Rotterdam, a large and modern port city 45 mi/70 km southwest of Amsterdam, rose from the ashes of World War II. In 1940, the Nazis threatened to flatten the city unless it surrendered. Rotterdam capitulated, but the Luftwaffe bombed anyway.

Today, Rotterdam's most notable tourist attraction is the 605-ft-/184-m-tall Euromast Space Tower. Take the revolving, sit-down elevator to the top. From the tower you'll have a good view of the Erasmus Bridge, a modern suspension bridge nicknamed "the swan."

The harbor, one of the busiest in the world, is a draw in itself, as is the nearby maritime museum. Another collection worth seeing is the Dutch, Italian and French art displayed at the Boijmans-van-Beuningen Museum. Half a day in Rotterdam is sufficient for most travelers.

Nearby Kinderdijk is a good place to see working windmills.

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