Rotterdam is a very large city in the province of South Holland in the west of the Netherlands. The city is the second largest in the country with a population of approximately 650,000 inhabitants in the municipality (2020) and about 2.2 million inhabitants in the shared metropolitan area of The Hague and Rotterdam MRDH. Rotterdam is a vibrant, multicultural city; it is known for its university (Erasmus), cutting-edge architecture, lively cultural life, industrial riverside setting, its maritime heritage and colourful summer events. The municipality stretches all the way to the North Sea with gigantic areas like Europoort and Maasvlakte 1&2. All belong to the Port of Rotterdam.
Starting as a dam constructed in 1270 on the Rotte River, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre. The port of Rotterdam is Europe's busiest port by cargo tonnage, and was the world's busiest from 1962 until it was surpassed by Shanghai in 2004. Rotterdam's commercial and strategic importance is based on its location near the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas (New Meuse), a channel in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse on the North Sea. These rivers lead directly into the centre of Europe, including the industrial Ruhr region, which is why Rotterdam is often called the "Gateway to Europe".
The bombing of Rotterdam on May 14, 1940 by Nazi Germany forced the Dutch army to capitulate. The centre of Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed by the Luftwaffe, with 900 civilians killed and 80,000 homeless. Rotterdam was gradually rebuilt from the 1950s through the 1990s. Since then many relatively high buildings (for Dutch standards) have been emerging throughout and around the city centre. Daring and new styles of apartments, office buildings and recreation facilities resulted in Rotterdam becoming a city of modern architecture and the only city in the Netherlands with a modern skyline. Due to this, the city is especially interesting for Dutch people to visit.
|Stadsdriehoek (Rotterdam Centrum)|
Filled with highrise and out-of-the-box architecture, this district forms the heart of Rotterdam and gives the city its characteristic.
Originally a part of Delft, this town over time grew closer to Rotterdam, leading up to its incorporation in 1886. The former town still has a fair bit of its historic identity.
|Kralingen-Crooswijk (Kralingen-Crooswijk, Noord)|
Famous for the Kralingse Plas, a large artificial lake and the surrounding park, as well as Blijdorp, the second-oldest still active zoo in the Netherlands.
Namegiver to the Dutch football club of the same name, Feijenoord is the heart of the south banks of the Meuse.
|Northern Rotterdam (Overschie, Hillegersberg-Schiebroek)|
Home to Rotterdam's airport as well as Hilligersberg and the surrounding lakes and forests.
|Capelle en Noordoost (Prins Alexander, Capelle aan den IJssel)|
Largely home to Rotterdam's urban sprawl.
|Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel (Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel)|
Though not incorporated into Rotterdam, Nieuwerkerk is largely an extension of the city. It is home to the lowest point of the famously low-lying Netherlands, at 6.76 metres (7.39 yd) below sea level.
|Zuid (Charlois, IJsselmonde)|
The southernmost districts of Rotterdam.
|Port of Rotterdam (Pernis, Rozenburg, Botlek, Europoort, Eerste- en Tweede Maasvlakte)|
Best known as the largest seaport of Europe, the Port of Rotterdam has been built within a river delta as well as the sea.
Settlement at the lower end of the fen stream Rotte dates from at least 900. Around 1150, large floods in the area ended development, leading to the construction of protective dikes and dams. A dam on the Rotte or 'Rotterdam' was built in the 1260s and was at the present-day Hoogstraat ('High Street').
Although Rotterdam did well after the Middle Ages and in the 'Golden Century' - roughly between 1650 and 1750 - it was not before the second part of the nineteenth century that the city started to develop itself rapidly. Helped by the digging of a new seaway (the Nieuwe Waterweg) Rotterdam was rid of access problems caused by the silting of the river and started receiving ever bigger ships with cargo for/from the booming Ruhrgebiet in Germany. Port related trade and industry skyrocketed, and the city started to draw lots of migrants from the then poor Brabant province, for whom the southern part of the city was constructed. At the turn of the twentieth century Rotterdam was well under way to become the largest economic centre in The Netherlands. It was between then and the second world war that large prestigious construction works were undertaken, in part to show off the new found economic pride.
The German army invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. Germany had planned to conquer the country in one day, but after meeting unexpectedly fierce resistance, it finally forced the Dutch army to capitulate on 14 May 1940 by bombing Rotterdam and threatening to bomb other cities. The heart of the city was almost completely destroyed by the German Luftwaffe, and 800 people were killed, while about 80,000 others were made homeless. During the war, Rotterdam was bombed several times during allied raids that were aimed at the harbour area but sometimes also hit the city. The City Hall survived the bombing. Unlike most other European cities however, the City Council did not aim at rebuilding what was lost, but on taking the opportunity to create a 'new' and better city. Damaged but not destroyed old buildings were torn down in the process.
From the 1950s through the 1970s, the city was rebuilt. It remained quite windy and open until the city councils from the 1980s on began developing an active architectural policy. Daring and new styles of apartments, office buildings and recreation facilities resulted in a more 'livable' city center with a new skyline. In the 1990s, the Kop van Zuid was built on the south bank of the river as a new business center.
In the Netherlands, Rotterdam has the highest percentage of foreigners from non-industrialised nations. Nearly 50% of the population are not native to the Netherlands or have at least one parent born outside the country. Muslims comprise close to 25% of the city's population. The city is also home to one of the largest Cape Verdean communities in the world, as well as the largest Dutch Antillean community.
Rotterdam's culture is distinct from other cities in the Netherlands. The mentality of the people is described as 'can do'. From the waiters you meet to the businessmen and recent immigrants, everybody breathes a dream of getting forward with life. The modern design of the city, the bustle and the spree of buildings all add to this impression. That said, you might also find that people are sometimes too straight with you. And yes, the city is not the cosiest, or the most picturesque of towns, especially on drab winter days. But get acquainted with this small metropolis, easiest done on one of the festival days with nice weather. You will come to love it.
Rotterdam gains a lot of charm when the sun is shining. Visiting in spring or summer may be more enjoyable than in the rainy winter.
- 1 Rotterdam Tourist Information Coolsingel (VVV), Coolsingel 114, 3011 AG Rotterdam (Metro : Beurs, at the garden of the Schielandshuis), ☏ , email@example.com. 09:30-18:00. This well equipped and modern tourist office can provide loads of information like city maps, small guide books, souvenirs and the like, and offers tips and information on what to see and do in Rotterdam. Rotterdam.info also sells Rotterdam Welcome Cards, concert tickets, gift certificate, souvenirs, public transport tickets and parking vouchers. Check the website for upcoming events.
- 2 Rotterdam Tourist Information Central Station (VVV), Stationsplein 21, 3013 AJ Rotterdam (main entrance, in the central hall of the central station), ☏ . 09:30-18:00. With help from the service desk, a wide range of tourist information folders and the employees, you can find out what part of the city you would like to visit.
- Rotterdam Welcome Card. The card allows for unlimited use of all public transport by RET in the city and region, and offers at least 25% discounts on more than 50 attractions, museums, and restaurants. Available at Rotterdam Info (VVV) points and other locations. Without public transport, the card costs €6.00. 1 day (€13.50), 2 days (€19.50), or 3 days (€24.50).
- 1 Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM IATA). It is the 3rd largest airport in the country. It is 6 km north of the city centre. There are direct flights from cities in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Commercial airlines that operate to the airport include Transavia, Lufthansa, British Airways, and Turkish Airlines.
- VVV Rotterdam-The Hague Airport information point, Rotterdam Airportplein 60 (at the arrivals hall). 07:30-23:45. Come here if you have questions about Rotterdam. The place to hear history. The gift shop is open 09:30-18:00.
How to reach
To plan an trip (for all public transport in the Netherlands) see 9292.nl
Depending on the amount of travel with public transit in The Netherlands it can be advisible to buy an so called OV-Chipkaart, see for more information under Get Around.
