I don’t have to think twice about my favourite place in Rotterdam, without a doubt it is the Wilhelminapier. I love it night and day, in any kind of weather. The buildings there are beautiful, with a stark contrast between ultra-modern high risers and old warehouses. On clear days (or nights) it’s wonderful to stand on the riverside and look out over the skyline of Rotterdam. From that spot you can see everything from the Euromast to the Erasmus Bridge, and it’s pretty spectacular.
There is plenty to do on the Wilhelminapier, yet at the same time it feels like the end of the world. There is a certain melancholia about the place, perhaps because it is from here that so many people sailed to seek their fortunes elsewhere. The tip Wilhelminapier is the symbol of the emigration to America in the 19th and 20th century and I like to stand there and wonder what it would have felt like to leave forever.
Wilhelminapier is the perfect place for a free day. Stroll over the pier, have a look in the photomuseum, quickly dip into Katendrecht, come back for a drink at Hotel New York and then watch a movie or jazzband at LantarenVenster. Life doesn’t get much better.