See a different side of Rotterdam Centrum and its sights on a running tour of the striking city that I’m proud to call home. You’ll hear how Rotterdam developedalong the Rotte, a far smaller river than the Nieuwe Maas, which is often mistaken as its historical heart. Starting and ending at the Marathonbeeld (the Marathon Statue), you’ll travel over many of the city’s iconic bridges including the Swan, Queens Bridge, and Willemsbrug, once a World War II frontline. Along the way, I’ll show you the Rotterdam building complex, a city within a city, and Koningshaven Bridge (or, ‘The Hef’) which was part of the railway line that the Germans used to transport people to concentration camps during the war.
You’ll pass Loods 24 and its World War II memorial, the Cube Houses, and Noordereiland, known locally as Montmartre on the Maas because of all the artists working in the area. You’ll also wind your way around City Hall, the Post Office, and the Maritime Museum. While you run, I’ll tell you about the many nicknames Rotterdammers have for things, including an artwork that’s known as the Laundry Line, and a shopping street affectionately called the Shopping Gutter.
Other highlights on this tour include:
• Spotting City Hall’s World War II bullet holes
• Seeing Schielandshuis, the hotel Napoleon once stayed in
• Taking in the oldest port in the city
• Hearing about the only medieval and 17th century building left in the city center, Laurenschurch
• Learning why May 14, 1940 is such an important date in Rotterdam’s history
• Finding out where to get the best apple pie
• Discovering the origins of the ‘hooker bridge’
• Understanding who Mr Pincoffs was and how he aided the city’s development
This tour is about 5,5 kilometers and can be done at your own pace. It includes several stops where you can catch your breath, take pictures, enjoy the view, and soak up all that this city has to offer. Give yourself between 45 minutes to an hour to complete the tour. By the end, we hope that you’ll have fallen in love with the city like we have, and maybe you’ll even be tempted to run the Rotterdam Marathon!