- By bus/metro
- Bus 33. This service runs directly to the Rotterdam Centraal station; the journey takes 25 minutes. Also it connects the airport with the Meijersplein metro station, from where you can take the metro line into direction of Slinge (via Rotterdam Centraal and Rotterdam city center, see for more information the By Metro section under Get Around).
- By taxi
- Rotterdam Airport Taxi, ☏ . Recommended by the airport web site.
Other close airports
- Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS IATA) is 58 km north of Rotterdam and has much more flights than the Rotterdam airport. NS (Dutch Railways) operates Intercity Direct high-speed rail service, every 30 minutes to Rotterdam. The journey takes 27 minutes. You have to pay an addition for the journey from Schiphol to Rotterdam, so regular intercities in direction Rotterdam Centraal and Rotterdam Blaak are cheaper (but slower) (these intercities also call at Schiphol).
- Eindhoven Airport (EIN IATA) is 106 km southeast of Rotterdam. Ryanair and Wizzair operate flights to this airport. Take a bus to Eindhoven Centraal (approximately 20 minutes, the intercity train to Rotterdam Centraal takes about 63 minutes.
- Brussels Airport (BRU IATA) is 140 km south of Rotterdam. Many international carriers operate flights to this airport. The train from Brussels takes about 120 minutes and costs €35. Buses are also available, although less frequent.
- See also: Rail travel in the Netherlands
- 2 Rotterdam Centraal. The station is served by high-speed trains from Belgium, France and the United Kingdom.
- Thalys operates high-speed trains from Antwerp (Antwerpen-Centraal, 35 min), Brussels (Brussel-Zuid/Midi, 1 hr 12 min), Paris (Gare du Nord, 2 hr 37 min) and Lille (Lille-Europe, 1 hr 55 min). Book well in advance to secure the best ticket deals. A cheaper but slower alternative to Thalys is the Intercity Brussels service between Amsterdam and Brussels.
- Coming from Germany, Rotterdam Centraal can only be reached by changing trains in the Netherlands. When travelling on the German high-speed train ICE from Cologne, Düsseldorf and Oberhausen, the exchange will be in Utrecht Centraal station, and coming from Berlin, Hanover, Osnabrück (with the DB-intercity) it is advisable to change at Amersfoort. Intercity-trains to Rotterdam depart from both Utrecht and Amersfoort.
- Eurostar runs a daily high speed service from London St Pancras International to Rotterdam Centraal. Prices start at £35 one way. The journey time is about 3 hr 30 min, but you must arrive at the station at least 90 minutes before departure in order to clear the extra border controls caused by COVID restrictions and Brexit.
The Dutch railway company NS runs high-speed Intercity Direct trains between Amsterdam, Schiphol, Rotterdam and Breda. The train stops only at those four stations and shaves 25-30 minutes in journey time between Amsterdam and Schiphol and Rotterdam versus the regular Intercity and Sprinter trains that stop in between.
Beware that you have to pay a supplement (€2.60 during peak hours, €1.56 outside peak hours) to use the Intercity direct line to travel to Rotterdam if your journey involves Schiphol, (i.e. Amsterdam-Rotterdam journeys are subject to this supplement). You can purchase this supplement by tapping an anonymous or personal OV-chipkaart on a designated red pole found on the platform. Those without an anonymous or personal OV-chipkaart can use the ticketing machines or the NS website to purchase the supplement, however the discount may not be applicable to supplements purchased this way. Most unlimited day tickets including the Holland Travel Ticket can be used to travel on the Intercity Direct but a supplement purchase is still required.
Thalys also offers seats for passengers travelling from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. The journey is less than 40 minutes, slightly faster than the Intercity Direct. However, reservations/advance bookings are required and most unlimited day tickets recognised by NS cannot be used on Thalys.
Rotterdam is also well served by NS from other parts of the Netherlands, with direct connections to Delft, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Gouda, Leiden, The Hague, Utrecht and Vlissingen. Some intercities and sprinters also stop at Rotterdam Blaak station which is in the middle of the city center. This station is also frequented by trams and metro. See also the Netherlands#Get in Netherlands page for further information on national rail.
Alternatively, Rotterdam's Metro line The Hague at Den Haag Centraal. The journey from Den Haag Centraal to Rotterdam Centraal costs €4.43 with an anonymous or personalised OV-chipkaart, which is marginally cheaper than an NS journey (€4.90) between the same points but takes about five minutes longer to complete the journey.provides a connection for passengers coming from
- 3 Eurolines. Operates bus service to Rotterdam from many cities across Europe. Buses arrive and depart at the office at Conradstraat 16, next to Rotterdam Central Station. Tickets can be purchased online or from the office. Buses are available from Berlin (€53, 12 hours), Brussels (2-3 hours, €15), Frankfurt (€31, 8 hours), Paris (€32, 7 hours), and many other cities.
- Flixbus, (bus stop) Rotterdam Centraal @ Conradstraat 52 (International bus stop platform 'GG' at Rotterdam Centraal.). Serving both domestic and international routes. They also have an extra stop at Rotterdam Zuidplein @ Gooilandsingel
You can also get to Rotterdam by ferry from the United Kingdom. No ferries arrive in the center.
- P&O Ferries has a daily overnight sailing from Kingston Upon Hull to Rotterdam Europoort. From Rotterdam Europoort P&O Ferries operates a shuttle bus service that takes you to the city center of Rotterdam. Please book this shuttle service while you book your sailing.
- StenaLine has a daily day and a daily overnight sailing from Harwich to Hook of Holland. Next to the port is Hoek van Holland Haven metro station. Line B brings you to the city centre in approximately 30 minutes.
- DFDS Seaways has a daily overnight ferry crossing from Newcastle to Amsterdam. You can drive to Rotterdam in approx. 50 minutes.
Rotterdam is easily reached by car. From Amsterdam take the A4 South to Rotterdam Haven. From Utrecht take the A12 and change to the A20 just after Gouda on knooppunt Gouwe. Traffic congestion on highways is common during peak hours (morning and evening commutes).
You can pay for on-street parking with debit and credit card. Remember your license plate number. Parking regulations are enforced regularly.
Parking garages can be easily found by following the sign-marked P-route. The easiest way to pay is by credit card, just insert your card on the way in, and insert it again on the way out, and the total time is automatically deducted. You can also pay with cash or debit card.
Park & Ride (P&R) facilities outside the center of Rotterdam offer free or cheap parking with public transport connections into the city center. For some locations (Slinge A15, Kralingse Zoom A16/E19 and Alexander A20/E25), you can park for free if you have a valid check-out on your public transport card (OV-chipkaart).
As a Dutch city Rotterdam is well connected to extense (inter)national bicycle networks which use all kinds of infrastructural facilities.
Most attractive for tourist to cycle over longer distances are the so called LF-routes. So the city center is croshed by LF2 Stedenroute (City Route) from Amsterdam to Brussels and LF12 Maas- en Vestingroute follows the flow of river Maas all the way from The East. See for more information Bicycle Route Planner[dead link]: sellect more options and LF-Routes.
RET operates the buses, trams, and metro within the city. You could find a journey planner and some network maps there. Alternatively you'd use the pan-Netherlands journey planner – 9292.nl. Transport generally arrives every 10 minutes during the day.
As anywhere else in the country OV-chipkaart is to be used to pay all kinds of public transport. Traveling with this card will be cheapest and fastest, but bear in mind that the card itself costs €7.50 and you'd need to keep a positive balance there for at least €4.
Please notice that for using buses and trams checking in and out has to be done in the vehicle, while for train and metro travellers in Rotterdam use the gates at the entrance of the stations.
Alternatively one of the city's transport travel cards could be used:
- RET travel cards. To travel by bus, tram and metro with RET. Use the RET Barcode app to purchase tickets. 2-hour cards are available on buses and trams (Maestro/VISA/Mastercard only, no cash), the other types of cards can be purchased at ticket machines in metro stations and RET Sales and Information points. For children under 12 and age 65 and up there is a reduced price. Note that the 1-day ticket is not a 24-hour ticket. This means it is only valid on the day of the first check-in, up til 4 AM of the early morning the next day. 2 hours - €4; 1 (calendar) day - €9.
