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Tips for Living in Rotterdam

Updated: Oct 2, 2019

By Karolína Novotná

When I found out I was accepted to Rotterdam School of Management for my exchange semester, I was really excited. I’ve been to the Netherlands many times before and I fell in love with the atmosphere in Amsterdam, Utrecht or Eindhoven. However, after doing some research about Rotterdam, I was surprised to find out that it is not exactly like most of the other Dutch cities. After living here for over a month, I couldn’t be happier. In this blog post I will share few tips for living in Rotterdam and some places you shouldn’t miss out.

Markthal is a very impressive building itself. Did you know that there is the world’s largest painting that covers 11 000 m2 inside the Markthal? There is a wide variety of great food, drinks, cafés or shops, however, the prices might not necessarily fit the student’s budget. Therefore, I strongly recommend you to visit the Binnenrotte Market which takes place every Tuesday and Saturday right in front of the Markthal. You can buy fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers or seafood for much cheaper prices than in the normal supermarkets. My personal tip: If you have time, walk through the market first and check out the “deals” at different stands (e.g. for 1€ you can get one mango at one stand, but 3 mangos at the other). It is possible to pay by card at most of the stands. I’m sure that after the first visit you’ll fall in love with the atmosphere and we’ll see each other every week there!

If the weather is nice, you should definitely visit the Euromast Tower. It is the tallest building in Rotterdam (it’s 186 m) and it offers the most epic view of the city. You can either have lunch or dinner in the restaurant, which is 91 meters above ground, or take the rotating glass elevator and see Rotterdam from 185 meters for approx. 10€ entrance fee. If you are brave enough, you can even zipline down from the tower!

I have to say I like how Rotterdam offers both a modern city centre and traditional Dutch parts. One of the few unharmed city parts after World War II is Delfshaven. This is a truly charming, historical neighbourhood where you can see pre-20th century buildings and enjoy the calming atmosphere just a few minutes biking from the Erasmus Bridge.

Even though Rotterdam is really nice, you might sometimes feel like you could use a day in the countryside, especially after a really hectic week. Approximately 20 km east from Rotterdam, there is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites called Kinderdjik’s Windmills. You can get there with the Waterbus in 40 minutes for 1,70€ (or with your bike for free) and enjoy the walks or rides around the windmills. What can get more Dutch than windmills, right?

In case you also like to study outside your home but are bored with studying at Polak or in the library with the coffee from machines or from Starbucks (nothing against Starbucks), I thought I’d share my three favourite cafés in the city centre. The first one is the Coffee Company (which is where I’m currently writing this post). There are always plenty of people working on their computers at one long table and enjoying the good coffee. The second one is Nine Bar Espresso, which is a really small and cozy café with absolutely delicious banana bread and espresso. Last but most certainly not least, I love to go to the NOC NOC café. If you end up studying there for longer you can also try their salads, sandwiches or hamburgers. Moreover, all of these cafés are within 5 minutes walking from the Markthal.

What are your favourite cafés to (not only) study in? Which places in Rotterdam do you like the most? Let us know in the comments!

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