The Netherlands has long been known as one of the world's hubs for electronic music, being home to much of the top trance, hardcore, and EDM artists in the industry. Amsterdam is often the first city you think of, but just south is the country's second-largest city Rotterdam, where much of the countries imports and exports come from. After being nearly completely destroyed in WW2, the city has been rebuilt from the ground up and boasts striking modern architecture. Amongst other things, Rotterdam is home to some of the top DJ talents in the country and planet. One such artist is Satl, whos brand of dnb has propelled him to the forefront of the genre's new generation. Although originally from Poland, the now Rotterdam based artist takes us through his new home for the latest installment of our City Guide series.
Words by Satl
We all like a good drink so where are the top spots to head before a night out?
Rotterdam is filled with countless bars and pubs – there really is something for everyone in the city. If you are into special beers you can't miss THOMS Brewery right behind City Hall.
Vegan Junk Food Bar serves pretty dope cocktails too. Try their COCOS LOCOS 4EVER served straight from a coconut!
Where can you find the best clubs / late-night venues in town?
My favourite place to party when I'm not playing myself has to be Annabel - not far from Rotterdam Central train station. The venue also has a great outside area from where Operator Radio is broadcast. In the summer there is a beer garden with live DJs, drinks and overall good vibes making this a venue in its own right! You can find all kinds of music from Hip Hop / RnB to Drum and Bass. The sound system is pretty good as well!
Brunches are a weekend staple, which spots stand out to you?
Bertmans - Nuff said. This place is an absolute winner, especially after a night out! Usually, it's really busy so you're better off to reserve a spot to avoid waiting. I've been going here every time friends from outside the city visit me, and they all want to go back when they're back in town! Make sure you try their Japanese Bowl and also Malabi dessert if you are craving something sweet.
Best dirty late-night street food option?
I'd go for Vegan Junk Food Bar again on a popular street called Witte de With. Even if you are not vegan, I'm more than sure that you will really enjoy it! From filthy burgers and Kapsalons (a mad Turkish-Rotterdam invention and a must-try!) to salads - I'm sure you won't be disappointed. The design of the place itself is kept in nice, street art/graffiti aesthetics.
Where can we shop for records and music memorabilia in Rotterdam?
Clone is a widely known and respected record shop with a great selection. The main focus here is on electronic music. Go there and take a look - you will definitely leave with some records! I recommend checking Clone's in-house labels for some special gems.
Your Sunday escape plan when you need to get away from it all?
Rotterdam is an art city so obviously you can find many museums and art galleries - my favourite is Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art. It houses some really unique exhibitions, sometimes difficult to understand at first sight but it's worth having a look. Oh, and the entrance is free on Fridays between 6 pm and 9 pm!
I also really like going to Museum Park which is close to the museum quarter in the city, and If you are in the city centre and you feel like you need a little break - pop down to City Hall Garden for a stroll.
Something everyone should do when visiting Rotterdam, but probably hasn’t?
When it gets darker, venture to the south side of the river to the roof terrace of nhow Hotel near the cruise terminal. Grab a drink and take a look at the city skyline with the stunning Erasmus Bridge in a starring role.
A track that reminds you of when you first moved to Rotterdam
This track will always stay in my memory, reflecting on my time in Rotterdam as a big contrast to living in a small village in west Poland. It was also the first record I bought here!
What are other great exports that come from Rotterdam?
Rotterdam is a clash of raw, industrial and modern, futuristic elements. This is reflected this in the music coming out of this city too. My favorite Rotterdam based music is always coming from Imanu, Ben Buitendijk, Thanos Hana, Buunshin and a dubstep label called Next Level.
A gift you can’t leave Rotterdam without taking home for friends?
Stroopwafels and the highly addictive Speculoos Crunchy Spread! You will find yourself eating this one straight out of jar!