Dzhem blog 3 - foto 1

Last month has been a very busy month for everyone! There were lots of events to attend, a lot of parties to go, a lot of celebrations to do and thankfully a lot of sun to absorb and I will tell you all about it!

It was one month ago when black cars entered the campus lined up behind each other and when the guys with black sunglasses, with headsets in their ears and all suited up exited the black cars. I would say it was a scene from a movie only if I didn’t know Ban KI Moon was visiting our university that day! It was an exciting day for us because we would get to listen to Secretary General of the United Nations and for Ban Ki Moon too, because he was receiving the World Leader Cycle Award from our university.

Dzhem blog 3 - foto 2

He highlighted the importance of world peace and being a global citizen. He stressed the importance of developing ourselves and having great ambitions for the future and for our world. He mentioned the needed progress on the sustainability and gender equality. He connected with the young students by telling his story of growing up and the struggles he had to go through. At the end it was an inspiring moment for everyone who attended the event. It is also very nice that our university is a place where we can host great and interesting people around the world.

Keukenhof

Dzhem blog 3 - foto 3

If I ask you to tell me what comes to your mind when you think about the Netherlands, I bet “tulips” would be somewhere high on the list; probably coupled with “cheese” and “windmills” =)

If you have never heard of it, Keukenhof is a small place between Rotterdam and Amsterdam; a little bit closer to Amsterdam with 35 km distance and is literally full of tulips. If you are even remotely interested in tulips, this is the place to go but even if you are not interested in tulips this is a nice touristic attraction to visit in the Netherlands.

Dzhem blog 3 - foto 4

We took the train to Leiden and took a bus designated for this only to go to Keukenhof. When we first saw the queue of people waiting for the bus we were a bit dazzled, but at the end it was alright.

After we arrived the place, the first thing we realized was that there were way more people there than we imagined! It was filled with people being all tourists and doing touristy things like taking photos in front of every tulip they can find :).

Speaking of tulips, there are 800 varieties of tulips and 7 million tulips blooming in Keukenhof, which makes it vividly colorful. There were also other types of flowers too.

Dzhem blog 3 - foto 5

Dzhem blog 3 - foto 6

Yes, a windmill in a tulip field, can it get any Dutchier than this? 🙂

Although there were a lot of people on the windmill, it was totally worth the wait. It was around this time when we started feeling the effects of the strong wind and decided to slowly walk towards the exit to end our visit in Keukenhof. I would definitely suggest to check the wind and rain before visiting, but then again, you should always do this here in the Netherlands. 🙂

Dzhem blog 3 - foto 7

Dzhem blog 3 - foto 8

Keukenhof will be open again in 2017 between 23 March until 21 May 2017 when tulips start blooming again. 😉

Happy Kingsday!

Dzhem blog 3 - foto 9

Kingsday is a very big day in the Netherlands! Kingsday used to be Queensday (Koninginnedag) and it was the birthday of the Queen Beatrix but actually it was not her birthday but it was the former Queen Juliana’s birthday and she decided to keep it because her own birthday was on January and you can imagine that it would be pretty cold to be on the streets. However since last year it is now called Kingsday (Koningsdag) and is the birthday of the King Willem-Alexander.

Confusing right? Well what is important, is that it is a day of celebration and partying! A lot of drinking, dancing and more drinking!

Dzhem blog 3 - foto 10

Some people really take it to the next level. 😀

All of the country is covered with the color orange and it is a time to observe “orange madness (oranjegekte)” when everyone and everything is in orange; the national color of the Dutch.

For this year we have decided to go to Amsterdam. We went to Amsterdam and took a boat to go around the city.

Dzhem blog 3 - foto 11

It is an amazing experience, the streets are filled with people celebrating! I actually quite like the Dutch music taste as they like electro dance music and it was also easy to find nice spots on the streets to dance with other people!

Dzhem blog 3 - foto 12

In this particular spot, people were just dancing with some great music and suddenly 10-15 policemen showed up out of nowhere and the music was cut off. They pulled someone from the crowd and interrogated him on the side, I didn’t understand why they took him, but soon after the music was back on.

