Here you’ll find travel reports about Rotterdam. Discover travel destinations in the Netherlands of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

55 travelers at this place:

  • Day165

    Day 166: To Rotterdam

    July 30, 2017 in the Netherlands

    Finally time to check out of our nice houseboat, and head south-west away from Amsterdam. Our host gave us a lift to the station (fantastic, since I wasn't looking forward to a 30 minute walk lugging our bags), and we caught our train direct to Rotterdam with no issues.

    Rotterdam is in many ways the polar opposite of Amsterdam. It's the busiest port city in Europe, and where Amsterdam is touristy and still very rich and monocultural, Rotterdam is none of those things. Not touristy, not that rich, and very very multicultural. Lots of people from all over the world here living side-by-side. Rotterdam doesn't have the greatest reputation, and in the past I think it was well deserved, but the city seems to have changed a lot these days.

    Arrived at the central station around 11am, and since we couldn't check in to our hotel until mid-afternoon, we dropped our bags in a luggage locker and headed for our main spot for the day. This was of course a World Heritage site, the Van Nelle factory on the western edge of the city. Caught a bus out there with no dramas, and arrived in plenty of time for the 12pm tour I had a ticket for. Since we had Schnitzel with us, we'd agreed that I would go in on the tour, and that Shandos would wait outside with him.

    The factory is a large modern building, built in the late 1920s with that classic optimistic style of the period. White walls, steel fringes and lots of glass meant that the workers had a nice environment, rather than the gloomy brown-brick factories of the 19th century. It was very impressive, and the tour was quite good. Lots of photos and filming of course! Although the factory was originally set up to process coffee, tea and tobacco, these days it's home to many design companies, marketing companies, architecture firms and the like. Lucky them.

    Back on the bus to the main central station where it was now 2pm and fast approaching check-in time. Had a bit of drama since we'd both thrown out our train tickets, and couldn't get back into the station to retrieve our bags. Managed to talk a security man into letting us in - there is a large security presence here apparently because of drug dealers and stuff. Hopped on the underground a few stops to our hotel and checked in.

    Nice spot on the waterfront, seven floors up and with a view over the main river and some nearby canals. Very unusual to be staying in a hotel, first time since Paris!

    Headed out for a walk since I was absolutely starving by now, only having had two pieces of toast since 8am! Walked into the Cool District nearby (yes, it's called the Cool District) where there's a lot of outdoor restaurants and nice venues to check out. Eventually settled on a burger place where the food was excellent - apparently among the best burgers in the Netherlands!

    Sufficiently refuelled, we wandered a few more blocks around the area, before grabbing some small snacks for dinner and breakfast and then headed back to the hotel where we spent the rest of the day/evening.
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  • Day66

    Day 66 - Brakel to Rotterdam, 37 miles

    June 20, 2016 in the Netherlands

    So the good weather was short lived as today was pretty much non stop rain. After starting in drizzle to soon changed to heavy rain and was just a case of getting to Rotterdam. I could have taken a more scenic route but the shortest possible was option for the day with a large section alongside a motorway into Rotterdam being most direct.

    My hostel (King Kong Hostel) located on the very cool Witte de Withstraat street in Rotterdam was a very welcome site and a beer and coffee was quickly ordered. Really nice area where the locals drink and had a real East London feel. Good evening and less said about the England game the better!Read more

  • Day6


    February 23, 2017 in the Netherlands

    In Rotterdam sagen wir dann über Nacht - und den folgenden Tag auch noch. Schön, dass man hier vom Schiff sehr schnell in die Stadt kommt.
    Den Hinweg haben wir noch den Shuttlebus genutzt, kamen aber schnell zu der Einsicht, dass wir zurück auch laufen können. Nachdem wir die tolle große Markthalle und die Innenstadt gesehen haben machten wir uns zu Fuß zurück über die wohl größte und schönste Brücke der Stadt - nur leider ohne unsere Rechnung mit Petrus zu machen, denn es stürmte wie verrückt...