- Tourist Day Ticket: Rotterdam & The Hague region. Unlimited travel on local transport (bus, tram, metro and waterbus. Note: trains excluded) in the Rotterdam and the Hague region. Available from ticket machines and service counters of RET and at tourist information. Ticket is valid for travel with RET, HTM, HTMbuzz, Arriva, Connexxion, EBS, QBuzz and Waterbus in South Holland. €14.50 for one day.
- Rotterdam Welcome Card also allows for unlimited use of public transport with RET in the city and region.
There are 5 metro lines in the city.
Lines, and , share tracks between Schiedam Centrum and Capelsebrug and offer an east-west connection.
Linesand share tracks between Rotterdam Centraal and Slinge and offer a north-south connection. Interchange between all lines is possible on Beurs station in the city center.
Lines, and operate every 10 minutes on working days and Saturday, which allows 3-4 minute intervals on the main section between Schiedam Centrum and Capelsebrug. Lines and operate every 10 minutes on working days and Saturday, which give shorter intervals between Rotterdam Centraal and Slinge. In the evening, on Saturday morning and Sunday the service is reduced to a 15-minute interval.
The Rotterdam Metro operates from 05:30 until midnight. On Friday and Saturday nights the service is extended for a bit longer. Note that there is no weekend service on some parts of line B and E. See the Weekend metro page for an overview.
For tourists the most important metro stations are:
Line A, B and C (East-West branch)
- Blaak: train station, interchange with trams and busses, cube houses, Markthal[dead link], ports
- Beurs: city center, shops, interchange with metro and
- Eendrachtsplein: museumpark
- Coolhaven: Euromast
- Delfshaven: historic port
Line D and E (North-South branch)
- Meijerplein: bus service to Rotterdam The Hague Airport (only line )
- Blijdorp: Rotterdam Zoo (only line )
- Rotterdam Centraal: northern edge of the city centre, interchange with trams and buses, train station
- Beurs: city centre, shops, interchange with metro , and
- Leuvehaven: ports, museums, Erasmus Bridge, Waterbus
- Wilhelminaplein: Erasmus Bridge, Cruise Terminal Rotterdam, hotel New York
- Rijnhaven: Katendrecht, bus service to SS Rotterdam
There are 9 tram lines in the city. Each tram has a conductor. Tram stops provide a detailed map of the public transport system. Most lines operate every 10 minutes on workdays with more frequent service during rush hours on some lines.
All trams exceptwill stop at the Rotterdam Centraal.
- line is the only one that stays entirely on the south bank of the river, running through the districts farther away from it - it is thus of little use to tourists
- lines , and go over the Erasmus bridge to Kop van Zuid and then further down the south side
- lines Schiedam and go to
- line goes from the suburbs in the northeast through Station Noord and Rotterdam Centraal to Marconiplein
- line has a picturesque terminal at the foot of Erasmus Bridge, then follows Werstersingel to Rotterdam Centraal, and then further east to Kralingen, where you can alight for Kralingse Plas (the lake with leisure activities) and Excelsior Stadium
- line is perhaps the most useful for the tourists, as it goes from Rotterdam Centraal south through Westersingel, Coolsingel, Schiedamsedijk and then west, stopping by the Euromast and in Delftshaven, terminating by the Sparta Stadium
- line is a special line running between Rotteraam Centraal and the Feijenoord Stadion when there is a match there
RET operates bus services across the city.
It also provides a few night bus services:
- BOB-bus (Night bus). F and Sa nights. RET operates a night bus service on Friday night and Saturday night. Lines depart from Rotterdam Centraal station. Ticket price is a fixed price of €6 and can be bought in the RET Barcode App or from the driver (no cash). Pay less with an OV-Chipkaart. €5.60 with OV-Chipkaart, or €6 if purchased from the driver or with RET Barcode App.
Use the front door when boarding a bus.
By water taxi
- Watertaxi Rotterdam, ☏ . Rotterdam was built on a number of islands and if you want to travel from shore to shore, the nicest way to go is to take a Water Taxi. Fixed fares for rides between 50 docks in Rotterdam and Schiedam, with 3 fares zones, starting at €4.50 per person in the central zone. You can give them a call, or use the online tool to see availability and book a ride. It is advised to book in advance, especially on days with large events in the city. €.
If you do need a taxi you will have to find yourself a taxi rank or call a taxi company. There is a minimum taxi fare of €2.30 (first it was €7,50 which included the first two kilometers). Additionally, each subsequent kilometre is charged €2.20.
- Rotterdamse Taxi Centrale RTC N.V., ☏ .
- Coöperatieve Taxi Onderneming St. Job u.a., ☏ .
- Citytaxi Rotterdam[dead link] +31103145788
- Stadstaxi Rotterdam, ☏ .
- Botlektaxi Rotterdam, ☏ .
- Taxi Rotterdam 010, ☏ .
- Rotterdamse Taxi, ☏ .
- Tuk Tuk Company, ☏ . A Thai-influenced transportation service using three-wheeled, open-air (but covered) motorized vehicles called Tuk Tuk offers a more economical and fast way to get around the city centre when compared to taxis. Tuk-tuk pricing is based on a zone system. Within a zone, a ride is €3.50 per person, €5 for 2 persons and €6.50 for 3. If you go to another zone, €3.50 is added (irrespective of number of persons). This service is handy if it is past the regular tram/bus/metro service hours (approximately half past midnight).
Like any city in The Netherlands, Rotterdam is very, very bicycle-friendly. Getting around by bike is probably the fastest way of travel within the city. There are separate bike lanes on most major streets and there are separate traffic lights for bicyclists. Avoid getting your tire in the tram rails: always cross tram rails at an angle. Of course it is also strongly advisable to watch out for other traffic at all time. On the other hand bicyclists can rely on the fact that motorists and pedestrians are aware of bikes.
Always lock your bike securely when leaving it (preferably chained to a fixed object) or go to a guarded bicycle parking station.
Rent a bike
At Rotterdam Centraal, you can rent bicycles at the shop in the underground bicycle parking, below the Station square. Leave the station at the front, exit 'Stationsplein'. The entrance of the bicycle parking ('fietsenstalling', with the glass roof) is at your right, in front of grand cafe Engels. Use-it, rents out nice Kronan bikes (Schaatsbaan 41-45, leave Central Station towards the center. Turn right at restaurant Engels and take the 2nd right).
Guarded bicycle parking stations
- Many intercity train stations have their own bicycle parking station. Many time the service is not free.
- Rotterdam municipality has also some locations.
Rotterdam has national notoriety for its architecture, and the city therefore is dotted with landmarks of all sorts. Most of them you will find in the city centre, but Feijenoord is also quite dense with them.
Rotterdam is known for some bridges, not in the last place the Erasmusbrug, spanning the Nieuwe Maas between the city centre and Feijenoord. Also of historical importance is the former railway lifting bridge De Hef, slightly upstream from the Erasmusbrug.
Historical landmarks are somewhat rare to come across in Rotterdam's city centre, but the city itself isn't completely devoid of them. In the city centre, the 1920 City hall and the Great or Saint-Laurence church, both survivors of the 1940 bombardment. Rotterdam is also home to the country's oldest known bronze statue, depicting Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam and dating from 1622. It is found opposite the Saint-Laurence church. Feijenoord, despite being home to many modern redevelopments, does house some historical landmarks such as the former headquarters of the Holland-Amerikalijn. Also worth visiting are the Oude Haven (Old Harbour) and the nearby Witte Huis (White House) and Schielandshuis.
Industrial landmarks are plenty in a city that mostly thrives off of harbour activities. Besides the many industrial sites found in the Port of Rotterdam, the Van Nellefabriek in the north of the city is a listed UNESCO site.
