Erasmus in the Manhattan at the Meuse
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Rotterdam is the largest city of South-Holland, Zuid-Holland, a province in the Netherlands. The city is well known and famous because it has the largest seaport in Europe. So, Rotterdam is known as a gate to enter Europe. Aside of this, Rotterdam is characterized by a lot of impressive and special architectural buildings and skyscrapers as well as the humanist Erasmus.
The many wonderful buildings you can discover in the city, prove that Rotterdam is a true playground for every architect. Now, Rotterdam looks like a modern city. This is because almost the whole city centre of Rotterdam was destroyed by bombings at the beginning of WWII. Afterwards, the city had to be rebuilt. So, many architects were needed to make this successful. This was the start of the built of many wonderful and spectacular buildings you can discover now in the city. Rotterdam was strong, reinvented itself and returned. The new Rotterdam was born. These times, a lot of people call Rotterdam the "Dutch Manhattan" or "the Manhattan at the Meuse".
The most spectacular buildings after the rebuilt of Rotterdam stand in Blaak. Blaak was the place of the old port of the city where all the rubble was dropped. Now you can discover here the famous cube houses, the pencil, the library and the market hall. Also a lot of business buildings. Between Blaak and the Nieuwe Maas, you still have a picturesque older port called Oudehaven.
Rotterdam has the largest seaport in Europe. And yes it was the largest port in the world from 1962 till 2004 and still today it is the largest worldwide port outside of East Asia. But aside of this fact, people could also make the Atlantic crossing from Rotterdam to North-America. Many people took the ship SS Rotterdam to cross the Atlantic Ocean to reach the USA. And of course also in the other direction to reach Europe. Hotel Amerika Lijn was the first building, or the latest, a lot of people saw when they entered, or left, Europe via Rotterdam. This is why Rotterdam is known as a gate to enter Europe. These days it is possible to visit the SS Rotterdam ship as a museum or stay some nights in the hotel on the ship.
The humanist Erasmus also is linked to Rotterdam. Erasmus lived in the 15th and 16th century. It is assumed that he was born in Rotterdam. But it also could be in Gouda, a little bit further. He is famous for his satirical work "Lof der Zotheid", or in English: "Praise of Folly". This work was written to amuse his good friend Thomas More. In the library of Rotterdam, you can visit the Erasmus Experience where you can chat with Erasmus in the Manhattan at the Meuse.
A lot of guides and travel sites tell you about the popular spots and things to do in a city. According Voyageiro, these are the 5 most popular things you must do and see in Rotterdam.
Blaak is located central in the city and houses maybe the most impressive architectural buildings of Rotterdam. It is built on and old port that dated from the 16th century. After the bombings of 1940, all the rubble of the city was dumped here and a new city built up above it. So, these days you can admire a lot of beautiful architectural buildings in Blaak.
First of all, the most well known and special buildings in Blaak are the Cube Houses. An impressive constructions of many houses in a cubic form. And yes people live in these houses. You also can visit one house as a museum. So, you can see that the houses have a great design and you have a lot of space in the buildings.
Do you want to stay in a cube house? It is possible! There is a hostel in the cube houses of Stayokay. Go for a stay at a unique location and discover the architecture, culture and history of Rotterdam by yourself.
Aside the cube houses, stands an apartment building that looks like a large pencil. A pencil as a tool to design the new city. So, do you want to write and read something? Fine! In that case, enter the impressive library of Rotterdam aside this building. In the library you also can chat with the humanist Erasmus in a great Erasmus Experience.
Central in Blaak, you find the train and metro station. As well as the Markthal. This is a great food market in the city of Rotterdam. A place to buy and taste great food in the city. A must do when you are in Rotterdam.
In the city park of Rotterdam, you can go for the Euromast to enjoy a great 360 view over the city and the harbour. This is the highest observation tower in The Netherlands. The main deck of the Euromast is at a height of 112m. Isn't this high enough? Go for the Euroscope, a rotating lift that brings you to a height of 185 meters with a great 360 view over Rotterdam and the seaport. In the Euroscope you sit down in a rotating cabin. So, don't be too scared. This is a great experience to enjoy the city of Rotterdam.
At the main desk of the Euromast, there also is a restaurant and a hotel. Yes indeed, you can stay and sleep at a height of 112 meter and wake up with a great view over the city of Rotterdam. Click the button to book your stay in the Euromast Hotel Suites.
In the harbour of Rotterdam, you find a wonderful hotel with the letters "HOLLAND AMERIKA LIJN". It is located at Kop van Zuid. This was the last building many people saw when they left Europe to find a better life in America. As well as the first building many others saw when they arrived in Europe. Still today, this is one of the most impressive buildings to discover and that people see when their cruise ship docks in Rotterdam.
