For those with an interest in Rotterdam's recent history, pick up a map from the tourist office ("Along the Fire Boundary"). It details three self-guided walking routes that trace the edge of the area destroyed by the bombing of May 14, 1940, with detailed historical notes.
Spido boat tours. The Nieuwe Maas River has flowed through Rotterdam for 700 years, dividing the city in two and acting as the city's lifeline. A continual procession of some 30,000 oceangoing ships and some 130,000 river barges passes annually through Rotterdam to and from the North Sea. One great intro to the city's waterfront is a 75-minute boat tour (€13.25) with the very popular Spido boat tours. They offer a range of excursions lasting from just over an hour to a full day, while a variety of water taxis and water buses also operates in the Waterstad (the docks and harbors along the banks of the river). Willemsplein 85, Rotterdam, South Holland, 3016 DR. 010/275–9988; www.spido.nl.