About Rotterdam

The Port of Rotterdam has excellent road links with the rest of Holland. Its inner city harbours have been transformed into attractive, buzzing areas with an excellent range of shops, cafes and restaurants. Some 60,000 people are directly employed at the port while an additional 250,000 people throughout Holland are involved in one way or another. Rotterdam city is an international centre of commerce and industry.

Rotterdam History

The city of Rotterdam has officially existed since 1328, when "city rights" were granted to the town that had been growing around a dam in the river Rotte (hence the name: Rotte-dam). Initially just a small, quiet fishing harbour in a bend in the Rotte. Rotterdam, between the 13th and 17th centuries, grew to a city with port able to berth over 100 herring ships. The industrial revolution in the 19th century saw wooden ships replaced with steel and steamers replacing sailing ships. As traffic volumes increased, the port started to expand and numerous new port basins were built. The Nieuwe Waterweg ('New Waterway') was completed in 1872, and gave Rotterdam a direct, high-capacity connection to the North Sea.

Although 40% destroyed in WWII, the port was rebuilt and before too long it was again unable to accommodate all the ships requiring berthing. In 1960 / 70s the port expanded outward to the coastal port of Hoek van Holland and, in order to create even more space, land was recovered from the sea to create more docks.

Rotterdam Attractions

Rotterdam has lots to offer and the City receives over 4 million visitors each year. One favourite attraction is the impressive Rotterdam's zoo, Diergaarde Blijdorp. This also features Oceanium, a huge walk-through shark tunnel surrounded by sharks and giant tortoises. Visit the 328 feet tall Euromast for panoramic views of the city and harbour. Take a tour of the harbour on the Spido or take a plunge in one of Europe's largest tropical pools, Tropicana, built on the banks of the river Maas. Walk over harp shaped Erasmus Bridge that rises above one of the largest harbours in Europe. It is a pure architectural work of art! KPN Telecom Building on the banks of River Maas is Rotterdam's leaning Tower of Pisa. The whole family can have fun at Plaswijckpark, while the superb gardens of Arboretum Trompenburg offer an oasis of peace in the city centre

Rotterdam is full of museums and architectural wonders, each offering a different experience. Kijk-Kubus (Show Cube), shows what it would be like to live in a tilted cube on a pole; also visit Maritime Museum Rotterdam, Bojimans Van Beuningen Art Museum, NAI Netherlands Architecture Institute, Museum De Dubbelde Palmboom and Kunsthal, art galleries with impressive architecture, National Schools and Museum Het Schielandshuis history museums

Rotterdam Shopping and Dining

Rotterdam is a shopper's paradise ranging from small unique shops to a variety of department, chain stores and huge shopping centres. The main shopping areas are the famous Lijnbaan, streets around Beurstraverse; West Kruiskade with it's many Chinese, Surinamese, Mediterranean and Arabic stores and Oosterhof/ Alexandrium, situated to the North East of Rotterdam and one of the largest shopping centres in Holland. Visit Holland's largest open air market square at the Bionenrolte, held on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Tuesday (open on Sunday from April until December).

Clubs and discotheques in Rotterdam

Choose from a wide selection of city centre themed cafes and restaurants with local and every international cuisine imaginable - at the Westelijk Handelsterrein, the historic Delfshaven or the Old Harbour. Try your luck in the Holland Casino located in the heart of the city on the Weena. Nightlife in the city is vibrant and is centred around the Witte de Withstraat, the Nieuwe Binnenweg and the Stadhuisplein.

Rotterdam Access

When entering Rotterdam, follow the signs for 'Europoort'. In the Europoort area, just follow the signs 'England' and 'P&O Ferries'. The dock number (Havennummer) of P&O Ferries is 5805.

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