Two weeks ago, I had an extra long weekend and I was in need of a little holiday. I had been searching online for a quick trip somewhere like Lisbon or Budapest with the boyfriend but the prices were ridiculously high. Eventually we ended up not booking anything. Instead, we decided to go for a micro city trip (is that a thing?) and drove to Rotterdam, which is just a few hours from where I live.
TIP: So before we jumped in the car, I did some research online about the city and what to see. First of all: where to park your car. I’m all for using public transport but the prices for a train ticket to the city were about four times more expensive per person than if you were to drive yourself. I searched for parking and found that, unless you already have an OV-chipcard, you’re better off parking at the Markthal parking in the middle of Rotterdam instead of the P+R parkings on the edge of the city. You pay €15 for 24h but (!) be sure to book your parking spot the day before.
Kind of a big ‘art’deal: Kunsthal
A little art never hurt anybody. I make it a thing to visit at least one museum or art expo when I visit a foreign city. Kunsthal in Rotterdam has this amazing exhibition called ‘Hyperrealism Sculpture’. It follows the 2017 exhibition ‘Hyperrealism. 50 years of painting’.
“This exhibition will show a unique selection of three-dimensional works by all important hyperrealist sculptors of the past 50 years.From the early American pioneers, including George Segal, Duane Hanson and John DeAndrea, to the rise of the international movement, represented by Juan Muñoz (Spain), Maurizio Cattelan (Italy), Berlinde de Bruyckere (Belgium) and Ron Mueck, Sam Jinks and Patricia Piccinini (Australia).”
When walking through the exhibition, I realized that the more realistic the sculptures were, the more freaked out I was. Especially when a sculpture looked exactly like a breathing human being, but then has an alteration such as a grown man’s arm on the body of a little girl. Just go visit the expo: it’s worth the €14.
The pictures below show how accurate and detailed the sculptures were/are. The newborn below still has traces of blood on her and is still attached to the umbilical cord. The woman in her bathing suit clearly has drops of water on her – and no, she was not sprinkled on every 10 minutes by a curator -.
Another landmark in Rotterdam are the yellow cube houses. You can visit one of the houses, the other ones are actually inhabited. Try setting up an Ikea closet in those houses…
Rotterdam is filled with cosy places to eat! For lunch, we walked past a bagel place called Bagel bakery. They serve bagels – of course – with different toppings ánd also have a couple of veggie bagels. We both ordered the chicken avocado bagel (best combo ever) but (!) make sure to order their fries with garlic mayonnaise as well. You can thank me later.
Rotterdam is also know for ‘Markthal’: a great food hall where you can find dozens of international food bars. Most of them also have a ‘second floor ‘ where you can sit with a view on the Markthal itself. Pretty amazing and so cosy! Although it might seem expensive, we found a very good pasta carbonara at an Italian food bar for just €9.
Hey, big spender
To end our little city trip, we also did some shopping. We headed to Bijenkorf, a large shopping mall in The Netherlands that also has a location in Maastricht, Eindhoven and Amsterdam. I still have to say that my preference goes to the Amsterdam Bijenkorf, just because of the range of brands they sell. Don’t expect a Louis Vuitton or Prada shop in this Rotterdam Bijenkorf. But on the other hand, they do have the latest new collections in store! So I got myself the new Tommy Hilfiger bralette (which you can spot on my Instagram!)
Next up: Hudson Bay. I love the wide range of make-up brands ánd they have quite the shoe collection in store as well. Unfortunately we didn’t really have the time to look up little boutiques or vintage shops, but it was our first time in the city ánd we just enjoyed ourselves!
Have a good one!
P.S. You can find me on the mapstr app as well: @karoelisabeth.