    Am Abend war das Hellau auf dem Programm - Karneval auf der AIDA Prima und Miri gewann quasi den Preis für das schönste Kostüm... und landete wieder im TV
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  • Day46


    May 31, 2015 in the Netherlands

    From the viewing deck of the Euromast tower you can see all of Rotterdam and more. It's quite something. The Erasmus bridge, the Nieuwe Maas, Rem Koolhaas' new skyscraper (which, I admit, I actually like now I've seen it in person). Because the Netherlands is so flat, the horizon seemed to be infinite. I could, for example, easily see the skyscrapers of the Hauge. Looking the other way, I could see the Hook of Holland and the port I had come from in the morning.Read more

  • Day45


    May 30, 2015 in the Netherlands

    The ferry was great. The sea was smooth, and I have to admit it, the band were good too. Really good, in fact. I think I may have witnessed the next Beatles. OK, not really, but they did know what they were doing.

    I went to bed around 12 and slept like a baby. That was, until, the captain (who liked the sound of his own voice, it must be said) came on the tanoi at about 6am to inform everyone that breakfast was now being served on level 8, should anyone be feeling hungry. Well I wasn’t feeling hungry, and so I went back to sleep. I slept from about another hour before rousing myself, and making my way out to the lounge.

    What a pleasant surprise to look out the window and see blue skies. Given that we had set off from Hull under a dark, black cloud, I was fully expecting it to be raining in the Netherlands too. Far from it. The sun was gleaning of the barely rippling sea. Rotterdam is a huge port - by the far the largest in Europe. Up until 2006 -- when China finally woke from a 600 year sleep -- it was the largest port in the world. And as we sailed along at a languid pace, the shoreline was nothing but miles of containers. There were hundreds of pristine white wind turbines, all in a perfectly straight line, like poplar trees lining a French road.

    I wanted to stand and watch for longer, but I had to go and change the last 30 quid I had in my pocket into Euros. Man did I get ripped off. 30 pounds, on a P&O ferry, gets you 27.30 Euros. That is called getting stung. Then (again!) the captain came on the tanoi; this time he was asking all car drivers to return to their vehicles. I did, and twenty minutes later I was driving the Up off the pride of Hull.

    I showed my passport to a security guard and hit the road. I didn’t know what to expect driving on the right hand side of the road, but everything seemed to be intuitive and natural. That was until I got to a roundabout. Roundabouts are squeaky bum time, very confusing. Anyway, I was soon on a motorway, heading towards to Rotterdam and all was well. The Dutch roads are silky-smooth, like a baby’s bum. It was easy.

    Five minutes down the road, halfway across a bridge, there was a traffic light on red, instructing me to stop. I stopped, and down came a barrier. Then the middle section of the large, four-laned bridge started to rise, vertically. The whole of it, even the lampposts. It crawled up vertically, and a huge cargo ship -- stacked high with crates -- passed through the gap. What an impressive sight - it was the first time I’d been glad to get stuck at a red light for as long as I can remember. The whole thing took about 15 minutes, then I was off again.

    Just as I was getting the hang of driving on the right hand side of the road, I came to a barrier with a ticket machine on, of course, the left hand side of the car. Normally, you’d simply wind the window down, press a button and be on your way. Obviously I couldn’t; I had to get out the car, walk round to the machine and start faffing about with it. For whatever, reason it wasn’t working. It wanted 4 Euros off me, but didn’t like my card. An elderly Dutch couple stopped their car and came over to help me (the Dutch are super friendly). After a minute or two, the three of us had figured out, and the barrier raised. I had to run, through, quickly round to the other side of the car, climb in and head on before the barrier came back down.

    Why was there a barrier in the first place? My sat-nav showed a river ahead, and I presumed it was for a toll bridge. However, when I got to the shore, it was obvious that there wasn’t a bridge. This was a river crossing by boat (another ferry!). There was myself, a tractor with a trailer full of hay and a few other cars. We sat waiting for the ferry to return. And, as we were doing so, I noticed we were parked next to a cafe. As soon as I saw the cafe, I felt a pang of hunger. It was breakfast time. I decided that once I’d crossed the river, I’d find a place to stop and eat.

