Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Name: Port of Rotterdam
Address: Wilhelminakade 909, 3072 AP Rotterdam
Phone: 31 10 290 8440
The Port of Rotterdam is the busiest in Europe, so expect a lot of bustle and traffic in the area. It is also close to several nearby cities. The cruise terminal is about an hour’s drive from Schiphol Airport Amsterdam and within 20 minutes to Rotterdam Airport. Antwerp (Belgium) is only one hour away by bus. The neighboring countries of Belgium, Germany and even France are also easily reached by high-speed trains. There is regular train service from Amsterdam to downtown Rotterdam.
The taxi terminus is directly next to the terminal. You can contact the Rotterdam Airport Taxi via telephone number +31 (0)10 – 262 04 06. All current credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Diners Club and the international cabcharge card) are accepted.
Several well-established car rental companies have branch offices at Rotterdam Airport. The car-hire desks are located in the arrivals section of the transit hall, the central hall in the terminal. Most of the car-hire companies operate the following opening hours: Mon-Fri: 09.00 -18.00 Hrs. Sat/Sun: open on request for pick-up of reserved cars.
The RET Airport Shuttle Number 33 runs frequently between Rotterdam Central Station and Rotterdam Airport. From Rotterdam Central Station you can travel by train directly or with only one change to a very large number of stations in the Netherlands or you can take trams, buses or a subway to travel within Rotterdam and the region.
The Airport Shuttle departs on average every 10 minutes from Rotterdam Central Station and Rotterdam Airport. The journey time is about 20 minutes. For traveling on this bus, it is possible to use the national ‘strippen’ card as means of payment. These are available for purchase at the AKO Shop at Rotterdam Airport. An ordinary bus ticket can also be bought directly from the bus driver (€ 3.00).
Rotterdam Airport is Holland’s second airport in numbers of passengers and the number of connections. It is centrally located six kilometers from downtown Rotterdam. This makes it very attractive for people from the southwestern part of Holland to travel via Rotterdam Airport.
A regular shuttle service departs from the front of the terminal to take passengers to the center of Rotterdam. Each bus is manned by a host who tells passengers what to expect, answers questions and, where necessary, offers assistance.
The terminal has a taxi service desk where passengers can arrange a fixed price journey; all drivers speak English. It is also possible to arrange taxi transport prior to the ship’s arrival. The historic terminal building houses a tourist information desk and various stands offering Dutch handicrafts such as wooden shoe making and hindeloopen painting.
Just as in Amsterdam, major hotels permeate the downtown area, the area of choice for travelers to the city. Golden Tulip Rotterdam-Centre is located at the waterfront; and the Bilderberg Parkhotel Rotterdam is located within walking distance of Central Station and offers excellent access by tram or metro, with a stop just outside the door.
The Westin Rotterdam Hotel is in Rotterdam’s bustling city center and is known as the most modern, luxurious hotel in the city. Occupying the first 14 floors of the Millennium Tower, it offers a unique view from all the rooms and suites. It is centrally located across from Central Station, within easy walking distance of an extensive selection of shopping and nightlife, museums and restaurants.
Also downtown, the Hilton Rotterdam is in the middle of the nightlife and shopping district. The Manhattan Rotterdam Hotel, the Maritime Rotterdam Hotel, and the Hotel New York are just three more choices in a city with 85 hotels in or easily accessible to the downtown area.
Rotterdam is located at the heart of a maze of rivers and rather than being just a cultural suburb of nearby Amsterdam, it’s place of intriguing museums and buildings, many shops and a myriad of popular bars and cafes.
While much of the dock area was destroyed during the Second World War, many parts were not and here you’ll see what Rotterdam looked like before that war – canals, alleyways, stately mansions and an old harbor.
The old town was once the place where shipping magnates and harbor barons who settled in the old part of Rotterdam, lived. The monumental and often ornate buildings are typical of this period, following strict guidelines with riverside elevations that had to be elegant and pointed roofs that had to be hidden behind ornate gable walls.