Dzhem blog 3 - foto 13

At one point I was talking to a Dutch guy and he started telling me about this story of why the Dutch people like to celebrate on the water. He said there used to be two landlords; one “land landlord and one water landlord”. The Land landlord was very strict and didn’t allow people to party whereas the Water landlord in fact did celebrate, and that is why people went to water to celebrate and party. This is the reason Dutch people go to water to celebrate.

Now I couldn’t tell whether this guy was just messing with me or whether he was serious, but it stays a story to be verified by the Dutch. 😉

Dzhem blog 3 - foto 14

Even the little ones are joining the celebrations!

If you are in the Netherlands, definitely join the Kingsday celebrations and don’t forget to pick up your orange stuff and facepaints.

Okay, I’ll admit it, this month I did really Dutch touristy things, and yes, I enjoyed them! A lot! And not to worry, this time, for once, I do not talk about food!

So what I had not realized up until a couple of weeks ago is that there is a UNESCO World Heritage Site like really, really close to Rotterdam. And us being in the Netherlands and all, of course it’s all about windmills.

Lisa blog 3 - foto 1

Kinderdijk is the most amazing collection of historic windmills. It can best be reached by taking the Waterbus in Rotterdam and then cycling the rest of the way until you reach the windmills. All in all, it is about a half-hour trip. The ten-minute bike ride from the Waterbus stop to Kinderdijk takes you through the most beautiful scenic little villages with cute little red-brick houses right by the river and was definitely one of the highlights of the day.

There are actually 19 windmills and you can either walk or cycle all around the site. You can even take a boat trip on the little canal that stretches from one end of the site to the other. Some of the windmills have been turned into museums so you can actually take a peek inside and check out what they look like on the inside. I would also recommend bringing a snack or having a little pick nick if the weather allows it. I mean who can say they had a pick nick at a UNESCO World Heritage site right?

Lisa blog 3 - foto 2

Another highlight of my time here so far: King’s Day! Ok, so every international student studying in the Netherlands has simply got to experience King’s Day at least once. I spent King’s Day Dutch style on a boat in Amsterdam and of course orange was the color of choice here. As you can see, my friends and I really wanted to fit in, we take King’s Day very seriously! The boat trip was organized by ESN Rotterdam (the Erasmus Student Network) and included a bus ride to Amsterdam right from the RSM campus as well as a three-hour boat trip including drinks and music. Luckily, it was one of those rare sunny days in Amsterdam and we could actually spend most of the day outside without an umbrella for a change. Once off the boat we walked through Amsterdam to take it all in and I must say it was incredible. Food, and drinks and music EVERYWHERE, the Dutch really know how to celebrate their King! I’ll admit, this is something I would came back to the Netherlands for any time!

Lisa blog 3 - foto 3

One of the best perks about living in Western Europe is that all countries are situated very close to each other, opening opportunities for travelling that are otherwise too time consuming or expensive. A few weeks ago I had the chance to visit Europe’s most romantic and symbolic city – Paris. Here are some of the highlights of my trip.

Mihaela blog 3 - foto 1

Since I am a student, budget is the most important factor when travelling. That is why I opted for the cheapest option to visit Paris – a bus ride. The trip from Rotterdam took around 5 hours and was proved to be very convenient since it was during the night. Many of the passengers were going to Disneyland only but since I hadn’t visited Paris before I decided that the city will be my main objective.

A friend of mine and I arrived in the morning and with previously decided planning, started the tour around the magical city of Paris. After having a cup of excellent coffee and a delicious croissant, we began from the famous Trocadéro square, which is famous for its perfect view to the Eiffel Tower. Then, we moved on to the actual tower as well as the beautiful Hotel National des Invalides. Next, we got on the last floor of the Montparnasse Tower, which proved to be the best panoramic view over the whole city and was definitely worth the visit. Then we walked around the beautiful park Le Jardin du Luxembourg, the Panthéon and the cathedral Notre-Dame.

Mihaela blog 3 - foto 2

Mihaela blog 3 - foto 3

Probably the highlight of the trip when it comes to food was our stop at L’éclair de Génie – a pastry shop which was ranked #1 for eclairs in Paris (according to Foursquare – the best app for finding the spots worth visiting for me!). Definitely worth its reputation, these lovely sweets were the best that I had ever tried!

