Rotterdam might just be one of the coolest cities in the whole of Europe. Whilst it might be the ‘little sibling’ to Amsterdam within the Netherlands, it boasts a unique scene that is attracting attention worldwide.
Subject to bombings throughout the Second World War, Rotterdam has reconstructed itself in such a way that makes it stand out from the rest of the Netherlands. Experimental, innovative architecture bodes well the inner artist and offers photogenic landscapes at every turn. Between the striking architecture is a diversity of food and drink culture.
The Markthal is a perfect testimony to the synergy of the city. Shaped like a horse-shoe, it hosts a food market, as well as housing residents in apartments that overlook the food hall and the city. On the interior of the 40 meter arch are huge murals of fruit and vegetables. It’s hard to go anywhere in the city without seeing the influence of great architecture. From the Erasmus Bridge, to De Rotterdam, the city is filled with built inspiration. Even the McDonalds is designed by Mei Architects. For those intrigued by design, there’s a space dedicated to new developments in architecture, design, and digital culture. Shows and exhibitions explore how the world is changing through design and technology.
But it’s not just architecture that brings life to the city; it’s buzzing with art. The Kunsthal, designed by Rotterdam native Rem Koolhaas, offers contemporary art and photography exhibitions within a glassy structure. Whilst the Nederlands Fotomuseum puts on ten different photography exhibitions throughout the year. There’s even an exhibition currently presenting classic screensavers. ‘Sleep Mode: The Art of the Screensaver’ takes 26 well known screensavers and transforms them into spatial experiences using reflections and light.
If strolling around museums isn’t for you, there’s also a strong street art presence. Luchtsingel, for instance, is a 400-meter long pedestrian bridge completed by studio ZUS. The bridge features art from local artists which represents the bridging of gaps between people. It does this, quite literally, by joining 3 areas of the city over roads, railways, and buildings. The project is also a world first, being a crowd-funded piece of public infrastructure. Pretty cool.
On the horizon for Rotterdam are Eurostar transit links and inner-city canal surfing. There’s a distinct air of innovation in this city, and people are smelling it from overseas. No wonder it’s making a name for itself as one of the coolest cities in Europe.Ask a question
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