|Subject: Re: Help with Rotterdam|
Hi Janet, and all
Rotterdam certainly does not have the outward appeal of Amsterdam, or The Hague for that matter. However, it certainly merits a couple of days.
The boat trips come in two flavours: there are the 1-2 hr harbour cruises. Definitely worthwhile if you have any interest in that sort of thing (although personally I think the Hamburg harbour tour is better); there are also tours of Europoort itself (Europe's biggest container port) which is 6.5 hours long! For this I think you need to be quite committed! It also runs only in the summer I think.
Read more about the port here: http://www.portofrotterdam.com/UK/index.asp
Another of Rotterdam's attractions is its modern architecture. What it lacks in old world charm, it makes up for in avant garde style. Most famous are the cube houses (http://www.guide- u.com/rotterdam/attractions/cube.htm) (sorry, my MakeAShorterLink thing isn't working). One of these is a show cube, which is worth paying the few euros to look round. Walking back from the Oude Haven where the cube houses (and the giant pencil!!) is, takes you along Rotterdam's equivalent of Hollywood Boulevard - at least in terms of stars' names in the pavement, if not the shops.
However shopping is one of Rotterdam's strengths. It is very compact, has most major chains and the central shopping area is pedestrianised. OK, it's not great for browsing the antique shops, but if you want to take advantage of having standard shops on hand, it's great - and as practically everyone speaks English, those of you without fluent Dutch can manage just fine.
Rotterdam also has good museums: There's an Architecture museum and a good modern art museum with a better-than-average shop attached.
Final tip: Almost everything is shut on Mondays until at least lunchtime.
Hope this helps
Jonathan http://www.travelinsights.org/ London, UK