We have been thinking visiting Rotterdam for a while since we’ve learnt about Miniworld Rotterdam and we decided to make the trip as part of a birthday treat for Bobcat, as well as meeting with my cousin and spending a weekend together (they live in Belgium, but close to the border of The Netherlands). But we didn’t really want to stay in Rotterdam and found a great little hotel in Schiedam (read my review of Our Stay in Stadsvilla Mout (Schiedam, The Netherlands) and it looked like a nice place to stay – said Dr. Google anyway. So the long weekend in Schiedam, The Netherlands with family was booked then and there! And the reality was just as nice: we really liked Schiedam!
We took the Eurostar of course, from Surbiton to Schiedam by 3 trains! And two stops by tram. Quite amazing, isn’t it? We love taking the Eurostar – it’s the most sustainable way of travel to Europe for sure.
Long Weekend in Schiedam, The Netherlands with Family
Schiedam is a short train or metro ride away from Rotterdam, it’s practically an outskirt of Rotterdam, although it’s a separate municipality and town. Given just how wonderful the public transport is in The Netherlands, it was really easy to get to Schiedam by metro and then we went two stops with the tram to our hotel which was located by the main canal, surrounded by cute, old Dutch architecture and bridges. (There are trains from all major cities to Schiedam as well.) Some other nice canals are around and apparently the the tallest historical windmills in the world! another thing Schiedam is famous for is gin – we’ve got to taste local gin that was in our hotel room . The gin production was the source of much of the wealth that built the town into what it is today and throughout the 20th century the main source of income for the city was its shipbuilding industry. But most people just work in Rotterdam or in small local businesses.
Apart form the tram, locally you can also take the bus and hire bicycles or electric scooters (we tried the latter, it’s great fun and inexpensive too).
What to see and do in Schiedam
We walked around mainly the old town area where a couple of museums can be found: Stedelijk Museum (It has a collection of famous Dutch artist group called Cobra), Jenevermuseum and Het Borrelmuseum, a couple of small galleries but we skipped these. There are two big windmills we went to see as they were located near the old town area, they are huge indeed.
We found some really cute and odd things in Schiedam however, the kids enjoyed these – a lot:
- De Bonte Koe Chokolade is a chocolate manufacture of artisanal and handmade chocolate creations as well as they have a cafe on site. They also offer chocolate master classes. But even just visiting the shop and marvel their creations as well as treating yourself to some delicious, handmade bonbons is a fantastic experience.
- Following the bridge lifting brigade from bridge to bridge opening and closing the bridge for a passing boat. Now that’s not something a 9 year old boy see everyday! They hop on their mopeds, drive to the next bridge, lift it up for the boat that passes the canal – repeat for several bridges. We obviously had to run to keep up with them, but it was good fun.
- Renting bicycles and electric scooters to ride around the old town.
- Having a meal (or two, or every evening) at Pannakoe Schiedam which was great for the kids (pancakes!) and for the grown ups too, because they had burgers and veggie food as well.
- Went to the town market, where are lots of different local produce and food is sold: heaping bouquets of colourful tulips, cheeses size of a car wheel and more. There’s also a shopping mall called The Passage.
- Finally, in our nearest side street we found a cat house (like a dog house but for a cat) outside of a little town hose with a cat sitting in it. Not only that, but it didn’t run away seeing two kids coming closer and closer, making kissy faces. So the cat in the box became the highlight of the weekend obviously.
Of course we also went for day trips to Rotterdam and Den Haag which made Schiedam a great base for our stay. You can read about those trips in other blog posts.