Rotterdam’s rising popularity now challenging Amsterdam

Rotterdam is catching up to Amsterdam as the most popular city in the Netherlands. The Maas city moved from 6th place to 2nd place, close behind Amsterdam, on the fourth edition of the Cities & Regions Brand Research ranking, AD reports. The ranking is a collaboration project by Hendrik Beerda Brand Consultancy and the University of Utrecht. 

The two most popular cities in the Netherlands have very different images. The researchers attribute Rotterdam's increase in popularity particularly to the continuous flow of striking construction projects in the city, which resulted in Rotterdam being considered the most innovative city in the Netherlands. "Rotterdam can particularly thank its increasing popularity to the renewal in the city", according to the researchers. "Amsterdam is renowned for its canals, wide cultural offerings, attractive hospitality and many shops."

Football also plays a role in both Rotterdam and Amsterdam's popularity. "The image of the two football clubs look very similar to that of the city", brand adviser Beerda said, according to AD. "Feyenoord and Rotterdam are experienced as tough and sturdy. Ajax and Amsterdam are seen as a bit arrogant, but with international allure." This study was done before Feyenoord won the Eredivisie championship.

Delft and Haarlem also made the top 10 of Dutch cities with the strongest 'brand'. "The smaller, historic cities in the Randstad are clearly popular among residents and visitors", Beerda said. "These smaller cities combine the attractiveness of the Randstad with he atmosphere of a provincial city." 

Like last year, Maastricht residents are the proudest of their city, despite Maastricht declining in popularity among the average Dutch residents. Den Bosch and Groningen came in second and third place.