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October 2017
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Roffa, mon amour


In October the influential digital travel specialist Lonely Planet published its yearly ‘top 10 cities in the world’. On the list one can find cities as George Town (Malaysia) and Quito (Ecuador), but also the Dutch metropole Rotterdam. According to Lonely Planet, Rotterdam is currently the fifth most exhilarating city in the world. The city has earned the spot due to its unique architecture, the presence of history and modernity and the numerous restaurants. Of course people are familiar with the city’s charm, yet even a true Rotterdamer, as myself, was taken by surprise by this announcement.
Rotterdam is lovely, I definitely agree. But when I delved into the hot spot list presented, I was disappointed. Just as every travel website, Lonely Planet listed the Markthal, Swan bridge and Kunsthal museum as hot spots. While these places are definitely nice to visit when traveling to the second largest metropole of the Netherlands, there is much more to explore about and in this historic port city.

When thinking about a historic port city
you might think of romantic canals, tall Dutch hRotterdamouses and historic buildings. Well, not in Rotterdam. The city goes back to the thirteenth century, the port was once the biggest of the world and the center was bombed and rebuild.Rotterdam has a large international population and the influx of tourists and students is increasing. To provide internationals and locals with unique hot spots in the second largest Dutch metropole, here is the travel guide 2.0 for a visit to the ‘world port city’, Manhattan at the Maas, Roffa or simply Rotterdam.


Rotterdam is often described as an unique city due to the balance between modern and historic architecture. Besides architecture, the city is known for a variety of museums, art centers and cultural events. Two recommendations:

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art
International expositions and the aim to go beyond commercial and traditional art by exposing the unusual. The center offers experimental, innovative art the chance to be seen. For all the experimental hearts out there; this is the place to be.
Witte de Withstraat 50, Rotterdam

Het Nieuwe Instituut; The New Institute8012687243_de46e862e0
A center for architecture, design and innovation. Note: this is not a regularmuseum, this is an experience. Expect expositions and workshops revolving around creativedesign and innovation in a global context. Architecture, fashion, design: the new institute has it all.
Museumpark 25, Rottedam




After a day of shopping and city hopping, there is nothing better than having a nice drink in a comfortable setting.

Cafe LaBru
Whether you want to enjoy a coffee or the best gin-tonic in Rotterdam LaBru is a must visit. The relaxed atmosphere immediately makes you feel at home. Delicious drinks, vintage couches, jazz, and lots of art at LaBru.
Hartmansstraat 18A, Rotterdam


255mn2pAloha Bar
Ever dreamed to have lunch in a waterslide? At the Aloha Bar you are literally sitting in an old swimming pool. Have a bite while enjoying the great view over the Maas or go for
 classy Island styled pre-drinks before you head to the club.

Maasboulevard 100, Rotterdam




The Dutch kitchen with mashed potatoes and meat clearly did not conquer everyone’s heart when looking at the numerous cuisines present in Rotterdam. Rotterdam hosts more than 150 nationalities, so whether you want to eat delicious Suriname’s Rice, indulge with Mediterranean Tapas or love to have Chicken Biryani, the city got you covered.

Warung Mini
It cannot be called a restaurant but this is a definite must visit when you are in Rotterdam. Especially for those who love Surinamese dishes: Warung Mini will make you come back to Rotterdam. Expect a low key, cheap decor, friendly yet efficient employees and the best Surinamese rice in town.
Witte de Withstraat 47, Rotterdam

12235033_860992754015791_2792778985904734697_n (1)Spirit
The vegan movement has found its place in the port city with a green shopping centre and an unique vegan restaurant that has everything a vegan ever dreamed of. The buffet restaurant makes it possible for you to get as much food as you like to eat and pay per weight. Make sure to save room for their mouth watering chocolate cake.
Mariniersweg 9, Rotterdam


Tasty bites, good music and, a lot of, drinks: have a night to always remember in Rotterdam.

Annabel11825981_472679426229823_5542876728010010789_n (1)
A new gem and no it is not a Dutch girl. Drinks, burgers, good music and an industrial decor: Annabel. Music varies from hip swinging R&B to underground techno.
Schiestraat 20, Rotterdam



More into jazzy tunes, soul and blues? Go warm yourself up at Bird.The food is local and finger- linking good. Take a bite before enjoying funky tunes and moving your feet to soul and blues.
Raamportstraat 24-28, Rotterdam

Every week BAR hosts great parties that go on until sunrise. Especially th12191069_1060973520614394_8912501321680825602_n (1)e Thursdays are beloved amongst students, even if they do not have their Fridays off.
Schiekade 201, Rotterdam



Club Vie
Vie has a great view and a stylish decor. With well- known R&B nights, and HipHop parties, club Vie claims to be the best club in town.
Maasboulevard 300, Rotterdam

Roffa, mon amour?
Hopefully you are equipped with interesting places to explore when visiting the vibrant port city of the Netherlands. An old city that looks young and modern, that is Dutch but screams international and which seems individual but feels so collective. Rotterdam flirts with you: it winks at you and then subtly steals your heart. During the creation of this article, it has definitely re-stolen mine. Fifth best city in the world, most exhilarating city in Europe, the next Amsterdam: see you in Rotterdam!


By Lieke van ’t Veer.

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