A weekend in Rotterdam • Part two
The main reason why we picked citizenM to stay in Rotterdam was its convenient location in the city center. But it turned out that's not its only asset! You now know Rotterdam is all about modern architecture and citizenM fits perfectly into that. You can check-in by yourself and in your room you get to pilot everything with an iPad (from temperature, to lighting, to music). I advice you pick a room with view on the harbor on the upper level. You'll see the room is small but very cosy! And you get all of this for a decent price.
Other great options for sleeping include Hotel New York, housed in a famous building that used to be the offices of the Holland America cruise line, and Nhow Rotterdam, housed in the city's most eye-catching skyscraper. Both offer a splendid architectural experience, but their location on the Maas is a little less convenient.
Breakfast at Bas Bakt | Hartmansstraat 22a, Rotterdam
For a great, no-nonsense breakfast head to Bas Bakt, a bakery that also serves as breakfast and lunch spot. I recommend the 'Groot ontbijt' which includes a croissant, bread, yogurt, granola and an orange juice. Although I must admit the 'boterhammen' (sandwiches) looked really good too! Seats are limited so if you happen to be out of luck, you can always turn to Lilith (Mauritsstraat 217), a nearby coffee shop that looked promising.
Visit of one of the museums around Museumpark
Rotterdam offers plenty of cultural things to do thanks to its many museums. Most of them are gathered around a park that is conveniently called Museumpark. If you're interested in historical artwork, head to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, whereas at the Kunsthal, you'll find ever-changing modern exhibitions. Both museums are widely and rightfully acclaimed.
If you're more into interior design than art, you can visit Huis Sonneveld, a fine example of Dutch Functionalist style. The house was built and decorated in the 1930s by the same architects and strikes in many ways. Not only the incredible coherence of all the elements linked to the house, but most importantly its modernism. It is very strange to think that people actually lived in that interior in the era that succeeded the roaring twenties.
Walk around the old port of Delfshaven
If you wish to get a glimpse of what Rotterdam's waterfront used to look like, head to the West side of Delfshaven. You'll get some picturesque views of the port that was originally built in 1389. But be warned, the rest of Delfshaven is kind of a ghetto.
Coffee or tea at Rauwdouwer | Westzeedijk 381J, Rotterdam
Another place that earned itself a spot on my favorites list is Rauwdouwer, a coffee shop that looks as if it came right out of a Wes Anderson movie. Industrial setting, hanging plants, mismatched furniture, vintage vibe, I loved all of it! The chairs and tables are from De Verbaasde Ree and the food is from Dutch chef Loran Reemer-Brandenburg who's been living his dream of having his own restaurant since 2015.
Going up the Euromast | Parkhaven 20, Rotterdam
To fully enjoy Rotterdam's signature skyline, you need to reach new heights. And there's no better place for this than the Euromast, the city's observation tower. Built in the 1960s, it gives its visitors a panoramic view of the surroundings at about 100 meters high. When the sky is clear, you can supposedly see Antwerp! Unfortunately this was not the case when we visited it...
Shopping and more at Witte de Withstraat
The one street that you can't miss in Rotterdam is the Witte de Withstraat. Not only is it the place to be at night, it's also a must during the day. With its many galleries and walls embellished with street art, it is the cultural heart of the city. Plus you'll find plenty of coffee shops and boutiques in this 300 meters long street. Shops are open as of the early afternoon on Sunday so make sure to stop at Dirkx (Witte de Withstraat 23a) a gorgeous interior boutique for all your 'cabinet of curiosities' kind of cravings, Galerie Ecce (Witte de Withstraat 17a) an art gallery that also sells small interior items, and Margreeth Olsthoorn (Schilderstraat 5) an urban, high fashion boutique for women and men that sells brands such as A.F. Vandevorst, Raf Simons and Maison Margiela (go Belgium!).
Quick dinner at Poké Bowl | Hoogstraat 117B, Rotterdam
Before leaving Rotterdam, might I suggest a quick, healthy dinner option? Poké Bowls look very Japanese (not only because they sound like 'Poké Ball') but are actually Hawaiian. They're very pretty and super healthy and Rotterdam is the first city in the Netherlands to have them. They are composed of a base of rice or salad, with vegetables and fish, and others toppings. Either you go for a Poké Bowl made by their chef, either you make your own from scratch! The only pity is that they're served in plastic cups (and I don't only say this for photographic reasons).