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Free things to do in Rotterdam

Photo by Steshka Willems from Pexels

Holiday’s are expensive, so finding free things to do is a great way to save money. Luckily, Rotterdam is brimming with fun, free, things to do, see, and explore. 

  • Stroll along the harbour
  • Explore the Markthal
  • Wander the markets
  • Sail on the SS Rotterdam
  • Learn about Rotterdam on a walking tour 
  • Visit De Ster
  • Take in the views at Lührs viewpoint
  • Enjoy the peace and quiet of Eiland van Brienenoord
  • Cycle the city 
  • Visit Rotterdams iconic structures 

Stroll along the harbour

Rotterdam is home to the largest harbour in Europe. As you journey along the harbour, you will come across some of Rotterdam’s most famous landmarks, including the Erasmus bridge, Hotel New York, and the SS Rotterdam. If you find yourself stuck for something to do on a clear, dry, day in Rotterdam, a stroll along the harbour is the perfect solution. 

Photo by László Hegedűs from Pexels

Explore the Markthal

In the heart of Rotterdam you will find the Markthal, a quirky take on the classic market square. A large arch of 228 apartments covers a central market hall of 96 food stands where you will sample some of the best food you will find in Rotterdam. From classic cuisine to exotic eats, the Markthal is a culinary lovers dream. Whilst sampling Rotterdam’s finest foods, look around at the mural painted on the arch covering the square. “Cornucopia” shows enlarged food items alongside flowers and insects in reference to Dutch paintings from the 17th century. The masterpiece was created by artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam, and provides a glorious view to enjoy with your food. 

Image by Paul Arps

Wander the markets 

The Markthal is not the only market in Rotterdam. There are an array of street markets running 6 days a week, selling all manner of fresh produce, trinkets, and flowers. The biggest market in Rotterdam is at Binnenrotte near the Rotterdam Blaak train station. Here you will find more than 250 stalls selling everything including fresh fruit, fish, cheese, flowers, vintage goods, and even furniture. If you are visiting the city during the Christmas season, there are plenty of Christmas markets selling perfect stocking filler gifts and traditional Danish food and drink. 

Sail on the SS Rotterdam

The SS Rotterdam is iconic. Launched back in 1953, the ship sailed for 41 years, ferrying passengers from Rotterdam to New York. In 2000, the SS Rotterdam was returned to the city, where the ship has since been turned into a hotel, restaurant, event space, and tourist attraction. You can explore the ship for free, learning about it’s rich history and tales of it’s transatlantic voyages. If you are willing to splash out on dinner on the boat, there are plenty of options for you to indulge in. Whether you fancy a relaxing afternoon tea, suave fine dining experience, or simply some greasy finger food, there is something to satisfy everyone’s tastes on the SS Rotterdam. 

Image by Frans Berkelaar

Learn about Rotterdam on a walking tour  

The best way to get to know a new city is by exploring it with the locals. Free Walking Tour Rotterdam is run and conducted by volunteers who live in Rotterdam and truly love their city. The tour begins at the Markthal and takes you to some of the most iconic areas of the city where you will learn about the history of Rotterdam. The tour runs every day from 1:30pm and there is an additional morning tour on a Saturday beginning at 10:30am. 

Image by Zairon

Visit De Ster

Did you really go the the Netherlands if you didn’t visit a windmill? The Kralingse Bos forest is a beautiful recreational area, perfect for running, cycling, or simply taking a stroll. The forest encases Kralingse Plas lake, along which you can find windmill De Ster (the star). Dating back to 1866, windmill De Ster is a fully functional windmill which is still used to grind tobacco leaves to create snuff. Guided tours of the windmill are available every second Saturday of the month between 10am to 4pm. Entrance to the windmill is free, however any generous donations made do go towards maintaining the windmill. 

Image by Jchmrt

Take in the views at Lührs viewpoint

Lührs viewpoint is a Rotterdam hidden gem. After hiking up a 40 meter hill you will be rewarded with a stunning view of the Rotterdam skyline and, on a clear day, The Hague. It is the perfect place to escape the city, enjoy nature, and unwind with a beautiful view. 

Image by Kristoffer Trolle

Enjoy the peace and quiet of Eiland van Brienenoord

Under the Van Brienenoord Bridge in Rotterdam you will find a slice of peace and tranquillity- Eiland van Brienenoord. Grassy plains, open waters, and a forest make up the island, giving a home to a multitude of plants, birds, and animals. The island was created in the 19th century when silt plates formed in the Nieuwe Maas and became overgrown. Whether you are looking to do some bird watching, enjoy a gentle jog, or simply stroll around the island, Eiland van Brienenoord is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

Photo by Annelies Brouw from Pexels

Cycle the city 

There are many ways that you can enjoy the city of Rotterdam, but none are as fun as cycling. You can spend hours cycling across the city, from the city centre to Delfshaven, exploring the hidden gems that the city has to offer. There are cycling routes that you can take, or you can make your own route, following the harbour and simply seeing where you end up. 

