Rotterdam is hot and the world knows

In Februari I visited Rio de Janeiro to join the annual carnival. It is no doubt the biggest party on the planet. While I looked up the heavenly Brazilian city, I accidentally discovered some interesting facts about my hometown. Rotterdam is hot and the world knows it.

In 2014 The Rough Guide awarded Rio the number one position on their list of the Top 10 Cities in the world. An excellent choice and one of the reasons I prefer their travel guides rather than the ones from the folk like their planet a bit lonelier. Rotterdam occupies the number eight spot on that same list. The Rough Guide praises the city’s modern architecture – its center was flattened by a Germans air raid at the beginning of World War Two. Have a look at the clip below, an impression of the city in under four minutes. The soundtrack is Sinnerman, I know it is gospel, sung by Nina Simone. It is also one of my all-time favourite tracks, both the original and the Felix da House Cat remix.

Rotterdam, Kop van Zuid  | Afbeelding: Martin Stacho/The Rough Guide
Rotterdam, Kop van Zuid  (Afbeelding: Martin Stacho/The Rough Guide)

The New York Times agrees with the Rough guide and gave Rotterdam the number ten spot in their “52 Places to Go in 2014.” And no, Rio is not on that list because The New York Times awarded it the top spot in 2013, because in 2014 the whole world will be in Rio.

Last year The Guardian voted the Rotterdam Markthal the best food market in Europe, leaving behind prestigious competitors such as London and Berlin. “A sensory explosion” The Guardian said, one guaranteed to find a Christmas present for everyone. This March The Guardian also included the Dutch harbour city on its list of 10 best alternative city breaks in Europe.

The city’s succes story doesn’t end there. Last November Rotterdam was crowned the best city in Europe at the Urbanism Awards. The jury emphasized how:

“the City has a predominantly young, open, tolerant community that is embracing innovative architecture and urban design and new business models. Its strategy is to attract families and businesses to the central area with a variety of housing, excellent public transport and a lively public realm.”

A few years before, in 2009, The Lonely Planet voted De Witte Aap (The White Monkey) the world’s best pub, a surprising choice to be honest. I love my town but may I suggest the Rio Scenarium?

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