Rotterdam actually started out as a dam constructed on the Rotte River in 1270, and is now the second biggest city in the Netherlands, and one of the biggest shipping ports in the world. Nicknamed the Gateway to Europe, it achieves this name being strategically located on the North Sea at the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta. But it is also its interconnectivity with major road, air, rail and inland waterways that gives it this prestigious title.
The population of the city is around 619,000, whilst the greater metropolitan area which is called Rotterdam-Rijnmond, or Rijnmond by the locals, is home to over 1.3 million people. The city is also well known for the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Rotterdam is well known for its shopping venues, some of the ideal locations to indulge in some retail therapy include the Lijnbaan, the Hoogstraat, the Coolsingel the Weena, the Beurstraverse or the Koopgoot as the locals like to call it, the Zuidplein and the Alexandrium.
Rotterdam also prides itself on its sports people. They often refer to themselves as Sportstad, which means City of Sports. They also proudly host a number of world renowned sporting events such as the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, Monaco aan de Maas, the Rotterdam Marathon, the World Port Tournament and the Rotterdam World Tennis Tournament.
Other sports which Rotterdam prides itself on include Football, Marathon, Tennis, Rowing, Field Hockey, Baseball, Boxing, Swimming and Motor Cycle Racing.
Being rich in culture and heritage there are a number of museums that are well worth the visit which include the Kunsthal, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Maritime Museum Rotterdam, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, the Wereldmuseum, and the Netherlands Architecture Institute. There is also The Historisch Museum which is a great two for one deal as it has two buildings the Schielandshuis and the Dubbelde Palmboom.
Some of the iconic landmarks of the city include the Auromast, De Doelen, Erasmusburg, the Witte Huis, the Cube House, the SS Rotterdam, Kunsthal, Diergaarde Blijdorp, the Oceanarium, Schie, the Grote of Sint Laurenskerk, the Van Nelle Factory, the Gebouw Delftse Poort, the Pilgrim Fathers Church, and the Mevlana Mosque.