Photo by TRAVELBLOG from Pexels

Visit Rotterdams iconic structures 

Rotterdam is renowned for its quirky architecture and iconic structures. Spend a day charting the structures of the city, roaming from one icon to the next. From the Cube Houses to Hotel New York, the Witte Huis to the Euromast, create yourself a route to all of the famous landmarks in Rotterdam and spend the day exploring. 

Photo by Claudia Schmalz from Pexels

There are so many fun, free, things to do and see in Rotterdam that you won’t have time to do your laundry. Luckily, Laundryheap are here to help. Book your Laundryheap service today and have your laundry picked-up, laundered, and redelivered to you within 24 hours. To book your Laundryheap order today head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.


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Top 5 Copenhagen day trips

Photo by Daniel Jurin from Pexels

Copenhagen is a beautiful city, overflowing with things to do and places to explore. It is also surrounded by wonderful places for day visits. 

  • Helsingør 
  • Odense 
  • The outskirts of Copenhagen
  • Møn
  • Malmö

Helsingør 

The historical city of Helsingør is just an hour train journey from Copenhagen. The city’s most visited attraction is Kronborg Castle, made famous for being the setting of the Shakespeare play Hamlet. You can tour the castle on several routes, both free and payable options available, and immerse yourself in the rich history the castle has to offer. Once you’ve explored Kronborg Castle, wander around Helsingør. Attractions within the city include the Maritime Museum of Denmark, the Culture Yard, and the Danish Museum of Science and Technology. 

Image by Olivier Bruchez

Odense

Hans Christian Anderson is arguably the most famous fairy tale writer in the world. His birthplace of Odense is reachable within an hour, by train, from Copenhagen. As you wander the old cobbled streets you can visit the house where the famous fairy tale writer grew up. Afterwards, take a look around the Hans Christian Anderson House Museum which offers an immersive look into the fairy tales Anderson wrote. Odense has a strong cycling culture, so why not hire a bike to see the sights the city has to offer. There are public bicycle pumps across the city and plenty of bike-designated parking spots for when you want to take a break

Image by Elgaard

The outskirts of Copenhagen

The outskirts of Copenhagen are surrounded by lush forests and water. Hidden amongst this serene setting are six wooden giants for you to find. Created by artist Thomas Dambo, each giant is made from recycled wood which allows the structures to blend seamlessly into their scenic surroundings. Hunting for the six giants is the perfect activity for those who crave adventure and enjoy escaping from urban life. You will need a car to travel to each giant’s location, however, it may be worth doing some additional sightseeing as you journey to each structure. To find the exact location of each giant head to Thomas  Dambo’s website. 

Image by Lars Plougmann

Møn

Just under two hours South of Copenhagen you will find the island of Møn. Home to sweeping sandy beaches, secret coves, and, its main attraction, Møns Klint. Møn is a breath-taking island you may never want to leave. Møns Klint is the 70 million years old chalk cliffs on the island that are gently crumbling into the Baltic Sea, making the water crystal clear. You can view the cliffs, and enjoy the water, by hiring a kayak or fishing boat for the day. Alternatively, you can enjoy a ride on an Icelandic pony or take one of the two mountain bike trails 820km to the top of Møns Klint. 

Image by Image by Jenny Shead from Pixabay 

Malmö

In just 38 minutes you can go from one country to another. Take a quick trip to Malmö Sweden, a charming city full of culture, incredible architecture, and great food. Whilst in Malmö don’t miss out on seeing The Turning Torso, Scandinavia’s tallest building. At the foot of the Turning Torso, you will find a beach and harbour, perfect for a leisurely stroll. After visiting The Turning Torso, head to Malmö Saluhall, a food market overflowing with delicious artisanal goods. Here you can try Fika, the Swedish version of afternoon tea, where you will be served a variety of delicious cakes and coffee

Image by Alex Waltner from Pixabay 

Copenhagen, and its surrounding areas, should be explored to the fullest. Don’t let laundry get in the way, let us do it for you. Head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to book your laundry and dry cleaning service today.


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Top cycling routes in Amsterdam

Photo by Liam Gant from Pexels

There are 881,000 bikes in Amsterdam– more bikes than residents. Cycling is a great way to see the city, and these are the top 5 routes we recommend taking. 

  • Amstel River
  • Zuidoost
  • Haarlem
  • Waterland
  • Flowers of Amsterdam

Amstel River

The Amstel River, named after the 13th century fishing village Amstelredamme,  stretches for 31 kilometres. Cycling down the Amstel River will take you out of Amsterdam and through Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, Nes aan de Amstel, Uithoorn and Waver. Whilst you cycle, look out for the Riekermolen windmill. Built in 1636, it was used to drain the surrounding land, but now stands as a beautiful reminder of a bygone era. You will also pass Rembrandt Hoeve, a farm which specialises in making traditional Netherland clogs and gouda cheese.

Image by karinmuller66 from Pixabay

Zuidoost

When you think of Amsterdam, you picture canals, clogs, and tulips. Cycling through Zuidoost will give you the opportunity to experience a different side to the city. Amsterdam-Zuidoost and Bijlmermeer, simply known as Bijlmer, is home to 100,000 residents of more than 150 ethnic backgrounds, who have created a neighbourhood overflowing with art, culture, and entertainment. As you bike across the neighbourhood, observe the HCC building, a strikingly colourful building which is a living and working place for artists, the multitude of graffiti murals that cover walls across the neighbourhood, and the colourful houses which line the streets. If you get hungry on your travels, stop off at Foodhallen World of Food, where you will find street food from across the world- a true celebration of the different ethnicities that live and work in Bijlmer. 