Many of the buildings date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and are on the list of national monuments. As well as the buildings, there are leafy avenues, the Wereldmuseum, The Dutch Tax & Customs Museum parks, exquisite restaurants, sailors’ bars and the Euromast with its observation tower.
Above all, Rotterdam is a city of museums with 30 of them located throughout the city. Virtually every district in the city has one or more museums and unless you have weeks at your disposal you have to pick and choose the best.
Two of the best are the Dubbelde Palmboom Museum and the nearby Boijmans-Van Beuningen Museum, the latter being one of the great attractions of Rotterdam. The overwhelming array of works on display presents a veritable lesson in the history of art and features artworks by such masters as Breughel, Bosch, and Rembrandt through to recent giants such as Warhol and Liechtenstein.
Stroll along the banks of the Oudehaven River and you’ll come across the Museum De Dubbelde Palmboom that consists of twin converted warehouses. Craftspeople work in the old Grain Sack Carriers Guild House using copies of 17th- and 18th-century molds to cast plates, bowls, tea urns, and other utensils.
Here you’ll find many popular bars and cafes and for a shopping experience take an hour or two to walk your way around the Lijnbaan, the first pedestrian shopping area in Europe. It offers something for every taste and purse.
Museum Park lies in the heart of Rotterdam. The Netherlands Architecture Institute, the Chabot Museum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Kunsthal and the Nature Museum surround the park. In addition to taking you through the modern city park, it also shows you the 19th-century Scheepvaartkwartier.
If you’re looking for views you’ll find it by making the heart-stopping journey to the top of the tower of the nearby 15th-century St. Laurenskerk church. Or, at 278 ft. high the Euromast is the place to go for the best view in town. The new super-fast automatic lifts take you up to the platforms for a panoramic view over the whole of Rotterdam. For something out of the ordinary, visit the Kijk-Kubus, an intriguing upside-down house certain to baffle and amuse.
To please your hunger, you’ll find a vast choose of foods in the city. There are plenty of reasonably prized restaurants plus a wide variety of luxurious dinner venues. If you like Italian food, Perla de Mare, at Van Vollenhovenstraat 15, serves a selection of Mediterranean cuisine. And 220 different types of wine can be tasted from the bottle at En Verre, a tapas bar/restaurant located at Gedempte Zalmhaven 737 near the waterfront.
But these are only two of scores of small, family, or trendy restaurants near the port.
The Westelijk Handelsterrein resembles the set of a historical film about Rotterdam, but it is actually is a restored warehouse complex from 1894 and located in the Scheepvaartkwartier (Shipping Quarter). A double passageway of solid stone opens into the interior. The immense original beams in the ceiling connect galleries, wine importers and bars with grand cafés, luxury restaurants and nightclubs.
The complex looks back in history while being firmly entrenched in the pleasures of today. The galleries displaying bronze and stone statues are beside an authentic ship’s galley.
Things to do:
In Rotterdam you can shop until you drop in covered shopping facilities or outside in the fresh air. You’ll find several shopping areas that are restricted to pedestrian traffic only so there’s no watching out for cars when shopping in the Lijnbaan and the Beurstraverse.
Luxury department stores in the city centre, trendy and really different shops on Witte de Withstraat and Van Oldebarneveldstraat, the old-fashioned narrow shopping streets on Oude and Nieuwe Binnenweg, and exotic shops offering all kinds of Asian products on West Kruiskade will keep you shopping for hours.
Want a cheesy experience? Travel out of the city for a day trip to Gouda, a typical Dutch country town with quiet canals and old docks and 25 kilometers northeast of Rotterdam. And, yes, it’s where the cheese of the same name was first blended.
The cheese is made from cow’s milk that is cultured and heated until the curd is separated from the whey. Some of the whey is then drained, and water is added. This is called “washing the curd”, and creates a sweeter cheese, as the washing removes some of the lactic acid.
You can still see the cheese auction in the city square every Thursday.
– Ray Chatelain