Seeing this great post by Anna last week, about where to live in the Netherlands, I decided to introduce you to one of the smallest cities of the Netherlands, where I happen to live with my partner since October 2013: Schiedam. Living in Schiedam was not exactly a conscious choice for us. We had to move out of our Delft apartment quite fast and we just couldn’t find a decent place with a good orientation, no shared facilities and some outdoors space that we could afford. And then I saw this listing of this apartment with a beautiful garden. In Schiedam. We were both skeptical for a while. The reason was that we thought Schiedam was just the uglier little brother of Rotterdam, with nothing to see and nothing to do. After all, no one ever talks about it! We do appreciate a good outdoors space, however, and time was flying, so we decided to take the leap.

Well, let me tell you, it was a great decision. Schiedam might not be famous, but its small scale and strategic (un)importance has saved it from the Rottedam Blitz and it preserved it’s pre-war charm. The pros of living in Schiedam include:

  • Quiet ambiance
  • Multicultural crowd
  • Cheap rents, compared to the big, famous cities
  • Walkable distances to get everywhere
  • Many outdoor spaces for kids to enjoy
  • You can get to Rotterdam by train, metro or tram within a few minutes, whenever you miss the big city buzz

Of course, there are some cons as well. These include:

  • You will probably have to travel to your work
  • You will definitely have to travel to your university
  • If you have issues with other cultures (aka you are racist) Schiedam is not the place to be. The foreign population increases every year.
  • If you want to enjoy crazy party life after-hours, living in Schiedam is not the best option

And now that everything is clear, enjoy some Schiedam pictures that I hope will inspire you if not to move here, at least to visit it.

That's the Schiedam central station. From here you can get a train or metro and the tram stops are a few meters close by.
That’s the Schiedam central station. From here you can get a train or metro and the tram stops are a few meters close by.
Next to the tram line, there is a great waterfront. When the weather is nice, you can find lots of families here, feeding the ducks and seagulls.
Next to the tram line, there is a great waterfront. When the weather is nice, you can find lots of families here, feeding the ducks and seagulls.
Already from the station, you can see one of Schiedam's many windmills. Oh-so-very-Dutch!
Already from the station, you can see one of Schiedam’s many windmills. Oh-so-very-Dutch!
You can go to the center by tram or walk. It is about a 10-15 minutes walk.
You can go to the center by tram or walk. It is about a 10-15 minutes walk.
The building on the left is the Schiedam library, a place that I highly recommend, if you work as a freelancer from home and need a change of environment.
The building on the left is the Schiedam library, a place that I highly recommend, if you work as a freelancer from home and need a change of environment.
This is again the library square, seen from the church. It might look vast and empty, but it is the place where Friday market takes place and then it is full of life.
This is again the library square, seen from the church. It might look vast and empty, but it is the place where Friday market takes place and then it is full of life.
As you can see, there are a lot of places of historic and cultural interest in Schiedam.
As you can see, there are a lot of places of historic and cultural interest in Schiedam.
http://www.stedelijkmuseumschiedam.nl/nl
http://www.stedelijkmuseumschiedam.nl/nl
The Havenkerk
The Havenkerk
Jenever Museum
Jenever Museum
One of the Schiedam galleries. And there are more, I assure you.
One of the Schiedam galleries. And there are more, I assure you.

 

If you are not the museum type though -or if you are just tired of arts and culture and need a break- Schiedam provides some shopping and recreation opportunities as well.

Solid proof that Schiedam is touristic.
Solid proof that Schiedam is touristic.
See that blue "Passage" sign at the back? That's what you should look for, if you need a shopping break.
See that blue “Passage” sign at the back? That’s what you should look for, if you need a shopping break.
And that is the Schiedam passage from the inside. Here you can find shops selling anything, from postcards to clothes, food and electronic devices.
And that is the Schiedam passage from the inside. Here you can find shops selling anything, from postcards to clothes, food and electronic devices.
You can also grab something to eat or sit and have a coffee at one of the shops.
You can also grab something to eat or sit and have a coffee at one of the shops.

After your shopping break, there is still a lot to see. Walking around Schiedam will reveal to you many beautiful hidden corners.

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One of the central squares of Schiedam. This is the Passage square, therefore often used as a meeting point.
One of the central squares of Schiedam. This is the Passage square, therefore often used as a meeting point.
Whoever finds out what these names mean, gets a cookie. My guess is that they have something to do with the royal family.
Whoever finds out what these names mean, gets a cookie. My guess is that they have something to do with the royal family.
This is one of the nices Schiedam streets. It might not be next to a canal, but it is full of little shops selling antiques, clothes, furniture and serving coffee.
This is one of the nicest Schiedam streets. It might not be next to a canal, but it is full of little shops selling antiques, clothes, furniture and serving coffee.
From the central shop street you can get any vertical smaller ones, that will lead you to the canals.
From the central shop street you can get any vertical smaller ones, that will lead you to the canals.
The canals are -of course!- equipped with all the elements of Dutch picturesqueness, like bridges...
The canals are -of course!- equipped with all the elements of Dutch picturesqueness, like bridges…
...old boats...
…old boats…
...more old sail boats...
…more old sail boats…
...more monuments...
…more monuments…

 

...more bridges...
…more bridges…
...and more views of more windmills!
…and more views of more windmills!
Don't miss the old town hall square.
Don’t miss the old town hall square.
Today there was an antique book fare taking place at the old town hall square and the red and white tents really added some cheer to the place.
Today there was an antique book fare taking place at the old town hall square and the red and white tents really added some cheer to the place.
There are even more little streets to explore.
There are even more little streets to explore.
And there are interesting things to buy.
And there are interesting things to buy.
So as you walk along the waterfront, heading back to the station...
So as you walk along the waterfront, heading back to the station…
...make sure to come back!
…make sure to come back!

P.S.: One of my favorite places in Schiedam, that I forgot to include in my walk today, is Wenneker Pand, a cultural center with cinema, yoga classes, jamming sessions and a great cafe/ work space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 COMMENTS

  1. now i feel like i know schiedam so well because i know all of those pictures .. exactly where they are… the center is charming and the people in general are friendly and humble.. it is a nice city indeed.

  2. I hope you have managed to find Bonte Koe and the restaurant in the windmill – my biggest Schiedam highlights! 🙂

  3. I live in Rotterdam, but only one metro stop away from Schiedam…perfect location for those who want to have the traditional Dutch ambiance, but also the big city amenitites!

  4. I am planning to get travel to Amsterdam on this coming Christmas this year from Jakarta Indonesia and i really hope will visit Schiedam by train and must be lovely there.

  5. Bonte Koe is the best chocolate factory and shop in The Netherlands ?

    We go to Schiedam especially to buy chocolate.

    The centre is pittoresque but quite some shops are closed or really cheap ones. Which is a pity.

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