Image by Henk-Jan van der Klis

Haarlem

Just outside of the urban streets of Amsterdam is the pastoral city of Haarlem. Built during the 10th century, Haarlem holds on to its medieval charm, and yet remains very modern with it’s thriving art scene. Whilst cycling through, make sure that you take a break to explore the city. Visit the Teylers Museum, home to fossils and minerals, as well as a collection of drawings and paintings. Grote Markt is the market square of Haarlem where you can buy a multitude of Netherland delicacies from vendors. Whilst in Grote Markt, don’t miss out on viewing Haarlem City Hall, one of the oldest City Hall’s in the Netherlands. 

Image by Bogdan Migulski

Waterland

The Waterland cycling route begins and ends at Amsterdam Centraal, Amsterdam’s largest train station. This is the perfect cycle route to take to see the traditional villages surrounding Amsterdam, and fall in love with the Netherlands countryside. As you cycle, you will pass a 16th century wooden house on the Buiksloterdijk, giving you a true sense of how the Netherlands was thousands of years ago. Another highlight of the route is the Krijtmolen d’Admiraal, an octagonal smock windmill built in 1792. This cycle route has beautiful landmarks to observe, whilst being incredibly peaceful. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

Image by Marcelmulder68

Flowers of Amsterdam

There can only be one flower you think of when you think about the Netherlands- tulips. In 1637, tulips were being sold for more than the price of a luxury Amsterdam home. The flower cycle route begins at the Bloemenmarkt, the world’s only floating flower market, and ends in Aalsmeer, near the largest flower auction in the world where 12 million flowers are sold every day. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to view some of the most beautiful flowers and plants of all time. It will truly be the most scenic bike ride of your life. 

Image by Ricardo Ramírez Gisbert

Whichever cycle route you choose to take, there is no doubt that you will be exhausted after it. Too exhausted to tackle your laundry. Luckily, we’re here to help. Book your Laundryheap order today and we will have your clothing picked up, laundered, and redelivered to you before you even have time to recover from your bike ride. We’ll even wash your biking gear for you. To book your Laundryheap order simply head to the Laundryheap website, or download the free Laundryheap app.


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Copenhagen must-see sights

Image by City Clock Magazine

When you are visiting a country for only a small amount of time, it can be hard to prioritse what you should see and what you can miss. If you are visiting Copenhagen, these are the sites you should not be missing out on. 

  • Tivoli Gardens 
  • Christiansborg Palace
  • Nyhavn Harbour
  • The Round Tower
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Torvehallerne Food Market
  • Frederik’s Church
  • Rosenborg Castle 
  • The Wooden Skyscraper 
  • Bakken 

Tivoli Gardens

The magic of Tivoli Gardens is a Copenhagen site that you would be devastated to miss. Since its opening in 1843, Tivoli Gardens has been delighting visitors of all ages with its beautiful architecture, lush gardens, and, at night, twinkling lights that add to the fairy tale atmosphere. Walt Disney himself even visited Tivoli Gardens and said that it was his inspiration for Disney World. Whether you are a thrill-seeker looking to ride the rollercoasters, or you’re more interested in taking in the beautiful architecture and gardens, there is something to please everyone at Tivoli Gardens. 

Image by Charlie

Christiansborg Palace

If you want to experience 800 years of history in one day then head to Christiansborg Palace. Although most of the palace is open for visitors to tour, it is still home to the Danish parliament, the Prime Ministers office, and the Supreme Court, and some rooms are still occupied by the Royal Family. With every ticket for the Royal Reception Rooms, you will be given a free guided tour of the palace. Even if you don’t want to explore the inside, the outside of the palace is just as beautiful. 

Image by Jorge Franganillo

Nyhavn Harbour

Nyhavn was once a busy commercial port where ships from across the world would dock. Today, you can find hoards of people relaxing, drinking, and enjoying jazz music in restaurants that line the port. The old houses of Nyhavn, some of which fairy tale writer Hans Christian Anderson occupied, have been renovated and in their place stand brightly coloured homes that paint the perfect picture of happiness. If you’re looking for somewhere to drink, eat good food, and enjoy a relaxing day, then look no further than Nyhavn Harbour.

Image by E_Scott from Pixabay

The Round Tower

Built in 1642, The Round Tower is a 36-meter-high building that offers incredible views of the Old Town of Copenhagen. The tower was built by Christian IV in a time when Denmark was renowned for its astronomical achievements, thanks to Tycho Brahe. When Brahe died, Christian IV built The Round Tower to encourage astronomers to carry on Brahe’s work. Today, it is still used by amateur astronomers, but is used more to get panoramic views of the Old Town. Be warned, to get to the viewing platform you must walk up a spiral staircase, but, if the staircases hasn’t already, the view at the top will take your breath away. 

