Rotterdam Favorite Tips by sachara Top 5 Page for this destination
Rotterdam Favorites: 145 reviews and 193 photos
Favorite thing: When I visit Rotterdam, I usually arrive by train at the Central Station. Or I take here the Thalys to Paris. In fact the central station is an important junction of different kind of transport with more than 100.000 passengres everyday.
The next years (till 2013) the station and the whole area around will change enormously, by building a new terminal for all public transport, but also offices and apartments. The total traffic infrastructure of busses, cars, trams will go underground, so there will be created a nice spatious pedestrian area connecting the Central Station with the citycentre. For information about the plans and planning you can have a look at: www.rotterdamcentraal.nl
From the original characters 'CENTRAAL STATION' at the front of the old building, which will be broken down, is made the text 'TRAAN LATEN', meaning 'shedding a tear' (see picture 2 & 3).
Favorite thing: The Groot Handelsgebouw or trade centre was opened in 1953. It was the first post-war building, buillt at the place of the former zoo. It was the biggest post-war building in those days and a landmark in post-war Rotterdam.
The building is at your right hand side when you come out of the Centraal Station. I visited a conference somewhere in the building. It's a convenient location, when coming by train to Rotterdam.
Fondest memory: When I stayed in the Westin Hotel many years later, I had a nice total view at the Groot Handelsgebouw from my hotelroom and discovered it has a terrace at its rooftop.
Nr.1: Delftse Poort, 151.35m
Favorite thing: Arriving in Rotterdam by train, you are directly confronted with the high rise buildings of the city.
From the platfroms you will have even the first view at the highest building of the city, the so-called Delftse Poort. This building of 42 floors, designed by architect A. Bonnema and finished in 1991, is 151.35m high (with antenne 164m.). This building, housing the headquarters of the Nationale Nederlanden insurance company, is not only the highest building of Rotterdam, but also of the Netherlands. In 2004 it has been selected by the 'Foundation Hoogbouw' as the best skyscraper of the Netherlands. (Picture 1)
The second highest building of Rotterdam Montevideo having 43 floors is 139.5m high (with the 'M' at top 152.31m). This one is designed by Mecanoo Architects and finished in 2005. Montevideo with apartments and offices stands at the Kop of Zuid, besides the Hotel New York. (Picture 2)
The third highest building is the Milleniumtower of 131.85m. (with mast 149m.) of 34 floors, built in 2000. This building stands opposite the Central Railwaystation. (Picture 3)
World Port Center
The fourth highest building is the World Port Center at the Kop of Zuid close to Montevideo and Hotel New York with 123.06m (with mast 138m.), built in 2000. (Picture 4).
Fondest memory: It was special to sleep in the Westin hotel in the Millenium Tower, one of three highest buildings of Rotterdam, during my visit in summer 2006. The Millenium Tower is also called a look-a-like of the Empire State Building in NYC, as Rotterdam is called Manhattan on the Maas.
Favorite thing: In 1953 the Lijnbaan was the first shoppingstreet in the world where the cars were banned. In those years was written: the Lijnbaan is the most modern and luxurious shopping centre with 78 delightful shops.
It took some time before I discovered an old gateway between the modern buildings. It is the Coolsingelpoort (gate), the last remain of the Coolsingelhospital which was devastated during the war in 1940. Originally the old gateway stood at the rear of the hospital before it was moved to this place at the Lijnbaan close to a tree which stood in the courtyard of the hospital.
Because the former hospital was situated close to this spot, the Lijnbaan looks historically the most logical place fore the old gateway, though there were ideas as well to move the gateway to the new Erasmus hospital.
Favorite thing: The historical harbour 'Veerhaven' ( Ferry Harbour) is situated in the Scheepvaartkwartier (Maritime Quarter), on the north bank of Nieuwe Maas river. The Scheepvaartkwartier, one of the few remained areas from before the WWII, is situated between the Euromast and Erasmus Bridge. Around 1900 the Scheepvaartkwartier was the centre of shipping and international trading. Nowadays it is a lovely area with beautiful merchants houses.
