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Rotterdam must-see sights

Photo by Steshka Willems from Pexels

Rotterdam is a major port city in the south of Holland. After being mostly destroyed during World War 2, Rotterdam was rebuilt and is now known for its bold and modern architecture, amongst its other must-see sights. 

  • The Cube Houses
  • Market Hall
  • The Kinderdijk Windmills
  • Kunsthal Rotterdam
  • Erasmus Bridge
  • Rotterdam boat tour
  • The Witte Huis
  • Luchtsingel Bridge
  • Delfshaven
  • Floating Forest

The Cube Houses 

The Cube Houses are one of Rotterdam’s most iconic sites. They were designed by architect Piet Blom in the late 1970s, who designed the housing development as cubes tilted at a 45-degree angle. Their asymmetrical design was intended to resemble an abstract forest, with each triangular rooftop representing a tree. You can see how the space inside each cube has been utilised by visiting the Show Cube, which holds the original designs and history of the development. Conveniently located next to the Rotterdam Blaak railway station, The Cube Houses are easily accessible, and even form a pedestrian bridge into the city center. 

Photo by Claudia Schmalz from Pexels

Market Hall

Nicknamed “Koopboog” (horseshoe) by locals, the Market Hall is a popular hangout spot for locals and tourists. Formed from an office complex opened in 2014, the Market Hall comes complete with arched ceilings and larger-than-life murals of produce that celebrate the array of fresh food that is on offer. Here, fast food stores and fancy restaurants live in perfect harmony, and you may find it difficult to choose where to eat. From traditional Dutch delicacies to Spanish tapas, you will find an array of cuisines to fit any pallet. 

Image by ddzphoto from Pixabay

The Kinderdijk Windmills

Located 23 kilometers east of Rotterdam, is the idyllic village of Kinderdijk, where you can find the 19 Kinderdijk Windmills. Built between 1722 and 1761, each of the 19 windmills is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Together, they form the largest surviving concentration of windmills in the country. Despite not being active, on National Mill Day, celebrated on the second Saturday and Sunday of May, their sails are spun. The Kinderdijk Windmills are one of the most visited and iconic places in the Netherlands, and definitely worth seeing. 

Image by BriYYZ

Kunsthal Rotterdam

Kunsthal was opened in 1992 and has been the host of a wide variety of global traveling exhibits. Each year, more than 20 exhibitions are hosted at the Kunsthal, the most notable of which has been the 2013 exhibit ‘The fashion world of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the catwalk’. The box-shaped building holds seven exhibition spaces, which are accessible via a sloping and spiraling floor. Designed by Rem Koolhaas, the Kunsthal building is often referred to as a work of art itself, as Koolhaas opted to give the museum an industrial look using corrugated plastic, raw concrete, galvanized steel, and roughly sawn tree trunks- materials that have never been used to build art galleries before. 

Erasmus Bridge

Erasmus Bridge is an important Rotterdam landmark. Stretching 802 meters, the bridge crosses the Nieuwe Maas and connects the north and south of Rotterdam. Completed in 1996, Erasmus Bridge is a great way to reach one side of the city from the other, and is especially beautiful at night when it is illuminated. It was named after Christian Renaissance humanist Desiderius Erasmus, otherwise known as Erasmus of Rotterdam. 

Image by Luke Price

Rotterdam boat tour

Rotterdam is a major port city, and the best way to tour the ports is via boat. There are many different companies that offer boat tours, with some offering dining options. Each tour provides an in-depth tour of the ports and a history of Rotterdam. A boat tour is a perfect way to see the highlights of Rotterdam, in a comfortable and intimate way, whilst learning about the amazing city. Most tours last roughly 75-90 minutes, so make sure to block out a good portion of your day to enjoy the tour. 

Image by Guilhem Vellut

The Witte Huis

Standing proudly at 43 meters tall, The Witte Huis (White House) was Europe’s first skyscraper. Built in 1898, it was formed using white-glazed brick and decorated with Art Nouveau mosaics and statues. On the 14th of May 1940, it was one of the only buildings in Rotterdam to survive a German bombing. It now serves as a national monument and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors to the building can enjoy a relaxing drink in the Grand Café Het Witte Huis, located on the ground floor of the building. 