Image by Maria Eklind

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid has become an iconic landmark in Copenhagen. Based off of the Hans Christian Anderson tale of the same name, the statue sits by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade, and depicts a human turning into a mermaid. It was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, who had become fascinated by a ballet based on the tale. Edvard Eriksen sculpted the piece, and the grand unveiling took place in August 1913. It has since become a symbol for Copenhagen in the same way at the Statue of Liberty has for New York, and tourists flock to the statute to take pictures. You may be waiting a while to see the mermaid, but you wouldn’t want to miss it. 

Photo by C1superstar from Pexels

Torvehallerne Food Market

Conveniently situated close to Nørreport Station, Torvehallerne Food Market is one of Copenhagen’s most popular markets. With more than 80 shops to browse, you can find everything from traditional Danish food to local vegetables and fresh fish. It’s the perfect place to stroll around at your leisure, try some samples, and enjoy what produce Copenhagen has to offer. 

Image by Heather Cowper

Frederik’s Church

Nicknamed The Marble Church, Frederik’s Church is one of the most impressive buildings in Copenhagen. Located in Frederiksstaden, the foundation stone of the church was laid in 1749, but the project was not completed until 1894. The building itself is incredibly striking, with a copper green dome that juxtaposes the delicate white marble beautifully. Inside the church is equally as delightful, so it is no surprise that couples are desperate to get married here. The church room is open to the public, as is the dome which offers draw-dropping views of Copenhagen. 

Image by Tony Webster

Rosenborg Castle 

Built as a country summer house by Christian IV 400 years ago, Rosenborg Castle offers visitors the chance to travel back in time and explore the grandeur of Christian IV life. After exploring the pomp and pageantry of the castle, visitors can roam the Kongens Have (the Kings Garden), the oldest royal garden in Denmark. Estimated to attract 2.5 million visitors every year, these gardens are a popular retreat for tourists and locals alike. Sit on the lush green grass, wander the paths, and feel like a true royal for the day.

Image by Steve Barker from Pixabay

The Wooden Skyscraper 

An hour south of Copenhagen, standing in the Gisselfeld Klosters Forest, you will find Denmark’s Wooden Skyscraper. What appears to be a structure right out of a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, is a 45 meter tall observation tower, completed with a spiralling walkway for easy access. Made from weathered steel and local oak, the structure blends seamlessly into the surrounding forest environment. Once you reach the top, you will be treated to views of rolling hills, lakes, and, on a clear day, Copenhagen. Although you have to travel an hour outside of the city to reach the structure, the spectacular view, both on the way up and from the top, is worth it.

Image by Stig Nygaard

Bakken 

Located in the woods of Dyrehaven you will find Bakken, the oldest amusement park in the world. Founded in 1853, Bakken has been delighting visitors of all ages for centuries. Whether you are a thrill seeker looking to ride rollercoasters, or you want to stroll around the independent stalls, there is something for everyone. Whilst visiting, look out for Pjerrot, the white-faced clown who has been delighting visitors since the parks opening. 

Image by J M Rice

With so many amazing sights in Copenhagen, the last sight you want to see is your laundry pile. Luckily, we can take care of that for you. Simply head to the Laundryheap website, or download the free Laundryheap app, to make your booking today. 


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Living in London made easier

Photo by Mike from Pexels

Living in London can be hard. It’s expensive, people can be rude, and the tube system is a labyrinth that not even the most seasoned Londoner can understand. But, it is also a multicultural metropolis, overflowing with amazing things to see and adventures to have. There are an abundance of ways that can make living in London less stressful, less costly, and, overall, easier. 

  • Oyster cards
  • Railcard
  • Maps
  • Savings websites
  • Banking
  • Weather 
  • Theatre 
  • Food
  • The Residence
  • Laundryheap 

Oyster cards

Whether you prefer taking the bus, tube, or train, there is no escaping public transport in London. You can pay for public transport via contactless or card payment, however, the best way is via an Oyster card. An Oyster card is a reusable card that can be used on all forms of public transport across London. You can top up your card at most London tube stations or online whenever you are running low on funds, and use it the very same day. What is more, Oyster cards have a cap on how much you can spend in one day, meaning that you will never be charged more than £13.50.

Image by Rachel Lovinger

Railcard 

A Railcard is incredibly handy to have for travelling both within and outside of London. There are several different types of Railcard that you can purchase, however they are all priced between £20 and £30. With a Railcard, you can get one third off of your train fares and, if you link it to your Oyster card, one third off of off-peak rail fares, including the tube and DLR. 

Photo by Paul IJsendoorn from Pexels

Maps

London is a big city. So big, in fact, that it would be preposterous to even imagine navigating it without using a map. Luckily, there are several useful apps that can help you to not only navigate the city, but also plan public transport journeys. These apps mean that you will never get lost in London again, and that you will always be able to find public transport to aid you on your journey. 

Photo by Ingo Joseph from Pexels

Savings websites

Living in London can be incredibly expensive. Bills, food shopping, transport, the cost of living, it all adds up. Luckily, there are several savings websites that offer discounts on all manner of items, including everyday essentials and nights out. Simply head to these discount websites and search for items you are looking for discounts on. If you find a website in particular that offers good deals, subscribing to their newsletter will often give you a first-look at what discounts are available and/or coming up. 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Banking 

With so much to do, see, and experience in London, it can be very easy to let your money get away from you. The majority of banks now have apps that can help you access your bank account faster. They will often send notifications directly to your phone when money is coming out of your account or when you are running out of funds. If you are looking for an alternative way to manage your money, Monzo is an online bank whose app helps to break down exactly where your money is being spent. This helps to identify what areas you are spending the most money on, and perhaps where you could save. 