Mihaela blog 3 - foto 4

Mihaela blog 3 - foto 5

Mihaela blog 3 - foto 6

After that, we reached the famous Louvre Museum, followed by a walk around the Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, the Grand and Petit Palais. After checking these out as well as the famous bridge Pont Alexandre III, we reached the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées, where we checked out many designer shops, car showrooms and whatnot. We finally got to the Arc de Triomphe and decided it was time to sit down and enjoy the evening in a cozy restaurant with a lovely meal and a nice glass of wine.

Mihaela blog 3 - foto 7

Mihaela blog 3 - foto 8

Spending a day in Paris is not enough to explore the city at its fullest but definitely proved to be an enjoyable experience worth every penny. I am now certain that I will go back to touch upon the unique vibes of the French capital once again. After all, it is no mistake that the whole world admires Paris for its romantic little streets, great cuisine, majestic architecture and lovely vibes. Till next time!

Mihaela blog 3 - foto 9

Editorial edit: It’s been a little over a month the Brussels attacks happened. We received Sydni’s blog just a few days before and decided,  given the circumstances, not to publish the piece at that time. Despite the horrible thing that happened and the sadness of that day, Brussels is still an amazing city. One we recommend you to visit. You shouldn’t be deprived of a nice city trip, Brussels’ beautiful city highlights and the different tourist attractions. Sydni will share her travel experience to Brussels and Antwerp in this blog.


 

Belgium was my first trip out of the Netherlands! Just a quick weekend trip, but it was packed.

Brussels, Belgium

Our first stop was Brussels, the Atomium. I have never seen anything quite like it. Each ball of the building had its own exhibit, with the very top ball having a 360 degree viewing area and restaurant. Our tour started in a (very smelly) elevator ride to the top ball. The view was amazing! It was a great way to see Brussels to start the trip. After walking around the viewing area, I took the elevator down part ways to the exhibits, which talked about the architecture and the history of the building. From there, I navigated through the various exhibits via escalators and stairs.

Sydni blog 2 - foto 1
The Atomium

Sydni blog 2 - foto 2
View of Brussels from the Atomium

I decided to take a short detour through the park near the Atomium. All of the leaves were changing colors and it was so beautiful!

Sydni blog 2 - foto 3
Park Near the Atomium.

Next, I went into the city to find our hotel. On the way to the hotel I walked through the Grand Place. It didn’t even look real! The buildings surrounding the square are lined with gold and intricate details. I feel like I spent a good amount of time just standing in awe of it all!

Sydni blog 2 - foto 4
Grand Place

Sydni blog 2 - foto 5
Grand Place

Sydni blog 2 - foto 6
Grand Place

I spent some time just walking around the streets and walking into interesting stores. There were so many chocolate stores! I was in heaven. We also walked by the Manneken Pis, a statue of a little boy peeing into a fountain. A bit later, we went to Planete Chocolat for a chocolate demonstration (and tasting of course!). We got to see how chocolate is grown and made and then they showed us how Planete Chocolat makes their own chocolates and pralines. I even got to volunteer to use the mold to help make some fancy pralines. SO MUCH FUN! After the demonstration, I bought a box of assorted pralines to try. I ended up eating them all by the next morning they were so delicious.


Sydni blog 2 - foto 7
Manneken Pis

Sydni blog 2 - foto 8
Becoming a Chocolatier at Planete Chocolat

From there, I explored the city more and walked by the town hall, the Royal Palace, and Parc de Cinquantenaire. After walking up the stairs there a little ways, we had another beautiful fall view of the city. We made our way through Parc Bruxelles which too us to the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral. The church was very fort-like! Making our way back towards the hotel, we walked though a famous shopping street called Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. After a long day of walking and site seeing, I found a great restaurant near the hotel and had authentic Belgian cuisine!

Sydni blog 2 - foto 9
Parc de Cinquantenaire

Sydni blog 2 - foto 10
Parc de Cinquantenaire

Sydni blog 2 - foto 11
Royal Palace

Sydni blog 2 - foto 12
View from St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedra

Sydni blog 2 - foto 13
St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral

Sydni blog 2 - foto 14
Dinner

Sydni blog 2 - foto 15
Grand Place at Night

With much more to see, I woke up early again on Sunday morning. Leaving the hotel, the streets were nearly empty, which was really cool when I walked through the Grand Place again. It was even prettier in the morning light (and without all the people!). After struggling to find somewhere to eat (and get coffee) I made my way to Coudenberg, the former palace of Brussels, which had burned down. So it was cool (and a little creepy) to be underground and walking through the old palace. I also went beer tasting at Delirium!

