10 illustrious things that I like about Rotterdam

Rotterdam. Another city underdog that not many have on the screen and has done to me. “Nina, you have to go to Rotterdam, you will love it!” Kash preached  and he did not have to persuade me long. The Dutch port city has often caught my eye, whether on other blogs , on Instagram or from stories. It was something that appealed to me – and if only my secret penchant for port cities ( Hamburg ? Liverpool? Gothenburg? Yes, please!), After all, Rotterdam has the third largest on earth. And I have to say, Kash was right. The city fits like a fist in my eye. And not just because you can not pay anywhere with cash or because there is free wifi in the trams, but especially for the following reasons:

1. “Ugly-Pretty” architecture

I’ve probably already tried a hundred times to explain what I mean by “ugly-pretty” architecturemy. For many people, it’s probably not even true architecture. For me, it’s just buildings, be it a panel or a Bauhaus, that are likely to be a stain on most viewers, but simply unbelievably interesting. Colors, shapes, geometry, patterns, reflections, decay and concrete are a playground for photographers. And Rotterdam is just that, a Mecca for Ugly Pretty architecture. There are the cube houses of Piet Blom, the adjoining Blaaktower, the Van Nelle factory, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Central Library with its yellow tubes – just to mention the better known buildings. But it is much nicer to just walk around and let the innumerable curious buildings just take their toll on you. More about architecture has Abigail written down

2. The Luchtsingel

Let’s stay with crazy city planning. The Luchtsingel – or “air duct” – is a curved wooden bridge that connects the center of Rotterdam with the northern residential areas, crossing a railway track and crossing a house. The building was financed by donations from Rotterdammers whose names are stamped in rows in the wood panel. Many names read there, along the yellow bridge. Yellow is somehow a color that runs secretly, like a red (yellow?) Thread through the whole city … maybe my friend Frankie was not so wrong when she sang “Follow the yellow brick road”, while she talks about the luchtsingel walking, You will not find the Wizard of Oz, but at the various ends either a nice park with urban art, an old train station full of designer shops or a backyard with several beer gardens and on the way there has a very different view of the city. Pro Tip: Be sure to check out the concept store Groos , here are many great young designer things, all of which somehow have to do with Rotterdam.


3. Vintage Shopping

If I bring souvenirs from my travels , then mostly in the form of a pretty old piece of jewelry, an original dress or 60s coat. And those who like to rummage through well-stocked vintage shops and stroll through flea markets are more than in good hands in Rotterdam. Most shops can be found on the Nieuwe Binnenweg, but I liked the shops that are spread over the city. Dearhunter Vintage was probably my favorite, and not only because of the garments sorted by color, but also the really good prices – once everything please! Somewhat more hidden is Sweet Rebels at the eastern end of the Witte de Withstraat and houses a well-selected selection, under which one or the other designer part can be found. In addition, they occasionally hold flea markets in the small square in front of the shop. For people who do not need it so well sorted out, Tony’s Garage Sale is the best place to go, because there’s EVERYTHING there. FiftiesDRESSES, midcentury furniture, toys … you name it. If you have space in your luggage for furniture and interior, you should make a detour to North Sea Design – is located at the end of the luchtsingel anyway. A great vintage guide is available at Frankie and for all shops applies: Note opening times!

4. Urban Art

I do not have to tell you what a big fan of urban art I am. Be it graffiti, paste ups, sculptures, reliefs, light installations, painting … herewith! Urban Art only makes a city lovable and liveable. There are plenty of them in Rotterdam, and above all in every imaginable variation. The exciting thing about it, I find the relation to the immediate environment. Most graffiti can be found in the small streets of the Witte de With Kwartier, along the Noorderkanaalweg and around the Schiestraat. The most famous sculpture is probably the slightly controversial Santa Claus by Paul McCarthy, in which no one knows exactly whether he really holds a Christmas tree in hand or rather a sex toy …

