Often referred to as the “Gateway to Europe”, this former European City of Culture saw many of its buildings destroyed during World War II. As the city has been rebuilt, however, it has become renowned for its stunning and innovative architecture.
The Rotterdam skyline can be seen from afar and features landmarks including the Euromast Observation Tower and the Erasmus Bridge. The city is also famous for its “cube homes” (“Kubuswoningen”), built in 1982 by the architect Piet Blom.
Now a major international center of commerce, Rotterdam also has a lighter side. Fans of football, tennis, boxing, rowing, baseball, hockey and swimming - to name but a few - will find plenty to occupy them. This is a city that cherishes sport; every year, since 1986, Rotterdam has voted for its best sportsman, woman and team of the year at the Rotterdam Sports Awards.
What is special or unique about your city?
With a population of over 600,000, the "Water City" of Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands. Rotterdam also boasts the world's largest port, with which a great part of its history and people are intertwined. In addition to being a major economic center, the Port of Rotterdam and its waterways also provide numerous recreational possibilities.
What are a newcomer's first impressions of your city?
While Amsterdam, the nation's capital, is said to have a more relaxed and “laissez-faire” type of lifestyle, Rotterdam is much more of a business-oriented city by comparison. In general, Rotterdam's inhabitants are known for their serious dedication to hard work.
Nevertheless, Rotterdam does have a lot of cultural appeal and many recreational activities to offer. In addition to bustling shopping centers, Rotterdam has numerous restaurants with international cuisine, a diversity of theaters, cinemas, museums and concert halls.
Are these impressions likely to change?
What is the local language?
How easily could I live in this city without knowing this language?
It would be very unlikely that you would have to speak Dutch. Almost everyone living and working in the Netherlands is able and willing to speak English.
What are good things to remember in order to avoid offending the other residents of this city?
How might the local weather affect my daily life?
The warmest months of the year are June to August, when temperatures range between 21 and 26 degrees Celsius (70 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit). There are rarely extreme temperatures, and even in winter the temperature does not often fall far below freezing point.
Is there anything else I should know about the overall character of your city or its people?
All in all, Rotterdam is a very international-oriented city with a mixed, open and tolerant atmosphere that will never bore you.