Right then, this looks like the bus that passes my house every twenty minutes or so but that one does not go into the water!
It's a one of a kind, at the moment, and great fun.
A tour around the old inner harbour with some commentary in English although we're starting to understand some Dutch too.
Smartshop De Lachende Paus
The Laughinh Pope, smartshop in Rotterdam
(I censured the picture because of privacy of the people visiting )
Daily opened from 10 am in the morning.
For smart people who like some good stuff, friendly staff and reliable..Related to:
- Luxury Travel
- Food and Dining
Getting A Unique Overview Of The City
This is just something that I noticed which piqued my interest and so have done a little research.
The airship pictured is the Zeppelin NT, based at Friedrichshafen, Germany, and is operated by a company called Zeppelinvlucht.nl which offers various city and countryside tours at various locations around Benelux
If I remember correctly the original Zeppelins were an early 1900's innovation and were briefly popular as a mode of luxury transportation across the Atlantic in the 1930's.
However the Hindenburg disaster in 1937, when the airship burst into flames whilst landing at Lakehurst, put paid to the temporary popularity of airship travel. The Hindenburg catastrophe was actually quite avoidable as the explosion only happened due to the use of the highly-inflammable Hydrogen gas instead of the intended, inert, Helium which was subject to a US embargo at the time.
The modern Zeppelin operated by Zeppelinvlucht.nl since 2008 is of course Helium filled and the company offers unique sightseeing tours of Rotterdam in June and July. The Zeppelin leaves from Rotterdam airport and cruises over the city at a height of 300 metres. It can only accommodate 12 passengers at a time and so is quite expensive (about 300 Euros for a 60 minute trip) but certainly looks interesting.Related to:
- Luxury Travel
Wandering The Riverside
Although Rotterdam was originally named due to its location on the River Rotte it is the River Maas that has contributed to the ascendancy of the city as a port. The original docks were built during the 14th century to allow seafaring vessels to transfer their cargoes onto craft plying their trade on the inland waterways of the Rhine and Maas.
The modern port of Rotterdam, the largest in Europe, has shifted its focus from the city to the North Sea coast and the old harbour now houses the Maritiem and the Haven museums. On my last visit I was too late (having gotten waylaid by the football and a very attractive barmaid) for a visit to either but the riverside has an interesting set of outdoor exhibits including several historic ships and dockland equipment and is well worth a wander even if the museums are closed.
And if you keep going towards the Erasmus bridge you'll also find a couple of interesting waterfront bars ;))
For tasters of the museums the websites are below:Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Museum Visits
Cafe Visser - A Perfect Bar To Catch The Football
It was the ashtrays ON the bar that caught my eye as I was wandering looking for somewhere comfortable to watch the Netherlands v Slovakia World Cup match. The Dutch smoking ban had been in place for a year and a half or so but I'd always found an odd refusnik here and there around the country and in my experience those were always the best bars - the only tourists you got in those were us "tobacco tourists".
The "Brown Bar" is a sort of Dutch tradition - a simple little owner-run one-room bar with a mostly regular trade, usually comprising a cross-section of society. I was about to write "where suits mix with overalls" but despite being a nice phrase that isn't actually true - very few Dutch people wear suits.
Cafe Visser is a perfect "Brown Bar" with a very much local custom. No frills just character and characters. With the football being on - note the small screen TV in the pic - there was a pleasant buzz amongst the drinking company and my bar stool gave me centre-stage amongst them.
The absolutely gorgeous barmaid (Dutch women have the best legs of any nation, definitely) was attentively serving the beers whilst keeping her keen eye on the game and during periods of relative inactivity kept a constant flow of excellent nibbly bits passed around.
The sausages, the kaas and a sort of omelettey tosti flowed, the beers torrented, cigarettes were chain-smoked and the knuckle-biting game was eventually won. Celebrations started with a round of beers on the house and when I offered to pay for the next round my suggestion was met with withering glances as another beer was set in front of me - "Hup Holland!"
Yep my sort of bar!
As I was writing this tip I found that the Dutch government has now made these sort of bars smoker-fiendly (with or without the "r") - Halleluja for common sense!!!Related to:
- Beer Tasting
time to eat something!
The street Witte de With straat, which is parallel to Westblaak, is a street that became alive that last years because many restaurants and pubs opened there. It’s in the center and you can also find there some nice shops and galleries. We enjoyed some beers there but we didnt shop anything.
Tropicana Swimming pool
We visited Tropicana one evening we were here as we were looking for something fun, different and silly to do. It ticked all the boxes for us. Really reminded me of the retro swimming pools we used to go to as kids with its slides, lazy river, outside pool part and rapids.
As we went in the evening it was pretty much deserted so me and my fiance were like kids in a sweetshop! The lifeguards must have thought we were nuts, but it was a lot of fun being silly and not having to worry about it! We stayed for ages running from one slide to the next! This place is great for kids (of all ages) and the slides are tame enough for everyone. There are even sun beds and a few Jacuzzis dotted around for relax in.
