Rotterdam gets its name from the dam built on the Rotte
River in 1270. The city is absorbed in a maze of water flow
from the delta of the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt Rivers. Located in
the province of South Holland, it is second in size to Amsterdam and has a
population of over 1 million. The port of Rotterdam (Europort) on the
North Sea is the largest port in Europe. Most of the original city
of Rotterdam was
destroyed in World War II by German Luftwaffe aircraft bombing.
Instead of trying to rebuild traditional styles, Rotterdam has taken a
unique path compared to other European cities and has concentrated on
ultra modern architecture. Engineers and architects will be
mesmerized by the abundance of distinctive, eye-catching buildings around
of Amsterdam is heavily influenced by the North Sea, making it cool in
summer and usually preventing freezing in winter. Temperatures are
slightly less than cities farther inland. The height of summer is
July and August when average highs reach 72 F (22 C), while lows average
56 F (13 C). From December to February, the winter highs average about
44 F (7 C) with lows just above
freezing. Rainfall is spread fairly evenly throughout the year, but
is slightly lower in April and May. Visiting in mid May provides
excellent opportunities for good weather and catching the end of the tulip
Rotterdam The Hague Airport is located about 20 minutes
north of the bus station beside Rotterdam Central Station (Centraal) on
Stadsbus #33. This
airport isn't nearly as big as Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, so passengers
are more likely to arrive in Amsterdam and take the train to Rotterdam. The train takes about 45 minutes, provided that you don't
stop at the Hague along the way. Rotterdam also has high speed train
service to Belgium and France. The transportation system within the
city is excellent. There are 5 metro lines, plus a series of trams
to get you wherever you need to go. It's a
straight forward process to buy tickets and English is commonly spoken, if
assistance is needed. For more information, check out the Rotterdam
Info site. You can plan a trip between destinations in Rotterdam
on the 9292 site.
Consider a Rotterdam
Welcome Card for transit passes that combine with discounts at
Ride the Historical Tram for a hop on - hop off
city tour that includes the Erasmus Bridge, the Euromast, Delfshaven,
the Spido, Central Station, the Pancake Boat and the Museum Park.
It's a great way to
get an overview of the city. Time your visit - the tram
operates in July and August and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Erasmus Bridge - It may look more like a harp, but
it's commonly called de Zwaan (the Swan).
Euromast Tower - 328 foot high viewpoint
over the city. Try viewing, dining or rappelling. Catch
the Pancake Boat
(Pannenkoekenboot) at the base of the tower. This is a popular
attraction for children's parties, so we recommend a Spido harbour
tour instead. It's located about 10 minutes east of the Euromast
Steamship Rotterdam - originally used to
transport emigrants to New York, it is now a museum. It's on the
opposite bank from most of the attractions. Also on the opposite
bank is the Vertical City (De Rotterdam) and the Hotel New York,
This hotel was formerly the headquarters for
Holland America Line. They are now headquartered in
The Cube Houses (Kubuswoningen) are inter-connected cube
45 degrees and having no straight walls inside. These are
private homes and public viewing will depend on individual owners
intent. The Cube Houses can be reached by bus or metro traveling
to Blaak Station near the Old Harbour. The Markethal is
located at the opposite end of the square. It provides yet
another example of unusual architecture. The architecture inside
is almost as interesting as the variety of foods available in the
the Old Harbour - includes the White House
"skyscraper" built in 1898.
Delfshaven - the old port, includes the Museum
Rotterdam, the Shipyard De Delft, the Old Mill and the Pilgrim Fathers
Church, whose members left in 1620 to catch the Mayflower to America.
Take a day trip on the Nehallenia
to see the Kinderdijk windmills, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The small water district can also be reached in just over half an hour
from Rotterdam by car or local buses. Although water levels are mainly controlled through modern technology,
Kinderdijk has 19 traditionanal windmills operating at the site.
Tours are run by volunteers and include the opportunity to go inside
the windmills and learn about the history of the area, the ways that
water levels are managed and how the windmills are maintained.
There are also boat trips through the canals and bike baths to enjoy.