The skyline of Rotterdam can, of course, be observed from one of the many skyscrapers in the city - though you should probably book a hotel located in a skyscraper or find one with a publicly accessible roof, as trespass isn't welcomed. Another great site for views over the city though, is the Euromast on the border between the city centre and Delfshaven, twice in its history the highest building of the Netherlands. For a relatively small entry fee, you can climb the tower or for a larger sum, you can dine inside of it. For those less comfortable with great heights though, a birds-eye overview of the city can also be obtained at Miniworld Rotterdam, near the central station.
The city is also well-known for its experimental and out-of-the-ordinary architecture, often being a testing ground for new concepts. A prime example of this are the Kubuswoningen (Cube Houses) at Blaak. Also striking are the Markthal, harbour-crane inspired sculptures at the Schouwburgplein and the Koopgoot, all found in the city centre.
In the Netherlands churches are generally closed to visitors on Sundays.
Historic churches in the centre
- 1 Grote of Sint Laurenskerk, Grotekerkplein 15 ( ). Tu 10:00-14:00, W-Sa 14:00-16:00. The "Great or Saint Lawrence church" (Saint Lawrence is the patron saint of Rotterdam) is a late-gothic inner city landmark that dates from the year 1449. It is nice to visit its spacious and attractive, but not so elegant interior. Of special interest are the large organ and the elaborate graves of Dutch sea heroes Kortenaer, Witte de With and Van Brakel. All kinds of cultural and musical venues take place here.
- 2 Erasmus Statue, Grotekerkplein (In front of the Grote of Sint Laurenskerk). The statue of Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam stands opposite the Grote or Sint Laurenskerk. It is a handsome bronze statue by the hand of sculptor Keijser, dating from 1622. Children are told by the elderly that Erasmus turns his page every hour.
Historic churches in Delfshaven
- 3 Paradijskerk, Nieuwe Binnenweg 25 ( ). Sa 14:00-17:00. This church only dates from 1910, but it was built on purpose to house the baroque interior from 1719 of its predecessor. It is interesting to have a look at the baroque carvings. Also noteworthy that this church belongs to the small Old Catholic denomination.
- 4 Oude Kerk (Pilgrimfathers' church), Aelbrechtskolk 22 ( ), ☏ . Sa 12:00-16:00 (also every other Friday). This historic church, the Oude Kerk (old church) of Delfshaven, is from which the Pilgrim Fathers set sail to the new world. The building dates from 1417. It is also possible to attend to classical concerts here. At the web site there is also a tourist map of the local area.
Historic church, out of the centre
- 5 HH. Laurentius en Elisabethkathedraal, Mathenesserlaan 305 ( ). The cathedral of Rotterdam (Roman Catholic) is a somewhat heavy neo romanesque creation from 1907. The interior is quite well proportioned and atmospheric. Sunday mass is at 11:00 (sometimes with a good choir). Besides assisting at the normally well attended mass you can walk in before or after to have a look inside.
Other sites, in the centre
- 6 Station Rotterdam Blaak ( ). The area around the station was destroyed by a Nazi bombardment during World War II, forcing the Netherlands to surrender. After the war this area was populated with some bold examples of modern architecture.
- 7 Kubuswoningen (Cube Houses), Overblaak 70 ( ), ☏ . Kijk Kubus (Show Cube) 11:00-17:00. These houses, designed by Dutch architect Piet Blom, are literally cubes, tilted over by 45 degrees. There were 39 cube houses built in Rotterdam in the early 1980s, along with 18 in Helmond, and 3 in Toronto. Adult €3, student or senior €2, child (-12) €1.5; €1 discount with Rotterdam Welcome Card, free with Rotterdam Pas.
- 8 Oude Haven ( ). The Old Harbour is a nice place to see and sit at some café nearby.
- 9 Witte Huis (White House) (at the Oude Haven). A "skyscraper" built after American tall buildings in 1898. Now it's a National Heritage Site.
- 10 Het Schielandshuis, Korte Hoogstraat 31 ( ). This is the only remaining 17th-century building in the city center of Rotterdam. It was once the place where French emperor Napoleon stayed, visiting his troops when they occupied the Netherlands. The former historical museum of Rotterdam which is now moved to another building.
- 11 Delfshaven ( ). It is one of very few locations in the city which survived WWII bombings. Easily accessible by metro (station of the same name), historic Delfshaven is a very scenic walk. It consists of an 17th-century area around two canals with a lot of charm. By day visit little shops in this neighbourhood, by night attractive pubs and restaurants make the visit worthwhile.
- 12 Chinatown, West-Kruiskade ( ). A massive Chinatown, full of Chinese restaurants but also Indonesian and other Asian restaurants. See Rotterdam#Eat for more information.
Rotterdam has only seven windmills left. Of these, only De Ster and De Lelie are open to visitors on a regular basis. Other windmills are open to visitors when the mill is turning (easy enough to see), but there are some exceptions to this rule of thumb. A blue flag also indicates that the mill is open to visitors.
- 13 Windmills De Ster and De Lelie, Plaszoom (10-15 minute walk from , follow Oudedijk → Kortekade → Plaszoom). open every 2nd Sat of the month: 10:00-16:00; and whenever the mills are in use. These two windmills (Star and Lily) date from 1777 and 1829. They are very handsomely situated on the side of the Kralingse Plas lake. The mills do still do their original job which is grinding ingredients for spices and snuff tobacco. Adjacent is a small shop where these products are sold.
- 14 De Prinsenmolen, Prinsenmolenpad 72 ( , follow Freericksplaats → Weissenbruchlaan → Strekkade → Prinsenmolenpad, about 20 minutes on foot). closed to visitors. De Prinsenmolen dates back to 1648 and worked until 1966 to keep the adjacent polder dry. It's a house now, but the mill is still in working order. It's a nice walk alongside the Bergse Voorplas lake.
- 15 De Vier Winden, Terbregse Rechter Rottekade 91 ( , about a ten minute walk upstream along the Rotte from the Prinsenmolen). closed to visitors. De Vier Winden was built in 1776. Until 1964 it was used to grind wheat. Although the mill is not open to visitors, it has a small shop with old fashioned mill-products.
- 16 De Speelman, Overschiese Kleiweg 775 (Ten minutes east from , follow Weerlanerstraat). Open when turning. De Speelman was built in 1712. Heavily damaged during World War II, it was restored and moved to its present location.
- 17 De Zandweg, Kromme Zandweg ( ). Open when turning. De Zandweg dates from 1723. It's at the southern part of town called Charlois. When walking a litlle bit further you can also see the nice Oliphant country mansion.
- 18 De Distilleerketel, Voorhaven 210 ( ). W 13:00-17:00; Sa 10:00-16:00. De Distilleerketel ('the Distillers' Kettle) was rebuilt in 1986 after the original mill was destroyed in World War II. The original mill from 1727 was meant for grinding malt for the numerous distilleries in Delfshaven. Now it works as a mill for grinding wheat on a commercial basis.
- 19 Trompenburg Tuinen & Arboretum (Arboretum Trompenburg), Honingerdijk 86 (beneden) ( ), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. M 12:00-17:00; Tu-F 09:00-17:00; Sa Su 10:00-17:00 (Nov-Mar 12:00-16:00). Arboretum Trompenburg, dating back to 1820, is a lovely park filled with well-designed walking paths. The seven hectare park houses a rich collection of trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs. Adult €6,25; children under 12 free entry.
- 20 Botanische Tuin Kralingen (Botanical Garden Kralingen), Kralingse Plaslaan 110b ( ). May-Sep: Tu-F 09:00-16:00; Oct-Apr: Tu-F 09:00-16:00;. This small botanical garden is known for its medicinal plants. As it is being brought back to its old glory the visit is recommended if you were to walk by, or for garden buffs. Free entry.
Museumkaart is accepted at the city's museums.
