infinite shapes and colours. Pure creativity around every corner.

On a human scale, the cosmopolitan Rotterdam, nicknamed the “Manhattan on the Meuse” or the “little Manhattan of the Netherlands”, has a lot to offer and in a less touristy and more authentic atmosphere than its rival Amsterdam. We love to visit Rotterdam because it is also a melting pot of architecture and culture with more than 170 nationalities residing there. So many good places to eat and drink to try!

Looking to the future, Rotterdam offers many attractions and visits not to be missed. We’ll tell you all about them in this new post on our OneDayOneTravel blog with lots of tips.

After our trip to New York, a visit to Rotterdam was an obvious choice.

You can visit Rotterdam in all seasons. Spring, summer and autumn remain the 3 ideal seasons. For our first stay, we left in October 2019 for 3 days. We walked about 15 km per day, to soak up as much as possible of the various districts of the city. With the free location application maps.me (notice to read below), we always tend to multiply the detours and we love it!

We quickly fell in love with Rotterdam because water is everywhere. Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Meuse rivers, it is one of the largest port cities in the world, but you can’t feel it when you visit the city which is totally independent of the big maritime activities. The skyline can be seen from the unmissable Erasmus Bridge and that’s it. In the city centre on the other hand, there are small ports with these pretty boats that punctuate our steps. So romantic!

The peculiarity of Rotterdam is that it was almost completely wiped off the map at the end of the Second World War. The Dutch are a resilient people who were able to roll up their sleeves to rebuild the city after this dramatic episode. They took the opportunity to bet on a city that looks to the future. Architecturally, this can be seen in all the districts and it is exciting to discover.

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