The east of Rotterdam boasts the city’s biggest park: the Kralingse Bos. This green oasis is a major attraction for everyone seeking to flee the busy urban streets for some fresh air and peace and quiet. Not that it’s always quiet; the Kralingse Bos is often humming with pleasant activity on sunny weekend afternoons. Nature lovers enjoy a stroll through the forest. Sun-worshipers bask on the lake’s small beach. Toddlers splash around in the wading pool or play at the petting zoo. Bigger children will love exploring the climbing park. People rollerblade, jog and cycle to their heart’s content around the lake and go sailing on the lake, while snacks are served at tables on the waterfront terraces.
If you live in Crooswijk or Kralingen, this is your backyard. Both neighbourhoods curve around the Kralingse Plas in a crescent. Crooswijk is one of those spots where you can still hear an authentic Rotterdam accent when you drop by the pub, especially in the older part. The rest of the neighbourhood has been redeveloped recently and is now called New Crooswijk. This area holds strong appeal for people looking for their first home in Rotterdam, and no wonder. The neighbourhood is green, the homes are very affordable, and it’s close to both the city centre and the motorway.
Kralingen is traditionally known as the city’s chic district. You’ll find romantic villa neighbourhoods and elegant lanes lined in town houses with beautifully manicured gardens. The well-educated, well-paid locals live in this area. Kralingen has some very affordable housing too, however. Many students from Erasmus University Rotterdam live here, which adds a lively note to a fairly quiet area. A number of popular pubs and restaurants are situated along Oostzeedijk and Oudedijk.
What does Rotterdam East have that other parts of Rotterdam do not?
• Arboretum Trompenburg: botanical gardens with a lovely arboretum, beautiful plants and flowers, and a charming tea house in the back.
• Tropicana: the former tropical swimming pool has been transformed into the trendy Aloha bar. Oyster mushrooms are now cultivated in the former changing rooms in the building’s cellar.
• Schaatsbaan Rotterdam: a skating rink that guarantees covered skating fun three months a year.
• De Esch: this cute urban beach on Nesserdijk with its view of the Rotterdam skyline is a well-kept secret.