The Netherlands’ second city and home to Europe’s largest port, Rotterdam defines cool, creative and chic. After nearly being destroyed in the Second World War, the city built itself back up with modern buildings and quirky landmarks. You can take in the unconventional architecture with a stroll around the city, stopping at the horseshoe-shaped Markthal livened up with colourful illustrations, the Rotterdam Centraal station with its sleek, angular design and the city’s iconic Erasmus Bridge, nicknamed ‘The Swan’ by locals. Also worth a visit are the bright yellow Cube Houses, precariously stacked against each other at a 45-degree angle. For a glimpse of the city’s old charm, you can head to the historic Delfshaven neighbourhood, complete with typical Dutch-style houses, a picturesque harbour and the quintessential windmill.
Often overlooked because of the capital city of Amsterdam, Rotterdam is worth adding to your Netherlands itinerary. You can enjoy stunning views over the city from the top of the 185-metre-tall Euromast tower, take a stroll along the scenic waterfront or check out the thriving art scene – on the streets and at museums. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is home to masterpieces by greats like Rembrandt, Dalí and Monet, while Kunsthal is a more evolving space, with a rich variety of exhibitions populating its calendar. If you’re travelling with kids, the amusement park Plaswijckpark is well worth a visit, and Rotterdam Zoo promises a fun and educational experience with animals from all over the world, an aquarium and a butterfly garden.