7km walk through the center of Rotterdam
8 April 2021
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: Rotterdam Kop van Zuid + Katendrecht
Distance: nearly 7 kilometers
1.Let’s start our walk at metrostation Wilhelminaplein and walk to the river Maas on the Holland-Amerika kade with a beautiful view over the Erasmusbrug. The bridge is designed by UNStudio, the architectural office of Ben van Berkel. The bridge was named after Desiderius Erasmus, but Rotterdam gave it its nickname ‘the Swan’.
2.Once the Kop van Zuid was used as a port for cruise ships to the United States, as well as a busy VOC-harbor. The Sumatra warehouse reminds us of that time (nowadays it’s home to hotel Room Mate Bruno and the Foodhallen). You can get a drink or something small to eat at the Foodhallen and in Summer Dudok opens its Summer pavilion again at the Cruise Terminal. The building in the back is called New Orleans. This used to be the tallest apartment building of The Netherlands, but De Zalmhaven on the other side of the river is taking over its position.
3.As Rotterdam is known as a playground for architects you’ll notice many interesting buildings. De Rotterdam by OMA of Rem Koolhaas is one of the popular highlights of the city. The building consists of three towers, East Tower (Hotel Nhow), Mid Tower (Gemeente Rotterdam) and West Tower (apartments). The building has 44 floors and because of the width it’s one of the biggest buildings in The Netherlands.
4.When I grew up there wasn’t a bridge crossing the river yet and the only building that caught your attention was Hotel New York. Nowadays the former head quarters of the Holland Amerika Lijn is surrounded by high rise buildings. The hotel opened in 1993 and is a true icon for the city. KLM even turned it into a Dutch Delfts Blue miniature version for their Business Class passengers in 2016. You have a panoramic view from the bench in front of Hotel New York so this is a good place for a glass of wine.
5.Katendrecht is the neighboring harbor next to de Kop van Zuid. It used to be the red light district which attracted many sailors. The Rijnhavenbrug below has many nicknames, but one of them is De Hoerenloper. Nowadays Katendrecht has transformed into an interesting neighborhood. There’s a new apartment block called Fenix I with a striking view of de Kop van Zuid, you’ll notice many kids-friendly houses (our Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports even lives here) and there are still a few of the original inhabitants of De Kaap (nickname of Katendrecht).
6.Underneath the Fenix I lofts you’ll find the Fenix Food Factory, an organic supermarket where local food makers sell their products. Worth stopping by to get something delicious to take home with you. Or order a coffee to go and drink it outside with a beautiful view of de Kop van Zuid.
7.Katendrecht is a culinary part of the city. As lots of different cultures came together on De Kaap they brought in a diverse range of flavors. Pictured is De Matroos en het Meisje, a Rotterdam version of table d’hote. On Deliplein you’ll find more restaurants and delis such as Deli Bird (Thai) or Bistrot du Bac (French) and Vislokaal Kaap (fish).
8.Walk towards Kaappark, a park on Katendrecht facing these newly built houses.
9.Follow the road to De Rotterdam, a ship that used to sail from Rotterdam to New York and back among other journeys. Since 2010 the ship is open to visit and in the last couple of years design fair Object Rotterdam used the ship as a location multiple times. There’s a swimming pool on deck with an impressive view of the city. You can go there for a drink.
10.Walk back to the beginning of the route by following your intuition. From Buizenpark you’ll have a good view over the city and the river too. And the walking route along the Rijnhaven with a view of Katendrecht is also worth checking out.
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. Plus also let me know if you find other fun/interesting facts to share! Love to see/hear what caught your eye.
Warm wishes, Pauline
Wilhelminakade 951, 3072 AP Rotterdam, Netherlands