A Top 10 introduction to Rotterdam and its people

We want to extend a warm welcome to Rotterdam and accommodate you in experiencing our wonderful city. The Euromast offers a stunning view over the city, while our Euromast App and this list of 10 city characteristics are designed to give you all detailed insights as well!

1. A different type of city

As in many countries, the contrast between our capital and other influential cities is quite stark. Just think of London and Manchester, Berlin and Frankfurt, or Paris and Marseille. In our country too, Rotterdam has its own, very distinct character. Let’s discover it together!

2. A pivotal event

When the Netherlands were invaded in 1940 during WWII, Rotterdam was carpet bombed. Much of our city – its centre in particular – was obliterated. This turned Rotterdam into the Dutch city that arguably suffered most during the war. As most profound events do, the bombing left lasting effects on our city and its people. We spent decades rebuilding. Today, our impressive skyline is truly unique within the Dutch landscape.

3. Local attitude

A core characteristic of the ‘Rotterdammers’ is their exceptional work ethic, prompted by the reconstruction efforts and labour in the Port of Rotterdam. A popular local proverb translates as ´quit talking, get to work´ and locals tend to be direct, honest and not much concerned with being verbally correct. While this might seem a bit rough on the surface, they are warm and loyal people underneath. Someone who messes up will surely have to swallow a few smart comments, but will also rest assured that help is on its way. The people of Rotterdam stand together, especially in times of hardship.

4. A diverse city

Home to some 175 nationalities from all possible walks of life, Rotterdam is a highly diverse city. While one might expect this to lead to conflict, the opposite is generally true. Locals tend not to care about one’s ethnic origin, sexual orientation or other traits they cannot choose. Here, people are only judged by their actions. Everyone can be who they are or aspire to be, as long they work hard and are sincere.

5. Local nicknames

Another particular local trait is a self-deprecating, witty sense of humour, perhaps most notable in our nicknames for our landmarks. The ‘Beurstraverse’ underpass under the Coolsingel boulevard is a beautiful shopping promenade with a nearly € 50 million price tag. Locals call it the ‘Buying Gutter’. The Boijmans van Beuningen Museum Depot is a majestic piece of architecture, but has a reflective exterior and is therefore dubbed ‘the Fried Egg’. The € 223 million renovation of the museum itself significantly exceeded its budget, which quickly led to its nickname ‘The (bottomless) Pit’. The list goes on and on.

6. Economic powerhouse

The Port of Rotterdam was the world’s largest port for decades, and remains the largest port of Europe, by far. While this powerhouse for the Dutch economy employs over 350,000

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