Image by Fred Romero

Luchtsingel Bridge

Luchtsingel Bridge was the world’s first crowdfunded public infrastructure project. The 400-meter long bridge connects the center of Rotterdam to Rotterdam North, a relatively vacant and neglected area of the city. The bridge was funded by over 8,000 people who donated to fund the construction. Every person who donated €25 has had their names permanently engraved on the wooden boards of the bridge as a sign of thanks. 

Delfshaven

Delfshaven is a beautiful historic town located in the west of Rotterdam. When Rotterdam was bombed during World War 2, Delfshaven was not hit, which has meant that much of the town’s original infrastructure still remains. Asides from its war history, Delfshaven is also famous for being the port from which the pilgrims departed for their voyage to America. As you discover the history of Delfshaven, you can enjoy the multitude of quaint cafes and restaurants in the area. Delfshaven is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of Rotterdam’s center. 

Floating Forest

The Floating Forest is the very first of its kind. Floating in the port of Rotterdam, it was created by the cultural association Mothership and is based on the artwork ‘In Search of Habitus’ by Jorge Bakker. The forest consists of 20 Dutch elm trees, which stand tall on recycled buoys. The aim of the project is to lower CO2 emissions in Rotterdam, whilst creating a visual impact that shows the contrast between nature and the city. It is truly a sight to behold, made better by its impact on saving the environment

Image by GraphyArchy

Rotterdam is home to some truly spectacular sights. Whilst you enjoy these sights, we will enjoy dry cleaning your laundry. To book your Laundryheap service, simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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Things to do in The Hague

The Hague is the third-largest city in the Netherlands, just behind Amsterdam and Rotterdam. There is no shortage of things to do in The Hague, but we have narrowed it down to the top 10.  

  • Escher in Het Paleis
  • Madurodam
  • Mauritshuis Museum 
  • Drievliet
  • Peace Palace
  • The Hague Tower
  • Landgoed Clingendael Park
  • Explore the canals 
  • Scheveningen
  • Haagse Markt 

Escher in Het Paleis 

If you are a fan of art and maths, then the Escher in Het Paleis is the perfect place for you. During the 20th century, Dutch artist M.C. Escher would apply mathematics and geometry to his graphic art, creating masterpieces with beautiful symmetry. What was once a royal palace, is now a museum dedicated to his work, showcasing over 150 of his most famous pieces. In addition to exploring Escher’s wonderful artwork, the second floor of the museum has been converted into an interactive, optical illusion experience, which allows visitors to see through Escher’s eyes. Escher in Het Paleis is opened 11 am-5 pm Tuesday-Sunday. 

Madurodam 

Madurodam is a miniature park that offers a unique way to explore the history of Holland. The park is divided into 3 sections- City Centre, Water World, and Innovation Island. In the City Centre, you can begin by exploring how Holland developed into the country we see today. Water World, showcases the port of Rotterdam and explains how the famous watermills of Holland work. Finally, Innovation Island showcases modern-day Holland, and all it has to offer. Once you have explored the past and present of Holland, there are an array of play parks and gardens to enjoy.

Mauritshuis Museum 

The Mauritshuis Museum is a cultural must when visiting The Hague. It is home to the most extraordinary collection of Dutch Golden Age paintings, including ‘The Girl With The Pearl Earring’ by Johannes Vermeer. You can wander the museum at your own leisure, or take part in the array of activities that are on offer. On Monday’s, a short talk is given by a member of staff discussing a particular painting, artist, or subject. In addition, there are monthly art lectures and various learning opportunities for children to explore the world of art. 

Drievliet

Whether you are exploring the park with family, or looking for a thrilling adventure, you will find plenty of rides to satisfy your needs at Drievliet. Included in the park are 20 rides that all the family can enjoy, and 5 deluxe rollercoasters, guaranteed to set your hair on edge. Once you are satisfied with your thrill-seeking experience, you can enjoy one of the family-friendly entertainment shows that are put on at Drievliet. 

Peace Palace 

The Peace Palace is why The Hague is known as the City of Peace and Justice. It was built at the end of the 19th century and established as the home for the Permanent Court of Arbitration, where alternative solutions to war between countries could be discussed. Now, you can visit the Peace Palace and join a 90-minute tour of the premises. As you are on your tour, take note of the various pieces of artwork that decorate the hallways. Each piece was gifted by various city governments. 

The Hague Tower 

Standing 132m tall, The Hague Tower is the third tallest building in The Hague. The majority of the building is made up of offices, however, further up the tower is a nightclub, restaurant, and viewing platform. From the viewing platform you can enjoy panoramic views of The Hague. You can even see boats come in from the North sea at the Hook of Holland. This is the perfect opportunity to see the whole of The Hague at one time.

