• Unique architecture highlights trips to Rotterdam

    2013-04-22

    When most people think of visiting the Netherlands, their minds likely jump to images of Amsterdam. After all, there are few cities on Earth quite like it, so it's no wonder that it has been made the staple of any Europe travel that includes the Netherlands. While there's nothing wrong with making Amsterdam the centerpiece of your visit, you should not do so at the sacrifice of other cities, especially Rotterdam. The second largest city in the country, this bustling port has long been at one of the centers of activity in the Netherlands, and there are a few places you should check out during your visit.

    Experience the architecture
    Because it had to build back from the ground up after World War II, Rotterdam has some of the most compelling modern architecture in Europe. This is especially true when it comes to the city's famed cube houses. Designed by the legendary Dutch architect Piet Blom, these innovative homes are among some of the most unique structures in the world. Each cube - rotated 45 degrees - sits atop a pylon in an effort to maximize ground space. Would living in one be easy? That's tough to say, but it sure is a unique sight.

    Of course, the cube houses aren't the only tourist draw - the Euromast is also an icon of the city. Standing more than 600 feet tall, this observation deck offers some of the best views in the country, and it also features a restaurant at about 315 feet up so you can have lunch with a remarkable view.

    Plenty of natural appeal
    While the architecture of Rotterdam is a large draw, the port city also has some beautiful scenery. There are many beautiful views of the Meuse, but if you want an even better view of the natural appeal of what Rotterdam has to offer, you should head to the Arboretum Trompenburg. What started as a small garden has grown into a peaceful respite from the bustling city streets that's home to thousands of trees, bushes and flowers. Not only is it the perfect place to snap a few photos of the natural beauty of Rotterdam, but its relaxing atmosphere can help you unwind after a long day of walking the city streets.

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