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Rotterdam in the Limelight

Annemarieke Van Drimmelen A view of the Euromast tower from the banks of the Nieuwe Maas river.

Photo: Annemarieke Van Drimmelen

DO

Skip the bigbrand shops on Lijnbaan (Europe’s first pedestrian mall) in favor of the smaller, more varied boutiques in the neighborhood around Meent and Pannekoekstraat. Don’t miss the sleek handmade jewelry and accessories at Galerie Puur (50A Botersloot; 3110/2136796). Then head to Delfshaven, an area of picturesque canals that emerged from the war relatively unscathed. Drop by the maritimethemed art and antiques store, known simply as Delfshaven (33 Voorhaven; 3110/4254565), for a selection of maps that date back to the Age of Exploration. After dark, Rotterdam is one of Europe’s hottest club destinations. Sample the scene at Thalia Lounge (31 Kruiskade; 3110/2142547; thaliarotterdam.nl), where a sophisticated crowd congregates at the bar above the dance floor. Cuttingedge DJ’s and multimedia art exhibitions draw a younger set to Off_Corso (22 Kruiskade; 3110/4113897; offcorso.nl). Cocktail hour, however, belongs to Soho (53A Pannekoekstraat; 3110/4118883). Furry white walls and futuristic curves make this bar look like the lair of a very stylish Abominable Snowman.

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