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Jun 05 2013

My Perfect Day in… Rotterdam

This post is part of the initiative ‘100 cities to home swap before you die‘ from Knok.com.  Just to clarify, this is about my perfect day in a city rather than a post about home swapping.

I have chosen Rotterdam because I was there recently and very pleasantly surprised by it.  I had heard precious little about Rotterdam before I visited it but loads about Amsterdam.

My perfect day would begin with a leisurely breakfast.  As it’s my perfect day and it’s the most important meal of the day, I would go out for that but where to?  Well, from experience, there is only one place in my book and that is Hotel Bazar. I would go there not only for the massive brekkie they serve but to enjoy the surroundings and the atmosphere.  I am a very visual person so I I love colour and sparkly things, which is what makes this the perfect place to start the day.

Bazar breakfast

I would then head to Laurenskerk, which is the only remaining building from medieval times still standing in Rotterdam. A lot of the church was destroyed during World War 2 with only the outer walls remaining intact.  The tower was also badly damaged. Now it’s possible to enjoy the fully restored church and tower so that’s what I would do.  It’s a multi-functional church; a place where you can sit and have coffee, have a look around, or climb the 300 steps up to the top of the tower for a nominal price.  It’s worth it for the view, to hear about its history, and to see the bells and the 17th century carillon.

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After that, I would head to the bank of the river Meuse and pick up a water taxi by the Maritime Museum to Hotel New York. It’s a great way to see the city from a different perspective. I would use the hotel’s own water taxi because it felt to me as if I was in a James Bond film because of the way the boat bounced when it hit the waves created by larger vessels.  It’s a much more interesting and fun way to get there than using other forms of transport.

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Hotel New York is another building that survived the war so it’s a piece of history and has a long travel-related history. Apparently, Henry Hudson left Amsterdam in 1609 and discovered Manhattan, which is why the river is called the Hudson River.  Thousands more from Holland, the UK, and Eastern Europe boarded ships in Rotterdam headed to the US as early as 1620 to escape religious persecution and poverty.  Not only is it a great place to go because of its history but it’s a beautiful building that has a bit of Hollywood glamour about it and I do like a bit of glamour!  I mean, who doesn’t?

Hotel NY toilet

As you will see, the only time I had to take a photo, the cleaner was in full swing.  Well, being glamorous requires a bit of work!

Next, I would make my way to Delfshaven, which is one of the oldest parts of Rotterdam.  It’s great because there is a windmill, ships and boats are harboured there, there is a brewery and some olde-worlde pubs.  I would have some tapas in Cafe de Ooievaar, which is definitely a place where everybody knows your name.  It’s one of the friendliest places I came across in Rotterdam so it has to feature in my perfect day.

Cafe de Ooievaar

I would end the day a few hundred yards down the road in De Pelgrim Brewery and have a locally brewed beer or two.  If it was a nice evening, I would sit outside to enjoy it.

Delfshaven view

So, that’s it… that’s my perfect day in Rotterdam.

I would like to thank Rotterdam Tourism for all the information they provided me with and the Welcome Card, which make it easier to get around the city in the short time I had there.  I would also like to thank the staff at Hotel Bazar for hosting me and for generally being, well… helpful and very nice.  I had the freedom to wander about and discover the city on my own, which was fantastic, and all the things I have said are my own thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

Location

I have marked the places mentioned in this post on the map so you can see where everything is.

Have your say

What do you think about my perfect day in Rotterdam?  What else would you include in it?

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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