Rotterdam. Another one of those city underdogs, that aren’t on everyone’s radar but became very dear to me. “Nina, you have to go to Rotterdam, you will love it!” preached Kash and he didn’t need to convince me for long. The dutch harbor town crossed my sight a couple of times already, either on blogs, Instagram or from friend’s stories. There was something very appealing to me – if at all for my secret weakness for harbor towns (Hamburg? Liverpool? Göteborg? Yes, please!), with Rotterdam eventually being the worlds third largest one. And I have to say, Kash was right. The city and me are like chalk and cheese. And not only, because you can get Bitterballen almost anywhere or there is free wifi in trams… mostly, I loved Rotterdam because of it is vibrant creative scene and being the multicultural city it is.
Rotterdam’s creativeness shows everywhere around the city, within the architecture, the urban art, galleries and sculptures in public spaces all over the place. I’m a sucker for “ugly-pretty” architecture, that most people wouldn’t even consider great. For me those buildings are super appealing due to strange lines, colors and reflections.
The best time to visit Rotterdam is probably during one of the many festivals, such as North Sea Jazz, the International Film Festival or Rotterdam Unlimited. For my visit I chose the “Kunst in het Witte de Withkwartier”, Rotterdams very own contemporary art festival in the famous Witte de Withstraat and the surrounding neighborhood. Already an institution within locals, the festival is a collaboration of galleries, art schools, museums, collectives and bars. I spent a weekend exploring the urban installations and exhibitions, watching performances and parades, which felt just like a huge art playground in public space. My personal highlights included a walking tour in the neighborhood explaining all the exhibits, an outsider art pop up gallery at Museumspark and the plain fact the played Nena at the open air opening party.
Rotterdam, you had me at hello. Tot ziens!
For more great things about Rotterdam, check out Nina’s blog.
Words and Stories at Gibraltar Literary Festival