Most visitors arrive to Rotterdam by train. And many of them walk out the station and don’t look back, which is a shame. Because in the past couple of years, Rotterdam has been working on a new train station, one that befits a city famed for its modern architecture.
I cycle past Centraal Station almost every day and I have witnessed all the phases of construction and experienced the accompanying traffic woes first hand. But it was totally worth it – the result is just stunning. This is what a train station in the 21st century should look like – spacious, bright, light, the pyramid-like structure is not even finished but already is an icon in the urban landscape of Rotterdam, and the competition here is stiff.
Rotterdammers are known for nick-naming their sights, and Centraal Station already is affectionately called “De Puntzak”, after the triangular paper bag in which Bram Ladage french fries are served. A selection of shops and cafe’s, including Dudok Patisserie, makes the waiting on a train much easier and even if you don’t have a bicycle, I recommend taking a few minutes to visit the new underground bicycle parking garage – it’s probably like nothing you’ve seen before. Welcome to Rotterdam.