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

Weather

UK weather is unpredictable. The sun could be shining brightly in the morning but by the evening you could be stuck in torrential rain. Most phones now come with a weather app pre-downloaded, however, if you don’t have one, it’s best to download one ASAP. It will help you to plan your day around changes in the weather, meaning you will never be caught in the rain without an umbrella again. 

Photo by S Migaj from Pexels

Theatre 

One of the many joys of living in London is the glorious West End, where there is no end to the wonderful musicals and plays that are performed every day. If you enjoy a trip to the theatre, then you will want to download Stagedoor. It can be hard to narrow down what to see on the West End, but Stagedoor can make your choice easier with reviews from both theatre critics and previous audience members. On the app you can also book tickets and access offers for discounted meals and even discounted tickets. The wonders of the West End awaits. 

Photo by Monica Silvestre from Pexels

Food

London is a multicultural hub and, as such, there are an abundance of restaurants to try. Eating at different restaurants guarantees that you will always be treated to amazing food, however can be incredibly expensive. Luckily, apps, such as OpenTable, offer huge discounts on some of the top restaurants in London. Simply see what reservations they have open, and book as soon as possible. Be quick though, because there will be other eagle eyed people waiting for a top reservation at a low price, so you have to act fast. 

Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography from Pexels

The Residence 

One of the most difficult parts of living in London is finding the perfect home. You want to find somewhere that is within your budget, with good transport links, and plenty of local amenities- which is easier said than done. Luckily, The Residence offers the perfect solution. Whilst you find your dream home, you can stay in one of The Residence luxury apartments, located specifically for ease of commute, accessibility of services, and transport links. The contemporary design of each apartment offers a relaxing oasis from the hustle and bustle of city living, whilst also creating the perfect environment for finding your dream home. What is more, all guests of The Residence can enjoy 20% off of their first Laundryheap order using the code RD20. 

Image courtesy of The Residence website

Laundryheap 

We all detest doing laundry, and when you live in the city it seems like there are never enough hours in the day to get it done. Luckily, Laundryheap is here to help. We pick up your dirty laundry, wash it, and re-deliver it to you, all in as little as 24 hours. All you have to do is head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to make your booking today. At least that’s one thing ticked off of your to-do list.


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Rotterdam fun facts

Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands, made famous for its modern architecture. Quirky architecture is not the only interesting thing about Rotterdam though. 

  • The flag of Rotterdam
  • Rotterdam’s motto
  • An old city
  • Netherlands skyline
  • Spy centre
  • Europort
  • Eco station
  • Dr
  • Expats
  • The Witte Huis 

The flag of Rotterdam 

The colours of Rotterdam have been green and white since the Middle Ages, but the number of lines on the flag have changed. The current flag, which has been official since 1949, is a green horizontal stripe followed by a white stripe, and a final green stripe. The green represents the Court of Wena, a castle that stood on the former Hofplein Station, and the white symbolises the Rotte river. 

Image by Jeroen Kransen

Rotterdam’s motto  

Rotterdam’s motto is ‘sterker door strijd’, which translates to ‘stronger through battle’. It was adopted after the second world war by Queen Wilhelmina as a testament to the courage and bravery of Rotterdammers during the second world war. You can see the motto underneath the coat of arms of Rotterdam. 

Image by Le contributeur wikicommons Arch.

An old city 

Looking around Rotterdam, admiring it’s modern architecture, you would believe that it was a fairly new city. In fact, Rotterdam gained its city rights in 1340. Unfortunately, the city was heavily bombed during the second world war, and so most of it had to be rebuilt, forming the city we know today. 

Image by Clemens Lettinck from Pixabay

Netherlands skyline  

Rotterdam is the only city in the Netherlands with a skyline. Made from 352 high-rise buildings, the Rotterdam skyline is often referred to as ‘the Manhattan on the Maas’ because most of the buildings are situated on the river Maas and new high rises are constantly being built. The tallest building in Rotterdam, and the Netherlands, is the Maastoren, which is 165 meters tall. 

Image by Rob Oo

Spy centre  

During the first world war, Rotterdam became the biggest spy centre in the world for both Germany and Britain. This was because the Netherlands, and therefore Rotterdam, was a neutral country and was also placed perfectly in between Germany and Britain. Rotterdam was particularly popular because it had excellent ferry and railway connections with Britain, Germany, and Belgium.

Image by Markus Christ from Pixabay 

Europort 

Rotterdam’s harbour, Europort, is the biggest port in Europe, 10th biggest port in the world, and the 11th biggest container port in the world. It is considered one of the busiest ports in the world and a major entry point into Europe

Image by Rik Schuiling / TropCrop-TCS

Eco station

Rotterdam Central Station is the main station in Rotterdam. It’s roof is formed from 28,000 square meters of glass plates and 10,000 square meters of stainless steel. 10,000 meters of the glass contain 136,000 solar cells, which supplies 8% of the daily electricity the train station uses. 

