Late 2014 it was announced that Rotterdam is the European city of 2015. The city was judged on attractiveness, economy, sustainability, welfare and accessibility. Rotterdam takes over the title from Marseille who won in 2014. Ronald Schneider, city counsellor of Rotterdam received the award. ‘Winning this award confirms that Rotterdam is at the beginning of a new time period’ said Schneider.
Speaking about Rotterdam victory, chairman of the Academy Steven Bee said: ‘The City has a predominantly young, open, tolerant community that is embracing innovative architecture, urban design and new business models. Its strategy is to attract families and businesses to the central area with a variety of housing, excellent public transport and a lively public realm.’
So why is Rotterdam such a popular destination? Here are my two cents:
Variety of venues and hotels
As the second biggest city of the Netherlands, Rotterdam attracts a lot of visitors. To accommodate all these people, the harbour city has a huge variety in venues and hotels. From small, formal settings up to spaces that can fit thousands of people.
Rotterdam has the biggest harbour of Europe. Being ‘the gateway to Europe’ doesn’t stop at its port. The local airport, Rotterdam The Hague airport, connects the city with over 40 destinations in Europe. The newly opened Rotterdam Central Station is designed with the future in mind, so it can handle three times the amount of travellers a day by 2025.
Rotterdam is known for its striking modern architecture. The award winning Market Hall, De Rotterdam designed by OMA the architecture firm of Rem Koolhaas, the photogenic Cube Houses, and one of the highest buildings in the Netherlands; Delft Gate Building.
There is always something going on in Rotterdam. Whether it’s the festival season or there is a brand new exhibition. Rotterdam is host for internationally important events like Art Rotterdam, Rotterdam Marathon, Port of Rotterdam North Sea Jazz Festival and VKV City Racing Rotterdam.
The Netherlands has ten UNESCO sites. One of them is located in Rotterdam. In 2014 the Van Nelle Fabriek was named UNESCO World Heritage Site. A worldwide acknowledgement of the unique and universal value of the former coffee, tea and tobacco factory that was constructed between 1925-1931.