Oude Haven
Oude Haven / iStock.com / mihaiulia
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Markthal
Markthal / iStock.com / Gerard Koudenburg
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Stroopwafels
Stroopwafels / iStock.com / agcreations
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Windmills near Rotterdam
Windmills near Rotterdam / iStock.com / standret
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Euromast
Euromast / iStock.com / benkrut
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Markthal and Binnenrotte Square
Markthal and Binnenrotte Square / iStock.com / siraanamwong
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Rotterdam
Port
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Rotterdam, located on the North Sea, is Europe’s largest shipping port. As such, it was a major target during WWII, when much of its center was destroyed. What you see today is a vibrant, postwar urban city with outstanding architecture that plays off its riverfront setting.

What We Love

The Major Attractions Are Close By: The cruise terminal is adjacent to Holland America’s former headquarters, an ornate, early 20th-century building that survived the war. Now it serves as the Hotel New York, a place to enjoy both indoor and outdoor dining, or to book a comfortable room.

The Footbridge to Another Ship: A pedestrian walkway connects the cruise terminal to the SS Rotterdam, a wonderful museum that showcases creative 1950s interior design. You can tour, drink, eat, and spend the night in an original ocean liner cabin.

Best Known For

The Euromast: Completed in 1960 and extended upward in 1970, this observation tower gives you sweeping views of the surrounding skyscrapers and beyond. Enjoy a meal up in the clouds at the Brasserie.

The Museum Boijmans van Beuningen: It showcases Dutch painters such as Bosch, Breugel, Rembrandt, and Van Eyck as well as non-Dutch European masters.

Who It's Best For

Architecture Buffs and People Who Love Big Cities: Rotterdam has rapidly developed as a center of eye-popping modern architecture and clever waterfront urban planning.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Rotterdam is not Amsterdam: Some people might look at stark Rotterdam next to historic, canal-crossed Amsterdam and wonder, “Why go there?” The best answer is that Amsterdam represents The Netherlands’ historic past, and Rotterdam represents its modern, urban present.