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Dr

In the Scheepsvaart area of Rotterdam is a secret club called Dr. Known as one of the best cocktail bars in Rotterdam, you can only enter the bar if you have a patient number that you are given when you pre-book. As the name suggests, the bar is doctor themed, but once inside you are not allowed to take photos, use your phone, or talk about the bar. The air of mystery is what has helped maintain the hype and mystery of the cocktail bar since its opening in 2012. 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Expats

Only, roughly, 50% of the people living in Rotterdam are Dutch. The city attracts a large number of expats, mostly due to its renowned universities, and, as such, is hugely multicultural. It now has its own Chinatown, an abundance of restaurants catering to world cuisines, and festivals to celebrate its ever growing multiculturalism. 

The Witte Huis 

The Witte Huis, or the White House, was the first skyscraper in Rotterdam. Built between 1897 and 1898 by architect Willem Molenbroek, the building is 11 stories high. There were many people who were sceptical as to whether the building would be supported by the soil. It was one of the only buildings in Rotterdam city centre that survived the big bombardment in 1940. 

Image by MatteoNL97

Reading fun facts about Rotterdam is great, but experiencing them first hand is even better. Whilst you explore Rotterdam, let us sort out your laundry. Book your Laundryheap order by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app.


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Stockholm must-see sights

Photo by Jan Židlický from Pexels

Stockholm is a beautiful city, filled with so many amazing sights it can be overwhelming to narrow down the ones to see first. Hopefully, our Stockholm must-see sights list can help shed some light on the sights you simply can not miss. 

  • The Abba museum 
  • Skansen 
  • The Royal Palace
  • Skyview
  • Royal National City Park
  • Gamla Stan
  • Paradiset Nature Reserve
  • Birka 
  • The Nobel museum 

The Abba museum 

When you think of Sweden it’s almost impossible to not think of Abba. The band’s career defined a decade and their influence can still be heard in today’s music industry. You can take a deep dive into the legendary back catalogue of Abba at the Abba museum. Unlike any other museum, this is an interactive experience which encourages visitors to dance, play, and, most importantly, have fun. You can try on Abba’s infamous costumes, mix their original music, and even perform with them live on stage. You may walk into the museum, but you will certainly be dancing on your way out. 

Image by Mike Licht

Skansen

If you want to learn about the history of Sweden, visit Skansen. It is the world’s oldest open air museum, where the past meets the present in perfect harmony. Opened in 1891, more than 150 buildings from across Sweden were collected and reassembled to create a traditional Swedish town. Once you have wandered around the manor houses, bakeries, and churches of times past, you can visit the Skansen aquarium and zoo. Home to more than 200 species from around the world, you can marvel at bears, wolves, and seals, before aweing at the marine life on show. Skansen is the perfect day out for all ages. 

Image by Holger.Ellgaard

The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace is the official residence of His Majesty the King and one of Europe’s largest and most dynamic palaces. Built in a baroque style, the palace has more than 600 rooms, divided over 11 floors, including 3 museums. Guided tours are offered around the palace and it’s grounds, however, even if you don’t take a guided tour, the palace is a striking building to admire and a definite must-see sight. 

Image by Mariano Mantel

SkyView

The best way to view Stockholm is by taking the SkyView. Travelling up Stockholm’s Avicii Arena, the world’s largest spherical building, in a clear glass pod, you will be treated to 360 degree, panoramic, views of Stockholm. Each trip takes roughly 30 minutes, so you will have plenty of time to take in the sights before heading to one of the Avicii Arena’s legendary shows. 

Image by kallerna

Royal National City Park

The Royal National City Park was the first urban park in the world. Stretching 6 miles long, the park joins the city of Stockholm with the neighbouring forests, meaning an array of wildlife can be spotted roaming the fields. You could spend days getting lost in the confines of the park, exploring the lakes and rocky hilltops. Nestled within the park are an abundance of attractions, including museums, an amusement park, and sports facilities.

Image by Mariano Mantel

Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan is where Stockholm was founded in 1252. It is one of the largest and well preserved city centres in Europe, and acts as a fully functional museum. As you journey through winding cobbled streets you can admire cellar vaults from the Middle Ages, alongside restaurants, cafes, and bars. Within Gamla Stan you will find some of Stockholm’s most iconic buildings, including Sweden’s national cathedral and the Royal Palace. Gamla Stan has historical significance hidden behind every corner, so make sure that you take a full day to fully explore its alleys. 

Photo by Katie Evensen from Pexels

Paradiset Nature Reserve

The Swedish interpretation of paradise can be found at Paradiset Nature Reserve. A popular spot for hikers, the reserve is formed from untouched forests, lakes and cliffs. Nestled within the depths of the reserve are small cabins that are free to stay in overnight. They operate on a first come first serve basis so it’s best to snap one up ASAP. Paradiset Nature Reserve is the perfect place to get away from the city and escape into nature. 

