The City Without a Heart
If Amsterdam is where the Dutch go to play, Rotterdam is where they work. Home to the busiest port in the world, it is an industrial city but has plenty of attractions including excellent shopping and entertainment. The city got its start as a fishing village back in the 1200’s when a dam was constructed on the river Rotte, and like Amsterdam, it's name is derived from the river upon which it was established. During WWII, the city center was totally destroyed by blitzkrieging Nazis -- thus giving rise to the expression “The city without a heart.” Totally rebuilt, the city can claim some of the most remarkable modern architecture in Europe.
Rotterdam.nl provides an English link with some useful information about the city including living and working here. For tourist specific information, see vvv.rotterdam.nl.
By train, Rotterdam is about an hour’s journey from Schiphol and Amsterdam, with trains leaving approximately every ten or fifteen minutes. Even in the early hours, you can still catch one train every hour.
Although there are numerous hotels in the city center, be sure to book in advance if you plan to stay the night. With the numerous conventions hosted by the city, you may find no rooms at the inns. Oddly enough, you can easily find rooms in the summer when the business travellers are away, you'll also be able to find good deals as well.
Red Light District
It’s fair to say that Rotterdam, as a modern Dutch city, has everything to offer the weary traveler or curious tourist. However, it is missing one thing: a red light district, there isn't one. But in the worlds busiest and largest port, it's still possible to unload more than cargo. If it is carnal action you desire, you must seek the clubs or local privehuizen.
The Club and Privehuis Scene
A quick web search will provide you with plenty of sites dealing with Rotterdam’s steamier side. Unfortunately, most of them are terribly outdated providing limited and/or incorrect information. Some privehuizen appear on the scene for a year or two then close and are forgotten. Therefore, even the list presented below is subject to change. Your first approach is to rely on analog technology, the local newspaper. Pick up a copy of the Algemeen Dagblad, it has a section at the back with plenty of ads. Unless you can read Dutch, you won’t be able to understand most of it. Not to worry, you can read just enough to get by. Look for the address and phone number, and then place a quick call. (Important: Make sure the number begins with 010 or 06, otherwise you may be calling outside of town.) Nearly every pivehuis and club answers the phone in Dutch but switches to English as soon as you ask.
The privehuis scene in Rotterdam cannot compare to the erotic playground that is Amsterdam. Most of the brothels here are fairly small and few are well appointed. The selection of courtesans is quite diverse, however. Most of the privehuizen consist of Dutch girls with a smattering of Eastern European, Asian, African and South American, much like the population of Rotterdam.
There is a good selection of privehuizen near the city center, but there are many more on the south shore of the Maas river, located in a rough triangle about one kilometer square. Most cater to the working stiff and as such do not stay open late, opening in the morning or early afternoon and closing around 10PM. Most are closed on Sunday and may have only limited hours on Saturday. Be sure to call in advance. One other curious fact is that many of the privehuizen are unnamed, just using the street address. Even those that have names may not even use them, so be sure to use the street address when referring to a privehuis.
If you are staying in the city center, a good place to start is 's-Gravendijkwal, a main avenue located a few blocks to the west of the center of town. Here you will find a clutch of three clubs (and a small selection of coffee houses). Walking south you will find an apartment block with four small privehuizen. For more adventure, head across the beautiful Erasmusbrug (a.k.a Swan Bridge) and explore Rotterdam’s erotic triangle. In the area around Pleinweg, Dordtselaan and the river you will find numerous clubs and privehuzen within a one-kilometer radius. Use mapblast.com and/or multimap.com to help you find the address you seek.
With only a minimal attempt to organize this list, presented below is a selection to get you started. Only those places with working phone numbers and addresses are included. Note that some establishments have a different staff working on the weekends than the weekdays. The number of courtesans on staff can increase or decrease on the weekends, and as always, please be aware that the prices given may vary from what is actually charged.
OQ Club ('s-Gravendijkwal 115, 010 477 2099). This claims to be Rotterdam’s only topless nightclub and so far we’ve no evidence otherwise. You will find 15 to 20 ladies working in the evenings. It costs 50 to enter and 330/hr should you find someone to your liking.
Nichtclub Lido ('s-Gravendijkwal 124, 010 436 2260) also charges 50 entrance but 400/hr. You will find 15 to 20 ladies working here as well.
Ritz Nachtclub ('s-Gravendijkwal 116, 010 241 0030) charges 50 to enter the club and 400/hr for your pleasure. However, they would not discuss the number of ladies working (we declined entering). Should you be unable to sleep, Ritz is open until 6am.
Erotic Mellow House (Schoterboshof 9, 010-465 1097). Parenclub for couples and singles.
Whites (Westzeedijk 94, 010 436 4607) One of the classier establishments, it caters to the upscale market, with prices to match. Expect to pay 100 to enter, then 500/hr. Although closed on the weekends, they’re open until 4am every weekday. They also provide escort services.
