Without a doubt, one of Rotterdam’s gems is the Leuvehoofd park. Here, Piet Oudolf’s mastery in garden design truly shines. Every moment spent gazing at the Erasmus Bridge from this spot is stunning. The clever placement of benches invites you to sit back and savour the unique atmosphere of what I (firmly) believe is the only ‘real’ city in the Netherlands. This is why Rotterdam is fondly called ‘Manhattan aan de Maas’.
As you look out over the Erasmus Bridge and the Maas River from Leuvehoofd, the grandeur is palpable. The charming gardens, brimming with ornamental grasses and blooming perennials, provide a delightful contrast to the severe architecture of the towering concrete high-rises nearby. Adding to the historical significance of the place is the Boeg monument, which towers over the park, dedicated to the Dutch merchant navy victims of 1939-1945.
There’s an undeniable charm to this area. It’s where the careful planning of a renowned garden designer meets the spontaneous rhythms of urban life. Whether it’s the way the light dances on the bridge’s cables or the serene environment amidst the city’s hustle. This spot, more than any other, captures the essence of Rotterdam in my opinion!