As part of a city break in the Netherlands this New Year, we chose to waste a few hours away in the second-biggest city – Rotterdam. It is true that it is a place that lives in the shadow of the ever-popular Amsterdam but we really enjoyed wandering around.

After being awake since 4.30am this morning, having travelled through four countries in order to reach our desination, you can imagine we had very few plans on today’s itinerary. However, that did not stop us picking a few sites and having a look. Research revealed a few trendy, even bohemian, choice sights to see and we took a brisk walk as evening fell.

Conveniently, the bus stop outside our hotel took us directly to Centraal Station in Rotterdam – a great place to start our short walking tour. There are plenty of other impressive skyscrapers and examples of interesting modern archiecture, but as you can expect, this was but a flying visit.


Next we navigated ourselves to two popular areas – the first is called Lijnbaan: a busy shopping area with international brands and, at this time of year, lovely Christmas lights. We also walked past the town hall and cathedral this way. The second place is called Witte de Withstraat: a trendy and hip street with tasteful restaurants, small art galleries and little shops. I was too busy window shopping to get good pictures of these streets!

Our final stop before heading for a gorgeous gourmet burger at Ellis Burger was a peculiar building complex called Markthal. It is essentially a large indoor shopping centre with market stalls, street food, shops and restaurants. If you want some local delicatessen or traditional Dutch food, you can find some pretty little stalls here. It is also very important to comment on the colourful and equally bizarre Muriel that is painted on the roof!

And Ben also found time to look like a cultured European otherwise known as Harry Potter.

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