History is one thing, but the visitor will likely spend far more time exploring Rotterdam’s land-based attractions. The architecture of the city is more than up to the standards we expect from the Netherlands, with homely tradition and mind-bending modernity on show in equal measure. The creativity of Rotterdam’s buildings takes centre stage more often than not; this place isn’t known as the Architectural Capital of the Netherlands without good reason. The 18-metre-high Euromast Tower isn’t for the faint of heart, but those brave enough to head to the top will get a bird’s eye view of Rotterdam that makes humanity’s lack of wings an even-bigger indictment of our humble position on the planet.
Rotterdam isn’t Amsterdam, far from it. Rotterdam, truth be told, couldn’t be anywhere other than Rotterdam, a dizzying buffet of colour, culture and charm that continually moves forward no matter how middling the current state of Feyenoord, the local football team who dominated Dutch football in the ‘60s and are never far away from returning to those heady heights.
No such insecurity about Rotterdam. Few cities offer as much excitement and ambition as the one so readily dismissed by Hull’s finest back in ’96.