The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - FRONT PAGE -

This lively, con­tem­po­rary and cul­tur­ally rich Dutch city is now the stop be­fore Am­s­ter­dam on the new Eurostar di­rect link from Lon­don. Feel the party at­mos­phere on King’s Day (April 27): city­wide street rev­elry that kicks off the night be­fore. Or be sur­prised by ad­ven­tur­ous pro­duc­tions dur­ing Oper­ada­gen (May 19-25; op­er­ada­gen­rot­ter­dam.nl), a fes­ti­val of world opera. Go Eurostar (eurostar.com), or fly via Am­s­ter­dam (less than 30 min­utes away by train; britishair­ways.com, easyjet. com, klm.com).

Stad­huis (City Hall) (3) and head down busy Coolsin­gel – or wind your way south­wards through the Cool Dis­trict – to Witte de With­straat (4), with its gal­leries, spe­cial­ity shops and pavement cafés. Then on to the Mu­seum Boi­j­mans van Be­unin­gen (5) (su­perb Old Masters and sur­re­al­ist art; boi­j­mans.nl), and across the park to the Kun­sthal (6) (kun­sthal.nl). Fin­ish off at the spec­tac­u­lar, wing-like Eras­mus­brug (7), bridg­ing the Nieuwe Maas river.

Smaller streets lead­ing off it (such as Bot­er­sloot and Pan­nekoek­straat) are great for quirkier shops. Groos (groos­rot­ter­dam.nl) has unique de­signer gifts.

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