Windmills and tulips are thin on & # 39; e ground in Rotterdam, one of & # 39; Europe's most unsustainable progressive cities.
A large part of the center, destroyed during World War II, has a retro-futuristic look with striking Sixties architecture.
Now Eurostar offers direct trains from London St Pancras – a trip of almost three hours – it's high time to make the trip.
Discover: The map above shows some of Rotterdam's main tourist attractions
MUST BE SUPPOSED
This is unusual accommodation, and then there is the hotly-named H2otel, actually five lash barges, once owned by the US Army and towed to the Port of Wine Port of 39; e Mississippi River.
The 49 on-board rooms are individually designed by local artists and the hotel's five bright orange, round 'lounge boats' go for 90-minute picnic cruises along the river each day. B&B doubles from £ 51 (h2otel.nl).
Far away: A water taxi is the fastest and easiest way to get downtown
Formerly a station, Stroom draws all boxes for Dutch post-industrial chic. It's a little outside the center (a five-minute water taxi is the fastest and most fun way to travel downtown), and the spacious split-level rooms are in bright colors. D & # 39; s a friendly deli del. B&B doubles from £ 85 (streamrotterdam.nl).
Chamber member Bruno
Subtle? Demure? Look elsewhere. . . Bruno is an upset of primary colors in the lobby and rooms. There is also a full blue patio area and a selection of astrological signs on the walls in public areas.
Enjoy a long lay-out: breakfast is served until noon. B&B doubles from £ 84 (roomhotels.com).
This is a game changer. This is not a restaurant, but a nightly 24-hour self-service & # 39; food market & # 39; where you can pick up everything from beer to bagels and boiled eggs; a wi-fi service can make your requests. There are electric scooters for rent and rooms are minimalist-chic. Double from £ 52 (thejames.nl).
WERE TO EAT
Except if you do not want a particularly long trip to the depths of South America, Rotterdam offers your best chance to visit the Suriname cuisine, which was not a Dutch colony until the Seventies.
A-Kong sells the fine cuisine in Rotterdam for 40 years. If it's your first time, try an incredible breadcrumb. This is a sandwich full of spicy pork and chicken, for just £ 2.55. No website, 138 Oude Binnenweg
Fenix Food Factory
Hungry? Fenix Food Factory is a funky, hugely popular food brand – get the Korean tacos
This big old warehouse building at the docks is now a funky, hugely popular food brand that's low on price and high on cool.
Try wood-burning Korean tacos (£ 4.30) from Cape Kitchen, as the selection plates of five different Dutch cheeses (£ 4.30) from Booij cheesemakers, and cheesecake brownies (£ 2: 15) from Jordy's Bakery (fenixfoodfactory). com).
Formerly the home of a Dutch newspaper, the presses have been replaced with lunches, such as enormous pokeballs (a Hawaiian dish that is actually a deconstructed sushi salad) and sandwiches.
Try the tuna (£ 12.30): tuna with white rice, avocado, cucumber, edamame, red cabbage and wasabi mayo. There is a small club at the bottom that plays funk, soul and R&B (nieuwrotterdamscafe.nl).
In this light and airy cafe, filled with wicker chandeliers and fashionably weathered wooden tables, prepare and serve people with learning disabilities a surprising variety of dishes, including a knock-out bobotie for £ 6.40. It is a Dutch African classic that is similar to cottage pie but with curry paste and sultanas (frobel.online).
The Rotterdam Welcome Card is a steal at £ 10.30 for one day and £ 15.50 for two days. With it comes discounts of between 25-50 per cent at more than 50 different museums, restaurants and attractions (en.rotterdam.info).
Go by train
Eurostar returns from London St Pancras to Rotterdam from £ 103 (eurostar.com); excursions are direct, but the return is via Brussels. More information: holland.com.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO
& # 39; Much of the scene, destroyed in & # 39; e World War II, has a retro-futuristic look with striking Sixties architecture & # 39 ;, writes Rob Crossan. Pictured above are the icy Cube houses
The arch-modernist Cube Houses, built to resemble trees in a forest, resemble a Hunter S. Thompson-meets-Lewis Carroll dream image of yellow houses tilted at 45 degree angles. It is free to wander under these extraordinary buildings, and if you want to stay in one there is a bunk bed hostel. B&B from £ 69.50 (stayokay.com).
Take a bike ride
One Dutch tradition that has fully embraced Rotterdam is cycling. Bike and Bite is a great way to see the city, and taste it in one four-hour tour (£ 50 pp). Guides will follow you until you burst with delicacies, ranging from cheese and port on the FoodHallen brand to delicious banana bread and coffee at the allotment and café on the roof, Op Het Dak (bikeandbite.nl).
See the street art
Download the free Rewriters app for an audio guide to the best street art in the city, which psychedelia owns by Ramon Martins and a great & # 39; Rotterdam 2115 & # 39; mural depicting a future city reclaimed by nature (rewriters010.nl).
Modernism at its best
Rotterdam was still thinking ahead of its reconstruction after the war. Sonneveld House (entrance £ 12) is a leading example of the Thirties New Building School of Modernism. Acres of tiles, turntables and enormous balconies are a Thirties domestic vision of the future (sonneveldhouse.com).
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