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What Rotterdam lacks in historic sights (most of them were floored during WWII) it makes up for with world-renowned architecture projects like the revamped Central Station, the UNESCO-listed Van Nelle Fabriek and the Piet Blom-designed Cube Houses. One of the latest additions to this already impressive line-up is the Markthal, a horseshoe-shaped building in the Blaak district. This landmark project, designed by Dutch architecture firm MVRDV, houses food stands, restaurants and apartments, as well as an exhibition on archaeological treasures found around the building site. The somewhat touristy food court is great for a quick snack, but lunches or dinners are better taken elsewhere.
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Boijmans van Beuningen
Located in the heart of the museum quarter, the Boijmans van Beuningen is one of the Netherlands’ oldest museums. Its exhibitions, however, are often refreshingly contemporary. Works on display span more than a century and range from Bruegel’s The Tower of Babel to Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors. Thought-provoking installations like the “peanut-butter floor” by Dutch artist Wim T Schippers and the gigantic life-like turds by art collective Gelatin are also worth a look.
When temperatures rise and Holland’s dreary grey skies make way for some sun, there are few better places for some R and R than the Kralingse Plas, a recreational area just outside the city centre. Adjoining this huge man-made lake are running tracks, sports fields and a large forest, as well as two ubiquitously Dutch windmills that are still operational. Do as the locals do and bring some wine, baguettes and spreads (there’s a supermarket nearby to stock up) to set up an impromptu lakeside picnic, or snag a table at one of the many cafés along the water.
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