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With its futuristic Central Station, brand-new Markthal, and impressive new structure De Rotterdam, this city is once again stealing the limelight. As a true Rotterdammer, I have known for years just how appealing this city on the Maas is. Besides its modern high-rises, Rotterdam also boasts plenty of trendy and edgy places to explore.

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Hidden Treasures Rotterdam 3 Profile

Iris van den Broek (1982) is a photographer and travel writer. Iris has been a contributor to KLM iFly Magazine since 2011. She has a great talent for telling stories through text and image. The world always looks beautiful through her lens and in her words.

Hidden Treasures Rotterdam 4 Hotel
Hidden Treasures Rotterdam 5 Hotel

Bed & afternoon tea in style

Hotel New York

Rotterdam’s top accommodation is Hotel New York. The stately building at Kop van Zuid stands proudly among the gleaming skyscrapers and was once the departure point for the Holland-America Line ships. The aura of nostalgia is all around. Where else could you spend the night in a real turret room? Another top draw is the afternoon tea, but I usually have a homemade tompoes, a lovely pastry with custard.

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In the evening, I like to go for a cocktail at the stylish nhow BAR, housed in one of the latest architectural additions to the city: De Rotterdam. The view of the beautifully illuminated Erasmus Bridge is spectacular.

  • Hidden Treasures Rotterdam 7C Katendrecht
  • Hidden Treasures Rotterdam 7B Katendrecht
  • Hidden Treasures Rotterdam 7A Katendrecht

A taste of De Kaap


Starting at the Hotel New York, I like to stroll across the Rijnhaven Bridge to Katendrecht, the new place to be! Known as De Kaap, this neighbourhood is undergoing a fast transformation and new businesses are popping up everywhere. Whereas Kop van Zuid exudes a New York vibe, this part of Rotterdam has more of a Berlin feel.

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Hidden Treasures Rotterdam 8 Katendrecht

A hot and happening spot is the Fenix Food Factory: an old warehouse transformed into an edgy food mecca. While soaking up the great views of the Rotterdam skyline, I often enjoy an organic cupcake, freshly-baked pizza or a sandwich from Jordy’s Bakery.

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Culinary meeting place

The Markthall

My new favourite hang-out is the Markthal, Rotterdam's latest landmark, which also contains the city’s largest work of art. Inside, amidst sky-high glass walls and a colourful ceiling, are dozens of stalls with tapas, bread, cured meats and of course a real stroopwafel shop for a touch of Dutch flavour.

Hidden Treasures Rotterdam 12 Markt
Hidden Treasures Rotterdam 11 Markt

I also love Monsieur Saucisson, a shop that sells traditionally made sausages since 2014, according to their funny sign. “Yes, it has been exactly two months,” says a smiling Bart who runs the business with his partner Remco. “We sell around 25 different kinds of sausage, all the way from France.”

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Hidden Treasures Rotterdam 16 Ss

I board a water taxi at Veerhaven and travel at high speed to the SS Rotterdam: the cruise ship that transported passengers from Rotterdam to New York from 1959 to 1971. Today the ship serves as a hotel, restaurant, bar and attraction and is a lovely place to have a drink. You also have the option of taking a very interesting audio tour.

From water taxi to cruise ship

SS Rotterdam

The water taxi is Rotterdam’s most charming form of transport. These taxis not only connect various parts of the city but also offer a fabulous way to admire the skyline and bridges from the water.

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Hidden Treasures Rotterdam 17 Stad

Relaxing in a historic harbour


Rotterdam is known for its modern and edgy character. Yet one of my favourite parts of the city is the Scheepvaartkwartier district. This charming portside neighbourhood lies right next to the Erasmus Bridge and is packed with nice buildings and historic warehouses. I love to stop by Grand Café Loos for a bitterbal, a typically Dutch savoury meat snack.

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Hidden Treasures Rotterdam 22 Stad

On Saturdays I often combine a visit to this district with a walk through the nearby trendy Witte de Withstraat area, which teems with great galleries, boutiques and lots of restaurants and nightlife. Insider tip: burgers from Ter Marsch & Co are the best in town. The perfect way to toast to a great tour of Rotterdam!

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Hidden Treasures Rotterdam 20 Stroke Bg

Interested in Rotterdam?

Check out the links for more information about these locations and the city of Rotterdam.



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