Rotterdam is a World Design Capital, Europe's largest harbour and the second largest city of the Netherlands. The city that saw the birth of Erasmus is also as new and modern as Amsterdam looks old and traditional.
This city which suffered a tragic fate during last world war was able to rise from the ashes to become one of the architectural jewels of the 20th century with its towers and ultra-modern buildings. But despite the size of these buildings, people here live on the rhythm of the bikes, they know how to enjoy time, far away from the stress of megacities.
The almost ubiquitous design is the symbol of the city. You can find it throughout the architecture and even in the smallest chairs in the cafés! Local hotels also follow this trend, such as the Mainport Hotel where each floor is decorated and designed to symbolize a different continent. The New York hotel located on the former point of departure for immigrants to the New World is also worth visiting because it is one of the few buildings which survived the bombs during WWII. It is also listed as a national monument of the Netherlands.
As an important cultural center, Rotterdam features many important museums, especially around the Museum Park with the Boijmans and its modern old paintings, some from Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Dali, but also the Kunsthal which has no permanent collection but hosts major exhibitions throughoutthe year.
You will also be able to enjoy shopping in the Van Oldebarnevelt street in stores like Mostert & Van Leeuwen, Nen Xavier and ANSH46 where you will find trendy men's clothes. Note that H&M recently opened its largest European store in Rotterdam with 4500 m2 featuring all collections of the brand.
Finally the gourmets among you will be happy to buy some good products at Markthal, the huge and brand new covered market of the city, with its impressive architecture.
At night you need to go to the Witte de Withstraat for some fuin! Cafes and trendy restaurants are to be found, such as LaBru, Ballroom and Blender which turns into a nightclub after midnight. The most romantic will try a Watertaxi tour to admire the city lights with a step back. If you want to eat well but not spend too much we recommend the following venues : The Lux (Gravendijkwal 133 ), De Matroos en het Meisje (Delistraat 52), and HMB (Holland Amerikakade 104)
For those who want to meet with sexy guys from the Netherlands, note there is a small gay neighborhood between Mauritsweg and Van Oldenbarnevelstraat. Three gay bars are installed side by side. The Strano has a more refined atmosphere, while the De Regenboog is a little more laid back and De Unie is the largest and busiest place. In the same street, right accross the gay bars is Vibes, a small club, but still very gay-friendly and with a relaxed atmosphere.
Sexy hunks enjoying the first Rotterdam Pride last September.
Don't miss next Rotterdam Pride, whose first edition took place in 2014 and which should now take place annually at the end of September.
In 2015 the Ahoy Arena will host Gay Fantasy, the largest indoor gay event in Europe. Announced during the 2014 pride for April 18, 2015, this gay event will transform the vast Ahoy arena in giant dance floor. Gay Fantasy will be a major gay international event dedicated to dance and extravagance. A great DJ scene will be located in the center of the party, surrounded by other smaller ones.
You now have all the informations to spend a very gay-friendly and relaxed getaway weekend in Rotterdam.
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