Landgoed Clingendael Park

The Clingendael is a 17th century manor house which is surrounded by exquisite gardens. One of the stand-out features is it’s Japanese garden, although it is only open for a short period of the year due to it’s fragility. The Japanese garden was created at the beginning of the 20th century by the former owner of the manor house, Marguerite M. Baroness van Brienen. She had sailed to Japan on multiple occasions, and bought back lanterns, a water cask, sculptures, and several plants. It is the only Japanese garden in The Netherlands. 

Other than the Japanese garden, The Clingendael has an abundance of green space to enjoy picnics and relaxing days in the sun. There is even a large playground for the little ones. 

Explore the canals 

The Hague is home to 10 canals which were dug in the 14th century for transportation and defence purposes. In the 20th century, these canals were filled to improve sanitation. It wasn’t until 2004 that part of The Hague’s canal system was uncovered for people to sail or walk along. Sailing down the canals of The Hague requires payment, however, walking across them is completely free. 

Scheveningen

The beaches of The Hague is what sets it apart from other Dutch cities. You can spend your morning strolling across the canals, and be at the beach by the afternoon. The largest beach in The Hague is Scheveningen. Scheveningen is best known for its pier, which opened in 1959, but was sadly destroyed during World War 2. It was later renovated in 2015, and now includes a shopping centre. At the end of the pier is a 50 meter high Ferris Wheel from which you can enjoy panoramic views of the sea, and the skyline of The Hague. 

Haagse Markt 

Haagse Markt is the largest outdoor market in Europe, and the place to enjoy the multicultural side of The Hague. Although this market does sell goods, such as flowers, clothes, and household goods, it is best known for its array of food. As you walk from market stall to market stall you can sample the cuisine of the Dutch, Germans, Turkish, and Caribbean, all in one place.

Whilst you are exploring all that The Hague has to offer, we will take care of your laundry. Simply book your Laundryheap service, and we will do the rest.

To book your Laundryheap service, head to the Laundryheap website, or, download the free Laundryheap app. 


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Top places to shop in Amsterdam

If you’re looking to do a little bit of retail therapy whilst in Amsterdam, these are the top 5 places to shop. 

  • De Negen Straatjes
  • PC Hooftstraat
  • Magna Plaza 
  • De Bijenkorf
  • Waterlooplein Flea Market

De Negen Straatjes 

De Negen Straatjes, or The Nine Streets, can be found in the heart of Amsterdam. As the name suggests, this shopping district is formed from nine streets that hold quaint boutiques ready to browse. De Negen Straatjes is perfect if you are looking for something a bit quirky. The streets are lined with vintage stores and boutiques that stock all manner of styles in an array of prices. The Nine Streets also come equipped with several quaint cafes that are perfect for a post-shop coffee

PC Hooftstraat

If you are looking for a more expensive shopping experience than head to PC Hooftstraat. Renowned for being Amsterdam’s most exclusive shopping street, you will find all the top designer brands on this street, including Chanel, Mulberry, and Louis Vuitton, amongst others. Located in the museum district of Amsterdam, once you’ve perused the shops of PC Hooftstraat, you can wander to the Van Gogh museum, or to one of the several restaurants located nearby. 

Magna Plaza 

Formerly the Amsterdam post office, the Magna Plaza is Amsterdam’s best-known department store. Situated across the street from the Royal Palace and Dam Square, this impressive building could not be in a better location. Spread out over three floors is every shoppers dream. From clothes to shoes, jewelry to gifts, you will find everything you need at the Magna Plaza. There is even a cheese counter where you can purchase famous Dutch cheese to take home. 

De Bijenkorf

De Bijenkorf is the perfect mixture of a department store and designer high street. It is actually a chain of high-end department stores, but the Amsterdam store was the first to open in 1870. De Bijenkorf translates to The Beehive, which is fitting as shoppers flit from floor to floor, exploring brands such as Gucci, Diesel, and Ralph Lauren. They even have a premium denim department which is said to be the best place to shop for all of your denim garments. 

Waterlooplein Flea Market 

Amsterdam is home to an abundance of open-air markets, but Waterlooplein is definitely one to check out. You will find everything at Waterlooplein- bikes, furniture, second-hand clothing, art, books, and even electronics. With such an array of objects to sift through, Waterlooplein Flea Market provides the perfect opportunity to slow down as you make your way from vendor to vendor, finding the best bargains and hidden treasures. Keep in mind that Waterlooplein Flea Market is opened every day except Sunday. 

