You and me in Rotterdam

We went to live in Rotterdam in the Netherlands for 6 weeks for P-A’s short term internship abroad as part of his engineering studies.

Port Royal Bridge, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Date of expatriation

From June 17 to July 29, 2017

Transportation

We went to Rotterdam by car because Pierre-Adrien’s internship is not accessible by public transport. His French company provided him with a rental car in order to help him financially in the costs involved with this expatriation.

Rental car to leave in Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Accommodation in Rotterdam

Thanks to several housing search networks on Facebook, we found a room with free parking (this was the most important point for us) south of Rotterdam in the district of IJsselmonde.

Map of Rotterdam, location of IJsselmonde

We live in a flatshare, but as it is summer, we only have one housemate. The buildings are not very high, and the neighborhood is very nice. Nearby, we have a big park with a lake and a shopping centre with lots of different shops: clothes, food, services… Everything we need.

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Room Rate: €380 + €30 of charges.

Our discoveries in Rotterdam

As we live south of downtown, we always take our bikes to go into town and to visit the surrounding area. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the city by bike.

Kop Van Zuid

Kop Van Zuid, which means “to the South” is a recent district of Rotterdam, built on an old port area. It is all impressive buildings like the New York Hotel and its superb sun terrace overlooking the New Meuse River. This magnificent building, which houses the hotel was formerly the headquarters of the company “Holland America Line“, a commercial and passenger cruise company. This building is also known as “National Heritage”-Rijksmonument since the year 2000.

We were lucky to go there on a sunny day. There were a lot of people on the terrace or on sunbeds in the grass. The atmosphere and the overall architecture of this area are reminiscent of the upper deck of a cruise ship. It was very nice! 🙂

Erasmusbrug

From Kop Van Zuid, you have to take the Erasmusbrug to get to the centre of Rotterdam on the other side of the New Meuse River. The bridge was named in honor of the Dutch-born Erasmus philosopher, a native of Rotterdam.

Leuvehaven & Oudehaven

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On the other side of Erasmusbrug, you arrive on Leuvehaven, the port of the centre of Rotterdam with the Maritime Museum, and numerous cafes. Along the harbour, we continue on Oudehaven, the old port with the Mariners Museum – a heritage museum, as well as the Witte Huis (White House) built at the end of the 19th century, which has the peculiarity of being the first residential tower in Europe.

Witte Huis, Old Port, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Willemsbrug, Noordereiland & the Port Royal Bridge

Opposite the Oudehaven, on the other side of the New Meuse River, is an island, Noordereiland, which constitutes a district of Rotterdam. To reach this island, you have to take the Willemsbrug Bridge, formerly the symbol of the city before the construction of Erasmusbrug.

Photo taken on Noordereiland with in the background the Erasmusbrug.

Noordereiland, Rotterdam, Netherlands

In order to return to the mainland towards the south, we cross the Koninginnebrug Bridge from Noordereiland. What is remarkable about this place is the Port Royal Bridge, also called De Hef (the rising). It is a rising railway bridge that was part of the Breda – Rotterdam train line. It is now out of service because the trains no longer travel through the city center.

De Hef, Port Royal Bridge, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Cubic houses

Back to the north of the New Meuse River, we head towards Blaak. Blaak is a large artery in the city centre, behind the old port. Quite a central point of Rotterdam, it is a very lively area and offers many things to do… Strange construction with an unusual architecture, the cube-houses stand-out of the urban landscape with their yellow and grey-blue colors. Seen from far away, you could imagine seeing mountains on the horizon with the white spikes that reminds of snow.

Markthal

Markthal is a covered market dating from 2014 with a huge hall that offers plenty of stands with all kinds of food, but also cafes and restaurants. A really cool place to eat or shop. 🙂

Markthal, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Outside of the building, you can see apartments in the shape of an ark. Once inside, looking up, you can see a gigantic fresco with fauna and flora that covers the whole market and a few windows that give into the apartments. This fresco was created by Arno Coenen and is called “the Horn of Plenty”. It is the largest piece of art in the Netherlands covering an area of 11.000 sqm.

On the big square next to Markthal, you can enjoy a food market on Tuesdays and Saturday mornings. The rest of the time, there are often events organized. On the same day, on the one hand, there was a Hindu festival in honor of Hare Krishna, and on the other, a demonstration of Tango dance with dozens of people dancing in a circle.

Tango dancers in front of Markthal, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Kralingse Park

Kralingse Park is located a little farther north of the city centre a few minutes by bike from Markthal. It is a very big park where people go to run and do sports. There are large stretches of grass that allow you to enjoy the afternoon or evening with friends. We can have barbecues, take naps, play games, etc.

The park includes a lake of about 100 hectares where many water sports such as sailing or rowing are practised. Around the lake you can find sandy beaches where swimming is allowed and very pleasant in good weather.

Lake Kralingse Park, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Locate everything on this map of Rotterdam

🙂 Discover more pictures of Rotterdam on Facebook.

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