- 21 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Museumpark 18-20 ( ), ☏ , fax: . Tu-Su 11:00-18:00; M closed. The main building of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen is closed for a major renovation until 2029. The Depot has been open for the public since Nov 2021. Some of the masterpieces are being shown on other locations in the city or abroad. The museum, founded in 1849, houses a rich, broad collection that can be generally grouped into four wings: Old Art, with masterpieces such as Pieter Brueghel the Elder's The "little" Tower of Babel (1563). The collection of Prints and Drawings and the collection of Applied Arts and Design with their international allure. And the Modern Art wing has an important collection of surrealism, prominently featuring Salvador Dalí and René Magritte. Entry by e-ticket only purchased online in advance. Adult €20; student card €10, child under 19 free entry.
- 22 Sylvette, Westersingel ( ). This large work by Pablo Picasso was erected in 1973. It is one of the elaborations Picasso made based on the portraits of his muse Sylvette David. Definitely worth a look.
- 23 Kunsthal, Westzeedijk 341 ( ), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00; Su 11:00-17:00. An exhibition hall that houses some 25 expositions annually. The Kunsthal often experiments with themes that have never been used for an exhibition before. This approach produces a fascinating and widely varied repertoire. In total, the Kunsthal has 3,300 m² of exhibition space in a striking building, designed by OMA (Rem Koolhaas and Fuminori Hoshino) and is a true work of art all on its own. Adult €12; child 6-18 €2; child under 6 free entry.
- 24 Museum voor Architectuur, Design en Digitale cultuur (Museum for Architecture, Design and Digital culture), Museumpark 25 ( ), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00; Su 11:00-17:00. A part of the Het Nieuwe Instituut. €10 (under 18s free); tickets include a visit to the Sonneveld House.
- 25 Huis Sonneveld (Sonneveld House), Jongkindstraat 12 ( ). Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 11:00-17:00. A building in the Bauhaus style built in 1932-1933 by Leendert van der Vlugt. It is now a part of the Het Nieuwe Instituut museum. €10.
- 26 Chabot Museum, Museumpark 11 ( ). M-F 11:00-16:30; Sa 11:00-17:00; Su 12:00-17:00. This neat little museum is housed in a splendid modernist 1930s villa. It houses a collection of works of the expressionist painter Hendrik Chabot. A very recommendable if short visit for art lovers. Adult: €6.50; child under 12: free entry.
- 27 Natuurhistorisch Museum, Westzeedijk 345 (Next to the Kunsthal, ). Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. The "Natural History Museum" is in the Museumpark, near Boijmans, the NAi and the Kunsthal. It has changing expositions and a fixes collection of mammals, plants and fossils. The current director Kees Moeiliker became famous in 2003 for winning a scientific prize on his study and book about the strange behavior of a duck in the garden of the museum. His predecessor did a lot for the whales and left his collection at the museum. Adult €4; child 4-15 €2; child under 4 free entry.
- 28 Maritiem Museum (Maritime Museum), Leuvehaven 1 ( ), ☏ , fax: . Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00; Su 11:00-17:00; M 10:00-17:00 in July, August and school holidays in Rotterdam. A variety of expositions about the harbour of Rotterdam and maritime history. The museum also has an outdoor part of which the Museumschip De Buffel is the absolute highlight. This 19th-century gunboat is restored in all its glory and a must-see for naval enthusiasts. Adult €10, group + 15 people €8.50, child 4-15 €6.00, child under 4 free entry.
- 29 Mariniersmuseum, Wijnhaven 7-13 ( ). Tu-F 10:00-17:00, Sa Su 11:00-17:00. The museum of the Marine Corps is situated in a historic building in the Oude Haven. It shows the history of the 340 year-old corps and its modern-day role. Special attention is given to the heroic role of the corps in the 1940 defence of Rotterdam. In the nearby White House you can still notice the bulletholes in the stone wall.
- 30 Shipyard 'De Delft', Schiehaven 15 ( ), ☏ , fax: . Tu-F 10:00-16:00; Sa Su 11:00-17:00. Follow the construction of the 18th-century ship-of-the-line 'De Delft' from close-by. 'De Delft' will become one of the largest ship replica's in the world. Adult €6; child 4-12 €3; child under 4: free entry.
- 31 Museum Rotterdam, Rodezand 26 (behind the city hall at the Timmerhuis, ), ☏ . Tu-Su 11:00-17:00. Opened in 2016 the museum is dedicated to the modern day Rotterdam and its history. €7.50.
- 32 Nederlands Fotomuseum, Las Palmas building, Wilhelminakade 332 ( ), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Tu-F 10:00-17:00; Sa Su 11:00-17:00. The Nederlands Fotomuseum focuses on photography in the broadest sense of the word. By doing so, the museum wants to show the diversity of forms of photography. Not only as an artistic form of expression, but also and especially as a medium of social expression and commentary. Adult €6; child under 12 free entry.
- 33 De Verwoeste Stad (Destroyed City), Plein 1940 (At the square, just East of the Maritiem Museum). A statue by the Franco-Belarussian sculptor Ossip Zadkine dates from 1953. Zadkine got his inspiration when visiting Rotterdam shortly after the Second World War. The cubist statue depicting a man in agony who just lost his heart (symbol of the bombed city centre) still evokes strong feelings in Rotterdam.
- 34 Museum of Chess-Pieces (Schaakstukkenmuseum), Overblaak 94 ( ). W Sa Su 14:00 - 17:00. This little museum can be found among the famous Cube houses and houses a diverse collection of chess games. From ancient Chinese to all sorts of cartoon characters. Adult €2; child €1;.
- 35 Wereldmuseum, Willemskade 25 ( ), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00; Su 11:00-17:00. The Wereldmuseum (World Arts Museum) focuses on encounters and cross-cultural inspiration. Adult €15; child under 13, Rotterdampas, Museumkaart free entry.
- 36 Witte de With, Witte de Withstraat 50 ( ), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Tu-Su 11:00-18:00. Witte de With(Centre for Contemporary Arts) exhibits, lectures, multimedia for comtemporary arts. Adult €4 Witte de With; €2 discount under 18, students, CJP, seniors, groups (min. 10); free under 12, CKV, Rotterdampas, MJK is valid.
- 37 Oorlogs Verzets Museum, Coolhaven 375 ( ), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-F 10:00-17:00, Sa Su 12:00-17:00. The small 'War and Resistance Museum' paints life in Rotterdam and the Netherlands during the Second World War. Attention is also given to the military developments of the time and the destruction of the city of Rotterdam. Lectures and evenings with documentaries are often on the programme. €15, children (4-12 years) €9.
- 38 SSN Museumstoomdepot, Rolf Hartkoornweg 50 ( from where it's a 20-minute walk to the northeast). W 10:00-15:00, S 10:00-17:00. Old steam locomotives and trains can be admired at the 'Steam Depot Museum'. Besides a small museum it's very much a workshop too where you can see the actual work of restoration in progress. Check the website for rides, that actually use the normal railway lines.
Upcoming events and performances are listed on the VVV and Use-it websites. The larger events are well documented on the VVV site, for smaller venues check Use-it (under Calendar) for a very attractive and well updated listing of music, expositions, movies and parties that need checking out.
Twice a month the nl10 magazine is distributed around the city. You can take your free copy at a lot of locations (like bars, supermarkets, municipal offices). Besides some articles about interesting things going on in town it also has a large listing of upcoming gigs (in Dutch). Their website can also be handy.
- 1 Uitburo, Hoogstraat 110, inside the Centrale Bibliotheek ( ), ☏ . M 13:00-18:00, Tu-F 10:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 13:00-17:00. The Uitburo office inside the Central Library provides information on theatre and music performances. It also sells tickets and offers an overview of performances that can be visited for free (gratis).
Rotterdam plays host to a lot of events, a lot of them yearly ones. Besides these there are a lot smaller ones that can be very nice, so ask around and check the VVV website. A few of these yearly events to name:
- The Six Days cycling competition in January
- IFFR. The International Film Festival Rotterdam, which mainly features independent films from all over the world in February.
