Exploring Rotterdam: A Modern Marvel of the Netherlands

Rotterdam, with its futuristic skyline and rich maritime heritage, offers a unique blend of the old and the new. Here’s a guide to make the most of your visit to this vibrant Dutch city.

Where to Stay: Novotel Rotterdam Brainpark

If you’re seeking comfort coupled with a dash of luxury, I highly recommend the Novotel Rotterdam Brainpark. Recently renovated, this hotel showcases a blend of modern design and convenience. Situated at an optimal location, it offers guests spacious, clean rooms equipped with contemporary amenities. One of the delightful surprises was the Rituals products in the bathroom – truly a blast for those who appreciate quality toiletries.

I had the pleasure of staying on the 13th floor, and the view from there was nothing short of spectacular, providing a panoramic vista of the city’s skyline.

A noteworthy mention is their breakfast spread. Varied and delicious, it ensures you kick start your day on the right note. For those driving in, the hotel provides parking at the back, but it’s worth noting that it’s a paid facility.

Where to Eat: Satisfying Italian Cravings at Da Gianfranco

If you find yourself with an urge for some authentic Italian cuisine while in Rotterdam, make a reservation at Da Gianfranco. Touted as one of the best Sardinian Italian eateries in the city, this restaurant promises an immersive experience into Italy’s rich culinary tradition.

Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty pasta dish, a classic pizza, or just want to indulge in some antipasti, Da Gianfranco delivers on flavor, authenticity, and ambiance. The welcoming staff and the genuine Italian vibe of the place make for a dining experience that’s as memorable as the food itself. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to satiate their Italian food cravings in Rotterdam.

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Must-visit Attractions in Rotterdam:

  1. Cube Houses (Kubuswoningen): This iconic overhanging yellow cube structure, designed by Piet Blom, gives a glimpse of Rotterdam’s architectural innovation.
  2. Erasmus Bridge (Erasmusbrug): Known as “The Swan” because of its shape, this bridge is perfect for a leisurely walk and offers stunning views of the skyline.
  3. Markthal: A residential and office building with a market hall underneath, it’s also home to a massive artwork covering its ceiling, known as the “Sistine Chapel of Rotterdam”.
  4. Maritime Museum: Understand Rotterdam’s maritime legacy with interactive exhibits and historic ships.
  5. Rotterdam Zoo (Diergaarde Blijdorp): One of the oldest zoos in the Netherlands, it’s home to a variety of animals and a beautiful oceanarium.
  6. Old Harbor (Oude Haven): Enjoy a meal or a drink in this historic area with a mix of old ships and modern buildings.

Navigating the City

While Rotterdam’s streets beckon you to explore, parking can be a tad tricky. The city has stringent parking regulations, and unauthorized parking can set you back by about 75€ in fines. If you’re planning to drive around, it’s best to be aware of the parking zones and the associated rules.

For hassle-free navigation, I suggest using the Park + Ride (P+R) facilities located on the city’s outskirts. From there, Rotterdam’s efficient public transportation system can whisk you to the heart of the city. This not only saves you from the bother of finding parking spots but also ensures you’re not caught out by unexpected fines.

Final Thoughts

Rotterdam’s essence lies in its contrasts—historical ships against the backdrop of innovative designs, quiet harbor areas amidst the bustling city vibes, and traditional Dutch treats juxtaposed with international cuisines. Whether you’re here for business or leisure, Rotterdam is sure to leave a lasting impression. Just remember to park wisely and let the city’s charms whisk you away.

For moving moments, swing by my TikTok and Instagram.


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