The city of Rotterdam is unlike Holland's other cities. Located on the mighty Maas River, it is a city with outstanding architecture, an abundance of attractions, festivals and museums, a swinging young city culture, excellent shopping facilities, restaurants and cafes.
Rotterdam is only a half-hour from The Hague and an hour from Amsterdam, but it is centuries away from them in both appearance and personality. Here, instead of the usual Dutch web of little streets, alleyways, and winding canals, there's a spacious and elegant shopping mall and the world's busiest ocean harbor. Rotterdam is a fascinating place to see and experience, particularly when you consider that this city was a living monument to Holland's Golden Age until it was bombed to rubble during World War II. The city retains traces of its ancient history in only two areas -- Delfshaven (Delft Harbor) and Oude Haven (Old Harbor).
Today this bustling metropolis has the world's biggest port, created when its several harbors were opened directly to the sea, 32km (20 miles) away, by the dredging of a deepwater channel that accommodates even the largest oil tankers. Europoort handles more ships and more cargo every year than any other port in the world.