Advice from a girl from Rotterdam, Netherlands

Considering a move to The Netherlands? Why not look at Rotterdam! It offers a unique city like no other with a lifestyle full of vibrancy and energy. Keep reading to learn more about this wonderful city and see for yourself why this is the city for you, from a girl who knows.

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Why should Rotterdam be a destination for travellers and expats alike?

People should move or come to Rotterdam because it is a unique city. It is the only city in the Netherlands with a skyline. For example, Amsterdam and Utrecht are nice cities but they don’t have this unique skyline. Moreover, Amsterdam is generally really crowded. Rotterdam is also busy but it is definitely less busy than Amsterdam. Besides that, Rotterdam is a port city, it is currently the biggest I think in Europe and the sixth biggest in the world.

There are numerous international companies based here like Unilever. What makes Rotterdam unique as well is that fact that it is a pretty new city. After it was bombed during the second world war, it was rebuilt so almost everything is new. Compared to other Dutch cities Rotterdam is really modern. Moreover, there are many activities and attractions in Rotterdam so you will always have something to do.

Erasmus bridge

What are some great attractions and festivals in Rotterdam?

I would recommend attractions like the Market hall, the cubic buildings, Euromast(observation tower in Rotterdam), Erasmus bridge and the Nieuwe Maas which is distributary of the Rhine river. There are also several museums like the Wereldmusuem(world museum), the Maritiem Museum (Maritime museum) and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen which sometimes offers really nice temporary exhibitions. For example a few years back, there was the James bond exhibition at that museum. It is really modern and it fits the times now.

I would also recommend the Vroesenpark, it is a very nice park which is always crowded with students when it is warm weather. During summer, Ice cream is sold there and you can barbeque there as well. There is also ‘Het Park’ which in English is ‘The park’ near the Euromast where a lot of students go there as well, especially, students from the Erasmus university. In summer you can also choose to swim in the Kraslingse Plas (lake).

Canal with boats

What is the Nightlife like?

I personally like Witte de Withstraat. It is my favourite street to go to. There are different bars on this street and the atmosphere is great. Some bars I would recommend on this street are Proeflokaal Reijngoud; a nice place to have a drink, Witte app and Nieuwe Rotterdams Café . If you want to go out dancing, you can find different discotheque’s in the centre like VIP. On the Maasboulevart there is Club Vie. There are so many spots where you can go out and have fun. However, for me, Witte de Withstraat is the best.

How are the people in Rotterdam?

I would say that the people in Rotterdam are straightforward, they are quite frank and direct. We have a saying here which is ‘Niet lullen maar poetsen’ which basically comes down to don’t complain too much and just do the work you are supposed to do. I think that this saying describes people in Rotterdam very well.

Rotterdammers are welcoming of expats and foreigners. The city itself is filled with different cultures and people. Foreigners or expats shouldn’t have too much problem communicating in English with people in Rotterdam. Many people in Rotterdam do speak English well enough to answer basic questions and so on.

How is a normal work day in Rotterdam?

people usually leave their houses around 7.30 or 8.00 am depending on where their work. A work day is usually 8 hours. They have lunch around 12.00 pm for an hour or less. They usually eat a sandwich for lunch. A work day ends around 17.30 and by 18.30 or 19.00 they have their dinner. Sometimes after work colleagues go out for a drink and meet up with friends in a bar. People in Rotterdam or dutch people generally value their weekend a lot, so the weekend is really a time to relax and do nice things.

Last words?

You should come to Rotterdam because it is a vibrant, living city. It offers you many possibilities to go out and also the people are straight forward and nice. You can easily make contact with people. I would say that Rotterdam is a very nice city for Expats.