City market | Coffee & tea, Shopping, Snacks | Free
Tue & Sat 08:00 – 17:00, Sun (Apr – Sep) 12:00 – 17:00
More than 400 stalls are set up every Tuesday and Saturday (and on Sundays in the summer), offering anything from antiques to cheese or exotic fruit.
It’s the place to be for a good snack whether it’s a Dutch herring, a Vietnamese egg roll or a Turkish Börek.
Ok, what kind of strange thing is that? In Rotterdam, it is common to see unusual items, monuments, buildings or whatever – even at places where you don’t expect them. The are around the Blaak metro station is surely not among those places. But there’s something, of which I had idea what it might be. I just saw people sitting on its base – just like they do with large statues or monuments in other cities.
It was after my trip that I found out something more about it and the man to whom it is dedicated: Marten Toonder, a well-known author in the Netherlands and one of Rotterdam’s most famous children. The monument was revealed on Toonder’s 90th birthday. Marten Toonder is known for his stories around Heer Bommel en Tom Poes (Oliver B. Bumble and Tom Puss in english). Although popular child literarture, these books are not only admired by children and can be seen as a kind of modern fables. It is said that Toonder created new words for his books that found their way into modern Dutch.
The Toonder monument shows characters from his books with a small Tom Poes figure sitting on the top. With a heigh of six meters, it is quite high – but dawarved by the modern structures standing around it. One of the buildings is the public libraary of Rotterdam, surely one of the reasons why this place was chosen for the monument.
July 12th 2002 marked the day this monument was revealed to the public. It is a monument for Marten Toonder who is a famous cartoonist in the Netherlands. This day was chosen because 90 years ago Marten Toonder was born in Rotterdam so this would be an ideal day to celebrate this day. Marten Toonder got his fame by creating the world around Oliver B. Bumble and his friend Tom Puss.
Much of Rotterdam's centre was devasted by bombing during the Second World War - by both the Germans (May 1940) and by the Allies. Following the war the local authorities chose to develop a modern city rather than try to reconstruct what was (a process which is still very much ongoing).
One street that did escape the worst of the destruction is Oude Binnenweg, which pre-war was one of the city's main shopping areas. It was here that my random meanderings from Centraal Station took me in my search for a suitable bar and here that I more than happily spent most of my afternoon (in the bar AND on the street).
Being the afternoon of one of the 2010 football World Cup matches (The Netherlands were playing Slovakia) the street was a riot of colours and characters (OK most of the colours were orange but the characters were cerainly diverse). The eclectic mix of, mostly small independent, shops looked inviting and being punctuated regularly by equally inviting little terraced bars made this an ideal street for wandering and getting a taste of what Rotterdam is all about.
This is now established as one of my favourite streets anywhere (and not just because of the gorgeous barmaid at Cafe Visser, nor the 12 Euro bill for my ten beers there ;)) and is definitely top of my list for my next visit.
In fact I loved it so much that I'm going to make it the subject of my first Rotterdam travelogue.
This is a really fun thing to do, to learn more about Rotterdam during a tram ride!
From October-April there's a special tram that takes you through Rotterdam in 90 minutes. During that time there is a real Rotterdam speaker who tells you all about the sights you see. And there's live music (accordeon) to accompany his talk. Last but not least: traditional Dutch peasoup (snert) and drinks are served during the ride.
Even though I know Rotterdam well, I learned a good few new things. And the trip really covers a large area of Rotterdam, going east to Delfshaven, south to Kop van Zuid and Feyenoord, and the modern center (Coolsingel), Kralingen (east).
The ride costs € 15 per person and you can make reservations with the details below.
A tour with an English speaking guide, or other languages, is possible. But only as a group. This costs € 150 per tour plus the individual fare of € 15 p.p. But it is exclusive!
3034 EM Rotterdam
Donner is the largest bookstore in The Netherlands. Many floors with books, music, cd's, sheet music, luxury pens & paper. Every department in the bookstore has its own specialists.
Often, people just come to Rotterdam to spend a day here.
There are regular concerts, presentations, seminars and autographing by famous authors from all over the world. This bookstore is really on top of who's HOT in literary circles. From famous football hero's to former US presidents...
I worked here for 11 years until 2001.
The Tourist Office website is a great resource for anything to do in Rotterdam during the year. I suggest you take a look. The website is also in English.