Sydni blog 2 - foto 17
Coudenberg

Sydni blog 2 - foto 18
Coudenberg

Sydni blog 2 - foto 19
Beer Tasting at Delirium Cafe

Antwerp, Belgium

At around mid day, I got back on the train towards Rotterdam stopping in Antwerp on the way! Antwerp central station is magnificent! From the station, I walked though a major shopping street. Sadly, nearly everything was closed. I stopped at Ruebenhuis for a tour. Next, I walked to the Cathedral of Our Lady, which was really beautiful. On the way, I also saw Antwerp city hall and the Grote Markt.

Sydni blog 2 - foto 20
Antwerp Central Station

Sydni blog 2 - foto 21
Reubenhuis Gardens

Sydni blog 2 - foto 22
Cathedral of Our Lady

Sydni blog 2 - foto 23
Antwerp City Hall

Sydni blog 2 - foto 24
Grote markt

Even though it was a short weekend trip, I saw so much! I’ll definitely have to go back to Antwerp on a day when everything is actually open!

There are two types of people: people who have discovered sports and people who haven’t!

If you have once discovered how good it feels to do sports, it is highly unlikely you will ever want to go back, instead you will want to do more and more!

It has been shown that doing sports has a lot of benefits for our lives and even if you leave them out, as human beings it just feels right when we do sports and it makes us feel better.

When I was growing up as a kid, I loved cycling. I would spend hours with my friends outside cycling up and down usually until midnight. Now the Netherlands has been a great choice as it is one of the best countries for cycling. However with the technology and city lifestyle, it is becoming more difficult for each one of us to spend our time outside freely and isolated from technology.

What I discovered when I came to Rotterdam is that there is another alternative that you can still live in the city but be sportive and feel disconnected when you want to.

If you are a local, it is probably not surprising for you to see groups of people running around the city in Rotterdam, but as an international student, I was not used to that and I just love how much people are into sports here. It actually motivated me to finally pick up running again!

Last year in May I was photographing the event Brandgrensrun which was a running event organized to commemorate the 75th year of the city’s bombing. People ran for 12 km around the borders of the area which was bombed.

Dzhem blog 2 - foto 1

Dzhem blog 2 - foto 2

Dzhem blog 2 - foto 3

There were so many people from all ages running, it was a great event to see so many people like that and at that time I decided to run next year’s quarter marathon of 10,5 km.

Dzhem blog 2 - foto 4

Roll it forward a year and a week ago, I was there; this time lined up among the crowd of runners, excitingly waiting for the start of the run.

Dzhem blog 2 - foto 5

Fortunately we were very lucky to have the sun shining and to have weather during the run. It was defintely warmer than I was expecting as I was wearing a sweater prepared for the Rotterdam wind. I have to say that the whole run was organized very well. From the organizational stuff like running numbers to the event day organization, everything was neatly done. There were water, drinks and food supplied to runners. There were also a lot of supporters cheering up for us and they even set up music stands along the running track to motivate the runners!

Dzhem blog 2 - foto 6

After 10,5 kilometers I finally reached the finish line and got my medal. I was tired but really happy at the end much like the rest of the people around me.

For anyone interested, I strongly suggest trying out this quarter marathon or the full marathon if you can! You can also run as part of Erasmus Charity Run and contribute to support fund for education!

Now my goal is to improve my time next year and to keep up my running habits as part of my lifestyle. Although we are cycling everyday to go from A to B, it is stil nice to do more sports! 🙂

As students we all need a break from time to time and take a moment to enjoy the better things in life before getting back to our busy schedules. I have taken it upon myself to help you out and find the best locations to get your next sugar rush and do some serious sight-seeing along the way. My mission: finding the perfect dessert! I mean, who doesn’t have a sweet tooth right?