5. Pannekoekstraat

Dutch is basically a very hearty language, which I associate with the Lower Rhine, above all with my childhood and my homeland, because in our everyday usage we have taken over one or two Dutch words. Rotterdam is full of funny-sounding street names, of which I have a very special in my heart: The Pannekoekstraat, or “pancake street”. Who does not want to live in a street with such a wonderful name? By the way, the road is not only a pretty name, but is also home to many nice little design shops, bars and restaurants and a great breakfast spot called Picnic(be sure to try the homemade raisin bread with cheese!). But I did not find pancakes in the pancake street …


6. Festivals

Throughout the year there are countless festivals in Rotterdam, the most well-known is probably the “North Sea Jazz” which, with 70,000 visitors, is also the largest indoor festival in the world. There is also an international film festival, the Rotterdam Unlimited with its street carnival and of course a harbor festival. I have Rotterdam because of the ” art in het Witte de With Kwartier”Attending festivals, a collaboration of galleries, art and design colleges, museums and bars for a weekend of performances, installations, exhibitions, live music and pop-up galleries. A bit like a big adult playground with public art. Special highlights for me: the art tours through the district with Rotterdam personalities, the Outsider-Art exhibition in the Museum Park and the fact that at the opening party “99 Balloons” was running and all Dutchmen sang in full fervor.

7. Fast food

A clever friend of mine said an even smarter sentence: “Frying is about studying!”. There is so much truth to it and in Holland I have to eat at least once during a stay down the frying street. Croquettes (best in the mushy bun), bitter bales (with mustard!), Fries, Frikandel (both best “special”), Kibbeling and Kaassouflé – all things that I miss in Berlin painfully and of which I do not have enough in the Netherlands can get. There are even vending machines for deep-fried foods! The best thing to do in Rotterdam is to go to  Fritèz – Haute Friture , which has a shop in the Witte de With Straat and stands around with a food truck at markets and events. I say only: truffle mayo, truffle mayo, truffle mayo!Annabel and Aunt Nel  are also worth a visit if you hang around on the luchtsingel or in the pancake street anyway and stands on bitter bales.


8. Katendrecht

The peninsula Katendrecht is a very special place Rotterdam. The district, which used to be more rural and is now surrounded by huge docks, has something of a pretty village in the middle of an industrial area. On the Deliplein, a small square in the middle of the peninsula, a really nice flea market takes place regularly , all around there is a sweet cafes and restaurants and park benches invite people to peek. I especially liked two things in Katendrecht: 1. The Posse Espresso Bar (a great recommendation from colleague Ralf), which is something between deli and bicycle workshop and a simply irresistible goat cheese sandwich served. 2. The fact that during my stay on the island I was approached three times by strangers who only wanted to tell me in a very hearty way how nice they are to find my outfit. Thanks, wel, Katendrecht!

9. Water taxes

And what is the best way to get to Katendrecht or one of the many other islands in Rotterdam harbor? Right: By water taxi. Works just like a normal taxi, just a lot more fun to jets between cranes and steamers, the wind in the hair and the sounds of “I’m on a boat” in the head. Ahoy!

10. The museums

Museums are always a good place to start for people traveling alone in foreign cities. Anyway, I prefer to go to museums without accompaniment, because I usually have my own pace. The Dutch are especially known for their lively art scene. That’s why I particularly liked the Bojmans van Beuningen Museum, with its interesting interior courtyard, an extensive permanent exhibition and a super exciting exhibition design. At the “Design Derby”, a playful booklet was used to show an exhibition of Dutch and Belgian designs, distribute points to his favorite pieces and finally win a country. There are also works by van Gogh, Kandinsky, Magritte, Dalí, Beckmann and Rembrandt. The Nieuwe Instituut, which usually deals with architecture, design and digital transformation, is currently showing an extensive fashion exhibition and once you’re there, be sure to take a walk in the Sculpture Garden of the Museum Park.

I could have continued this list forever, but now I’m more interested in whether you’ve been to Rotterdam and what your favorite things are! Ab in the comments with it.

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