Rotterdam is having a well-deserved second. With a direct Eurostar service from London, a slew of recent openings – stylish eating places, cool lodges, up-and-coming breweries – and a number of the most fun structure in Europe, the Netherlands’ plucky second metropolis ought to positively be on the shortlist on your subsequent brief break.

Listed below are the very best 10 methods to whereas away a visit.

Structure by bike

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Amsterdam doesn’t have a monopoly on bicycle tradition – the remainder of the Netherlands is bike mad too, Rotterdam included. And the most effective methods to see town’s various structure, from 1970s classics (Piet Blom’s distinctive yellow dice home) to modern-day masterpieces (the sharp-angled Centraal Station, opened in 2014), is from the saddle.

Hop on two wheels and discover by renting a motorbike, or e-book onto an structure bike tour with UrbanGuides – €25 (£22) for two.5 hours.

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Craft brewery crawl

Neglect the standard pub crawl – Rotterdam has sufficient thrilling craft brewers producing artistic, small-batch beers to make sure you possibly can go an entire journey with out touching a drop of Heineken. Kaapse Brouwers, which is on the forefront of the Netherlands’ burgeoning craft brewing scene, may be discovered at Kaapse Maria, its low-key bar-cum-restaurant, and Fenix Meals Manufacturing facility, a cooperative of entrepreneurs all working out of an previous port warehouse that has rejuvenated the realm of Katendrecht to the south. Transfer from there to up-and-coming brewery/bar Thoms, the second brewery within the Netherlands to serve its beer unpasteurised and unfiltered onsite.

Thoms serves its personal beer on website (Iris van den Broek)

Seize a fork

It’s an thrilling time in Rotterdam’s restaurant scene, with loads of new openings and revolutionary eating choices. For a tour and a meal mixed, climb aboard Rottertram – a classic tram just lately transformed right into a gourmand restaurant that goes across the metropolis whereas a 4 course dinner is served. Op het Dak, in the meantime, is a café overlooking the Netherlands’ first city rooftop farm, which makes use of the backyard’s recent greens and herbs in its wholesome dishes. 

Op het Dak is the Netherlands’ first city rooftop farm (Sophia van den Hoek)

For fancier fare attempt De Jong, an insouciant but welcoming restaurant housed underneath one of many repurposed railway arches as a part of the stylish Hofbogen improvement. Head chef Jim de Jong’s championing of native, recent produce means menus change steadily – and every is a shock. Diners choose whether or not they’d like 4, 5 – 6 programs, share any dietary necessities after which await their destiny.

Return in time

Rotterdam was famously bombed within the Second World Struggle. It used to look not in contrast to Amsterdam, however Hitler put paid to that, and futuristic structure sprang up the place conventional Dutch buildings as soon as stood. However you possibly can nonetheless get a window into the previous and get your repair of quaint canalside views by heading over to Delfshaven within the west of town – it has fairly gabled buildings, a canal and even a windmill, all only a tramride away from town centre.

Delfshaven encapsulates previous Rotterdam (iStock)

Quirky museums

Town’s superior sense of humour is evidenced by its museums: the Pure Historical past Museum Rotterdam has a everlasting exhibition referred to as Lifeless Animal Tales, which chronicles uncommon methods creatures kicked the bucket, together with a hedgehog completely preserved with its head caught in a McFlurry container. There’s even a plaque to commemorate when a duck flew into the constructing and died, earlier than it was topic to the, ahem, sexual advances of one other male duck. It was allegedly the primary time an act of gay necrophilia was witnessed within the species.

Pure Historical past Museum Rotterdam’s McFlurry hedgehog (NMR)

Artwork repair

Galleries abound in Rotterdam, however a visit to Kunsthal is a should – not least as a result of the constructing itself is an architectural gem. Its daring design raised the profile of architect Rem Koolhaas, founding accomplice of Dutch structure agency OMA, when the constructing was first opened in 1992. Field-shaped and industrial, it leads guests by means of seven exhibition areas by way of a sloping, spiralling ground. Present exhibitions embody Cracking The Picture – You Don’t Know What You’re Seeing, a choice of authentic, miscellaneous footage exhibiting the affect photos have on our every day lives. Entry to the gallery is €14.

Kunsthal is pretty much as good on the surface as it’s on the within (Getty)

Water taxi

Rotterdam is all about water – it is Europe’s largest port, doncha know. Reap the benefits of this by travelling in type and catching a water taxi to get round. These black and yellow boats clip alongside at 50kph and cease at 50 totally different areas alongside the port. Passengers can e-book on-line or by telephone; a brief boat journey for 2 prices about €12.

The good technique to journey is by water taxi (Getty)

To market, to market

Town is dwelling to a number of meals markets, every with its personal distinctive flavour (pun supposed). Markthal is undoubtedly essentially the most eye-catching, housed in a large, glass-fronted horseshoe with an outsized art work of technicolour natural world adorning the ceiling. Tons of of stalls, eating places and outlets are crammed inside, from sit-down locations, to seize and go. 

Foodhallen has quite a few outposts of fashionable eating places (Iris van den Broek)

The most recent idea on the block is Foodhallen on the bottom ground of the Room Mate Bruno resort on Wilhelminakade. It’s Rotterdam’s very personal reply to Lisbon’s fashionable Time Out market: a cool industrial area with communal seating within the center and outposts of a number of the metropolis’s best-loved eating places lining the sides for choose’n’combine road meals. 

Lastly, Fenix Meals Manufacturing facility may have been plucked straight out of east London, with naked bulbs strung throughout concrete partitions and mismatching squashy chairs strewn between stalls promoting all the things from vibrant Moroccan spices to exotically flavoured stroopwafels

Go ’seiling

Not crusing, however abseiling. Rotterdam’s Euromast provides daredevils the chance to leap off and dangle 100m all the way down to the underside. When you’re recreation, it is €57.50pp.

’Seil of the century: Rotterdam’s Euromast (Getty)

Floating backyard

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Most cities can boast a good inexperienced area, however what number of can say they’ve a floating park? Rotterdam’s Recycled Park is a revolutionary idea, which makes use of plastic garbage and particles collected from the Nieuwe Maas River to create a 140m-squared stretch of octagonal constructions that float attractively within the water to the east of Wilhelminapier.

In addition to wanting good, the islands act as a habitat for minibeasts comparable to snails, flatworms, larva, beetles and fish.

Journey necessities

Getting there

Eurostar operates two companies from London St Pancras to Rotterdam a day, with a journey time of just below three and a half hours; from £35 one-way. 

Staying there

Room Mate Bruno has doubles from €90, room solely.

Extra data

en.rotterdam.data​