The Netherlands is fast becoming our most frequented European destination. While we were familiar with the streets of Amsterdam when we visited earlier this month, just a 45 minute train ride away was Rotterdam where we discovered a hybrid of baroque Dutch architecture and modernist magnitude that defied all expectations...
WHERE TO STAY
While Amsterdam was home to loved ones with apartments this trip, previous visits have seen us enjoy the Citizen M. A short cycle from Vondelpark, we love this innovative yet affordable chain with its huge beds, floodlit showers and chic interiors. Heading over to Rotterdam you'll find the Nhow hotel. Located in Rem Koolhaas' sky-scraping De Rotterdam building, the hotel describes itself as 'art, architecture and one hell of a view' - they're not wrong.
WHERE TO DRINK
If you're only looking for a day trip to Rotterdam then simply hit the bar in De Rotterdam to get your fill of decadent design. Or if you've got time, we recommend exploring the bustling pavements of Witte de Withstraat which are scattered with bars, cafes and plenty of ambiance. Back in Amsterdam our favourite watering holes can be found in the atmospheric district of De Pijp. With its plywood decor, low slung pendant lights and friendly tone we love Bar Mash - at only 32m2 the tiny tavern serves up a cosy vibe and a great gin.
WHERE TO EAT
After a busy day in Amsterdam you'll have worked up an appetite, and if bitterballen won't suffice we recommend Ron's Gastrobar for something really special. Serving European-style tapas dishes the Michelin starred owner provides a new affordable concept with an exciting menu (try the surprise egg desert for mouth popping pleasure)! And for something to really satisfy the stomach grab a 'proper' burger at Rotterdam's Hamburg. Oozing with only the best ingredients, a mouthful here is worth every calorie.
WHERE TO VISIT
Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam played host to an array of attention grabbing exhibitions which explored architecture, design and digital culture. Continuing the artistic theme, explore Amsterdam's Museum Square where the Van Gough Museum, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum will make your Netherlands experience culturally complete.