Explore the beautiful city of Rotterdam
Home to the world's busiest and biggest ocean harbor, Rotterdam is quite different from your usual Dutch city. Instead of the usual quaint streets, winding canals and historical buildings, you'll find a richly rewarding and surprisingly elegant modern city. Rotterdam is a fascinating place to experience and well worth the effort.
By the end of the Second World War, much of Rotterdam had been demolished. Instead of trying to rebuild the old Rotterdam, the inhabitants of the city opted to recreate it. This was an opportunity that not many cities in Holland had. Today the resulting design and architecture, while not always stylish, is efficient and masterful. The city is elegant, spacious and completely different from all others in the country. It has retained the two older sections that survived the war - Delfshaven and Oude Haven - so if you are looking for a past in this modern city, you will definitely find one. Otherwise you can enjoy Holland for the modern experience it provides.
The first great accomplishment of the city is the Europort. Created by combining several existing harbors, the port now handles more traffic and is larger than all other ports in the world. Further inland at the city center, you will find a very effective city center with shingle paths, wonderful wide laws and a beautifully landscaped Museumpark. Here you can visit two great museums and maybe even stop for a picnic inbetween.
As you continue to make your way around the city, you will no doubt spy the Nationale Nederlanden building - the highest skyscraper in the city. Or your attention might be captivated by the Kijk-Kubus which is an unusual assortment of blocks balancing on top of tall concrete stalks. These are use for apartments but the Kijk-Kubus is open for visit during certain times of the year. The Nieuwe Willemsbrug and the Erasmusbrug are the two most prominent bridges in the city. They are structurally entertaining and worth a quick look.
If you'd like to experience something truly Dutch, then you should head to a small village just outside of Rotterdam called Kinderdijk. Here you will find 19 windmills all spinning in the breeze doing their bit to keep the water level back. Kinderdijk is on the UNESCO World Heritage list for this very reason, and while you are visiting you will likely get an interesting tour of the windmills as well as be educated as to their history.
Of course, being a modern city, Rotterdam has all the modern conveniences a person could want. You can shop, dine and seek out enjoyment till your hearts content. But a trip to this city would be somewhat ill-spent if one did not take time to explore the underlying, soft-flowing rhythm of the city.