With one of Europe’s most modern skylines and a buzzing cultural scene, there’s so much more to Rotterdam than its famous port. While most of its architecture is gleamingly new, there are still beautiful places to discover which hint to its rugged past, making it the perfect place to explore with the one you love. Whether it’s a canal side stroll amongst stunning architecture, or an escape to the idyllic Delfshaven, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Rotterdam for a romantic break.
Sightseeing in the city centre
Get your weekend off to a great start with a stroll along the city’s waterside, where you’ll find plenty of cafés lining the main street of Coolsingel. With coffee in hand, carry on down the road and you’ll see the Stadhuis, the World Trade Center, and the grand Bijenkorf department store – all examples of Rotterdam’s architectural feats.
Once Europe’s tallest building, the panoramic views from the Witte Huis are unmissable, and the perfect way to round-off a morning of sightseeing. Nearby, you’ll find plenty of small alternative stalls and gift shops if you want to pick up some souvenirs from your trip.
Share a meal at Markthal
Rotterdam has a thriving food scene, which is never more apparent than at the expansive Markthal. Impossible to miss, this spectacular market holds over 100 food stalls – and all under an astonishing 40-metre arched roof. With baked goods, sweet treats and hot drinks, you’ll be spoilt for choice with local produce, while a number of restaurants serving traditional dishes are just a stone’s throw away.
Chocolate workshop in Schiedam
A paradise for chocoholics, De Bonte Koe in Schiedam produces every confectionary combination you could possibly think of. Better more, you can learn how to make some of your own by joining their regular workshops, run by the shop’s skilled makers. After a reception of coffee and chocolate tasting, you’ll find out about the whole process – from cocoa bean to chocolate bar, before being tasked with putting together your very own truffles and bonbons. If you manage to save some for later, your creations will then be beautifully packaged, ready to take home.
Delfshaven sits to the south of Rotterdam, and holds plenty of history, both as the birthplace of maritime hero Pieter Pietersen Heyn and as one of the six ports previously owned by the East India Company’s Dutch division.
The picturesque marina is a prime example of Rotterdam’s old-world charm, so what could be better than a stroll hand in hand along its traditional waterside? Locals of the town have long been known for their gin distilleries and master craftsmanship, and these traditions can still be enjoyed in the gin bars, beer breweries and cosy antiques shops nearby.
If this has inspired you, take a look at our Adventure Planner to see where your next escape could take you.
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Main image by Frans Berkelaar