Normally I’m really good at guessing games. Give me one decent hint and I can pretty much do the rest (unless it’s estimating jelly beans). But I was finally one-upped this past weekend when PJ got the better of my curious questions and truly surprised me. Our secret destination? Rotterdam; home of Erasmus himself and the namesake bridge, incredible shopping & 2009’s best bar in the world (well, so says Lonely Planet
|Oudehaven, the old harbour right outside of our hotel
Almost completely flattened in WWII, one vintage-shop owner told me it was built up like the NYC of Western Europe, and the skyline does not disappoint. One part pre-war, brownstone like facades meet new and modern architecture that doesn’t just ask you to look at it, it demands the eye. And it is beautiful.
The Cube Houses on Overblaak Street, which apparently also includes a hostel that you can stay in! They’re tilted at 45 degrees so I imagine the interior is really interesting as well.
The Markthal, just next to the Cube Houses, really similar to the Swedish Saluhallens and other food halls across the world, but what makes it so amazing is the walls. They were massive scenes of nature and made it feel really cozy in such an enormous space.
Some pretty awesome street art; also, I’m obsessed with Dutch bikes. Every cool one we saw I stopped and fawned over.
The Bust of Sylvette by Picasso, similar to the same one in NYC. Just down Witte de Withstraat.
Witte de Withstraat is so great; it’s where one of the major art museums is located and has great boutiques, cafes and bars lining it (including De Witte Aap).
They really know how to entice customers in this city.
We really liked the neon signs…
The art on the walls was really amazing. If you really look, you can find it all over the city.
Like I said, we realllllllly liked these signs.
In the shopping area was a cafe called Cupcake Chic, also known as the Dutch Urban Bakery
. This was a vanilla buttercream iced, salted caramel cupcake with Nutella filling.
I die. It was so good.
Where we had breakfast on Witte de Withstraat: The Bagel Bakery. Mine was goat cheese, walnuts, honey and thyme. My tastebuds did leaves of joy in between bites of bagel and sips of my coffee.
To put it simply, I think I love you Rotterdam. I love your atmosphere, your cupcakes, your amazing vintage shops, your bridge views and your bikes.
If you’ve been to Rotterdam, please please please tell me your favourite spots there. I can guarantee that I’ll be making a trip back this summer!