Continuing onward, with our trusty “Roaming Rotterdam” guide in hand, we traversed district to district, making sure to see all the sights.
The incredible thing about Rotterdam is that there are quite a few different districts, each with its own vibe. Yet, rather than one or two main streets buzzing with people, they all are.
Yes, it was a sunny Saturday afternoon, but we truly couldn’t get over the fact that no matter where we were, the patios encroached onto the walkways, stuffed with people enjoying their time together.
After roaming through large shopping districts, rows and rows of cafes, and the museum plaza, we found ourselves right in the middle of Museumpark.
Divided into four zones, it’s home to a romantic area with trees, a pedestrian bridge, and a well tended orchard.
Ducks swam through the rivers, birds chirped in the trees, and young couples sat in the grass with picnics. And there I was, ensuring I captured it all.
It was quite a lovely spot, and being so close to the city centre it was an easy destination.
We decided to take a short rest ourselves, digging out those strawberries and cherries I purchased earlier at the market, and made a short plan for the rest of our evening. In short, we would finish our mapped tour, head back to the hotel for a quick rest, and then find somewhere for dinner.
Having been walking for hours (the mapped tour is quite long!), we only had a few stops left, but I was losing energy quite quickly. Luckily, our next destination was Westelijk Handelsterrein.
A set of 36 warehouses, Westelijk Handelsterrein is now occupied by restaurants, cafes, and a few offices. A glass roof covers the courtyard, making it a suitable spot year-round and a upscale destination for city-goers.
There were perhaps 6 different restaurants inside, all with welcoming lounge seating and trendy menus.
Not wanting to spoil our appetites, we simply had a drink each, taking just long enough to fully recharge. If you’re staying in the area, however, this would be a great spot to have dinner or perhaps enjoy happy hour.
Shortly after, our guide ended back at the port, where we enjoyed spectacular views of the Erasmusburg, as well as the greater shoreline of the Nieuwe Maas.
Every angle is different, but no matter what, it’s always spectacular.
To get across the water, there are a variety of options, but we decided to splurge on a water taxi, knowing it would bring us directly to our hotel.
Once each passenger was loaded in, we jetted across, skipping over waves while the wind rustled our hair. It was a bit pricey for a 3 minute ride (3.50E each), but it was also pretty fun.
Arriving back at the Hotel New York, I toured our digs a little bit more, walking through the hallways and admiring the nostalgic atmosphere. Then, it was time for a rest – and perhaps a little social media updating.
Once we recouped, we headed out for a late dinner, deciding to hop across the water once more, over the Rijnhaven and into an up & coming area.
Only about a 5 minute walk from our hotel, we had noticed that the area was always busy, so we crossed the bridge, eager to see what it was all about. Turning a corner, we found ourselves smack dab in a little square filled with restaurants.
Lights were strung from the trees, illuminating the evening in a variety of colours, while little bistro sets were neatly positioned below.
Now, as the deep waters of Nieuwe Maas flow through Rotterdam, it’s quite the place if you’re looking for fresh fish. This isn’t really an option for us in Calgary (and if so, it comes at quite the price), so we were both eager to see what the sea had to offer.
I navigated us to KAAP Vislokaal, using what little Dutch I knew to determine that it was the place to be (“vis” meaning fish). And, with one glance at the fresh menu and enticing specials, we knew it was the right choice.
I selected some type of white fish, coated in a crusty orange sauce and paired with tender bok choy plus herb aioli for dipping. Flavourful and light, it was exactly what I had been searching for.
The daily special enticed Cole instead, which was an Asian fusion dish, featuring seared tuna, sesame seeds, Asian noodles, and mixed greens. All tossed in a light soy sauce.
And, just when you thought we were being really healthy, we ordered a side of fries with house mayo for dipping.
Of course, with all that fresh fish around, we managed to make a furry friend.
As the sky darkened, we recanted our last week in the Netherlands, sharing our favourite memories, and planning our remaining two weeks ahead.
Of course, no meal is complete without a dessert, and I wasn’t about to change that now.
After dinner, we had all kinds of plans to visit the SS Rotterdam, one of the passenger ships from the historic Holland-America Line, but after a day of touring we were a bit tuckered out. If we had another day, I would have definitely made the effort, as the chance to see and tour a historic steamship is pretty rare.
Instead, we retreated back to the hotel, where we were treated to beautiful views of a glowing shoreline.
All before crashing our heads into our cloud-like pillows, and forming a cocoon in the luxuriously soft linens.
The making of this post was made possible by Rotterdam Tourist Information, who provided me with the best set of recommendations ever, ensuring that we got a real picture of the city and what it has to offer. I would highly recommend getting in touch with them before your trip, as there is truly so much to see, do, and eat – and they are experts in each of those areas.
This post was also made possible by a collaboration with Hotel New York, who provided us with a stay at their beautiful hotel for the evening. The location, beauty, history, and price all make this hotel a tremendous stay. Plus, when you combine the coziness yet spacious room, the modern and clean bathroom, and the careful branding details in it all, it’s easily somewhere I would recommend, even if you’re only staying for a night.