Rotterdam is not your typical Dutch town. With its contemporary architecture, sweeping skyline, and a past as one of the world’s most important ports, this mega-city is unique and breathtaking in its own special way. The thriving art scene and nightlife also guarantee to keep things interesting, as do the museums and historical sites that give you glimpses into Rotterdam’s glorious past.
Location: The World’s Busiest Port
The second largest city in Netherlands next to Amsterdam, Rotterdam is located right on the Rotte River. With its strategic location on the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta on the North Sea, it is one of the largest ports in the world as well as a major international commercial hub. The Port of Rotterdam was the world’s busiest port from 1962 to 2004.
Business: A Shipping Industry Giant
Because of its location on the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta on the North Sea, Rotterdam is known as a main center of the shipping industry. Today, it is home to multinationals like Nedlloyd, AP Moller Maersk, Unilever, Mittal Steel Company, and VOC.
Culture: A Burgeoning Art Scene
As a booming mega-city with a progressive industry, Rotterdam is fertile soil for art and culture as well. The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is one sight that shouldn’t be missed. Housing an extensive collection of Dutch and European art, the jewels exhibited here include originals by Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, and Dali. Be sure not to miss Rembrandt’s “Man in the Red Cap,” and brothers Van Eycks’ “The Three Marys at the Tomb.”
Activities: Never a Dull Moment in Rotterdam
In a city as flourishing as Rotterdam, there can never be a dull moment. Just walking around the city’s main business district is a treat - the buildings, roads, and establishments are tastefully structured, mostly in the style of contemporary architecture. When you’re done with appreciating modernity and want to see Rotterdam’s more historic side, a walk along the Haven Museum’s quay - where old historic ships are moored on the basin - will take you back to the city’s glorious past. For an even more unique experience, ride the tram Line 10, which takes you on a historical ride through the city. If it’s shopping you’re after, the Blaak Market’s cobblestone streets, quaint boutiques and cafes will make you feel like you’re shopping in the Dutch town of yore.