- Art Rotterdam. In February, you can see (and buy) masterpieces of modern art.
- World tennis Tournament. In February.
- On the Rotterdam Museum Night[dead link] in March, nearly all Rotterdam museums and galleries open their doors in the evening with special events.
- Motel Mozaique. Music, art & performance. Plus a sleeping project that enables sleeping in art or on special locations in Rotterdam (April)
- Marathon. in April, internationally reputed as a very fast marathon.
- Poetry International. Festival in June.
- Metropolis Festival (music) on the first Sunday in July.
- The sublime North Sea Jazz festival in July with loads of worldfamous artists.
- Summer Carnival. A huge Caribbean-oriented parade and party in the city centre.
- Heerlijk Rotterdam. Three day event where you can sample dishes from Michelin-star restaurants for a reduced price (dates vary, summer edition usually late August)
- The World Port Days[dead link] a weekend full of activities centred around the large harbour of Rotterdam (early September)
- The classical music Gergjev festival in September, led by master-conductor Valery Gergjev.
- The Rotterdam Harvest Festival in September.
- Bazar Curieux (music) in December
- 2 Hop on Hop off Tourist tram Citytour (lijn 10). April-October. July & August daily except Monday. See the website or leaflet for operating days since events or track works may disrupt operation.. The tourist tram line 10 will bring you along modern architecture, the city centre and historic parts of Rotterdam using classic trams. Total trip time 65 minutes. First depart from Willemsplein (near Spido) is at 11:00 but you can get on and off at any stop along the route as it operates every 30 minutes. Last depart from Willemsplein 16:30. Be sure to raise your hand to the driver if you would like to board at an intermediate tramstop. Adults €9, children 4-11 and 65+ €7. Tickets available on the tram and valid for whole day. Pay with cash or.
- 3 Spido harbour trip, Willemsplein 85 (Metro: Leuvehaven. Tram 7: Willemsplein), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. You only see the first 8 km of the harbour starting at the Erasmus bridge (the trip doesn't go all the way to the north sea, and skips some of the more interesting harbors) But Rotterdam is REALLY big, so even in those first 8 km there's plenty to see.
- 4 De pannenkoekenboot, Parkhaven 13, 3016 GM Rotterdam (Departs from near the foot of the Euromast, Tram , stop Euromast.). Eat as many pancakes as you want while you cruise.
There are two huge megacinemas in Rotterdam. The one in the city centre is called Pathé Schouwburgplein (at the Schouwburgplein), the other one is on the southside of the city. It's called Pathé De Kuip (next to the Feyenoord stadium De Kuip). In these cinemas you can see Hollywood movies and occasionally an arthouse movie. To get to De Kuip, take tramto stop Stadion Feijenoord.
If you're more into alternative cinema go to Lantaren/Venster Cinema (Otto Reuchlinweg 996 (Wilhelminapier)). Here you'll get European, Asian and Latin American cinema in a nice atmosphere. It has a nice bar too. The other option is Cinerama (Westblaak 18) which shows a combination of art/house films and commercial Hollywood flicks. During the IFFR (International Film Festival Rotterdam), which usually takes place in February, art-house movies are shown at much more locations throughout the city.
In August, an open air cinema at the Lloydkwartier shows both blockbusters and independent films. Entrance is free, and you can either bring your own chair or rent one onsite. To get there, taketo Coolhaven and walk for about 10–15 minutes towards the river in the south.
- International Film Festival Rotterdam. (IFFR) is an annual film festival held in various cinemas at the end of January. It is one of the larger film festivals in Europe.
When you want to combine a unique experience with a great view over the city of Rotterdam, you can make a (tandem) skydive at Skydive Rotterdam. At Skydive Rotterdam (also called the Flying Dutchman) you can book a tandem skydive or do a complete skydiving course and jump from a height of 3 or 4 kilometers. It's the only skydiving school in the "Randstad" area and the only place in the Netherlands where you can jump over a major city like Rotterdam. When the weather's good you will have a spectacular view over the Rotterdam skyline and other parts of the Randstad area, all the way to the coastline.
An airplane can be rented at reasonable rates at Rotterdam Airport at Happy Wing. Nice tours above the city, its ports or the coastline are on offer.
On summer Sundays, it is possible to lower yourself down from the Euromast. On last Sundays of summer months you can glide down in 15 seconds on a wire (tokkelen). Both: Not for the faint of heart! Check the website of Heightspecialists.
- 5 Diergaarde Blijdorp (Rotterdam Zoo), Blijdorplaan 8 (Take RET city bus 33 from Rotterdam Centraal towards Rotterdam Airport and get off at Diergaarde Blijdorp (for the old entrance) or Blijdorpplein (for the new entrance). Alternatively, it's a 10-15 minute walk from Rotterdam Centraal, or a few minutes less from metro station Blijdorp (line RandstadRail)), ☏ . Daily 09:00-17:00. Diergaarde Blijdorp, established in 1857, is one of the most popular day trips in the Netherlands. Walk through different parts of the world, seeing interesting animals that feel right at home in an approximation of their natural habitats. An interesting feature of Rotterdam Zoo is the Oceanium. Feast your eyes on your journey through this enchanting world of water, filled with ocean and coastal dwellers, including exotic fish and puffins. 7,50 euro/a person.
- 6 Miniworld Rotterdam, Weena 745 (Go left to the buses, then you are there!). W Th 12:00-17:00, F-Su 10:00-17:00. It's the largest indoor model railroad layout of the Netherlands.
Rotterdam has three professional football teams:
- Feyenoord play in the Eredivisie, the country's top tier. Their home ground is Stadion Feijenoord (capacity 51,000), better known as "De Kuip"; it's often also used for rock concerts and similar events. It's south of the river with its own railway station Rotterdam Stadion.
- Sparta Rotterdam also play in Eredivisie. Their home ground is Het Kasteel ("The Castle", capacity 12,000), 3 km west of the centre.
- SBV Excelsior were promoted in 2022 back into Eredivisie. They play at Stadion Woudestein (capacity 4500), now called Van Donge & De Roo Stadion. It's 2 km east of city centre on the north bank of the river.
Water sports and yachting
Being a major harbour and having lots of waterways and lakes, Rotterdam has a lot to offer for water-enthousiasts. Boating: There are four major lakes in Rotterdam. The Kralingse Plas, The double Bergse Plas, the Rottemeren and the Zevenhuizer Plas. All of them have active yachting communities and sometimes sailing races can be seen. The Zevenhuizer plas is mainly populated by Windsurf enthousiasts. Sailing boats can be rented at the Kralingse Plas at the Van Gent sailing school, Plaszoom, a 10-minute walk from Metro Voorschoterlaan (walk through the Julianalaan until you reach Plaszoom). Rowing- and sailing boats can be rented at the windmill at the very end of the eastern Rottekade at Van Vliet's (Rottemeren, go by car or bike, a very nice ride). Yachting: When visiting Rotterdam with your own yacht you will find that most yachting harbours are on the inland waterways, were there are a lot of them. On the river Maas you will only find the City Marina, behind a bascule bridge on the southern bank, and the Veerhaven, right in the city center on the northern bank. Unless you need the better shelter of the characterless City Marina, go for the admittedly a little choppy Veerhaven marina, very central and scenic.
The closest good beach is about 30 km away at Hook of Holland. Here you will find a very fine sand beach with good swimming and enough entertainment. To get there, take line to Hoek van Holland Haven, its end point. Take bus 611 from there.
For a more urban-party beach experience head to Scheveningen where you can find everything beach-party addicts dream about; Endless rows of beachside bars, restaurants and discothèques and a boulevard along a splendid fine-sand beach. It can get very crowded here. Take the train to Den Haag Centraal Station and tram subsequently. Also at the same coast is Kijkduin, which is very recommended for children. To get there, get to its northern end point, then take bus 24 to Kijkduin. If you want to go to the beach but want to stay in the city, consider taking to its end point, Nesselande and walk across the Corsicalaan from there. You are at the Strand Nesselande.
