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Rotterdam, 2014-04-07

Going on a citytrip to the Netherlands might not sound mind-blowing, but this country of cheese and tulips does have a lot to offer. That’s why Eastpak invited to us on a tour through Rotterdam. We didn’t know much about this city and we didn’t know what to expect either. We jumped on a Thalys in Antwerp Central Station and 30 minutes later we arrived in Rotterdam. After a day of exploring and riding a Dutch bike through streets filled with establishments founded by young entrepreneurs, we were sure you would love Rotterdam as much as we did. It has a lot to offer and isn’t too big so perfect for a weekend getaway! Here are some of the tips our tour-guide, Tjeerd Hendriks,  showed us (and in the same order as seen the video about our day) :

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset Man Met Bril: Translated this means “man with spectacles” but don’t let the name fool you, this cheerful guy has his own roastry. He doens’t own his own coffee bar but some of the establishments serve his coffee. You can always have a look in his online shop!
Chocoholic : The owner is passionate about chocolate and has been preparing handmade treats since 2005. A must visit for all those who can’t resist that box of chocolates.
Hip Hop House: This spot is a haven for every Hip Hop lover who wants to reach their goals. Founders Bennie Semil, Lloyd Marengo and Aruna Vermeulen want to inspire young people to aspire more than just learning the basic Hip Hop moves. They assemble a team of mentors who have won a lot of competitions or have created a name for themselves in the industry. This way their students will want to reach the same goals. The founders didn’t want to get the kids of the streets but as they explained, this happens automatically.

Processed with VSCOcam with m6 preset De Luchtsingel: this bridge connects the North of Rotterdam with the more forgotten areas. It is 360 meters long and represent the economical growth of this city. It’s worth checking out. If you go there in the afternoon on a friday, you can catch a drink in the Biergarden of BAR
BAR: This establishment is Rotterdam’s first traveling bar. Created in 2011, its founders aim to bring livelihood to forgotten areas and to re-energize the city of Rotterdam’ s night- (and day) life. You can go there for a drink 6 days a week and BAR also organizes concerts, parties and all sorts of other imaginable events. Besides nightlife they also provide you with food. Meals range from american to Canadian and a bit of Dutch cuisine. Good food for a good price. Groos: Every design lover’s walhalla. A store filled with perfect gifts or items to make your house feel more like home. We loved this place so much, we decided to write a separate post about it, so have a look

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Picknick: We had lunch at this well-known place and during the founder told the story of this must try of Rotterdam. It is again one of those establishments that isn’t afraid of collaborations. They had an idea and they just started. This is very inspiring. Besides a good story, they also serve great food for a very good price. A perfect spot to have lunch!

Processed with VSCOcam with k2 preset Barrelproof: They call themselves ‘The world smallest cocktail boutique’. A store full of tasteful and unique spirits. During our visit we tasted “Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin – Dutch Courage and Indonesian Spice”.  This gin is a fragrant and complex gin, made with a combination of local and exotic botanicals. A balanced blend of juniper, rosehips, cloves, lemongrass and cubeb peppers amongst others, create this unique gin. They served it with tonic, a lot of ice cubes and a slice of orange with cloves.
NHOW Rotterdam: We ended our tour in one of the newest hotels in Rotterdam. Read more about our stay in this review.

These 9 tips are but a small selection of what this city has to offer. Their love for design and entrepreneurship has been good for their economical growth. It gives this city a similar vibe to large and vibrant cities such as Berlin. Don’t fear for your bankaccount because you can stay there on a budget. Next week we will post some more tips.

Photo 5-04-14 19 46 19 You might have noticed that we were wearing all the same bag in the video. Well the tour wasn’t just to explore this inspiring city, it was also a way to test their new collection for women. They used a light but water resistant fabric. The bags are spacious and perfect for those women who cary their entire life in their bags. (Yes, we are one of those as well.) Let us know what you think of their new collection!

For the music fans among our readers, in the video we used a track by Sevdaliza. She did an unplugged sessions for us before our tour started. We liked her voice so much, we asked her to use one of her songs in our video. This young artist from Rotterdam is a true inspiration. While she was studying at university she always had the feeling she wasn’t were she belonged. Her love for music grew stronger and after she graduated, she decided to take a risk and start a career in music. What do you think of the result? We really like her sound.

We hope you got the urge to visit Rotterdam. If this isn’t the case, we are sure you will book a ticket after reading our tips next week!

Have a great Monday!

Love,

Julie & Margot.