Rotterdam is the second biggest city of the Netherlands, just behind Amsterdam. While Amsterdam is world famous and a top tourist destination for decades, Rotterdam is the lesser known of the two. Suffering from a gritty port city image and a completely destroyed inner city in WWII, the city was often neglected by tourists. But that all seems to change!
Since the early 90’s of the 20th century there’s somewhat of a renaissance going on in the city. Several organisations started to work together and formulated a strategy to transform the city from a rather boring working class city to a buzzing cosmopolitan city. While maintaining the port city image and can-do mentality of the city and it’s people.
Eventhough the renaissance started in the 90’s, things really started to change since the last 10 years. Rotterdam already had some experimental architecture, but in recent years a lot of interesting and sometimes daring projects were finished. Like the new Central Station, the Markthal or the massive ‘The Rotterdam’ building by world famous architect (and Rotterdammer) Rem Koolhaas.
Rotterdam’s rising popularity
All of a sudden Rotterdam showed up in a lot of international lists. In 2016 Lonely Planet put Rotterdam in their top 10 list of must see cities. The Academy of Urbanism in London called Rotterdam the best European city of the year 2015. Vogue called Rotterdam the Brooklyn of The Netherlands. Which is also kinda funny, because Brooklyn is actually named after the Dutch town of Breukelen, about 50 kilometres away from Rotterdam. So the real Brooklyn of the Netherlands should actually be Breukelen, but we get their point.
More and more tourists seem to find their way to our wondeful city to experience first hand what makes this city so great and unique. Something we Rotterdammers already knew for a long time. Or as we like to put it: “Rotterdam, ech wel!”
Rotterdam facts and figures
- Rotterdam has over 650,000 people living within the city and about 1.2 million in the urban area.
- Over 50 percent of the people living in Rotterdam have a (partial) foreign background and people from over a 180 different nationalities can be found in the city.
- About 90% of the city is below sea-level.
- Rotterdam has three professional football clubs within city limits, Feyenoord, Sparta and Excelsior.
- Rotterdam’s sea port is the biggest port of Europe, the 6th biggest of the world and stretches across a length of about 42km.
- Rotterdam was the first Dutch city to have a subway network. Nowadays the network has 5 lines and 70 stations.
- The five tallest buildings of the Netherlands are all located in Rotterdam.
For more interesting facts visit our trivia page.