Under $100: Rotterdam

by Brandon Schultz

Jun 25, 2019

Erasmus Bridge © Petarneychev | Dreamstime

Under $100 / Europe

Rotterdam, the second-largest city in The Netherlands, is best viewed on foot, where its impressive architecture is most fully appreciated. Thanks in no small part to the city center’s near total destruction by German bombing in 1940 leaving a blank canvas for redevelopment, Rotterdam excels at reinvention, and its architectural gusto is apparent citywide.


Start your day at Markthal, the impressive food market under the 118,000-square-foot mural in the 131-foot tall, arched lobby of a multiuse building. Grab coffee and a stroopwafel for about $6 while marveling at the behemoth structure and all that lies within. Just across the plaza, meander through the courtyards of the famous cube houses and imagine life inside a tilted house balancing on a single point while you marvel at the architectural prowess of the city.


Take a 20-minute stroll to the SS Rotterdam, once a cruise ship catering to the royal family (among others) and now permanently docked as a hotel in its home harbor. Climb aboard and ascend to the promenade where you’ll find lovely views of the city.


Make your way to lunch at Ayla with a 45-minute walk and ferry combo, or hop in a cab for a 15-minute ride. Ayla’s primarily Mediterranean tapas menu and inspirational interior are designed to stimulate conversation and community, and highlight the youthful creativity of Rotterdam. A sandwich and a drink here will cost about $15.


Just a 15-minute walk away, Museum Rotterdam highlights the city’s history and heritage with more than 40,000 artifacts to provide deeper appreciation for the sites and sounds around you. Entrance is about $10. If time permits, enjoy one of Rotterdam’s notable art museums, like Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen on Museumpark.


For dinner, head to Héroine, Rotterdam’s most celebrated fine-dining restaurant, for a four-course mystery tasting adapted by your server throughout the meal. This memorable experience, along with a drink, will cost about $65.



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