Shopping along the West-Kruiskade is like taking a trip around the world. Dim sum, swaying golden cats, Surinamese gilt, authentic Dutch meatballs, Afro wigs, Hindustani wedding gowns, exotic vegetables, Turkish baklava. The array of treats for sale comes from every corner of the globe. The cultural melting pot is immediately apparent here, more palpable than anywhere else in Rotterdam. Food plays an important role. Feel free to follow your nose and discover delicious specialities in the multicultural eateries, and don’t be shy about trying something new. Ever tried Fernandes soda pop ice cream? Or sampled the savoury sensation of jellyfish? Now’s your chance.
The West-Kruiskade is dominated by a cheerfully friendly street culture, where much of the day-to-day activity happens outdoors. The atmosphere is exuberant, with cyclists winding their way between the honking cars. The sidewalks are often clogged with locals pausing to chat as they go about their errands. Tucked out of sight but well worth the visit, the Wijkpark is a charming city park. The open, grassy field and the small petting zoo attract a colourful mix of people: from veiled women pushing prams and Chinese locals moving smoothly through their daily exercises to students on break from the music conservatory nearby.