When I booked a trip to Amsterdam, I wanted to do another major Dutch city that would offer me a different experience. I ultimately chose Rotterdam because of its amazing architecture and sustainable culture. This major port city didn’t disappoint me at all. Here are the things that stood out for me during the trip.
6 things to do in Rotterdam to soak in the city’s brilliance
1. Grab a pizza al taglio at Sugo
One of the best ways to remember a city is through its food. Enjoying a slice of pizza with a good cup of coffee is a great idea no matter the season.
Sugo offers a variety of flavours (vegan choices too) on a yummy and crispy crust. It’s a great option for those who are on-the-go, trying to squeeze in a bite between attractions. For those with a sweet tooth, their Pizza Nutella and Cannolis are must-tries.
2. Marvel at Rotterdam’s modern architecture
You can’t go to Rotterdam and not visit some of its most famous architectural structures.
Which other city has eye-catching cube houses in the middle of the bustling city centre? Seeing 40 cute little tilted cubes clustered together overhead made me wonder what it is like to live in a cube.
You are actually able to visit one there but it would set you back by €3/pax. Having done it, I would suggest sticking to seeing the houses from the outside. But it’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth paying to view the inside of a small house.
Just a short walk away is the indoor market, The Markthal. It is the first covered market in the Netherlands. A place where good food and unique living come together in a spectacular arch. Even though it’s a little touristy, it is still worth a visit!
3. Visit theme-park-like Maritime Museum
Museums may be boring to some because they are usually not very interactive. But the Maritime Museum would change the way you think about them.
It has an outdoor exhibition where you can step onto and explore real vessels, sitting on one of the oldest and largest museum harbours of the Netherlands. The indoor exhibition has digital games, props for children, and engaging showcases that even adults would enjoy. Be prepared to spend almost half your day there!
4. Just keeping walking!
Rotterdam is a wonderful city to walk. I signed up for a tip-based walking tour and it was two hours well spent learning more about Rotterdam’s history and culture. You can also explore on your own by downloading an app with walking routes. Check out Rotterdam Routes, available on Google Play and Apple App Store.
5. Indulge in pancakes and then shop
Craving for hearty pancakes? Feel all your troubles drain away as you take a bite into by Jarmusch’s pancakes. Yes, it’s that good. What’s more, the service is great there as well.
After you have satisfied your tummy, walk a few steps down to Evernow, a lifestyle design store that is #everythinggoals. If you love design, plants, and beautiful things, this shop is it.
Around the corner is Groos, a store full of made in Rotterdam products. A great place to find a designer souvenir or two.
6. Take a water taxi
In a city where water plays such a huge part in its history, you have to take a water taxi at least once! It works just like normal taxis, you can wait at the taxi stand during peak hours or give them a call and tell them where you are!
I took a water taxi from the Maritime Museum to Hotel New York (€4.50/pax) then walked to Fenix Food Factory, a hipster food market transformed from a former warehouse. Get some artisanal food and beer and sit outdoors by the waters and soak up the Rotterdam vibe.
To go back to the city, you can either take a water taxi or do what I did – take a stroll and cross the Erasmus Bridge.
Rotterdam is a very modern city and people pay with cards all the time. At times, paying with a credit/debit card was the ONLY option. In order not to be overwhelmed by the fees and unfavourable exchange rates, I signed up for the DBS Multi-Currency Account in advance and converted our Singapore Dollars to Euros instantly within the app.
I had initially thought that the exchange rate would be bad, but it was quite good actually! To exchange S$2,500 into Euros, I paid about S$10 more than the best rate at Raffles Arcade money changers. If you are the kind who tends to change money at the airport, using the DBS MCA might even save you money.
Aside from the DBS MCA, there are many other options for multi-currency accounts too. Check them out here.