Body Touch (Mijnsherenlaan 113a, 010-486 0596). This erotic massage parlor offers a range of services including traditional, body to body, Thai and tantric massages from one of the four ladies working there. A one-hour session costs about 240. Closed on the weekends.
Huize Chantal (Janstraat 112a, 010-467 2440) is located to the north. You will find 5 or 6 Eastern European ladies working here; expect to pay 200/hr.
International Club (Dordtsestraatweg 245, 010 485 9165) on the south shore charges 15 admittance and 300/hr. There are six or seven girls working during the week and as many as a dozen on the weekends.
Yab Yum (Crooswijksesingel 33, 010-433 4342), located just outside of town is the other contender for the upscale market. After paying an entrance fee of 100, you’ll be hit with a 600/hr charge if you find what you’re looking for amongst the ten or so ladies present. Although open on the weekend, there are fewer courtesans working. Yes, it's a sister-brothel of the Amsterdam Yab Yum.
Catja (Schiewg 249d, 010 265 5455) located on the north side of the city center has only 2 girls working and charge 350/hr. They have limited hours, open from 1-9, but are closed on the weekends. We were told that it was possible to have one of the ladies for the entire night if we so desired.
Club Internationaal (Dordtsestrwg 245, 010 485 9165) on the south shore has about 8 girls working. It costs 15 to enter and 300/hr.
Tina (Dordtseln 147a, 010 423 3384) has two courtesans working on the weekdays, four on the weekends. Open from 10-10. Rates are 200/hr.
Statenweg 66B (010-467 6221) is located in the North East. There are three or four girls working and charge 225/hr.
Privéhuis Royal (Bergweg 219b, 010-467 0612). Although their website was totally useless at the time of this writing, it is one of the nicer privehizen. Located just north of the city center, you will find approximately eight ladies, mostly Dutch. They charge 225/hr.
Trio (Voetjesstraat 16, 010-404 8505) charges 200/hr with a selection of about eight courtesans.
Samantha’s (Gravensdijkwal 47a, 06 511 56498). With only about 6 to 8 younger ladies working there, this place manages to have a large selection of ethnic groups. They charge 250/hr and open to 1am. You may get the feeling you’re back at university as some of the women actually live where they work in their dormitory like kamers.
Gravensdijkwal 150d (010-225 0456) has approximate three Asian ladies. Open from 11-10, charging 225/hr.
Fantasy (Gravensdijkwal 156a, 010-436 9037) has three ladies and charges 225/hr.
Promises (Gravensdijkwal 158e, 010-225 1308) has three ladies and charges 225/hr. These are different places, guys, really.
Gravensdijkwal 152b (06 128758643) has 3-4 courtesans and charges 250/hr. While the rooms and beds are small, the atmosphere is pleasant (and a very nice fish tank in the waiting area)
Karen’s Home (Rochussenstraat 99a, 010-436 2152) is located just around the corner from the Gravensdijkwal building. There are about four Dutch girls working most days and charge 250/hr.
Pleinweg 62b (010-210 0973) has three courtesans and charges 225/hr.
Marleen’s (Pleinweg 123d, 010-215 2899) has only two ladies but charges 200/hr.
Rotterdam Prive (Eendrachtstraat 16, 010-404 8505) is located near some of the more funky eateries in the city. Although their selection of 5-7 ladies is somewhat mediocre, their rooms with baths are quite nice at 200/hr. If you catch them on a slow night, you may be offered a special deal (two girls for a half hour for 150).
Exclusive (010 4800400) is one of several escort services. Their website is one of the few that actually tells you a little about their courtesans - including partially obscured photos. Their selection changes, so be sure to check the website. At 300/hr, it can be a bit overpriced. You also have an opportunity to engage in some S&M depending on the lady.
Yin & Yang (Grt Visserystr 11, 010 415 0664) advertises in numerous local publications. It charges 200/hr for its escort service.
SubleM (Nieuwe Binnenweg 466b, 010-4763680). If you are the least bit curious about the kinky scene, this store has a truly astonishing selection of clothing and accessories in leather, rubber, vinyl, chrome and other materials. In fact, they claim to have the largest showroom in Europe (and we have no reason to dispute this). Their erotic toys and jewelry are simply awe inspiring, and it ain't necessarily so that we mean that in a good way.
Sights and Attractions
When you’re not rutting, there are plenty of things to see and do in Rotterdam. There is the usual selection of museums you expect to find in a large city, but nothing like what can be found in Amsterdam. However, if you are into architecture, the Nederlands Architectuurinstituut (NAI) museum is the place to be. In any event, a look at the unique cube house, Show Cube is worth the 3.50 NLG entrance fee. Take a ride on the Spido and see the ships in the harbor as you explore the port. If you’re a ship connoisseur, be sure to visit the Maritime Museum Prince Hendrik where you can see numerous varieties of Dutch watercraft. For the big picture, get a good look at the city from the top of the Euromast. The Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo is old and impressive, having been updated many times. If shopping is of interest to you, you’ll find Europe’s first pedestrian only shopping area -- which has since been expanded to offer a bewildering selection of shops.