Trendy, vibrant Rotterdam – The Straits Times

Who: Ms Margriet Vonno, 51, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Singapore

She and her husband Martin, 54, and their daughter Leda, 11, moved to Singapore final month.

Favorite vacation spot: An absolute should-go to metropolis within the Netherlands is Rotterdam, which has architectural magnificence so far as the attention can see.

Like Singapore, the Netherlands is a hub, a gateway to Europe, and Rotterdam is the commercial and infrastructural coronary heart inside that hub.

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It's a nice metropolis to go to, with a lot to supply: futuristic structure, an abundance of artwork, impressed native initiatives comparable to inside-metropolis canal browsing and a by no means-ending number of eating and nightlife spots.

SEE

As Holland's most important metropolis of architectural innovation, Rotterdam has many distinctive buildings and attention-grabbing architectural websites.

Amongst them are the futuristic Erasmus Bridge and Markthal (Market Corridor), and the well-known Dice Homes designed by architect Piet Blom, who tilted the dice of a traditional home 45 levels and positioned it on a hexagon-formed pylon.

The distinctive constructions are a well-liked vacationer attraction and you may go to Kijk Kubus (en.rotterdam.info/locations/kijk-kubus-1), a Dice Home that has been became a museum.

For views of one of many world's flattest international locations, go to the Euromast (euromast.nl/en), which was in-built 1960 and was as soon as the best tower in Europe. On the prime, you may take a trip within the Euroscoop, a rotating glass carry that takes you 185m into the air.

For tradition, the Museum Park (en.rotterdam.info/locations/museum park) is a wonderful selection. A big a part of it was redesigned by Dutch designer Rem Koolhaas of OMA, the agency that additionally designed the Interlace condominium in Singapore.

The park is surrounded by six museums, amongst that are the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (www.boijmans.nl/en), an artwork museum, and Kunsthal (www.kunsthal.nl/en) fashionable artwork museum, which is one other architectural gem.

The Dutch are tradition vultures, so there are numerous spectacular museums and cultural websites within the nation. The Rijksmuseum (www.rijksmuseum.nl/en) in Amsterdam shouldn't be missed. It's the Netherlands' most well-known museum and showcases our nationwide heroes - Rembrandt van Rijn, Piet Mondriaan and Vincent van Gogh. It takes solely 40 minutes to get to Amsterdam from Rotterdam by prepare.

Off the overwhelmed observe, the Kroller Muller Museum (krollermuller.nl) in Otterloo is value a go to. A 11/2- hour drive from Rotterdam, the museum boasts considered one of Europe's largest sculpture gardens and the second-largest van Gogh assortment on the earth.

  • GETTING THERE

  • The greatest strategy to get from Singapore to Rotterdam is to fly immediately on KLM Royal Dutch Airways or Singapore Airways to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. Then take a prepare to Rotterdam Central Station, which takes about an hour.

    TIPS

    •Rotterdam is an ideal year- spherical vacation spot, although the climate adjustments often. Regardless of the climate, you'll at all times discover issues to do.

    •Three days is good to discover town, however should you keep for every week, you'll nonetheless be entertained.

    •Irrespective of the place you go within the Netherlands, make sure that to go by bike. The Dutch infrastructure is designed for secure biking as it's a huge a part of its tradition. Benefit from the consolation of the biking lanes and be entertained by the numerous varieties of cyclists who move you by.

    • An ideal learn when visiting  the Netherlands and  Amsterdam, specifically, is  In The Metropolis Of Bikes by  American writer Pete  Jordan. He superbly  describes how biking is so  entrenched in Dutch  tradition. Stuff Dutch Folks  Like (stuffdutchpeoplelike.com) is a should-learn  humorous information for a deeper understanding of the  tradition, habits and accent. 

    • Most Dutch folks converse  English properly, so it's straightforward to  ask for instructions. 

    • The Netherlands is secure, however  it's advisable to at all times maintain  an eye fixed in your belongings  and to maintain them near  you, particularly in crowded  areas comparable to prepare stations. 

    •Tipping is well mannered, however not  necessary.

EAT

Rotterdam is an effective place for foodies because it hosts many meals festivals all year long, such because the Rrrollend Foodtruck Pageant (rrrollend.nl) and Culinesse (www.culinesse.nl) meals and music competition.

