#Love4Cactus: Explore Rotterdam

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We are frequently ‘on the move’ lately. A month ago we took a road trip with the Citroën C4 Cactus to a destination of choice so we went to Rotterdam: city of architecture and creativity.

We thought it would suit the design and image of the car, with its ‘Airbump’ panels on the side (designed to protect the vehicle from damage while parking). A smooth drive took us to the Citizen M hotel, where we stayed for the weekend.

Being so perfectly located near the city center, we had the best opportunities to shop, chill and wine & dine. These are our tips for a great Spring weekend at the harbour city:

 

STAY
Citizen M – It is one of our favorite boutique hotel concepts, and you’ll find the Citizen M’s on locations worldwide. The aim is to offer you innovative service and make you feel at home. All hotels are furbished with ab fab design items.

King Kong Hostel – Awarded the best hostel in the Netherlands, and located in the cool Witte de With street. This one is on our list for the next visit.

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Nhow Rotterdam – An architectural gem at the other side of the Erasmus bridge. We stayed here last year and it was amazeballs. The greatest neverending hotel breakfast buffet so far.

Hotel BAZAR – Want to feel like staying in Ali Baba’s cavern? Then book a stay in one of the oriental inspired rooms. Good and affordable food too.

EAT/SHOP

The new Markthal attracts a huge crowd as you can not only buy a lot of food -from French dried sausages to Asian specialties- but also enjoy it at the indoor eateries. Though, at the foot of the impressive building lays the second biggest market of the Netherlands with 465 stands! Since people were standing in line to enter the Markthal, we decided to walk along the market and do some shopping at the H&M/Weekday flagshipstore and finally settle at Café Pol for a drink. Funny about the Meent – a street filled with nice shops, cafes and terraces- is that some cars and shiny motorbikes just drive by to show off. Think of Ferrari’s and Harley Davidson’s. We even thought of driving through with the Cactus…

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Markthal – Architectural highlight and food heaven. Avoid the rush hours if you don’t want to queue

 

Cafe DUDOK – The Rotterdam affiliate of the cafe/brasserie with the famed apple pie

Urban Espressobar – For the coffee lovers. The owner is from Aussie, where they know how important it is to have a cup of coffee accompanied by a tasty sandwich and fresh pressed juice in the weekend

In the evening we had the brilliant idea to have dinner at the Pannekoekstraat, a stone’s throw away from our hotel and an area packed with the hottest eateries and still some new ones to come. To stay in line with our ‘ride’, which is obviously French if you hadn’t noticed, we landed at Pierre. A restaurant with a fresh meets classic French brasserie interior and according menu.

 

Pierre –  From breakfast to dinner, this is a great spot to settle when the sun is out! The terrace was quite crowded on Sunday morning, and take note of their Grande Bouffe concept on Monday and Tuesday: all you can eat French dishes for just €21,90

De Pasta Kantine – The name already reveals it: pasta baby! The organic, gluten-free and whole grain kind. And they serve salads too. Oh, and they started with take-out earlier this month

Level – For killer cocktails and bistro food. But also a funky mural and a large terrace

Bokaal – One to remember if you come here with the bf: loads of beer. And food to pair it with (cheeses and charcuterie). In a raw metal and wood interior

Tante Nel – This is a snack bar. But not the regular kind. It’s ‘haute friture’.

The Pannekoekstraat also houses some cool shops such as Blick brillen, Objet Trouvé and Depot Rotterdam.

CHILL

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In front of the Wilhelmina pier and Hotel New York you can sit on a bench in the sun and enjoy the view over the Maas river, but you can also cross the bridge to the Deli plein where you’ll find many cute coffee places, the Fenix Food Factory (organic food market) and a shot of culture at the Walhalla theatre. Just hang out on one of the terraces and enjoy Springtime!

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We started our day here on Sunday and I had the absolute best cheesecake in ages at Kopi Soesoe, before heading to the Witte de With straat where we concluded our fun weekend with a beer at Proeflokaal Reijngoud and a chat with Danny de Cactus. Seriously. This guy has been selling cacti and succulents for over 25 years, this couldn’t just be a coincidence, right?

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Other nice places:

(Around the Deli Plein/Katendrecht area)
Bistrot du Bac – French style bistro
De Zeeuwse Meisjes – shop and coffee
Posse – espresso, art, vintage and ‘The Pack of Wolves’ kitchen crew

(In the Witte de With straat/Schiedamse Vest)
Wunderbar – cultural cafe
Ter Marsch & Co – burgers!
Fritèz – an other spot for Haute Friture

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GO ON A  C4 CACTUS TRIP TOO!

Do you want to go a weekend trip with the Citroën C4 Cactus as well? To enter go to the Love4Cactus website, fill in the form and mention where you wish to go: f.e. beach/spa weekend/Limburg/ etc. And of course don’t forget to share the love via social with the hashtag: #Love4Cactus. [Contest is closed]

All images © The Digitalistas

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