First stop: Rotterdam, Cupcakes

Lisa blog 2 - foto 1

For those of you looking for something meaningful to do in Rotterdam on a lazy Sunday afternoon, the Swan Market is the perfect way to spend the last day of your weekend and load up on some sugar before braving another Monday morning. While it officially calls itself the “De Lifestyle Markt van Rotterdam”, this market is actually every girl’s dream! You get to shop AND have the most amazing cupcakes, while taking a break from all the excitement of finding the best deals and bargains. Located in the Van Nelle Fabriek Rotterdam, which by the way is not just an old factory but a UNESCO world heritage site, the market boasts everything from clothing to food, art and interior design pieces. While my friends spent most of their time bargaining, I spent it more effectively: trying to pick the perfect cupcake, which was way harder than it sounds. As you can see, I ended up with caramel and chocolate fudge and I never looked back.

Second stop: Amsterdam, Poffertjes

Lisa blog 2 - foto 2

So this was my very first time in the Netherlands’ lovely capital Amsterdam. You know how everyone is always telling you how amazing Amsterdam is? Well, they are all right, it is gorgeous. The buildings, the grachten, the lovely cafes in the countless small alleyways. And then there is the food. I’ll admit that one of the main reasons for going to Amsterdam, besides doing sightseeing and all those other touristy things of course, was to attend the Food Festival Amsterdam and bear witness to all the incredibly delicious local specialties that the Netherlands have to offer. The highlight of my dinner is pictured right here: Poffertjes. For those of you who are thinking if the extra butter on top is really necessary, let me tell you that yes, it most definitely is! Poffertjes are essentially small round pancakes eaten with powdered sugar and butter. But, not to worry, all the ingredients were organic, which gives all the more reason to indulge. I love Amsterdam and I most definitely am loving me some poffertjes.

 Third stop: Antwerp, Waffles

Lisa blog 2 - foto 3

My search for the best dessert in the area has officially gone international and taken me to the picturesque city of Antwerp. Antwerp is located in Belgium, about an hour’s ride away from Rotterdam and the perfect location for an international day trip. This city boasts cultural highlights such as the Rubenshuis, great shopping opportunities and amazing food. While mosselen and fritjes are considered the culinary highlights of the local cuisine, my very own favorite is and always will be: the waffle! And, above all else, I have discovered, located at the end of the Meir, “The Smallest Waffle Shop in The World”. That is literally what it is called. Don’t be fooled by its name or its size though, because it definitely makes the best waffles in Antwerp, hands down. As you can see, just looking at my chocolate covered waffle makes me happy. I urge you to go to Antwerp like ASAP and try it for yourself, you will not regret it.

Lisa blog 2 - foto 4

We all know that exchange is all about new experiences, destinations, cultures and people. That is why most of us spend their free time travelling from our exchange city to other nearby countries as well. During my semester abroad in Helsinki, I not only traveled around Finland but also explored Russia, Sweden and Estonia. Here are a few of my highlights from all three places.

Mihaela blog 2 - foto 1

Mihaela blog 2 - foto 2

  1. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and is easily reachable from Helsinki either by ferry or plane. My friends and I picked the first option because it was cheaper and we only wanted to visit for a day. The ferry ride took about 2 hours and was really comfortable since we could chill in the cafés or restaurants on board. When we arrived there, we explored the old town which reminded me a lot about medieval times because of its architecture and tiny coble streets. And since I am a major chocoholic I couldn’t miss on visiting the store of the famous Estonian brand Kalev. There was such a wide variety of chocolate and sweets! All in all, Tallinn is a cute town that is perfect for a day trip, especially from Helsinki.

Mihaela blog 2 - foto 3

Mihaela blog 2 - foto 4

  1. Stockholm, Sweden

We traveled to Stockholm by ferry as well, which took around 14 hours but was more than fun. The ferry itself was huge and we actually god really nice cabins that were overlooking the main part of the ship where all restaurants and stores were situated. There was also a casino and a night club, which we went to on the way back to sing some karaoke. The trip was super comfortable and most importantly really cheap – 20 euros back and forth. Of course flights are also a very good option since there are at least two a day and they usually cost around 30 Euros per direction. So getting to Sweden from Helsinki is very easy and affordable.

