First founded in the 9th century as the settlement of Rotta, the dam was built in 1260. Along with the new construction the word “dam” was added to the city’s name, resulting in Rotterdam’s title as it is known today. In modern times the port of Rotterdam is one of the largest and busiest in Europe. Additionally due to the city centre suffering severe destruction in 1940 the area is also known for its modern architecture. The Euromast, skyscrapers and carfree shopping streets have all contributed to the city’s new modernity. The original settlement of Rotta is where you can now find the city centre.
The city currently has a population of around 620,000 citizens. Summer is often the busiest season, however the city has year-round appeal.
Despite being the second largest city in the Netherlands, you will find that all the main attractions are within walking distance within the city center. Starting at Rotterdam Centraal, you can head south on Mauritsweg towards Eendrachtsplein, where you will be able to admire the infamous Santa Claus statue designed by Paul McCarthy in 2011. Along the Mauritsweg, you will be able to encounter the De Doelen Concert hall, the Huis Sonneveld museum, the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, and the Kunsthal. Once you've passed Eendrachtsplein, you may either continue south towards the Erasmusbrug or turn east to Witte de Withstraat. If you wish to continue south, you will cross the spectacular Erasmus bridge which will take you to Wilhelminaplein where you will find the Luxor Theater and the historical building of Hotel New York, which was once the headquarters of the Holland-America cruise lines. You will also find Katendracht, where the Fenix Food Factory and Theater Walhalla are located. On the other hand, across the Witte de Withstraat, you will encounter countless bars, restaurants and boutiques to enjoy. Continuing east from Witte de Withstraat, you will arrive at Blaak where you can admire the peculiar Kijk-Kubus, stroll through the Markthal, mesmerize at the Laurenskerk, or grab a beer and bitterballen in the Oudehaven (which can also be reached by water taxi from Wilhelminaplein and Katendracht).