Visit the photo set 2015: Rotterdam on Flickr.
It had been some time since Robin and I took a weekend trip somewhere nearby. We always seem to take these trips in February, March or April when we get a little case of cabin fever. We had not yet been to Rotterdam and decided at the last minute to head there for a few days.
A quick look on the internet gave a variety of options for hotels. One intrigued me though: the CitizenM hotel. There was a CitizenM hotel near our old house in Amsterdam Zuid and it looked to be an interesting place to stay, with a great deal of emphasis on design and details. Located in the Blaak neighborhood close by the Oudehaven, the CitizenM Rotterdam was a great base for the weekend.
On Saturday, we focused on the Museum Quarter, dodging a series of rain bands that came through the city. We first visited the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen which continued our education on Golden Age Dutch painters and threw in some good Impressionists paintings as well. We had a nice light lunch at the restaurant. Afterwards, we moved across the street to Het Nieuwe Instituut, devoted to architecture, design and e-culture. We easily spent thirty minutes in the Institute’s bookstore which had a great selection of architecture books. After visiting the exhibits at the main building, we visited Huis Sonneveld, which is associated with the Nieuwe Institute. The Huis Sonneveld Museum in Rotterdam is one of the best-preserved houses in the Nieuwe Bouwen style, the Dutch branch of the International School of Modernism. It was a fascinating glimpse into the architecture movement right after the Amsterdam School of Architecture period, of which we are very familiar with.
Heading back towards the hotel, we stopped at the brand-new Markthal Rotterdam which is the first covered food market in the Netherlands. The Markthal also includes over 200 apartments built into the large arch surrounding the food hall. It is very clearly popular with Rotterdammers as security was controlling the number of people entering the hall whenever we walked past.
We were in the mood for a light dinner and had a good, simple Italian dinner at Very Italian Pizza; pasta for Robin and pizza for me.
On Sunday, we started by walking along the north side of the Nieuwke Maas river, taking many photographs of the interesting modern architecture in this area including the world war II monument De Boeg and the famous Erasmusbrug. We then turned back north and spend a few enjoyable hours at the Maritiem Museum Rotterdam. The highlight was the collection of boats in the harbour that could be entered and examined up close.
We headed back to the Markthal for lunch at the Mart Cafe before catching the train back to Amsterdam. Once again an enjoyable getaway.