Anything to do with events, concerts, exhibitions, accommodation. Rotterdam has a full agenda, pulling away major events from Amsterdam lately. If you think that's a smirk, well a tiny one. Amsterdam is a great city but I am very pro-Rotterdam :-)
This is one of the more classical monuments and pieces of art to be found in the city center. The fountain, which is also called “Vrijheidsmonument” (Freedom Monument), was placed to celebrate the 300th anniversary of one of the most important dates in dutch history: On April 1st 1572, the dutch “watergeuzen” (sea beggars) recaptured the city of Brielle. It was the first victory in the dutch struggle for independence, known as the 80-years-war. The fountain has two inscriptions: Den Briel ontrukt aan Spanje – Behouden door Oranje (Brielle was snatched away from Spain and well kept by William of Orange) and Morgenrood der vrijheid (The dawn of freedom). In the summer of 2004, the hat of the “Maagd van Holland” was stolen. Unfortunately, I do not know, if the original was recovered again or if this one is a replacement.
The Maagd van Holland stands on the Nieuwmarkt, a small pedestrian street close to the central Marketplace at the Binnerotte. This street has almost only appartment buildings, but also a hand full of shops and cafés as well as some buildings associated with the library.
During one of our walks, coming from the Witte de With straat and heading to the river Maas and Erasmusbridge I suddenly saw a church like I knew from Eastern Europe and Russia. In the cosmopolitan Harbour city Rotterdam it didn't really surprise me.
On the sign besides the entrance we red that the small white church with golden dome is a Russian Orhtodox church. It is designed by a dutch architect and built rather recently in 2002-2004. We took the chance to visit this by Russians frequented church.
Opposite the Central Station stands the 132 m high Millenium Tower with 32 floors. The rather new building has the shape of a rocket. Some people say the resemblance with the Empire State Building in New York City is striking.
The 12 first floors are used by the luxury five-star hotel Westin, the other floors up are used as offices. A bridge connects the building with the Doelen and the conference halls at the southside.
I stayed in the Westin hotel two times myself, a special offer for the weekends. The views from the rooms at the city are great.
The L IJ N B A A N you can find right in the centre of Rotterdam and got its name from the rope-walk (going back in times until about 1670!). You can do your shopping here in a very pleasant way ...
It is like a promenade, so there is no traffic and the open passage offers you nice windows at both sides. The L IJ N B A A N got a lot of excellent shops with trendy stuff. Because of the many parking places around a lot of people out of town come here, also in the weekend and the Friday evening (late shopping night).
Because of the L IJ N B A A N and some other important cases Rotterdam turned into a metropolitan city, and the biggest harbour of the world still growing. The Hague is smaller, included of an intimate character and royal behaviour. Although Rotterdam is more international ...
Rotterdam's Town hall (Stadhuis) you'll find at the Coolsingel. It is designed by Prof. Dr. Henri Evers and the first start was at 1914. The classical Stadhuis was completed at August 10th 1920, and survived the terrible bombardment of World War II.
The older Rotterdam people do speak about "Guest house" when talking about the Stadhuis and see the link for some stunning old photographs ...
There are some different departments and it is possible to get a guided tour (just make a phonecall). To the most people the Stadhuis brings back good memories of famous people appearing and glittering on the balcony for thousands and thousands of flowing people ...
(photograph taken on one day when girl-powers pop group K6 appeared)
The « Koopvardijmonument » is better known as « De boeg » and is dedicated to the approximately 3500 vicitms of the mercantile marine who died during WWII. Rotterdam’s harbour was severely destroyed by the Germans as well as later by the allies during the liberation. Approximately 500 civil ships were sunk in this period. “De boeg” was finished in 1957, a small group of bronze figures, standing next to the monument, was added in 1965. By the way, “boeg” is the dutch word for the nautical expression “bow”.
As a modern city, Rotterdam is proud of having a picasso sculpture. But this wasn't always so, as many discussions took place before the sculpture found its place in the city. Sylvette, a girl who became the "muse" of Pablo Picasso in his late period, is the title of this sculpture. It was made in partnership by Pablo Picasso and the norwegian artist Carl Nesjar. The sculpture was unveiled in 1970, and for many years it stood close to the central station at the crossing of Weena and Kruisplein. Standing in the shadow of a skyscraper, somewhere under the tree, it was decided to look for a new place. Shortly before the big hole in front of the central station was digged, the sculpture moved to its current place.
It was in the late 20th century when Rotterdam became what is called “Manhattan aan de Maas”. But already in the 1950s, some unusual buildings appeared in Rotterdam. First, the shops at the Lijnbaan which were incorporated in a new kind of pedestrian zone which was copied all over the world. But also the building of the Bijenkorf department store. It can be seen as a little sister to the UNESCO building in Paris. Both were designed by the same architect (Marcel Breuer) at the same time. Today, it does not look very shining compared to other buildings in Rotterdam. But its unusual façade with its hexagonal structures (Bijenkorf is dutch for beehive) and its dark structures on the brighter background will make you look twice.
The sculpture to the right was made by artist Naum Gabo in the 1950s. It has earned many nicknames - in a positive and negative way.