Enjoy bustling Rotterdam and check out the quirky Dutch port's best spots | The Sun

WHEN deciding on a European city break, Rotterdam is unlikely to be the first place that springs to mind.

But the bustling Dutch port city is a revelation, boasting eccentric architecture, breathtaking rooftop views and innovative cuisine. Here, we bring you the best of Rotterdam.

WHY SHOULD I GO?

FOR starters, it’s an easy train ride away. Eurostar runs three services a day, taking just three hours 13 mins to get from London into the heart of the city. And if you book early enough you can bag the low fares, which start from £39.

Plus, this lively city is fun and vibrant with a truly welcoming atmosphere — it seemed as if every shop, cafe and bar we walked into was delighted we’d chosen to visit.

ARE THESE STREETS MADE FOR WALKING?

ABSOLUTELY. But the streets aren’t the only way to see the city. Rotterdam has more flat rooftops than any other city in Holland, and restaurants and bars are making best use of all that space.

You’ll be able to capture the best views of the city from these heights, so make sure you book on to a guided Rotterdam Rooftop Tour.

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They’re available to book all year round and will take you on a tour of four city-centre rooftops with some great photo opportunities. Tickets are €32 (£27.50) when booked in advance on insiderotterdam.com.

ANYTHING UNUSUAL?

UNUSUAL is definitely the word that springs to mind for much of the architecture here, with cube-shaped houses and pencil skyscrapers dominating the skyline.

The most fascinating is Market Hall, a massive, arched, tube-like building in the historic Laurenskwartier. The structure, built in 2014, is a food and shopping hub with a central market hall that serves up everything from cheeses to fresh fish.

WHERE SHOULD I EAT?

ON the rooftop of Depot, a glistening, mirrored, bowl-shaped art museum (entry €20 or £17), you will find glam restaurant Renilde, which has breathtaking views over Rotterdam.

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Chef Jim de Jong’s menu is a carte blanche dinner, where you leave the choice of food, paired with a wine, down to the chef. All that guests need to decide is whether they want four, five or six courses.

The priciest menu will set you back €134 (£115) but it’s nothing short of exceptional and includes aperitif, a six-course dinner, six glasses of wine and coffee.

FEELING THIRSTY?

BIRD landed in 2011 and has cemented itself as a key player in the Dutch jazz scene. This club and restaurant is the perfect place to unwind with a menu overflowing with cocktails, wines and beers — plus a special Jack Daniel’s section with some classic mixers.

In the summer months, they open a pop-up bar across the street on a lawn area with deck chairs and loungers so you can soak up the sun, but if you’re visiting in the evening, make sure you take a pew inside for one of the open-mic performances.

WHERE SHOULD I STAY?

QUIRKY Hotel Not Hotel is a brief walk from Rotterdam’s Centraal train station and, like its sister hotel in Amsterdam, was created by several Dutch artists.

Each room is integrated within art pieces, such as Secret Bookcase and Candy House. When booking you can choose which piece of artwork you want to stay in — and it’s worth shelling out a few extra euros for one of the larger rooms with a plush bath.

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Although minimalist and lacking in certain hotel comforts we’ve come to expect, such as TVs and a free assortment of teas, it makes up for it with sheer style and artistic flair.

In the morning, head down to the spacious Mexican-themed bar and lounge for breakfast, which also caters for guests in the evening, serving tacos and cocktails.

GO: ROTTERDAM

GETTING THERE: The Eurostar runs from London St Pancras to Rotterdam four times daily with seats from £39 each way. See eurostar.com.

STAYING THERE: Hotel Not Hotel has doubles from €120 (£103) per night. See hotelnothotel.com.

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