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A different kind of Rotterdam

The longest shopping street in the Netherlands.

Discover the Binnenweg

This is the longest shopping street in the Netherlands. It is also one of the oldest roads in Rotterdam: the Nieuwe Binnenweg. A mixture of original boutiques, eclectic lunch places and authentic Rotterdam classics that will lead you to the medieval district of Delfshaven. Rotterdammer and iFly-reporter Iris takes you on a tour.

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Iris Profile

Text and photography
Iris van den Broek

The Nieuwe Binnenweg is booming. As a local I already knew this, but now visitors to Rotterdam are catching on to this secret fast. Of course you must visit the city’s top attractions such as the bustling Markthal, the iconic Erasmus bridge and the classy Hotel New York. But for a slightly different take on Rotterdam, make sure you head west.

This almost two kilometre long shopping street runs from the Eendrachtsplein in the city centre (you know you are in the right place when you see the giant statue of a gnome) all the way to the Lage Erfbrug in historic Delfshaven. One long string of outdoor patios, shops and restaurants where I love to spend my weekend.

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Nieuwe Binnenweg Nr 86

Demonfuzz

Stacks of vinyl

With a collection that boasts more than 160,000 titles, Demonfuzz is deservedly known as the LP store in Rotterdam. From jazz to pop to that rare recording of Elvis Presley: if you have something special on your list, chances are you will find it here. Demonfuzz sells only a small collection of new vinyl, the rest is all vintage. And isn’t that what makes vinyl shopping so much fun?

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Yummy treats!

For the perfect stack of fluffy American pancakes and a great cuppa coffee in a ‘Friends’-like setting, visit Lilith.

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    Nieuwe Binnenweg Nr 136

    Grand Café Wester Paviljoen

    The best patio in Rotterdam

    Every Rotterdammer from the west side knows the Wester Paviljoen, or WP for short. This grand café is a true landmark. In winter, it transforms into the city’s living room, whereas in summer it features the best outdoor patio in Rotterdam. I regularly indulge in a few hours of lazy patio lounging with friends. The sun-drenched location guarantees top exposure to those sought-after rays. The kitchen serves a great variety of food ranging from delicious pastries from Koekela (also located on the Binnenweg) to original Rotterdam bitterballen and delicious meal specials any time of day.

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    Nieuwe Binnenweg Nr 165

    Voorlopig

    Eccentric department store

    When I need to buy an original gift, Voorlopig is my favourite go-to destination. Store owner Adriana took over the business a year ago and created one of the most fun destinations on the Nieuwe Binnenweg: “I bring small entrepreneurs together and give them a section of the store” she explains. Everything in the store is handmade. Half of the collection consists of items displayed by the entrepreneurs, the other half is handpicked by Adriana herself. Her main selection criteria? “I am always looking for something unique that you can’t find on every corner.” You can also stop by Voorlopig for a cup of coffee. Grab one of the tables outside. And a brand new terrace is opening soon in the back garden.

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    Nieuwe Binnenweg Nr 174

    Coffeelicious

    Red velvet hot chocolate deluxe

    Red velvet hot chocolate deluxe with marshmallows: you can’t go wrong with an item like that on the menu. I love Coffeelicious! The pies are all scrumptiously homemade, the tea is made with mineral water and the coffee selection is enormous. But I enjoy the furnishings of Coffeelicious almost as much as its menu. Whimsical Alice in Wonderland figures on the wall, trendy old-fashioned (yes, everything old is new again) flowery wallpaper and a classic chandelier evoke the ambiance of a British tea room with a modern twist.

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    Don’t forget…

    Grab a sandwich at Grillig at Nr. 188. All of the meat (and fish) is freshly roasted on the charcoal grill. My recommendation? The Garly Merguez with delicious Moroccan spiced meat or the Guaco Chicken with chicken and guacamole.

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    Nieuwe Binnenweg Nr 195 B

    Stek

    Green vibes in the city

    This is one of those stores that evokes instant happiness. At least for me it does. Stek is a delightful green urban gardening store, perfect for the urban gardener. Seven green-thumbed professionals with outstanding knowledge of plants run the store. In addition to working a day or two in the store, the staff all has their own landscaping or gardening projects and practice what they preach. Indoor plants, outdoor plants, beautiful planters and great accessories: Stek has it all. Tucked behind the store is a lovely city garden with even more lovely plants for you to take home and nurture.

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    Nieuwe Binnenweg Nr 206 B

    Ruby Lee & The Vintage Factory

    Quality vintage

    What I like best about the Nieuwe Binnenweg is that there are no chain stores. Only fun and original boutiques like Ruby Lee & The Vintage Factory. Store owner Maurien has a fashion background and opened her store in 2013: “I strongly believe that fashion must be sustainable,” she explains. Giving clothes a second chance is a great strategy, but without losing sight of quality of course. At Ruby Lee & The Vintage Factory you will only find select high-end brand clothing in mint condition.

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    Sure thing…

    Grab a drink at local newcomer: Café Steijn on the leafy Heemraadssingel. The building’s beautiful gable alone is worth a visit.

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    Historic Delfshaven

    Medieval gables

    I admit: the stretch of the Binnenweg between Heemraadsplein and Lage Erfbrug doesn’t have quite the same charm as the first part, but don’t let that discourage you from continuing. Once you cross the bridge you will be rewarded with medieval gables, windmills and historic ships. You have arrived in historic Delfshaven, the oldest part of the city. This is the only spot where Rotterdam removes its rugged, edgy exterior and reminds us of cities such as Delft, Gouda and Amsterdam. At the end of the day, have a beer at Stadsbrouwerij De Pelgrim.

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