Rotterdam was the country's industrial heart and major port when it was devastated by bombing in May 1940, but it rose from the ashes with new and bold architecture, symbolizing the country's recovery after World War II. Europe's earlier version of Dubai, this is a must-visit destination for modern architecture fans to see how the Dutch experimented and tested their designs. Do budget more than a day to properly see the sights by foot.
Rotterdam remains a massive port city today, stretching across 9 areas all the way to the North Sea.
This is a journey from Centraal station through Centrum towards Oude Haven, the old port.
Station Blaak's flying saucer design marks the entrance to the train station beneath.
Located in the historic port, Kubuswoningen was designed by Piet Blom as a cube concept that challenged conventional norms. He believed that housing needs to be recognizable as such and his creation showcased progressiveness and innovation as part of the city's reconstruction. The city didn't want bland architecture here. Each elevated cube represented a tree and the entire complex was a forest, allowing plenty of public space below.
A showcase home is available to visitors to see how life without a straight wall is like. I thought fitting furniture into a lot of wasted angled space was particularly difficult.
Witte Huis survived World War II and stands proud at 45m today.
I continued along the waterfront in the Maritime District to spot skyscrapers on both sides of the Maas.
Willemswerf was completed in 1989 with a very noticeable slant amidst its white facade.
At 165m and the country's tallest, Maastoren is Deloitte's headquarters in the country and was completed in 2009.
The Erasmusbrug, nicknamed "the swan", spans 802m across the Maas river and was completed in 1996. I recommend walking across it to enjoy the lovely views on both sides.