    Lucky for me, then, that on the other side of a river was the beautiful little town of Maassluis. As soon as I drove off the boat I was greeted with a picture of utter Dutchness: canals, bikes, windmills, bridges, boats and men with moustaches. I parked up and went in search of a cafe or a pub or anywhere where I could sit down, drink a coffee and eat a bit of food.

    The first place I found was a pub alongside a canal on what I think was called the Havenstraat (harbour street?). I entered and everything, suddenly, went dark. Outside was bright, inside wasn’t, and my eyes found it hard to adjust. I could just about make out a snooker table in the far corner and a bar to my left.

    ‘Hello, sorry, spreekt u Engels?’ I asked what I thought looked like a human figure.

    ‘A little,’ came the response.

    My eyes came round, and in front of me (behind the bar) was a middle aged woman. I ordered a cheese and ham toastie and a cappuccino. The bar was lined with brown, green and clear liquor bottles, and the decor of the rest of the pub was a dark, varnished wood; wood decor in the quintessentially Dutch style. This town -- this whole town -- was Dutcher than a Dutch place. The toastie came and I wolfed it down. The woman asked me where I was from. Manchester, I told her.

    ‘Oh yeah,’ she said. ‘I’ve been to the UK before, to Middlesbrough.’

    ‘Oh really,’ I said, ‘have you been anywhere else in the UK? London, for example?’

    ‘London? Oh no, I’ve never been to London. Just to Middlesbrough.’

    Fair enough I guess.

    I finished my cappuccino and felt a million dollars. I was in tune with the place. I left the pub and wondered about the canals, taking pictures of the boats, the wooden sail boats, the windmills. There is no such thing as Europe, I thought to myself, if, as is the case, people wander languidly alongside the canals of Maassluis while at the same time Putin shells the streets of Donetsk.

    I couldn’t believe a town so quaint could be just 12 miles from Rotterdam, but it was. After exploring it for about two hours, I made my way back to my car and left. Maassluis, what a beautiful town.

    I was in tourist mood now. I hadn’t been on the road for more than another 15 minutes, when I saw a cluster of red eye symbols on my sat-nav (red eye’s mean there is something of interesting to see). I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by, so I took the next turn off and head towards, what I came to find out, a town called ..dam.

    ..dam is larger than Maassluis, so not as quaint, but equally as beautiful. It’s windmill galore - I think I counted six or seven of them. The canals were wider than Maassluis’, but architecturally the buildings were of the same 17th century style. I spent another wandering them, until I felt canaled-out. What a beautiful place small town Holland is.

    So: after 18 miles, four hours, one boat trip, and two excursions later, I’ve finally made it to Rotterdam. Check in is at 2pm, and here it is currently 20 past one, so I’m sat in the lobby. And what a posh lobby it is, too. Far too posh for me. I have a suspicion that I smell like cheese. And given that I’m wearing yesterday’s clothes, I don’t think that’s an altogether unjustified suspicion.

    Now, I’m just writing a quick blog, waiting for 2pm to come around. And when it does, I’ll check in, shower, and head off out to Rotterdam zentrum.

    P.S. My sat-nav and I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, but so far it has been more than impressive. A nice touch was that, after turning it on, it proceeded to tell me all about the quirks of Dutch motoring; what the drink drive limit is, the various speed limits, etc. Top marks VW.
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  • Day71


