Things to do in Rotterdam

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If you work in the maritime industry, chances are you have heard from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Rotterdam is the second most populated city in the country and the Rotterdam metropolitan area; as it hosts 2.82 million people.

Rotterdam's urban landscape has earned it the nickname "Manhattan on the Meuse". Also known for being home to the Erasmus University, a rich maritime heritage and innovative architecture. Rotterdam's port, Europoort, is the largest port in Europe and one of the top twenty container ports in the world.

Rotterdam had to reinvent itself after World War II, when a bombing destroyed the entire urban center of the city. Since the postwar period, modernity and avant-garde architecture have filled the streets of the city, turning it into a center of contemporary architecture with emblematic buildings.

A big city like that can feel overwhelming at first, but at Middle Point we want to help you out by giving you a small guide to visiting the city! Here are our tips to make the most out of your visit to this emblematic city.

1. Markthal

This markthal is not like any other market. Designed by architectural firm MRDV, it is a combination program of food, leisure, living and parking.

This building has a horseshoe shape, and it is filled with square windows. Inside, the interior structure is decorated with 11,000 m2 artwork of colorful drawings of fruits, flowers, and insects.

It hosts more than 40 market stalls with international food and treats, it's the perfect place for Dutch cuisine too!

2. Visit the cubic houses

One of the most interesting buildings to see, is the Kubiswoning. The architect rotated a conventional cube 45º and thus conceived 32 cubes, which made up 82 houses of about 100 m² organized on 3 floors.

This attracted such a high number of visitors that one of the owners decided to open the house to the public and it has now become a sort of museum! Entrance will cost 2,50€. And you can even spend the night in one of these houses!

3. Crossing the Erasmusbrug

For many people this is the main attraction in the city. Architectural innovation meets state-of-the-art engineering to create this impressive bridge. The Erasmus Bridge is 802 meters long and serves to connect the northern and southern parts of Rotterdam.

The bridge has been nicknamed "the swan" since it opened, due to its 100-meter long mast that resembles the shape of a swan’s neck. Crossing this bridge is the best way to get a look at the city!

Fun fact: The bridge appeared in the Jackie Chan movie Who Am I? (1998).

4. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

This museum is a must-see in Rotterdam for art lovers. You can see the works of the great Dutch masters such as Van Gogh, Rubens or Van Dyck, as well as other great international artists are exhibited there like Dalí or Magritte. The collection has European art from the 14th century to contemporary art. You can also find exhibitions dedicated to a specific artist or period. We recommend looking at The Depot, found right next to it. Opened in 2021, it is the world’s first publicly accessible art storage facility. Interesting fact: it was designed by MDRV, just like markthal!

5. Euromast tower

Many say that Rotterdam is the Dutch Manhattan and this tower confirms it. It is the tallest building in the city, with 185 meters high.

The tower has two observation decks: one 100 meters high and the other at the top, at 185 meters. On clear days you can see all of Rotterdam and even nearby cities such as Antwerp. The tower offers different entertainment possibilities: from climbing for the brave, to accommodation for those looking for a more luxurious experience.

💡 Tips from our recruiters:

- Head to Locus Publicus for some great Belgian beers.

- Enjoy a nice dinner and live music at Vessel 11, Here you can typical British pub food and homebrewed beers aboard a red lightship docked in the city center of Rotterdam. Plus points: here you can hire a floating hot tub! The first wood-fired sailing hot tub. You can rent the boat for a minimum of 2 hours and sail through the canals of Rotterdam.

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