Rotterdam is a city in the Netherlands, located in South Holland. It is Europe’s largest port city, a buzzing metropolis with a breathtaking skyline, a city where more than 170 nationalities live and work together. The city is also an excellent venue for congresses, fairs and other events catering to the business sector, NGOs and associations. Not only because of the multitude of great facilities and attractive business locations, but also because of the huge range of leisure activities on offer in Rotterdam. It comes as no surprise that Rotterdam has for years held a top place in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) city rankings.
Rotterdam is a young, dynamic, international city with a passionately beating heart. The city keeps reinventing itself at a rapid pace while continuously redefining and expanding its already impressive skyline.
Schiphol International Airport, 45 miles or 60 km from Rotterdam, is the most user friendly airport in the world and the 4th largest in Europe. Schiphol station has six direct train connections per hour to Rotterdam Central Station, which is situated in the middle of the city. You can travel to and from Rotterdam Central Station in just 45 minutes by regular intercity train service. The journey time is reduced to just 26 minutes if you take the Intercity Direct Hispeed train service.
It is also possible to fly on Rotterdam The Hague Airport, situated at approximately six miles from the city centre. Travel times between the airport and the city are excellent: fifteen minutes by taxi and twenty minutes by public transport (airport shuttle & metro) to Rotterdam Central Station. At Rotterdam The Hague Airport, flights are continually landing from the major cities of neighbouring countries.
International direct trains to Belgium, France and Germany depart many times a day from Rotterdam Central Station.
The earliest records of Rotterdam’s history date back to the construction of a dam across the little Rotte River in 1270. In 1340, Rotterdam received its town charter. When the New Waterway was completed in 1872, giving Rotterdam an open connection to the sea via the Maas, the city developed into a world-class port. Rotterdam is currently one of the largest ports in the world and the home base for many important industries, including the petrochemical, pharmaceutical, banking and insurance, and hi-tech and science industry.
Once a modest fishing village on the banks of the Rotte, Rotterdam grew to become the second-largest city in the Netherlands. With over 616,000 inhabitants (1.2 million including Greater Rotterdam), Rotterdam is a true metropolis on the Maas. The inhabitants of Rotterdam (Rotterdammers) are straightforward, humorous and hospitable people for whom a deal is a deal. For centuries they have been dealing with people from abroad; how else would Rotterdam have been able to secure its unique position in world trade and commerce?
THE MAAS AND ERASMUS
The Maas River continues to define the face of Rotterdam today, as a main waterway and as an attraction in its own right with an increasing number of restaurants and other entertainment venues springing up along the waterfront. The river is what divides the north and south sides of the city, linked by high-speed ferry boats and bridges that define the skyline.
The Erasmus Bridge has become the iconic symbol of Rotterdam. The bridge is named after Rotterdam’s most famous son, the humanist philosopher Desiderius Erasmus. Erasmus University Rotterdam, which ranks among the top universities of the world (especially in the medical and economic sciences) and the Erasmus MC, the largest medical centre in the Netherlands, also owe their names to this key historical figure.
Internationally renowned Rotterdam celebrities from more recent times include industrial designer Richard Hutten, lingerie designer Marlies Dekkers and architect Rem Koolhaas.
ARCHITECTURE AND INNOVATION
Although much of the city centre was destroyed in the bombing during the Second World War, Rotterdam started vigorous reconstruction efforts as soon as the war ended. The city had the courage to make a radical break with the past and head in a whole new direction. It was this dramatic turning point that gives Rotterdam the contemporary look it has today: spacious in design, with daring modern architecture.
Periods of innovative and daring architecture followed, with a particularly prominent peak just after the war. Today, Rotterdam is still notable for its modern, innovative architecture with spectacular, ultra-modern high-rise buildings on an ever evolving skyline.
ART AND CULTURE
Rotterdam has an exceptionally well developed cultural infrastructure encompassing all major art forms: music, the visual arts, film, photography, architecture, the theatre and ballet. These cultural activities are supported by first-rate museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls, art schools and other educational institutes. They offer a broad range of high-quality art and culture to surprise
and delight any visitor to the city.
Rotterdam also offers a wide range of (sport) events and festivals throughout the year, such as the International Film Festival Rotterdam. So it is no coincidence that Rotterdam was named the IFEA World Festival & Event City in 2010.
DINING AND NIGHTLIFE
Rotterdam is also a lively place in the evenings. The city boasts a wide range of cafés, restaurants and clubs. Cafés and bars can be found on virtually every street and range from traditional pubs to contemporary grand cafés. They are the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee or a beer, glass of wine or typical Dutch
drinks, such as jenever.
Rotterdam also has a lot to offer culinary-wise. Looking for a chance to sample food from the Netherlands, France, China, Korea, Japan, Morocco, Surinam, Turkey, Greece or India? Rotterdam has it all at prices ranging from very reasonable to expensive.