    June 13, 2017 in the Netherlands

    I love country change day, it's so exciting :)
    We got up at 8:30 to pack. We could make as much noise as we wanted because literally everyone else in the dorm was also up packing too because checkout was at 10. Today we had the hostel breakfast for 3€ which was pretty good actually. I had Coco pops some fruits and juice.
    We would of had it other days but weren't up in time haha
    We figured out how we were going to get to Rotterdam (2 trains) then headed up to the bus stop.
    Will wanted to walk to the station but I shut him down quickly. Why yesterday he wanted to catch a bus with no giant backpack to carry and today with big bags he wants to walk is a mystery. I appreciate cost is a factor but walking yesterday would have been smarter.
    We caught the bus then I minded the bags at the train station while for the first time ever, Will organized the tickets.
    It was only 6€ each to get to Antwerpen station.
    I had a snooze on the way as usual. I feel like a small child fighting sleep every time it's so silly.
    It took about 1.5 hours until we arrived.
    Antwerp station was awesome - it reminded me of the big fancy American and British ones. Such intricate architecture and of course, a clock.
    We decided we would buy our next ticket beforehand so we knew how much time we had to eat.
    This leg of the journey was more expensive - 23€ each. I suppose it is an international train so that's actually quite reasonable. Will keeps complaining I got him sick. I told him not to kiss me but he didn't listen, so tough. 💁🏼
    We had 45 minutes so we ate at the only option - old mate, McDonald's.
    Will wants soup for dinner though which I'm excited about. I always want soup but he never does so yay!
    Back at the train station and we are on platform 22. It's so bloody big we went down so many levels before finding it.
    We are now on our second train on the way to Rotterdam, The Netherlands! 🇳🇱🇳🇱🇳🇱 so keen! Especially for Amsterdam. Our first 2 stops are more obligatory stops because we promised ourselves to do each country properly and not just main cities where we could help it.
    We have decided the next 2 days will be rest days for us both and we will only be walking around not spending money. 👍🏼
    I did really like Belgium though. Brussels was my favourite and Ghent was Wills. We both liked Bruges the least. We really weren't that taken by it - if you take the canals away it has no beauty. It's the same building styles as Ghent only Ghent has flower boxes everywhere. 🌺
    Bruges was also so busy - not the last 2 days but the first 2 were ridiculous.
    It was so expensive too.
    Overall the people were very friendly and it was easy to communicate. The cities were clean and had wonderful buildings.
    They are famous for chips, beer, chocolate and mussels..
    The chips, I think, are done better by almost every local chicken shop at home and the chocolate can't be beaten by Cadbury, though still admittedly delicious.
    I haven't tried the last batch I bought so we will see if my opinion changes..
    I would happily come back to Belgium.
    So far I would rank countries
    1. Macedonia
    2. Bulgaria
    3. Belgium (a very very very very close 3rd - it might even overtake once I've reflected more)

    And all the way down the bottom

    *drum roll*

    What a pile of poo.
    I do still want to do the islands though.

    I know we have also been to Rome but I don't consider Italy as 'completed' yet so my ranking cannot be made yet.

    Will is sleeping.
    My nose keeps running and I hate the sniffing sound.

    We made it to Netherlands ! We haven't shown our tickets or passports to a single person.
    Good job Europe; glad to see those heightened security levels...
    We did technically have to scan our tickets as we left Rotterdam Station but that posed the same challenge and the security levels at Epping station..
    We walked for about 10 minutes before finding our hostel - you could smell the weed in the air hahah
    Rotterdam is definitely the most modern city so far.
    It don't know if this will make sense later but it looks modern because of how many glass windows each building has.
    We got the the hostel and dumped our bags - we are of course on the top floor 😞 we took the double bed because there was only 2 other top bunks available.
    We then went for a walk to buy cold and flu medicine for mr complains a lot.
    We then went into a coffee shops because we were interested to see if weed was legal just in Amsterdam or the whole country. It only occurred to us when we smelt it that it was probably the whole country just people only ever mention Amsterdam.
    Yes, it's legal and very readily available. The shop we entered also had magic truffle. Magic mushrooms are illegal, truffles are not. They gave us a booklet packed with information about quantity and effects.
    It was so bizarre just standing in a shop which advertised and sold drugs and no one was on edge expecting to get arrested any second. I was though hahah.
    We will obviously be trying at some point. You can't not go to the Netherlands and ignore its culture??? Hahah
    We then went home took some medicine and laid around for a bit. We walked around the entire city trying to find an ATM. How a city functions without having them readily available is quite the talent.
    We then had Asian food for dinner because we couldn't find soup - Will was ecstatic because he found katsu curry on the menu. I tried a chicken ramen broth thing. I didn't think much of it.
    We are home now and i just want to rest.
    Our room isn't full so that's a bonus.
    It's 10:30 and the sun is still up.
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  • Day72


