Max de Zwaan is 21 years old and has been living in Rotterdam for six months now. He moved here to be with the love of his life (Tom), but also for his love for this city. Because what city has more variation in hotspots, people, culture and architecture? He likes to jump on his bike to get lost and discover new places in the city. He is facinated by everything that has to do with innovation, start ups, marketing and entrepreneurship. He also likes to capture everything that inspires him with a camera and share this on his Instagram. He studies Lifestyle Studies since 2014 and just finished his third year. He also works as a content strategist for the Amsterdam (yes, he works in Amsterdam) bicycle brand Veloretti.
An all time favorite where he likes to start his week on a Monday morning is Man Met Bril Koffie (Vijverhofstraat 70). “They open at 8 am and besides coffee they also have some tasty snacks. Another great coffee spot is KEET (Oppert 2a), a little more in the city center. Dancing on a Sunday afternoon might not be everyone’s thing, but if you like it the Fruithaven (Galileistraat 15) is up and running. A nice cold beer and a courtyard filled with sand, that’s Fruithaven in a nutshell. Oh, and the visit is well worth the sand in your shoes. My favorite lunch dish is the truffle soup at Weena (Weena 202). You can also catch some sunshine here at the terrace. Not the most cozy street, but still very beautiful. Full of architechture and Biergarten (Schiestraat 18) is just around the corner to grab a beer afterwards. Pierre (Pannekoekstraat 38A) is always a good choice for dinner and long conversations. As soon as you walk inside you’ll find yourself in the perfect Instagram aesthetic. And if you don’t want too much fuss: have a picknick at the playground at the Heemraadssingel with some great Pho.”
Max and his bike are inseperable. “The real Rotterdam feeling for me is a bike ride around town. Of course not just the bike ride, I like to make a stop at the IJssalon (Meent 69A) to eat a scoop (or three). Then I usually end up at Spirit (Mariniersweg 9) to have some of their delicious chocolate mousse. And when I stuffed myself it is time to relax next to the Maas (Boompjeskade with a view on the Erasmus bridge and the Noordereiland).”
When he jumps on his bike to make a tour throughout the city, he always comes across things that are new or unfamiliar to him. “That is the strenght of Rotterdam. The moment that I have a deadline to catch I like to settle in the library of the Erasmus MC (‘s-Gravendijkwal 230). It’s very silent there and I can admire the beautiful roof while I’m working. Another hidden gem is flowershop Niche on the Nieuwe Binnenweg (number 235A). They sell the most beautiful tropical flowers and cute little plants. They always give some personal advice and it’s a place I like to visit often.”
His absolute guilty pleasure, after a long night at BAR (Schiekade 201)? “Having a hot chocolat with whipped cream in the botanical garden at Blijdorp (Blijdorplaan 8) the next morning. It’s beautiful here and you are surrounded by calming bird sounds, a green oasis of Instagramable plants and the koi in the round pond.”
The city is missing a beach! “I grew up in the picturesque Domburg. I spent every summer on the beach. Now that I live in Rotterdam I miss the freedom to take a walk on the beach every now and then. I do try to spend as many weekends as I can at home in Domburg. It’s so nice to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, but I always love to come home in Rotterdam as well.”