The Netherlands additionally has culinary skills comparable to Herman den Blijker, whose superb-eating restaurant Las Palmas (restaurantlaspalmas.nl) is positioned within the centre of town.

Its menu is concentrated on meat and seafood, which my husband and I like. A 3-course meal prices round €60 (S$96).

For a extra informal meal, the Markthal (www.markthal.nl/en) is the primary lined market within the Netherlands. Contained in the spectacular steel- and-glass arch, you could find all kinds of meals, from tapas to Italian delicacies to conventional Dutch fare, in addition to stalls promoting produce, sweets and meat.

The locals like to exit for lunch, however we don't have a heat lunch. Usually, Dutch folks have a light-weight, chilly lunch comparable to a sandwich or salad.

Go totally Dutch and check out Dutch herring, which must be eaten uncooked with some onions on the aspect. Dutch pancakes (poffertjes) or the heavenly stroopwafel cookies are nice desserts. You will discover these at any market within the Netherlands.

For a novel meals expertise, go to City Farmers (www.urbanfarmers.nl/en), solely 4km from The Hague Central Station.

The Netherlands is all about sustainable innovation and round financial system and, at City Farmers' UF002 De Schilde rooftop farm, fish swim on the sixth ground, whereas crisp, inexperienced lettuces and juicy, shiny tomatoes thrive within the rooftop greenhouse.

PLAY

The Netherlands is crawling with music and artwork festivals, particularly in summer time. Except for the well-known music festivals Pinkpop (www.pinkpop.nl) and Lowlands (lowlands.nl), Oerol (oerol.nl), a giant cultural competition in June, takes place on the island of Terschelling, one of many Wadden Islands, an archipelago off the coast of the Netherlands within the North Sea.

Top-of-the-line festivals in Rotterdam is the Worldwide Movie Pageant (iffr.com/en), which provides a top quality line-up of arthouse and documentary movies, each brief and full-size.

I additionally suggest Rotterdam Limitless (rotterdamunlimited.com/en/program/program-2017), an annual summer time competition which celebrates town's cultural range.

A worthwhile aspect journey is to the Deltawerken, or Delta Works (www.holland.com/global/tourism/destinations/provinces/zeeland/delta-works.htm) - a powerful system of dams and limitations which protects the nation from the excessive (and rising) sea stage.

The Dutch have a particular relationship with water and the ocean and you may study extra on the Watersnood Museum (www.watersnoodmuseum.nl).

In case you have time to journey a little bit farther, go to the island of Schiermonnikoog within the Wadden Island archipelago. Most of it's a nationwide park and I like going there for its magnificence and serenity.

The island is automotive-free and I can spend days biking across the island with my household, searching over the dunes and dykes to the water, which defines our nation in so some ways. It's an oasis in a busy and dense nation, with soothing inexperienced throughout.

You possibly can journey to Schiermonnikoog by automotive, prepare or bus, or take a ferry or water taxi from the mainland. Keep there for no less than two nights and as much as every week to totally benefit from the peacefulness. SHOP Dutch designers have quite a bit to supply, and, in Rotterdam, you could find many lovely shops the place you should purchase revolutionary Dutch merchandise.

I like to recommend homeware retailer Moooi (www.moooi.com); Keet (www.keetrotterdam.nl), a minimalist boutique full of merchandise from area of interest Dutch artists and designers; design store and studio Depot Rotterdam (depotrotterdam.nl); and vases by designer Hella Jongerius (www.jongeriuslab.com).

Souvenirs might be bought in all places. A conventional pair of clogs might be in your listing, however do word they aren't worn these days.

STAY

It was 1993 after I first visited Resort New York (www.hotelnewyork.nl) in Rotterdam and it was love at first sight.

This lovely lodge was once the pinnacle workplace of the Holland America Line, a Dutch passenger, cargo and delivery line that's now primarily based in the US.

Again within the day, hundreds of immigrants hoping for a greater life began their journey in direction of North America from right here. A keep on the lodge provides greater than a great evening's sleep. You possibly can really feel that that is the place all of it occurred - from the solid-iron staircase and trunks to the visuals of emigrants and the previous workplaces of its previous administrators.

You may get to the lodge on the Maas River by water taxi. It has a store with distinctive souvenirs and fashionable homeware.

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Trendy, vibrant Rotterdam - The Straits Times