    June 14, 2017 in the Netherlands

    Woke up to find everyone in our room had left so it was just us.
    Will said I had poo breath so he made me brush my teeth before we called Jess because today is a difficult day for her - it's her wedding anniversary so we just wanted to check in.
    We chatted for a bit until we got passed to Helen and Bill. We hadn't talked in a while so it was nice. Jaxon kept on trying to pull Bills hair which was so funny to watch because you could just tell by the look on his face he thought he was hilarious hahah
    We then called Mum and Dad. Dad accepted the call but we didn't talk straight away because he had to finish his game of solitaire first...... hahahah glad to know he misses me soooo much :P
    He called mum and we chatted for a while. They still haven't gotten the parcel so
    I will have to check its tracking tomorrow.
    Dad told us he had pulled out of Kokoda which from what he said was the smarter decision but I'm still disappointed for him. I think he was looking forward to it.
    We didn't chat about much. I just said things I knew they had already read in my journal but I didn't want to hang up so I just kept talking.
    When we did hang up me and Will then went downstairs to have breakfast in the lobby. So far the Netherlands, or rather Rotterdam is cheaper than Belgium even if only by a little bit. It's most welcomed. We then went for an aimless walk of the city. You could slot sections of it into Sydney.
    I quite like it actually even though there isn't really anything to do.
    You have to be so careful with the trams though - they have tracks through grass so you think your safe standing in the middle section when actually you could get hit any second.
    There is a massive statue of Santa and yesterday we saw it and I though he was maybe holding an ice cream cone with a few scoops but we have since discovered it's actually a butt plug..... hahahaha
    It was suppose to be a Christmas tree but it got renamed because of its appearance hahah
    What a great statue.
    We went and sat in a park thing. More like a little pond in the middle of the city - we watched some baby ducks eat algae. The ducks have stairs to enter and exit the pond from 😂
    I smell lots of weed.
    We found an IMAX and decided to buy tickets for guardians of the galaxy. We had 2 hours to kill so we went back to the park and just relaxed. It's very peaceful.
    I can't deal with some of their biking skills.
    The balance and maneuvering is insane!
    We still don't know who has right of way.
    The cinema was pretty empty. The adds were in Dutch so they were fun to watch.
    The movie itself was in English but had Dutch subtitles.
    Wills brain is exploding because we have learnt that 'Vader' is father in Dutch and he has made a connection in relation to Darth Vader from Star Wars.
    I enjoyed the movie. There was a few times where they tried to hard to funny but I did enjoy it.
    We walked home and are now relaxing. Still no one in our dorm.
    I have organized pick up tomorrow with our Bnb host. Hopefully it all goes smoothly. The guy is from
    Aleppo, Syria so we will have to really watch our tongues more than usual regarding politics and refugees etc.
    There is an advertised "gym" in our hostel. That means 2 ropes hanging from the ceiling and a heavy ball.

    Today we also found the 2nd best statue. It was a dog and a turd hahahah
    We had diner on our way home from the theatre. I'm so happy I never unpacked so I have nothing to pack tomorrow! Woohoo!

    I just went to do a quick wee which ended up taking me on a midnight ad adventure for a girl in the shower. She said she forgot her towel and could I go get it for her. She told me what room so I awkwardly entered a dorm with 4 people and embarrassingly started looking through what I thought was her stuff.
    I eventually felt far too uncomfortable so I went to my room and got her mine.
    She was very appreciative though.
    Bed time ✌🏼✌🏼✌🏼

    In messaged all the Danish girls earlier. I have their schedules so I will hopefully book Denmark soon. :)
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Rotterdam, روتردام, ܪܘܛܪܕܐܡ, Горад Ратэрдам, Ротердам, Роттердам, Ρότερνταμ, Roterdamo, Róterdam, Róterdan, רוטרדם, RTM, ロッテルダム, როტერდამი, 로테르담, Roterodamum, Roterdamas, Roterdama, रॉटरडॅम, ရော်တာဒမ်မြို့, راٹرڈیم, Roterdão, Roterdami, ராட்டர்டேம், รอตเทอร์ดาม, Rottérdam, ראטערדאם, 鹿特丹

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