What sights are there in Rotterdam? The first things that come to mind are the Market Hall, the Cubic Houses or the Euromast Tower. A boat tour of the port is also almost mandatory when travelling to a seaport city. But there is so much more to the city and we would like to show you a little bit of that.
Central Library Rotterdam
We pass a building that is dominated by massive yellow pipes running along the façade. These air conditioning pipes remind us a little of the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
This rather ugly building rises six storeys and is home to the Central Library Rotterdam. We are not entirely sure if this is really the library and hesitantly enter the building.
We enter a space that opens up to the top. Escalators connect the different, terrace-like levels. This chaotic cluster of escalators makes me think of the stairs in Harry Potter that constantly keep changing their direction. If you want to go up in this building, you have to find your way first.
The many lamps that make this open room so special are a very noticeable feature.
We take the escalators up and have a look at the collection of some 400.000 books. In addition to the books, the library holds one of the largest collection of CDs and vinyl records in Europe and the biggest collection of work by Erasmus (a famous Dutch Renaissance humanist and theologist).
The library also has a café and a lot of internet terminals. When we visited we also spotted an area where used books were sold for little money. Visitors had gathered there and joyfully flicked through the pages.
Too bad that I don’t speak Duch. I could have spent hours here reading books.
3011 PV Rotterdam
Monday: 13.00 – 20.00
Tuesday to Friday: 10.00 – 20.00
Saturday: 10.00 – 17.00
Sunday: 13.00 – 17.00
The Erasmus Bridge is a famous landmark and popular photo subject of Rotterdam. It connects the city centre with the Kop van Zuid district.
This 802-meter long cable-stayed bridge traverses the river New Meuse (Nieuwe Maas) and can be crossed by pedestrians, cars, trams and cyclists.
The bridge’s pylon is particularly fascinating. It is 139 meters high and stands at an angle. It was erected with a floating crane and its shape led to the bridge getting nicknamed The Swan. 40 steel cables run from the pylon down to the bridge deck and create a unique appearance.
We crossed the bridge on foot. The view of the river New Meuse from the bridge is fantastic. I really liked being able to look across to Kop van Zuid and the gigantic modern new buildings which are quite impressive.
The boat tours of the port start beneath the bridge and there is a steady stream of incoming and departing boats one can observe from above.
Hotel New York
The Hotel New York is on a little peninsula in the river Nieuwe Maas in Kop van Zuid.
The building was erected between 1901 and 1917 and its style almost doesn’t fit in anymore with the modern new developments of the area. But this is exactly what makes the building so charismatic. It must have been quite the sight back in the day, sailing down the Meuse and passing this magnificent building. Back then it was used as the headquarters of Holland Amerika Lijn (HAL).
Holland Amerika Lijn was in charge of shipping lines between the Netherlands and the Americas. For many emigrants, this was where they waited for their ships to leave the country. The last ship from Rotterdam with its passengers left in 1971.
After Hal had moved its headquarters the building was vacant for a while. In 1993 a luxury hotel opened its doors. Back then it was the only building on the peninsula. The great success of the hotel made the area interesting for new investors and new developments started emerging around the hotel.
The hotel has 72 rooms, two of which are said to be located in the small towers. There are conference rooms and a large restaurant. A water taxi service is available from the hotel and runs throughout the city.
Fenix Food Factory
Directly opposite the Hotel New York, connected by a bridge, is the Fenix Food Factory. We visited this alternative market hall twice and enjoyed the ambience a lot.
The crowd that settled into the old storage hall is somewhat different to the clientele of the stylish Market Hall Rotterdam. In the summer one can just sit in the sun and enjoy beautiful food and drinks.
Beer fans especially will get a lot out of a visit to the Fenix Food Factory. The Kaapse Brouwers brewery brews their super smooth and lovely beer right there. Their menu changes depending on their current batch and season.
And of course, there is also food in the Fenix Food Factory. They had a barbeque going and served fresh bread, cheese and cold meats…
We enjoyed it there a lot. Unfortunately, we forgot to check out the opening hours. Beer was served a little longer into the evening but the food stalls closed right on time and we were left hungry.
3072 AN Rotterdam
Tuesday to Thursday: 10.00 – 19.00
Friday: 10.00 – 20.00
Saturday: 10.00 – 18.00
Sunday: 12.00 – 18.00
The Museum Port is located right next to the Maritime Museum Rotterdam.
We passed the docks more or less by chance on a walk. And what a lucky find that was! Access to the area is free and it is home to a lot of interesting ships. There are some cranes, too.
Het Witte Huis
The Witte Huis or White House of Rotterdam is a high riser that was built in 1898 which makes it the first high riser in Europe.
In its time it was an enormously tall building with its 43 meters and 10 storeys. Considerable effort went into making it structurally sound. The ground in this area is extremely soft. 1000 stilts were rammed into the ground to carry the weight of the building.
The façade is made of white, glazed bricks which make the building sparkle in the sun even today.