The main shopping areas in the center are the 1 Lijnbaan and the 2 Hoogstraat. Both are pedestrianised. The Lijnbaan, which runs straight south from the Weena (close to Rotterdam Centraal) was the first pedestrianised shopping street in the world when it was built in 1953. Now it is more of an average shopping street with average shops. In weekends it's very crowded. Linking the Lijnbaan with the Hoogstraat is the 3 Beurstraverse, dubbed Koopgoot (Buying-gutter). A subterrainean passage, also connecting to Beurs metro station. It's all rather big and somewhat strange for a Dutch city, but it fits perfectly into the Rotterdam aspiration of being different. If you're looking for it, ask for the Koopgoot, as the official name is little known.
The Beurstraverse gives direct access to the city's main department stores:
- 4 De Bijenkorf (Metro , Beurs.). This upmarket store offers a lot in terms of clothing, accessories, jewellery, perfumes and the like. The store offers quality, but it comes at a price.
- 5 HEMA, Beursplein 2, 3011 AA Rotterdam (metro to Beurs). This star of Dutch budget shopping has a limited range of clothing, food and hardware. HEMA has a reputation of delivering quality goods at very competitive prices. A lot of what it sells is of a fresh and bright design.
There are about 12 larger and smaller markets dotted around Rotterdam. Most of them are enjoyable places to walk through.
- 6 Centrummarkt (at the eastern end of the Hoogstraat on the Binnenrotte, Metro : Blaak). Oct-Mar: Tu Sa 08:00-17:00; Apr-Sep: Tu Sa 08:00-17:00, Su 12:00-17:00. It is a huge (~450 stalls) open air food and hardware market — a nice place to visit. In Summer also there is a smaller version (~50 stalls).
- 7 Afrikaanderplein Markt (south of the river, Metro : Maashaven). W Sa 08:00-16:30. This market (~300 stalls) is geared very much towards Rotterdam inhabitants of Antillian, South American or African descent (a lot of whom happen to live nearby). It’s more exotic and colourful than the other one.
Street food markets
8 Markthal, Ds. Jan Scharpstraat 298 (Binnenrotte, Metro : Blaak). Market stands: M-Sa 10:00-20:00, Su 12:00-18:00; Albert Heijn: M-Sa 08:00-21:00, Su 10:00-20:00; Bars and restaurants: 10:00-00:00. Opened in 2014 by a Dutch princess (who else!), It is a quite remarkable building which is worth a visit per se. It's more like a hybrid between a market and a shopping centre. Besides the large market hall, there are also residential, office sections, retail sections. Last but not least the Markthal houses a wide variety of bars, food stalls, and restaurants. Enjoy meals or bites from Mediterranean or Asian cultures or try the famous Rotterdam fries of Bram Ladage.
- Fenix Food Factory, Veerlaan 19D, 3072 AN Rotterdam. Closed on Monday. Offers food/bites and beers on a unique venue. The building itself is an old warehouse which did not lose much of its original character. Get a food platter and pass along all the shops for breakfast, brunch or snacks.
Try one or many more of the Kaapse Brouwers beers: there is a whole wall of taps to choose from. This is a popular place so waiting lines can be long.
- 9 De Groene Passage, Mariniersweg 1 – 33 (near Blaak train- and metrostation). A collection of sustainable shops including a grocery store, restaurant, bookstore and butchery.
Things to buy
Dutch cheese is very famous, you can get some at grocery stores or wider variety at the marketplace. Other typical Dutch things are stroopwafels, hagelslag and drop (liquorice).
The area around metrostation Blaak, called Oude haven (Old Harbour), is not only worth seeing but has also a lot of pubs and restaurants. The Rotterdam dining scene is developing very fast with new restaurants opening very often. While most of the attention focusses on new Michelin-star aspiring places, there is very much a trend towards high quality mid-range restaurants offering French/Dutch cuisine.
- 1 Angelo Betti, Schiekade 6a, ☏ . 16:00-22:30. Italian kitchen and ice cream parlour. Whether you come for a dinner or a takeaway pizza, you always have to wait. But everything here is definitely worth the wait! And what is so bad about having to wait a while when you can sit in the sun with a glass of great Italian wine in front of the restaurant? The good ingredients and the classy Italian waiters make the picture complete. In one word: fantastic! Three-course meal: €12.50, table wine: €2.90 by the glass.
- 2 El Aviva, Schiedanseweg 22. Kapsalon is a wonderful variation of Shoarma that was invented at this restaurant in Rotterdam. It has now become famous all over the Netherlands. A delicious, greasy meal! €4-7.
- 3 Café Restaurant Sijf, Oude Binnenweg 115. In weekend open till 02:00. Very nice old-looking bar. They also serve food for a reasonable price and most of the food is home made. Try the grilled beef with Spanish pepper and garlic! Or have one of their great sandwiches or salads. Wanna have a nice Belgium beer that gets you all fuzzy? They have an awesome Belgian beer called “la Chouffe” (the midget) on draft. Very tasty! A good start for the evening.
- 4 Open, Jacobusstraat 215, ☏ . A great place to have a soup or salad. The food looks great and tastes even better. The prices are around 10-12 euro.
- 5 Rotown, Nieuwe Binnenweg 19, ☏ . This is 'the' place in town for creative people. Or it used to be, because lots of people now go to the next-door café's Stalles and Parket. Rotown has a restaurant with decent food for a decent price. The daily changing menu (meat, fish and vegetarian) costs around €9, and usually you'll get something nice. After eating you can go watch a band or drink your drink in the café.
- 6 Stalles, Nieuwe Binnenweg 9, ☏ . This café at the offers pizzas for €4.50-7.00 on Mondays and Tuesdays. The atmosphere in the restaurant is relaxed and friendly. The menu furthermore features salads, sandwiches, and tapas. The owner also owns Club Vibes, around the corner.
- 7 Werelds Restaurant, Witte de Withstraat 81, ☏ . 11:00-23:00. Amazing fish and chips on a Monday and Tuesday, and Irish stew is great. €15 for 3 courses.
- New Fork, Coolsingel 141. Every day until 17:00. Great for lunch; filling peanut butter sandwich + cafe au lait for less than €5 (March 2015)
- 8 (Cocktail)Bar-Restaurant Stockholm, Spaansekade 12 (Old Harbour) (walking distance (5min) from train/tram/bus station Blaak), ☏ . M-Th 15:00-01:00, F Sa 15:00-03:00, Su 15:00-01:00, closed on Monday. Two of the best things in gastronomy come together at Bar-Restaurant Stockholm: A high standard yet fair priced French-inspired menu & the exquisite cocktails. Together with the trendy interior and city centre location Stockholm has been a well-earned success for years. 3-course menu €32,50, 4-course menu €37.50, cocktails €8.50.
- 9 Café-Restaurant Kade 4, Spaansekade 4 in Oude Haven(Old Harbour) (5 minute walk from train/tram/bus station Blaak), ☏ . Su-Th 10:00-01:00, F Sa 10:00-02:00, closed on Monday. A cafe in an authentic part of the city centre: in the Old Harbour. Open all year round for lunch, dinner or just coffee and delicious cake. One of the most popular terraces during summer. Fair prices, spontaneous staff, basic French-inspired cuisine. Menu for about €22.
- 10 Bierhandel De Pijp, Gaffelstraat 90 (Take Tram 4 to the Bloemkwekerstraat stop on the Nieuwe Binnenweg), ☏ . M-Sa 12:00-14:00 and 17:30-00:00, closed on Su and festive days and Sat afternoon. Prepare yourself for something special when visiting this famous eatery. The outside is absolutely rundown (so is the interior) and you must convince yourself to really push open the dark door. Once inside you will be welcomed by waiters in white and you will be allocated directly next to other visitors on benches. Good food is served (traditional Dutch and French fare), cooked in the same space that you're sitting. The place is frequented by Rotterdam businessmen and students and guests should fit in in terms of behaviour and appearance. (Mick Jagger was famously denied access here for not being a gentleman.) From €30 for 3 courses.
