Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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The Netherlands’ second-largest city and Europe’s busiest port is home to some of the 20th and 21st centuries' most important architectural feats, which is particularly impressive when you consider that nearly all of Rotterdam was razed to the ground during World War II. Sometimes referred to as “Manhattan-on-the-Maas,” the city lives up to its reputation as a forward-looking metropolis with fascinating design and some of the Netherlands' finest museums and most trendy shops.

Marvel at buildings by starchitects Rem Koolhaas and Norman Foster or get lost in the maze of gabled homes in historic Delfshaven, the point from which the Pilgrims set sail for the New World aboard the Speedwell in 1620. In the postwar years, Rotterdam has also become one of the most diverse cities on the continent as waves of migrants from elsewhere in Europe, North Africa and Turkey have come to work in the shipping industry, concentrated here thanks to the city’s location on the deltas of the Rhine and Maas rivers. With its sweeping harbor and massive Europoort, the city has quickly grown to become the largest port in all of Europe.

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