Image by Holger.Ellgaard

Birka 

Founded in the 8th Century, Birka is Sweden’s oldest town. What was once a flourishing Viking trading town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site that can easily be visited by boat. Whilst visiting Birka you can experience what life would have been like for a viking. You can stroll through an exact replica of a Viking village, meet the Elk Man from the 8th Century, and discover objects found from archaeological excavations. It’s a true deep-dive into the history of Sweden. 

Image by chas B

The Nobel Museum 

Opened in the Spring of 2001 to celebrate The Nobel Prize’s 100th anniversary, The Nobel Museum provides information about the Nobel Prize and past Nobel Prize winners. Through a combination of films, theatre plays, and debates, the work of Nobel Prize winners is immortalised within the walls of the Nobel Museum. You can even take a piece of The Nobel Prize away with you when you visit the gift shop.

Image by Tuomas Vitikainen

Whilst you are out exploring Stockholm, we can explore your laundry basket. Simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to book your order. 


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The parks of Dublin

Image by William Murphy

Dublin is filled with parks perfect for strolling, picnicking, and enjoying time out in nature. These are our top 5 Dublin parks. 

  • Phoenix Park
  • St Anne’s Park
  • St Stephen’s Green
  • Killiney Hill Park
  • Marlay Park 

Phoenix Park

Covering 1,750 acres, Phoenix Park holds the title of the largest urban park in Europe. Within the grounds is the Irish President’s home, Dublin zoo, and a Viking cemetery. This is in addition to walking trails and idyllic flower gardens that are beautiful to walk around, especially in the summer months. Phoenix Park is the perfect location for a day in the sun, or a stroll around after visiting the close-by Irish Museum of Modern Art. Whilst in the park, look out for fallow deer, which have roamed the park since the 17th century. 

Image by by the Archive Team

St Anne’s Park 

St Anne’s was the former home of the Guinness family, famous for their Irish stout. It is now home to a classic Chinese garden, which was gifted by the Chinese when Dublin twinned with Beijing, and a Herculean tower. Among these monuments is a glorious rose garden, where the annual Rose Festival is held every third weekend of July. Asides from the rose garden, you can find extensive woodlands, water features, and a picnic area perfect for sitting down and enjoying food in the sun. 

Image by William Murphy

St Stephen’s Green

Located in the center of Dublin, St Stephen’s Green provides a moment of tranquility within the hustle and bustle of city life. There are over 750 trees planted in the park, with many being placed around the perimeter as a way to reduce noise and air pollution from the city. Nestled within the green is a lake, complete with a waterfall, which offers a serene moment for any busy shopper. The next time you are rushing around Dublin city center, make sure that you take a moment to enjoy the peace of St Stephen’s. 

Image by  Dronepicr (edited by King of Hearts)

Killiney Hill Park 

If you are a seasoned walker/hiker, then Killiney Hill Park is the perfect park for you. Overlooking the villages of Killiney and Dalkey in the South of Dublin, the hill is 153 meters high and offers a spectacular view of the Irish sea. Killiney Hill Park comes equipped with a children’s play park, tea room, and pyramid structure which is said to make a wish come true when circled and climbed to the very top.

Image by William Murphy

Marlay Park 

Marlay Park is made up of mature woodland, extensive lawns, and Wicklow Way walking trail. Expanding over 300 acres of land, there are several walking/running trails, tennis courts, a cricket ground, and 6 football pitches. If you trek the 127 kilometres Wicklow Way walking trail, you will be treated to the rolling hills of County Wicklow. To cover the entirety of the trail will take 8-10 days, but it is well worth the hike for the spectacular Irish countryside views.

Image by Joe King

Whilst you are enjoying the parks of Dublin, let us enjoy getting through your laundry pile. Book your Laundryheap order today by heading to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.


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Stockholm fun facts

Image by Pedro Szekely

Stockholm is made up of 14 islands that are connected by 57 bridges. It is the capital of Sweden and home to over 975,000 people. But, there is more to Sweden’s capital than just this. 

  • Stockholm’s origins
  • UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • 24-hour sun
  • Swedish meatballs
  • A long and happy life
  • Narrowest street
  • Land of cyclists
  • Gamla Stan
  • The longest art gallery in the world
  • An environmentally conscious city

Stockholm’s origins 

Stockholm was founded by Birger Jarl, who used the city to block off the water passage between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. The first mention of Stockholm was in 1252, in a letter written by Birger Jarl. Within 100 years, Stockholm became the largest settlement in Sweden. 

Image by Stefan Lins

UNESCO World Heritage sites

Stockholm is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites- the Royal Palace Drottningholm and The Woodland Cemetery. The Royal Palace is the private residence of the Swedish royal family and a popular tourist attraction. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1991. Skogskyrkogården, otherwise known as The Woodland Cemetry, was added to the UNESCO list in 1994 for its groundbreaking design, which has influenced the designs of burial sites around the world. 

Image by denisbin

24 hour sun 

The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs during the summer months in countries north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle. In Sweden, this usually occurs during the second half of June, creating endless daylight for weeks at a time. 

Photo by Jonathan Petersson from Pexels

Swedish meatballs

Swedish meatballs are small balls made from a 50-50 ratio of ground pork and ground beef. They are often seasoned with nutmeg, allspice, and white pepper, and served with boiled potatoes and gravy. Shockingly though, Swedish meatballs did not originate in Sweden. In the early 18th century, King Charles XII brought the recipe back to Sweden from his travels in Turkey. 

