Rotterdam: The least Dutch-looking, most exciting, city in the Netherlands

Rotterdam (Polya Pencheva)


Such a Dutch name for such a non-Dutch-vibe city. Well, not quite non-Dutch, but every single person who has visited at least once would make that association quite easily.

The aesthetics of the place make it feel more like a huge cosmopolitan city taken out of the United States and just dropped in the Netherlands.

That said, Rotterdam definitely has its charm because of the space it offers to its residents and visitors.

While there could be a lot said about the beauty of the town and how different it is from
Amsterdam, for example, this post is about some of my favourite places in the city. I’d like to share
some of my places to go every time I visit (beside my friends’ houses), so let’s dive right in.


In my humble opinion, the giant Euromast tower is the go-to destination for anyone who has never been to Rotterdam before. Go all the way to the top observation deck and you can see the whole city as well as the harbour, the biggest in Europe.

What’s more, there is a restaurant at the top of the tower and there you can enjoy brunch, lunch, dinner or just drink at any point of the day while enjoying the view.

Something I’d like to point out is the Euroscoop which allows you to experience Rotterdam from a height of 185 metres. This is a lift experience to the top of the Euromast tower in which you learn more about the history of the city and enjoy the 360 degrees view.

If the weather allows, you could stroll in the park next to the Euromast, chill and have a
nice picnic. I’d say this would be the perfect day in town if it’s warm and not rainy.

The Euromast is open every day during the holidays and on regular days they’re only closed on
Mondays. So, if you plan to go and visit keep in mind that Mondays are not your days.

Euromast tickets start at 12.50 euros and you can get them here.

Cube houses

The famous Cube Houses in Rotterdam are a particularly bewildering piece of architecture which I find entertaining to look at. Tilted over by 45 degrees, these houses are one of the emblematic and creative attractions in the Netherlands.

In addition, the Cube Houses (Kubuswoningen) were designed in the late ’70s by Piet Blom, who created them to resemble a pedestrian bridge across a busy Rotterdam road. They are located next to the Rotterdam Blaak station around which there are a bunch of great restaurants and cafes.

Personally, I was more than amazed the first time I saw these houses and took a bunch of photos both of them, and with them. Regardless of how many times I visit, I always am stunned and amazed by the peculiar structure of these houses, how people actually live there and how at the same time they are a kind of a tourist attraction.

Flag Parade

I believe that this is one of the nicest things about Rotterdam and personally my favourite. I never skip a walk around the Flag Parade (Vlaggenpadare) when I’m there. What is it you may wonder? This is an exhibition of 230 flags at the De Boeg monument at the foot of the Erasmus Bridge.

These 230 flags – including 193 national flags – welcome the 193 nationalities who live in or are visiting the city or harbour, just as they are represented in the United Nations. The remaining flags are reserved for the Rotterdam city’s flags.

It is quite the wholesome experience to just walk, sit next to the water and appreciate the view.

Photo by Polya Pencheva


Other tips about places in Rotterdam include adopting a local there and asking them to show you
around their favourite places. There’s no better way of exploring a new place by having someone
show you their favourite places. You’ll for sure find things and places you didn’t even know exist.

This is basically how is discovered FERRY.

Although I have visited FERRY only once, I fell in love with the place. I feel this has been one of the most inclusive places I’ve actually gone to. Great music, amazing vibes and place full of wonderful people who welcome any person regardless of anything you can think of. The best thing about the place is that they host events at least three to four times a week and always create a great party.

While it can become a bit packed, it is worth going there at least once when in Rotterdam because the promise for an unforgettable night is more than guaranteed. What I love about FERRY is that it is not only a club but also a bar, a café and a restaurant. I was so surprised when I figured all of this that I started wondering how it functions well-enough to handle of the guests.

Yet, I had a great time and I can’t wait to go back next time I visit Rotterdam.


Read more about Rotterdam here in Dispatches’ archives.

Read more from Polya here.

Polya Pencheva
+ posts

Polya Plamenova Pencheva is a young Bulgarian journalist based in Groningen, Netherlands. Polya holds a Master's degree in journalism from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and loves writing and telling the untold stories of interesting people. You can find her dining at cute café, shopping at markets, scouting second-hand shops or just chillin' at home with something great to read.

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