Rotterdam's charms are not immediately apparent, because, unlike Amsterdam or Utrecht, it has no historic centre due to bombing during WWII. However, this dynamic, modern city, Europe's largest port, has no lack of appeals. With plenty of parks and gardens, it is renowned for its festivals, galleries and bars. Finally, and possibly as a result of the wartime devastation, it has risen from its ashes to become a hotbed for contemporary architecture and creativity in general.
Around 90% of the town was destroyed by the German bombing raids in 1940 which meant that Rotterdam has, in the second part of the 20th century, become a experimental site for modern architecture. It is now filled with skyscrapers. The town has received contributions from some of the greatest names in architecture from Álvaro Siza to Norman Foster and includes local talent such as Rem Koolhas.