PP WALKS: ROTTERDAM (1)
Petite Passport Walks is a new series of walks that combine the city’s highlights with my favorite spots to enjoy the city, support the local entrepreneurs and taste the best coffee, chocolate chip cookie or take-away pizza on your way.
Theme: River Maas, architecture and shopping
Distance: 7 kilometer
1. Starting point is the Kraneschipbrug, a slightly hidden walking bridge next to the Maritime Museum with a view over Leuvehaven. You can arrive here by watertaxi, but metro station Beurs is also nearby.
Harvest Coffee Brewers
2. Cross the bridge, walk past the red ship called Vessel 11 and turn right where you will cross the Regentessebrug that turns into Glashaven. There you will find Harvest Coffee Brewers, the perfect place to order a coffee. I’d especially recommend the white chocolate cookie.
Boompjes aan de Maas
3. Continue your way to the river Maas. You will have a beautiful view over the river and the Erasmusbrug. On a beautiful day you can sit down and have your coffee here. The route continues to the left, but you can also make a little detour to your right (especially in Summer when everything is in full bloom, see openings picture). Landscape architect Piet Oudolf created the ‘Zij Hielden Koers Park’ near Leuvehoofd. There you’ll also find De Boeg, a war memorial for 3500 men who lost their life on merchant ships during World War II.
4. Follow your way along Boompjes towards the red bridge called de Willemsbrug. Take the first road on your left that goes up to fitness center My Life and don’t forget to look back as the view is beautiful from here. Take the crossing to the Andre van der Louwbrug. On your right you’ll Het Witte Huis, the first skyscraper of Europe. The building counts 11 floors and during the Rotterdamse Dakendagen (June 3 – 6, 2021) you can go up. Interesting fact: before the war they were afraid the building wasn’t strong enough, but it was one of the only buildings that survived the German bombing of Rotterdam in 1940.
5. If you walk towards Blaak you’ll notice de Markthal right away. Before you reach the traffic lights look to your left. You’ll see the words: ‘Alles van Waarde is Weerloos’ van Lucebert.
6. If you turn your head to your right you’ll see the Kubuswoningen, Cube Houses. Also known as het Blaakse Bos. Build between 1982 and 1983 by architect Piet Blom.
7. Cross the street and you’ll reach de Binnenrotte where you will immediately notice de Markthal. A design by MVRDV. The market hall with food items with a hefty price tag is a highlight for tourists and of course you can go in and see one of the largest art works of Europe, but if you want to be like a local you just visit it once and then continue doing your groceries on the actual market in front of it.
8. Follow your way to the Botersloot where you can get yourself a juice, ginger shot or smoothie at Sajoer. If you have kids, you can find the best children books of Rotterdam across the street at De Kleine Kapitein.
9. We take a right and follow de Nieuwemarkt, Vogelenzang and Bredestraat until you reach Het Industriegebouw. This icon of post-war architecture is not only the office of world-renowned architecture office MVRDV, but lots of great spots also call it their home. Order a delicious four-course menu at Heroine or a DIY-pizza at Old Scuola. By Jarmusch is open for take-away sandwiches and Fundamente brings together the best mid-century modern design.
10. We then follow the Goudsesingel until we reach De Groene Passage and Spirit and via a small street in between Sjenkels Atelier and Van Binnen you reach de Pannenkoekstraat. Stop at Objet Trouve, Bellerose or Ace & Tate. Take a left to the Meent where you will find stores such as Essentiel Antwerp, American Vintage, LoveStories and Scotch & Soda.
11. If you see Dudok (the first grand cafe of Rotterdam designed by architect Dudok dating back to 1952) on your left and Hay on your right take a right turn and follow Haagseveer. When you reach the square next to the police station with the striking roof turn around and look up. You’ll see Timmerhuis by Rem Koolhaas, also called ‘cloud of pixels’. In it you’ll find apartments, and on the other side Museum Rotterdam.
12. Follow your way along Haagseveer to Pompenburg. Cross the road and explore Luchtsingel. The idea of the bright yellow Luchtsingel is to connect Rotterdam-Noord with the center of the city. In the future they will open a park on top of de Hofbogen and it will turn into the Rotterdam version of The High Line. We will explore more during our Rotterdam-Noord walk. Now you can see the street art and the view over the city. Op Het Dak is a rooftop restaurant with a big fruit- and vegetable garden.
13. The last bit of the tour takes you along the Coolsingel. You will see the police station from the other side, you will cross the Town Hall and directly next to it the former post office. In a few years this would turn into a boutique hotel and restaurants. De Bijenkorf is another architectural gem, designed by Marcel Breuer (dating back to 1957).
14. If you’re hungry, like to buy a book or some Rotterdam made jams? Stop by at Daily Donner, a deli inside book store Donner. Then we’re back to metro station Beurs!
Extra tip: don’t take this route too seriously. The best things are always reached if you use your intuition. So if you like to go left or right, just do it.
I hope you like this route! Share your pictures of your #ppwalks with me on Instagram. Love to see what caught your eye.
Warm wishes, Pauline