For a town of 640,000 people, I was surprised how big Rotterdam was. If you visited Rotterdam 10 or 20 years ago, you can be assured it certainly looks different, the growth in buildings and population is phenomenal, which they put down to their port being the biggest in Western Europe.
We headed into town nice and early to try the Rotterdam Pages city tour, which lasts three hours from 11am-2pm.
Meeting outside the station, this is where the tour begins with a description of how the great building was built and how it has evolved, with the bikes moved below and the metro to the side giving this great open space in front.
We were taken across all the most amazing views of the city, from the Cube House and the Erasmusbrug to the Grote of Sint Laurenskerk and Market Hall.
Each building highlighted how much the area had changed over the past 50 years, with it being completely destroyed during World War II (an interesting story the guide will share during the tour).
The guide was enthusiastic and passionate about the city he lived in and this was obvious through the way he talked and joked about the area.
I can 100% recommend the tour as a great way to learn about Rotterdam, find out about the culture and the history, some funny facts and also to meet others who are exploring the city as well.
After a pretty tiring day, we headed back to our area of Rotterdam, but thought why not do it in style! We couldn’t handle any more walking after 5 hours of it, therefore we jumped on a water taxi (£4.50pp) which shot us back at speeds of 40-50mph! These are great fun, I can 100% recommend this to anyone who visits on holiday to Rotterdam.
With a bit of spare time, we decided to treat ourselves and head to the New York bar on the waterfront. Offered a menu of scarily priced options, we opted for the cheapest bottle of wine, the only rose on the menu which cost £23.50. We then failed to get served for food for 20 minutes so asked for the bill instead of ordering more. The bill came in close to £50! Way beyond what we should be paying, so after explaining to the waiter the situation, he then explained in return they gave us a different bottle not on the menu which is a lot more expensive…I don’t think that’s how it works! I explained we would only pay the £23.50 and he gave us our right change after this and ‘corrected the bill’, however he made a mishap on the change and we only actually spent £12, bargain!
We also found ourselves a hidden gem. Away from the overpriced bars around New York, we found a street food stand called Bram’s Gourmet Fries which was incredible! Think chips, meat and every sauce you can possibly imagine. We are finding ourselves slightly addicted to the garlic mayo you seem to be served everywhere.