I’ve visited Rotterdam around 10 times, possibly more, over the years and have seen it be transformed from a rather grotty (sorry!) city to a thriving cosmopolitan city which rivals its big brother Amsterdam as the perfect place to head for a weekend break. With the recent announcement that Eurostar trains will soon be stopping at Rotterdam Central train station, it will make the trip from London super easy. We always jump on the overnight P&O ferry from our hometown Hull to Europoort in The Netherlands then it’s just a quick bus ride right into the centre of Rotterdam.Having visited so many times before, both with Mr ESLT and my girlfriends I could wax lyrical about all the amazing things Rotterdam has to offer from the stunning views of the city from the top of the Euromastobservation tower, the innovative Cube Houses which, are as the name suggests houses in the shape of cubes and not forgetting the numerous shops which also make Rotterdam a great place to head if shopping if your thing. These are of course only a few things you can do in Rotterdam, it is jammed packed with museums, architecture and other attractions too.
Because the ferry crossing is always 2 for 1 between the months of October and March, I have only ever visited Rotterdam during the winter months. Luckily, the majority of the time the weather had always been fine and dry, that was until the last time I visited just before Christmas with a group of friends. If the weather had been dodgy before we had always simply headed to Tropicana, an indoor water park which was ace but unfortunately was closed down to cleanliness issues (eeek). This time we were greeted by a Baltic blizzard, the worst weather I had ever experienced in Rotterdam and we didn’t really have a clue what to do. It was far too cold and far too wet to spend the day trekking the streets.
So, after seeking shelter in a small shopping centre near the central train station we shook the snow off, grabbed a cuppa and asked our favourite friend Google what we should do. And that’s when we found it – Rotterdam’s Market Hall. My new favourite place in Rotterdam. We braved the elements and headed to the market hall, located almost opposite the Cube Houses which took around 30 minutes as we fought against the massive snowflakes whacking us in the face and landing in our eyes.
Having seen the Cube Houses at least half a dozen times before we walked past them in favour of the warmth and shelter that the market hall offered. The first things to hit me were the mixture of amazing smells and the sight of the magnificent ceiling – it is worth visiting just to see it, even if food is not your thing.
I would recommend visiting when you are hungry as the amount and variety of food on offer is immense. Basically, anything and everything you can think of you will find here. Also, many of the stalls offer tasters and freebies, therefore if you are on a budget why not do a couple of laps of the market hall picking them up as you go and you will not have to spend a penny (cheeky, right?)! But in reality, if you are anything like me you will want to buy some of the amazing stuff on offer, maybe too much of it.
From full sit down meals to snacks on the go and everything from local favourites stroopwafels and cheeses to jams, spices, meats, chocolates and so much more, the Rotterdam Market Hall is a foodies’ heaven and somewhere you really must swing by for a couple of hours when visiting Rotterdam. My personal recommendation is a cone of fries topped with lashing of ketchup (it really should be mayo, but I don’t like mayo) they were delicious and even a small cone was more than enough. The stall is in the middle of the market hall and cannot be missed.
It is the perfect place to grab yourself something to eat or maybe even pick up a foodie souvenir or two for friends and family back home. Here are a few snaps to whet your appetite……