Whilst your shopping let us take care of your laundry. Head to the Laundryheap website or download our free Laundryheap app to book your service. We are now operating in Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam. 


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Amsterdam fun facts

If being in self-isolation is leaving you yearning for a holiday more than ever, here are 10 fun facts about Amsterdam. The ideal post-isolation city break destination. 

  • Amsterdam got its name from the Amstel river
  • Amsterdam is the new capital of the Netherlands
  • Amsterdam lies below sea level
  • Amsterdam has over 100 canals
  • There are over 2,000 houseboats in Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam is home to dancing houses
  • Amsterdam’s tap water is safe to drink
  • Amsterdam is home to some of the most famous museums in the world
  • Amsterdam’s floating flower market 
  • Amsterdam’s tourists drastically outweighs its locals

Amsterdam got its name from the Amstel river 

Amsterdam was founded as a fishing village in the 12th century. The city grew around the Amstel river and was protected by a dam that prevented flooding from the  ZuiderZee (South Sea). Thus the name Amsterdam was given to the city as a combination of Amsel and Dam. 

Image by Giorgio Baresi

Amsterdam is the new capital of the Netherlands 

Amsterdam only became the official capital of the Netherlands in 1983. Prior to this, everyone assumed that Amsterdam was the capital but it was never official. Despite being the capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam isn’t the political capital. The Netherlands government buildings are actually housed in Hague.

Amsterdam lies below sea level 

Half of the Netherlands, including Amsterdam, is situated below sea level. In the 12th and 13th century, residents would dig ditches and remove water to pump windmills. This resulted in the ground getting progressively lower to the point where half of the Netherlands now remains 2 meters below sea level. Without the dikes and dunes that are enforced every year, the Netherlands would be submerged underwater.

Amsterdam has over 100 canals 

There are 165 canals across Amsterdam, which separate the city into 90 different islands. The majority of them were built in the 17th century, during the Dutch Golden Age. They now have a combined length of 100km. Amsterdam is notorious for its canals, so much so that the historic Canal Belt, or ‘Grachtengordel’ in Dutch, is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. 

There are over 2,000 houseboats in Amsterdam  

Amsterdam’s canals are home to 2,500 houseboats, many of which have been afloat for centuries. Houseboats are either wooden or concrete, with the concrete ones being most desirable. If you own a wooden houseboat you are legally required to take it to a shipyard every three years for repairs and to be painted. The majority of the boats are residential, however, you can find hotel houseboats and even museum houseboats. 

Amsterdam is home to Dancing Houses

The Dancing Houses of Amsterdam are famous. Found on the edge of the Damrak canal these houses get their name from their crooked appearance. Originally built as both houses and offices for wealthy bankers, the soil these houses were built on was so swampy that they had to be built on stilts. This caused the houses to wobble and sink slightly, making them off-balance. The Dancing Houses are a regular tourist attraction and a highlight of Amsterdam. 

Amsterdam’s tap water is safe to drink 

Amsterdam’s tap water is the cleanest in the Netherlands. Above this, the Netherlands has the cleanest tap water in Europe. 

Amsterdam is home to famous museums

Not only is Amsterdam home to some of the most famous museums in the world, but it also has more museums per square meter than any other city. Famous figures, such as Anne Frank and Van Gough, have museums in Amsterdam, alongside the Rijksmuseum and the Amsterdam museum.

Image by emoro from Pixabay

Amsterdam’s floating flower market 

The Netherlands is well known for its flowers, specifically tulips. The iconic floating flower market of Amsterdam has been in business since 1862. It is now one of the most famous flower markets in the Netherlands. To this day, all the stalls of the market are located on boats as a remembrance to when flowers were delivered to the Netherlands by boat. 

Image by jimderda

Amsterdam’s tourists drastically outweigh its locals

Amsterdam is visited by roughly 14 million tourists per year. 4.5 million of these tourists travel from the Netherlands, with the rest travelling from around the globe. Amsterdam is home to only 821,000 residents, meaning that the tourists drastically outnumbers the locals. 

Another fun fact about Amsterdam is that Laundryheap operates from the city. If you are visiting Amsterdam and need your clothes laundered you can book your slot via the Laundryheap website or on the app.