Image by anokarina

A long and happy life 

Sweden has the 13th highest life expectancy in the world with the average Swede living to 83 years old. This long life expectancy is due to Sweden’s commitment to being environmentally friendly, their healthcare system, which is one of the highest-ranking in the world, and the sense of community found in Sweden. 

Image by Marie Sjödin from Pixabay

Narrowest street

The narrowest street in Stockholm is Mårten Trotzigs alley which, at its slimmest part, is a mere 89 centimeters wide. The alley is named after merchant Mårten Trotzig, who immigrated to Stockholm in 1581, where he became one of the richest merchants in Stockholm. 

Image by Guillaume Capron

Land of cyclists

Over 70 thousand people in Stockholm bike around the city every day. Stockholm is known for its beautiful architecture and luscious green parks, so biking around Stockholm is incredibly peaceful and serene, especially during the spring and summer months. If you choose to ride your bike on the road, there are even dedicated bike lanes to prevent traffic collisions.

Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s old town. It dates back to the 13th century and can be defined by its medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. Nestled within Gamla Stan you can find the Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral, and the Nobel Museum. The towns winning combination of historical buildings and architecture, coupled with its idyllic scenery has transformed Gamla Stan into a popular tourist destination. 

Photo by Katie Evensen from Pexels

The longest art gallery in the world 

Stockholm’s subway system is commonly referred to as the longest art gallery in the world because of the beautiful paintings and mosaics that adorn the walls. 90 of the 100 stations are currently decorated with the work of 150 artists. 

Photo by Jan Židlický from Pexels

An environmentally conscious city

Sweden is an environmental pioneer. It was the first country in the world to pass an environmental protection act and was the host of the first UN conference on the global environment. More than half of the countries national energy supply comes from renewable sources, and by 2045 Sweden wants to become completely fossil-free. Sweden is doing everything it can to save our planet and set an example for countries across the world. 

Photo by Min An from Pexels

Stockholm is an incredibly interesting city, worthy of exploring. It is also just one of the international cities that Laundryheap operates in. To book your Laundryheap Stockholm service, simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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The parks of Copenhagen

Image by Better Than Bacon

Wherever you are in Copenhagen, you will be no more than 15 minutes away from a park- this is part of what makes it a green city. These are just 5 of our favourite Copenhagen parks. 

  • Frederiksberg Have
  • Amaliehaven
  • Kongens Have
  • Botanical Garden
  • Bibliotekshaven

Frederiksberg Have

Nestled within Frederiksberg Have you can find a Chinese summer house, 7-meter waterfall, and, overlooking the grounds, the Frederiksberg Palace, where Frederik VI resided in the 1700s. Whilst living in the palace, Frederik VI would be rowed about on the canals that flow through the grounds. Today, you can take a guided tour of the very same canals, and observe the grand gardens from the water, before exploring them on foot. After exploring the gardens, sit on the luscious grass and enjoy a picnic in the sun.

Amaliehaven

Located between Amalienborg, the royal residence of Queen Margrethe II, and Copenhagens waterfront, Amaliehaven is a green oasis. The garden was designed by Belgian landscape architect Jean Delogne. His rectangular design of the green space contrasts perfectly with the natural curves of the flowering plants within the garden. The crowning glory of Amaliehaven is the large fountain in the center of the space, which provides the perfect location to sit and breathe away from the city. 

Kongens Have

Established in the early 17th century, Kongens Have is the oldest park in Copenhagen. Originally serving as the private gardens for King Christian IV’s Rosenborg Castle, the park is now visited by roughly 2.5 million people every year. Despite having been renovated several times, three of the original entrances to Kongens Have remain, as does the Hercules Pavillon, and statue of renowned author Hans Christian Andersen. During the summer months, the park becomes crowded with tourists and locals alike eager to catch some sun. 

Image by Kristoffer Trolle

Botanical Garden

Containing over 13,000 species of plants, the Botanical Garden can be found in the center of Copenhagen. Covering an area of 10 hectares, it is home to an array of Danish, perennial, and annual plants, as well as a rock garden housing plants found in mountainous areas in Central and Southern Europe. First established in 1600, the Botanical Garden was moved twice before given its permanent location in 1870. Amongst the array of astoundingly beautiful plants, there are 27 historical glasshouses. The most notable of these glasshouses is the Old Palm House, which was built in 1874. 

Bibliotekshaven

Bibliotekshaven is the garden of the Royal Danish Library. Originally, the land was used as a naval harbour which connected to the main harbour via a small canal. When the navy was moved to Holmens Kanal, the harbour was filled in. In honour of its maritime origins, there is a small pond in the middle of the garden, and an old mooring ring, not dissimilar to the ones used by ships in the 17th and 18th centuries, built into the masonry at the end of the garden. Visitors to the garden can observe the flowers changing with the seasons sitting comfortably on benches nestled across the grounds. 

Spend less time doing your laundry, and more time enjoying the parks around you, by letting Laundryheap sort your washing for you. To book your Laundryheap service head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.