Romantic V-Day in Rotterdam (w/o breaking the bank)

Valentine’s Day in the Netherlands is not as commercialized as it is in other parts of the world. And if you are with a true Dutchman or woman, it can be shocking (and offending at first) that s/he might not want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with you.

When I first celebrated V-Day with the husband, I had to convinced Robin to take me out for dinner and give me a bouquet of flowers. Three years of being together and he warmed up to the idea of pampering me on a rather hyped-up event and I couldn’t be more flattered. He is a Dutchman, from Zeeland and that’s a real show of love.

But if you are short on cash but wants to make Valentine’s Day special for you and your loved on, there are a few places in Rotterdam and the surrounding district where you can make love sweeter with the romantic views without breaking the bank.

Lock of Love by Breigh at www.breigh.com

Delfshaven – Just 10 minutes from Rotterdam Central (take Tram 4, get off at Ruilstraat), Netherlands has its own version of the Love Padlocks. It is called Lock of Love Rotterdam, where lovers can affix their engraved padlocks in a beautiful red loveseat and throw away the key. Make sure you choose a very sturdy padlock because it is believed the love between that the two person will last until the lock was hanging there (you wouldn’t want yours to fall after only a few years, right?). Here is a special love post of expat Breigh and her Dutchman when they visited Lock of Love. Isn’t that romantic?

Kralingse Bos on a winter afternoon by Onno de Wit at flickr

Kralingse Bos – Yes there are “forests” in the Netherlands and they call it “bos”. They actually look like well-manicured garden/backyard of a multi-billionare’s estate. But for an enchanting afternoon – sunset, windmills and the unique Rotterdamse skyline There are three restaurants around the area where you can order a glass of chardonnay, brasserie De Schone Lei, Indonesian Selamat Datang and on the other side Café-restaurant De Tuin. All of them have spectacular view of the lake. Take Tram 8 and get off at Oude Plantage. It’s still a little walk from the tram halt but you will enjoy the tranquility of the area.

Rotterdam in the evening by Aprik at flickr

Euromast Tower – There is nothing more romantic than spending the evening at the Euromast Tower. Sure the 9euros entrance fee is a total rip-off but in the Netherlands, you have to pay for a view like that. We don’t have so many skyscrapers here where you can feast your eyes on the flickering lights of the city, the massiveness of the Rotterdam port and the connecting rivers of Rhine and Meuse. If you are feeling a little generous, order a bottle of champagne and drink it on the viewing deck while admiring Rotterdam in the evening. This city is at best during the night from the the Euromast Tower. From Rotterdam Centraal, take Tram 8 or 7 and get off at Vasteland. It will be hard to miss the tower from there. There is also the Euromast Park and the Kunsthal Museum where you can spend the first part of the day.

Although I am still hooked up to flowers and those sweet gestures on V-Day, I guess there’s really no occasion needed to make someone feel special. These places are there everyday and if not on Valentine’s Day (when restaurants are mostly fully-booked) you can always take your loved ones there.

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