The Veerhaven is a tidal harbour and the home port for a historical sea-going comercial fleet of sailing ships, like former cargo ships (schooners and coasters) and different kind of ships used for fishing (luggers and cutters). There are several classic yachts as well. Most owners live on board of their ships.
In addition to this permanent fleet, the Veerhaven can host visiting ships throughout the year. In case you will visit Rotterdam by private boat: the Veerhaven is safely accessible for smaller ships. In the white building at the northern end of the harbour is the Veerhaven Office, accommodating the harbour office with shower-toilet facilities and a laundry service. The conference room in this unique building is suitable for meetings. At the Veerdam at the southern end of the Veerhaven is the clubhouse of the De Maas Royal Rowing and Yachting Club.
The name 'Veerhaven' or 'Ferry Harbour' got this name, because in former days -before there were bridges- the ferry to the south bank and village Katendrecht left from here.
Favorite thing: In former days the Waterstad was the area of the former docklands of Rotterdam. Later it became a stately residential area.
Coming from the Old Harbour with the White house and some old merchant houses from the 18th century, giving an image how the city looked like in former days, I walked along the quai of the Wijnhaven along new buildings. I was very surprised to discover unexpectedly the historical Regentesse Brug, also called the Four Lions Bridge in pretty contrast with the new apartments nearby.
The Regentessebrug, connecting the Glashaven and Posthoornstreet, dates back from 1899 and has survived the WO II. The bridge is designed by D.G. Logemann at he moment the harbours moved westbound and this area became a stately residential area. The scenic bridge has lions at four corners and some pillars. It's obvious the designer is inspired by the bridges of Paris like the Pont Alexandre III.
Favorite thing: In the 13th century the ships sailed away from the Oude Haven, being a natural harbour in the Rotte estuary. The origin of Rotterdam as harbour city has started here. Later in the 16th century new harbours were dugged out more west like the Haringvliet and the Leuvehaven.
You cannot only see historical vessels of the Open-air Inland Shipping Museum in the old harbour, but also the the White House, which was built in the late 19th century with 45m the highest building in Europe in those days.
Besides the White House are some Merchants Houses of the 18th century as well, though temporary removed for the construction of a railwaytunnel and afterwards rebuilt.
The Oude Haven (or the Old Harbour) is a scenic place in the citycentre.
Favorite thing: In the Leuvehaven (Leuve Harbour) is the open air part of the maritime museum. You can see several ships, derricks, cranes, a lighthouse and get an idea of the typical atmosphere of the harbour in the old days.
From 1600 the Leuvehaven was a seaport during three centuries. Till the 1970s it was still a lively harbour for the inland shipping.
The Leuvehaven is situated in the original maritime heart of Rotterdam, the Waterstad. The Waterstad contains the eldest docklands of Rotterdam. Nowadays the historical maritime character of this area is mixed with modern architecture and new residential areas.
Toren op Zuid
Favorite thing: Rotterdam has much to offer in the field of architecture and urban development. Examples are the modern and innovative architecture, like the Cube houses, the Kunsthal and the Erasmus Bridge and the recent developments in the Kop van Zuid.
There are guided excursions by bus, bike or on foot along the highlights, but you can walk yourself as well. From the water the modern skyline of Rotterdam is quite spectacular. That's why Rotterdam is called 'Manhattan on the Maas'.
In 2007 Rotterdam will be City of Architecture with several events, expositions and lectures.
3 bridges: Erasmusbrug in front, the Hef rightside
Favorite thing: The Nieuwe Maas cuts right through the citycentre of Rotterdam. Several bridges and tunnels link the two banks.
The important connections for cars are the Erasmusbrug connecting the northbank with the south bank of the river and a bit more inland the Willemsbrug connecting the north bank with the Noordereiland and the Koninginnebrug connecting Noordereiland with the southbank (Kop van Zuid).
Close to the Koninginnebrug is the so-called 'Hef' crossing the Koningshaven. After the opening of the tunnel for the trains, all railwaybridges were moved away except this striking vertical liftbridge (hefbrug). The Hef, a cultural monument now, is standing open permanently.
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