What is the most popular city in the Netherlands?

We Rotterdam folks of course have known for ages that no other town beats ours. And now also the rest of the country seems to become aware that Rotterdam is just the best, new research shows.


The grand battle between Rotterdam and Amsterdam is not only being fought on the football pitch. On a more general level, the two have been engaged in a fierce competition since forever as to which is the most popular town in the Netherlands. While Rotterdam had to bow down for a long time, things seem to be changing.

Move Over, Amsterdam
Feyenoord recently becoming the champion of the national football league seems to be an omen for a broader development. In a cooperative study of the popularity of Dutch cities between the University of Utrecht and Hendrik Beerda, a brand consultancy agency, it became clear that Rotterdam is definitely closing in on Amsterdam. While the capital still ranks number one, Rotterdam has moved up from sixth place to second in the ranking of 2017.

Cool and No-Nonsense
Why is Rotterdam gaining popularity? While Amsterdam is popular for the canals, bars, restaurants, shops, and cultural activities, it’s Rotterdam’s constant renewal, innovation, and modernisation that make it stand out as a town with a distinct character.

Researcher Hendrik Beerda says: ‘The image of the two football clubs resemble that of their respective cities. Ajax and Amsterdam are seen as slightly arrogant but also with international style. Feyenoord and Rotterdam on the other hand are considered cool and no-nonsense.’

Small and Provincial
With Amsterdam first and Rotterdam second, which other cities are popular? Utrecht takes third place and Maastricht and Den Haag fourth and fifth respectively. Noteworthy newcomers are Haarlem and Delft. Small and provincial, but nevertheless attractive because of their location close to the big cities, they seem to become increasingly popular.

Source: AD

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