Rotterdam challenges Amsterdam as the most popular place in the Netherlands

Rotterdam challenges Amsterdam as the most popular place in the Netherlands

According to a new report by Hendrik Beerda, a branding consultancy collaborating with Utrecht University, Rotterdam is coming close to knocking Amsterdam off of the top spot for the most popular city in the Netherlands. 

Amsterdam vs Rotterdam

Whilst Amsterdam has held its long-standing title for the fourth edition of the Cities & Regions Brands Survey, Rotterdam has moved up four places since the last report in 2015, from sixth place to second. This shows an astonishing growth in popularity of the city.

It should be noted, however, that Rotterdam was voted the least happy in another recent study by Atlas for Municipalities (Atlas voor Gemeenten). 

About the study

The biannual Cities and Regions survey is based on brand research by Utrecht University. In 2017, it included 12.243 participants and looked at the continuous stream of projects from Rotterdam as the most innovative city in the Netherlands.

Each town, county and region was studied based on 43 criteria, which broke down into six categories; brand strength, personality, performance, visitors, visitors intentions, and growth expectations. 

30 of the largest cities that were studied also included an additional 13 factors, which enquired about the standard of living. 

Other trends from the survey

The survey showed a number of other interesting trends. For example, it was the first time that towns like Delft and Haarlem made it into the top 10. The report stated, "smaller cities with a long history are in clear demand. They combine the draw of the big cities with the atmosphere of a more provincial town."

Furthermore, the report revealed that people from Maastricht and 's-Hertogenbosch are most proud of their city, whilst those in Groningen feel a stronger bond within their province due to the earthquake. 

The most pleasant parts of the Netherlands are Veluwe and Southern Limburg, whilst Maastricht remains a favourite in the views of its locals, with Den Bosch

Top 10 most popular cities

1. Amsterdam
2. Rotterdam
3. Utrecht
4. Maastricht
5. The Hague
6. Groningen
7. Nijmegen
8. 's-Hertogenbosch
9. Delft
10. Haarlem

Kiri Scully


Kiri Scully

Raised a global citizen, to an Irish father and American mother, Kiri has lived and worked in five countries over three continents. Fuelled by culture curiosity at an early age,...

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