I must admit I didn't think I would be watching the sun set over Rotterdam in an outdoor pool!
We would definitely come back to have more silly fun :)Related to:
- Theme Park Trips
- Family Travel
- Adventure Travel
There are 64 coffeeshops in Rotterdam, you can buy a pre-rolled joint (as we call them) or 5 grams of weed or hash to roll one yourself. Even if you don't smoke weed you can also go in and have a cup of coffee. There is a dresscode and you'll have to bring ID, even if you're 50.
My favourite coffeeshop is Bambu, on the Bergweg.
Arboretum Trompenburg has one of the most extensive tree collections in the world. The park is 7 hectares large and the first design was started in 1820. As far as I could tell, not one tree or shrub is the same. Just imagine it is really is a museum of trees.
The park is just beautiful in late spring. I am not knowledgeable about all this but I can appreciate that there are some very special species there.
There's a very nice book available, full colour, hard bound, in English (!) for only 15 euro that you can buy in the bookshop there.
Entrance is only € 4. The park is open 1 April - 31 October, Mon-Fri, 9-17 hrs and Sat/Sun 10-16 hrs. Outside these months only on Sunday. Free entry during the national museumweekend in April.
Simply go there and enjoy. Or if not, there are 5 photos in this tip :-)Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Het Park (Euromast Park)
Rotterdam’s main city park, sometimes called Euromast park, is one of the largest green islands in the city. OK, compared to Hyde Park it is rather small, but it has all things you would expect in a city park like flower gardens and fish ponds. This park is for relaxing, so it is fine to lay down on the lawn or for kids to play on it. However, playing football or barbecueing is not allowed in this park - although there’s a small barbecue zone in this park. For that, a visit to Vorsenpark (in the Northwest) or Kralingen (Northeast) may be the better options. A café is found on the northern side of the park and it is not uncommon to find some kind of cultural event going on in the park. Check out my tips about “Summer Sundays” and the Euromast for further information.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Directly next to the Cubic Houses you will see another very caracteristic building: Het Potlood, or translated "The Pencil". This building was designed by the same architect as the Cubic Houses: Piet Blom.
The reason for the construction of this building was simple calculation. Originally there were plans for 55 Cubic Houses, but because of a lack of money only 39 could be built here. Because there was a big need of houses here, the decision was made to build a different construction for the remaining houses.Related to:
- Road Trip
Right behind the Hotel New Hotel, you cannot miss the very tall building "Montevideo". This huge construction was opened in 2005 and at this moment (dec '07) it is the tallest skyscraper in the Netherlands.
The building is named after a former warehouse that was built at this place, that was named after the capital of Uruguay. Montevideo has 43 floors and apart from some offices it is mainly built to include some exclusive apartments.
The building itself is 139,5 metres tall, and including the big 3-dimentional "M" on the roof it even reaches up to 152,5 metres. This "M" indicates the direction of the wind.Related to:
- Road Trip
BEURS - WTC
Come, join a seat at the Beurs World Trade Center of Rotterdam. Like I did when we went for a shop long ago.
In this grave building you can find the real business of Rotterdam. About 200 offices are located here. Like the Rotterdam Marketing, Digital Port Rotterdam and a commercial TV station. Young proprietors and undertakers come to start their business and get informations. There is the WTC Art Gallery and, for visitors free at Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I never knew who was the fellow on the stairs. It is Gijsbert Karel, count of Hogendorp (1762 – 1834). He was a Dutch conservative politician and the Prime Minister in 1813 and got well-known because of his writings of Constitution of the Netherlands, 1814. That is why he got a special place here ...Related to:
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
Rotterdam has got 3 weekly markets in the top 10 of biggest markets of the Netherlands.
The variaty of Rotterdams markets are so wide because of the many different cultures living here. You can find anything you want for very low prices.
I love going to the biggest market "Blaak"(see my shopping tip) because of the quality and the surprisingly low prices. Because of the big space of the marketsquare it's nice to walk around, even when very crowded.
1. Binnenrotteplein (Blaak) City Center, 465 stands- Tuesdays & Saturdays (small market Friday & Sunday)
2. Afrikaanderplein, Rotterdam South, 308 stands, Wednesdays & Saturdays
3. Visserijplein, 186 stands, Thursdays & Saturdays
Visit Library of Rotterdam
In addition to taking out books (in all languages), CD's, DVDs and sheet music, there is also a wide daily selection of foreign newspapers.
In the library you will find information about all kinds of subjects.
Many activities and courses are organised by the various Rotterdam library branches.
Opened daily till 8:00PM (weekends till 5:00PM)Related to:
- Arts and Culture
The Rotterdam Hiltion Hotel is modern high class hotel located at the heart of the town at the...more
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Right opposite Rotterdam Centraal train station on Weena, is the imposing 5 star Westin hotel. It...more
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