This building houses Hotel New York. Because it also was the hotel where a lot of people stayed before they took the boat to America. Now, it still is a hotel and restaurant. The hotel still is used by a lot of people who embark in Rotterdam to make a cruise. So, you also can stay in this hotel. But the square in front of this building is already worth your visit. Here you have a great viewpoint over Rotterdam and can feel the history of the great Atlantic crossings as well as the atmosphere of the cruise ships today.
Holland-Amerika Lijn (Hotel America Line) is the name of a shipping company in Rotterdam. This company is established in 1873 and was the company for the shipping connections between The Netherlands and the USA. The home base was here in Rotterdam. Since 1989 it is part of Carnival Corporation and plc, with headquarter in Seattle, USA.
We stay in the port, the Atlantic crossings and the cruise ships. Visit the SS Rotterdam, the showpiece of the Rotterdam's shipping company Holland-Amerika Lijn (HAL) out of the 60s of the 20th century. The SS Rotterdam dates from 1959 and was the 5th ship with this name.
SS Rotterdam is a ship with a lot of technology for his time. The ship was small enough to make the Atlantic crossings as well as wide enough to be used as a cruise ship. So, the SS Rotterdam was used for both. These days, you can visit it as a museum with an audio guide, eat in the restaurant or stay some nights in the hotel of the ship.
The Watertaxi is a unique way of transport that brings you to 50 different stops in Rotterdam on demand. So, normally you have to book your ticket first via the website or the mobile app. Afterwards, you wait on the platform where the watertaxi will pick you up. Because, it is a taxi. So, there is no fixed time schedule or fixed route of the boats.
Like in any city, Rotterdam also has some hidden gems to discover:
What are the famous events? Are there regional festivities? What are the huge city festivals to join every year? Are there festivities you don't may miss in this city? Below, you find some of the famous yearly activities to do in Rotterdam.
At the end of January, you have to be in Rotterdam to see a lot of movies. Because at that moment it is time for the International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR). This is a film festival known for smaller productions and more artistic movies, not the worldwide commercial movies of Hollywood. The IFFR is the largest film festival in The Netherlands and attracts every year more than 300 000 visitors for around 500 movies.
Do you like to run? And also through a city? Participate in the Marathon of Rotterdam. The start and finish of this 42 km run are located at the Coolsingel, in front of the Town Hall. It is one of the 10 most famous marathons in Europe. The start is given after that Lee Towers sang the song "You'll never walk alone".
July is the time of for a huge and famous summer in the city of Rotterdam. Rotterdam Unlimited is the combination of the Rotterdam Summer Carnival and the Dunya festival. The city centre, and especially the Coolsingel, transforms in a complete dance floor, with a lot of colour, happiness and joy. This is the largest and most famous city festival of Rotterdam.
Since 2005, Rotterdam transforms in the Monaco at the Meuse at the begin of August. If you like car racing, you have to be in Rotterdam at this moment of the year for a huge Formule 1 demonstration. Because, this is what the VKV City Racing is.
September is the ideal moment to discover the harbour of Rotterdam. At the beginning of the month it is the time for the World Port Days, de wereldhavendagen. It is the ideal moment to enjoy the atmosphere of the port, discover many special ships and excursions. there also are a lot of spectacles and shows. This is the ideal moment to discover the largest port of Europe.
Yes, again sport! In December, the Ahoy is the place to be for a track cycling event. This moment takses the Six-days of track cycling in Rotterdam place. The six-days track cycling events always are good for a great atmosphere and a lot of joy. Go in December to the Ahoy in Rotterdam and enjoy this wonderful indoor track cycling event.
It is always good to be informed when you visit a city, location, region or plan to make a road trip. So, you are on the right way by reading my posts. Aside, of this, it can help you to have a personal guide in your pocket. Why not put a short guide document in your hand luggage, backpack or on your mobile device? To do this, we have some personalised tour guides for you. More information is available on our Guides page.
Below you find some of our personalised guides about Rotterdam created especially for travel lovers like you. These will give you another dimension to your trip. It allows you to better understand the location where you are. To travel with more passion.
We created a digital travel guide, especially for travel lovers like you. This travel book is available as a digital download from the Etsy shop of Galeria Sámuel, the online shop of our travel content.
You can use this Travel Guide Book as a digital file on your personal device or print out on A4 or A5 paper. The digital download also has a foldable print-ready pocket version.
Good points of our travel guides are:
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