The second largest city in The Netherlands is the vibrant modern metropolis of Rotterdam. With the river Meuse running through it, Rotterdam is considered to be the most important port city in the world. But its not all business: in fact Rotterdam is also a thriving hub of culture, leisure activities and enough events going on to rival Amsterdam itself. The birthplace of Erasmus, Rotterdam has contributed much to the cultural landscape of The Netherlands thanks to the humanist values of this great thinker. Drop anchor in Rotterdam and plunge into a city worthy of the third millennium. To travel to Rotterdam is to visit the cutting edge of contemporary design of our times.
From atop the 185 m Euromast, the highest tower in Rotterdam, the Euroscoop viewing platform offers a spectacular view over the greatest port in the world. In the evening, the suspension cables of the Erasmus Bridge, which was designed by Van Berkel and is a proud symbol of the city, twinkle with a thousand lights. But it is the port of Rotterdam, which is the basis of life in Rotterdam, with the bustling atmosphere created by the dock workers and shipyards. There's only one way to become one with the city: take a boat trip. During the Wereldhavendagen or Port Days festival, you'll have the opportunity to see the port wearing its party hat, celebrating all things related to boats and the shipping industry.
In the Museumpark, you'll find numerous theatres and some of the most important museums in The Netherlands , such as Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum. This institution has an impressive collection of masterpieces dating from medieval times to the present day, including Bruegel's Tower of Babel, and Rembrandt's Titus, as well as works by Monet, Van Gogh and Andy Warhol.
The Netherlands Architecture Institute is the temple for those passionate about architecture. A teaching centre which also puts on exhibitions, the NAI gives a fascinating insight into historic and contemporary architecture. The Huis Sonneveld, a futuristic villa dating from 1933, is an integral part of the museum.
Close to the old port, check out the Kijk-Kubus or cube homes which seem to be stacked like lego on top of one another. Designed by Piet Blom, these are museum-houses which demonstrate how "real" people live in "real" cube houses.
Rotterdam is a city of festivals, and some of the higlights are the Rotterdam International Film Festival in winter, and the North Sea Jazz Festival and Ortel summer Carnival which take place during the summer months, putting Rotterdam in a party mood. In the vibrant Kop van Zuid area, the Entrepotgebied is where you'll find the best shops in Rotterdam, and also a clutch of the top restaurants in Rotterdam.
"In Rotterdam shirts are sold with their sleeves rolled up"… This popular saying illustrates that where the city was formerly seen as a stuffy and serious working city, Rotterdam has now let its hair down. This young and trendy city is just waiting for you to come and discover it for yourself.
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