From the very first moment I have been involved in this fantastic Rotterdam platform. A number of frontrunners already preceded me in sharing their favourite places in our city. Now it's high time to recommend my favourite spots for your visit to Rotterdam Centre!
Below I share a number of great places in Rotterdam Centre, and just beyond, where I like to go to shop, eat, or just relax.
Since I love books, the Donner should not be missed from this list. This store has been a household name in our city for more than a century. The building itself is worth a visit, because it is located in the old ABN AMRO building, a beautiful monumental building.
I can browse around the store for hours. In addition to their immense book collection, they also sell puzzles and games, beautiful notebooks and stationery, agendas and much more.
Do you already know this beautiful courtyard, with lots of greenery, right in the heart of the city centre?
What makes the Town Hall so special is that it is one of the few buildings in Rotterdam Centre that survived the bombing of the Second World War. Many visitors marvel at the historic architectural style of the building from the sidewalk. Not everyone knows that the Town Hall has a hidden courtyard, a place that is freely accessible during the opening hours of the Town Hall. And this hidden green spot is definitely worth a visit!
The City Hall Courtyard Garden is a real oasis in the middle of the city. Around spring and summer, this courtyard garden makes a big impression because of the beautiful flowers and green growth on the walls. But it is also a particularly beautiful place in autumn, when the leaves turn red and orange.
This lovely shop is located on the corner of Eendrachtsweg, just outside the centre. If I'm looking for a unique vintage item, I know this is the place to be. Whether I need a beautiful dress, nice (sports) jacket or special accessories, they have it at Dearhunter. Their collection has clearly been very carefully curated.
Don't expect thrift store prices, because at Dearhunter the prices are slightly higher. But, they are items that you will enjoy for a long time. I call it an investment for your wardrobe!
This store is relatively new, and although I have only been there twice myself, I would like to recommend it to all vintage lovers. REJOES is not only located in a prime location, right in the centre, but it is also very large: it covers no less than 600 square metres.
The store is located on the corner of the Oude Binnenweg. Take the escalator up here and enter a true vintage paradise.
There are racks full of clothing, where you will undoubtedly find unique vintage gems. Think of dresses in various styles, party tops, casual sportswear, skirts and much more, priced between ten and thirty euros. There are also various bags, caps and other accessories throughout the store.
On the Westblaak you will find the Skatestore, where you can find well-known skate brands such as Huf, Polar, The Hundreds and Carhartt.
I'm not a skater myself, but my boyfriend is. I always enjoy shopping here with him for new hoodies, t-shirts and caps. By the way, these hoodies are super comfy, so whether you skate or not, I would recommend such a hoodie!
While you're here, pay a visit to Sevenply. When you enter the store and you walk to the left part and then all the way to the back of the store, there is a door to this mini-store. You may remember it from the Binnenwegplein next to the Mediamarkt. It's just a small shop, with skate brands like Fucking Awesome and Dime. They also have their own entrance at Schiedamse Vesthof 33.
A place that I really like is Studio Unfolded on the Nieuwe Binnenweg. It is a coffee shop, concept store, event location and creative agency in one. The owner is photographer Sophia van den Hoek, known from Instagram account @un_fold_ed.
Inside you will discover special handmade products, such as candles, vases and tableware. The best thing about this place is the garden, where you can enjoy their specialty coffee and delicious dishes in the sun.
For those looking for an excellent cup of coffee, Harvest Cafe & Bakery is the perfect place. I came here regularly when I still lived on the Boompjes. Since then they have expanded the business and also opened a bakery for their freshly baked sourdough bread.
This cosy hotspot is located in the Glashaven, which gives you a beautiful view of the harbour. Especially in the summer it is wonderful to sit outside.
The owners of Harvest Coffee Brewers have worked in the hospitality scene in Melbourne, Australia and that really shows in the menu and the overall atmosphere of the place. Here you can enjoy yourself in a relaxed and no-nonsense way.
Be sure to come here for the delicious breakfast, with classics such as the Eggs Benedict.
Ramen is one of my favourite (comfort) dishes, and my go-to place for it is Tensai Ramen. This Japanese restaurant is located just next to the Coolsingel. What makes it extra special is that the noodles are prepared on-site, rather than imported from Japan, which really improves the taste and texture.
You can also look straight into the kitchen from your seat, where you can see how the team is busy preparing your hot bowl of ramen. The menu offers all the classics, such as the Tan Tan Men for spicy lovers, or the creamy Tonkotsu ramen. There are also vegetarian options, which is nice for people like me who don't eat meat. And believe me, the vegetarian Tan Tan Men is also very tasty!
For years, Tensai ramen had a rather austere interior, where you mainly came for the food. Since the renovation in 2021, the atmosphere has really become a lot more pleasant. And the food is still just as delicious!
My favourite cuisine is Indian. Real comfort food, and also affordable.
At What's Up India they have a very extensive menu with all my favourite dishes. It's full of delicious starters like samosas and pakoras, and a plethora of Indian curries, kebabs and biryanis.
The restaurant is also very attractive due to its interior. It's very extravagant and over the top! A reservation is recommended for What's Up India, especially on weekends. It's always full.