Stockholm itself definitely meets the expectations of its label ‘Capital of Scandinavia’ because the vibrancy and spirit of the city is amazing! I fell in love with the architecture in the old city but the vibe of the modern part was better than I expected. Design and minimalism was in every store, café, restaurant or gallery. And since I’m a huge fan of Scandinavian design and fashion, I just couldn’t get enough! I would recommend checking out Café String since I loved the interior and they had pretty good deals on coffee and cake (chocolate Oreo cake was amazing!).

Mihaela blog 2 - foto 5

Mihaela blog 2 - foto 6

  1. Saint Petersburg, Russia

My trip to St. Petersburg was a truly great experience and since I had already visited Russia before (Moscow), I kind of knew that I would like it! The city is extremely beautiful with its stunning architecture, vibrancy and romantic vibes.

Luckily, we found an option to go to St. Petersburg without applying for a visa, which is usually not the case for EU citizens since they have to obtain one to visit Russia. Apparently, there is an understanding between the cities of Helsinki and St. Petersburg to allow tourists to visit visa-free for up to 72 hours. We decided to pick the easiest possible option and not handle the formalities ourselves, therefore took a ferry by the Russian company St. Peter line. The accommodation for 2 nights we arranged through booking.com and picked a very nice central hostel that offered private double rooms. Walking around the city, visiting museums and eating out was truly amazing! I would recommend going to the Hermitage museum for sure and also try one of the boat trips around town – we bargained for less than 7 euros per person! Almost all cafés and restaurants have breakfast, lunch and dinner deals that are super affordable and are definitely worth it!

Trip to The Hague

29Mar2016

In the fall, my boyfriend and I took a fun day trip to The Hague, only thirty minutes or so from Rotterdam. We got up pretty early in the morning and took the train to Den Haag Central station. After arriving, we walked through the city and passed the Ridderzaal and other old buildings. It was my first time out of Rotterdam, and it was so cool seeing the different architecture and sites in a new city!

Sydni blog 4 - foto 1

Sydni blog 4 - foto 2
Ridderzaal

Sydni blog 4 - foto 3
Walking through The Hague

Sydni blog 4 - foto 4
Walking through The Hague

After walking quite a ways, we finally broke down and took the tram to our stop where the beach was. Even though it was too cold to go for a swim, the beach was full of people and a great place to hang out. (Windy too!). We spent a lot of time walking along the beach and the pier, which is full of little restaurants. From the beach, you could also see the Grand Hotel Amrath Kurhaus! Such a spectacular looking building!

Sydni blog 4 - foto 5

Sydni blog 4 - foto 6
View of the beach from the hill

Sydni blog 4 - foto 7
Grand Hotel Amrath Kurhaus

Sydni blog 4 - foto 8
The beach

After spending some time at the beach, my boyfriend and I walked back to the tram station. While we were waiting, we saw this silly blue train! On the way back, we stopped at the Peace Palace and took a tour, unfortunately the building wasn’t open to visitors the day we were there. We also stopped by a museum that holds the Panorama Mesdag, an enormous panoramic painting by Hendrik Mesdag. I could not believe how big it was! And so beautiful! I cannot imagine painting something so detailed! Sadly, I did not get any pictures of the panorama. In the panorama room they even had sand and ambient music so you felt like you were actually at the beach!

Sydni blog 4 - foto 9
The Silly Blue Train

Sydni blog 4 - foto 10
The Peace Palace

It was an eventful day in The Hague, but there is still so much to see there! I will definitely be making another trip back before the end of the school year!

Dzhem blog 1 - foto 1
source: facebook/rotterdamviertdestad

It has been 75 years since Rotterdam has been damaged in WWII and had been reconstructed for the past 75 years. Now it has the centre of modern architecture and second largest city in the Netherlands. For this reason the whole city is filled with decorations and attractions!

Coupled with the good weather of spring this marks the best time to go out and explore more of the city!

Dzhem blog 1 - foto 2

One of the most recognizable attractions is the ferris wheel next to Martkhal in Blaak! It is certainly a nice opportunity to look over the city from a higher ground! As you can see in the picture above, it is also right next to the market there if you go there on a Saturday!

The ferris wheel will stay there for the next three weeks, make sure to check it out before it is gone!

I suggest going there right before the sun sets as it sets a beautiful colored backdrop on the scene for your ferris wheel trip but it is also nice at night!

Dzhem blog 1 - foto 3

Dzhem blog 1 - foto 4
Source: facebook/rotterdamviertdestad

On March 20, the festivities were launched at Schouwburgplein with the exhibition of Meta Baby. It stands for the fact that with every new day Rotterdam is developing more for another 75 years! It is really an interesting to see something so unusual in a familiar spot.

Dzhem blog 1 - foto 5
Source: oogoprotterdamcentrum.nl

In addition to all these activities, there was also an event where 8000 large dominoes were placed through the city and then let fall! Although you have missed it by now, you can still find videos online.

If you want to see what other activities there are, you can find them all at rotterdamcelebratesthecity.com and rotterdamviertdestad.nl.

 

Happy Celebrations Rotterdam!!!

What is the best way to get to know a new country and a new culture? That’s right, through food! There is a saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his belly! And in my case this could not be truer. That is why I want to take you on a culinary journey highlighting my favorite food and coffee joints so far and show you why I LOVE Rotterdam!

So my first highlight here in Rotterdam was going out for breakfast. Let me just say this: Breakfast is THE BEST meal of the day! That is why I choose my breakfast destinations with great care. But luckily, through some friends, I discovered Dudok! Do you see that étagère? Let me just tell it was so worth the trip! See how happy my friend is in that picture? She loved it, too. Of course, any great breakfast in the Netherlands has to come with, you probably guessed it, Hagelslag! But, even as a hardcore Nutella fan, I am big enough to admit that Hagelslag is definitely a must and the Dutch are lucky to able to buy it in any grocery store. To sum up, I would definitely urge you to stop by and give it a try, although sharing the étagère with a friend, or loved one, is definitely recommended! And by the way, Dudok is also a really great place to get some of your coursework done while enjoying a nice cup of coffee!

Lisa blog 1 - foto 1

Moving on from breakfast to dinner, another undeniably important meal, let me introduce you to one of the best burgers in town. And when I say best, I mean BEST #burgergoals! And it’s not just me that thinks so, no, this burger hast actually been voted BEST HAMBURGER ROTTERDAM 2014/2015. The Dutch really know what they’re doing because you can order this burger with a side of fries with truffle mayonnaise, which, to be honest, is amazing and this comes from someone who is not a fan of mayonnaise. THE (burger) place to be is located on the vibrant Witte de Withstraat near the center of town and is called Ter Marsch & Co.! And while you are at it, stop by one of the cool, and at times hipster, Bars on the Witte de With after your meal. The Dutch are an extremely open and friendly folk so try some of the local beers and enjoy the atmosphere!

Lisa blog 1 - foto 2

Now that we have covered food, let’s move on to the next most important aspect of your student life: COFFEE! Let’s face it, we all need it but sometimes we drink good, sometimes bad, and sometimes very bad coffee to get our daily intake of caffeine. I want to help you drink only the very best and have discovered great places to do so. One of my favorites is café Noc Noc. Here you can choose your own beans, milk and type of coffee and you always get your milk froth heart-shaped! While it’s a little more pricey, you can be sure the beans are fair trade and organic and the taste is amazing. It’s also a great place to work on group assignments, thesis proposals, etc. 😉 For those of you looking to indulge, try their double chocolate cake, it’s worth every calorie. The place is very close to the Markthal so if you want to do some deluxe grocery shopping after your coffee break go for it!

Lisa blog 1 - foto 3

So that’s it for my favorite places so far but I have lots more to see and discover so stay tuned and Eet smakelijk!

Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam

Follow this blog to learn more about your fellow international students at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Read about their experiences, tips and stories and don't hesitate to comment if you have any questions or remarks.

  • Xenon lampen: cool blog [...]
  • Kaiden: An answer from an expert! Thanks for cotuiibtnrng. [...]
  • Rocky: Keep it coming, wriesrt, this is good stuff. [...]
  • Jahnavi: I have spent the past few days trying to talk to as many people from Netherlands as possible, to get [...]
  • Dzhem: Hi Marcel, thanks for the reply! I am also really enjoying to study here. The Netherlands is a great [...]