- 11 Lokanta Dunya, Proveniersstraat 40a, ☏ , fax: . Daily 12:00-23:00; Sa Su no lunch. The first floor is much like a Turkish market square. It is fully decorated and cozy, the fake balcony and window pane complete the market square. Through a small staircase you reach the 'living room'. Tip: Enjoy the fresh baked bread before you start your dinner. They have a wood stove that gives the food that extra authentic taste; some great wood-heated meals are stuffed zucchini and stuffed kofte. This place is comparable to the Wereld Eethuis Bazar in the Witte de Withstraat 16. However, if you are looking for more intimacy, good and honest food and superb service, this place is where you want to go! Three-course meal: €20.00, table wine: €2.15 by the glass.
- 12 Restaurant Soit, 's-Gravendijkwal 136b, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Su-Th 17:30-21:30; F Sa 17:30-22:30. When you follow the Nieuwe Binnenweg towards the west side of Rotterdam and u take a left on the 's-Gravendijkwal you don't expect to find a nice cosy restaurant like Soit. This restaurant is well known for their staff. The smile of the hostess towards her customers is genuine; she knows that they're going to enjoy their dinner. It is not really cheap and can be compared with Eten. They have a nice mix of French, Dutch, and Asian food. Definitely a good place for romantic dinners. Don't forget to make a reservation! Three-course meal: €29.00, table wine: €2.75 by the glass.
- 13 Zinc Restaurant, Calandstraat 12a (take Tram 7 to Westplein and walk 4 minutes from there), ☏ . Tu-Su 18:00-00:00. In a very pleasant area called Scheepvaartkwartier this nice little (crammed) place offers good cuisine for a very good price. There is no á la carte dining, but a fixed menu with a limited choice per course (always 3 courses). The kitchen is French and Dutch oriented and focusses on traditional fresh seasonal ingredients. Reserve your table as it's often fully booked. €27.50 for 3 courses.
- 14 SS Rotterdam, 3e Katendrechtse hoofd 25 (Metroline D Rijnhaven, then bus 77, bus stop Katendrechtsestraat), ☏ . A ship built in 1959, now permanently moored and converted to a hotel/restaurants venue. There are two fine restaurants and a bar. When the weather is nice there is a great terrace with a view. Before the F&B you can book a tour. Or even better, spend the night at this fabulous cruise ship. Guided tours around the ship are also available.
- 15 Restaurant Amarone, Meent 72 (near the City Hall (Stadhuis)), ☏ . A culinary gem in the very heart of the city, this stylish restaurant needs to be booked well in advance. Very rewarding French cuisine. Valet parking. About €50 for 3 courses.
- 16 Restaurant Café Lux, 's-Gravendijkwal 133, ☏ , fax: . M-Sa 18:00-23:00; Su 17:30-23:00. Nicely decorated Italian restaurant where you don't just drop by for a simple pizza. As a matter of fact, they don't even serve pizza. With the fine use of herbs, garlic and more interesting stuff that the Italian kitchen has to offer, it is almost impossible to not like this food. The personal is professional and for what you get the prices are actually not too bad. In summer you can eat outside (there is a small terrace at the back). A nice feature of this restaurant is that the kitchen is open until 23:00, something that is not very common in Rotterdam. Three-course meal: €35.00, table wine: €2.60 by the glass.
- 17 Restaurant Parkheuvel, Heuvellaan 21 (Metro Dijkzigt + a short walk through the 'Park'), ☏ . This sublime Michelin 2 star is the best place in town. Very nice views and service to match. From €75 for 3 courses.
Nightlife in Rotterdam is extremely varied, every subculture has its own area in the city. The Oude Haven (close to the Kubuswoningen) and the main market square Blaak are the hang out spot for business, economic and law students. The cafés and restaurants in the Oude Haven (Old Harbour) are around a picturesque little harbour. Scenery of water, city lights, boats and Het Witte Huis, the first skyscraper of Europe (1897). The atmosphere is really great and it is best to go when the sun sets, very romantic! Great place for a night out.
Close to the Oude Haven area, the streets around the Pannenkoekstraat have emerged as a new center for shopping and going out. Amidst small boutiques, selling clothes and interior design by young, upcoming designers, you can find cocktailbars such as Level or Soho, which both attract large crowds. Especially in the summer this is a great place for a mojito.
The most lively bar area in town is Eendrachtsplein/Nieuwe Binnenweg. Alternative, easy going and full of friendly, open-minded people. The cafés you should be looking for are Stalles, Parket and Rotown. This is the place to be for the more creative orientated people, musicians, designers and artschool students. Walk down de Nieuwe Binnenweg and arrive at Café Ari (Nieuwe Binnenweg/Mathenesserlaan) and Westerpaviljoen (grand café with the best terrace in the city). This is a good place to start the evening. Walk a little bit (3 minutes) down the Binnenweg again and go left at 's-Gravendijkwal (you'll see the flashy neon lights of sexclub OQ). Across the street you'll find Jazz Cafe Dizzy. A great place for a quality beer and some live jazz music. You can also eat at almost all places mentioned.
Now walk back the Binnenweg up eastbound. Cross Eendrachtsplein and go to the right towards the Westersingel. Walk 3 minutes and on your left there is the Witte de Withstraat. Some nice café's like De Witte Aap, Mondriaan, Bar P, and De Schouw are found here, along with some good restaurants as well. This is also the most arty street of Rotterdam. Here you'll find Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, MAMA, showroom for media and moving art and many more. Drinking in style!
If you're into loud music, your best option would be to go to De Baroeg at the "Spinozaweg" in Rotterdam-Lombardijen. Loads of heavy metal acts play here each year. Should you not feel like making your way all the way into sub-urbia, you could also try your luck at the Rhythm on Oude Binnenweg. A popular hang out of alternative types.
The clubscene in Rotterdam is well-renowned. For example, it gave birth to the gabber-housescene in the early 1990s and was home to the Now&Wow, one of the world's trendiest clubs. The Now&Wow is now defunct, but in its last location, an old grain silo near metro station Maashaven, there are still numerous dance parties. Just as with the bar scene, there are clubs that cater for different groups of people. Moreover, Rotterdam nightlife is very dynamic: places come and go, move around, change ownership, etc. It is mostly centered around:
- Kruiskade: clubs as Off Corso (housed in an old cinema) and Thalia Lounge have good parties over the weekends and mostly attract 20-somethings.
- Stadhuisplein: number of bars and disco's that are more directed towards the working class. The nearby Baja Beach Club (at the Schouwburgplein) attracts a similar crowd. Stadhuisplein is better to be avoided in the weekends due to a lot of aggression! During week days it's mostly students going out, with De Après Skihut full of people every day of the week.
- Delftsestraat: the Hollywood is a large disco that fills up quickly in weekends with an overall somewhat younger crowd. The Apres Ski Hut recreates the atmosphere of Tirol in the same colourless street.
- Club Vie, near the old harbour area, is a more stylish, trendy club, which also offers nice views over the Maas river.
Some listings that can be found around these places:
- Stalles, Nieuwe Binnenweg 11a. A small bar next to Parket. They serve a large variety of single malt whiskys. It's pretty small, but very cosy.
- Grand café Westerpaviljoen, Nieuwe Binnenweg 136. Open till 02:00 in the weekend. Rotterdammers like to read their newspaper here. For a solid breakfast (Dutch “wentelteefjes”), good lunch, or a fast meeting Westerpaviljoen is a perfect place. Hang out on their huge and fantastic terrace, drink a nice glass of Amstel or Hoegaarden White beer.
- Café De Witte Aap, Witte de Withstraat 78 (Metro: Eendrachtsplein). This classic Rotterdam pub (The White Monkey) draws a very varied and often too large crowd for its premises. It's a cool place to have a few drinks before dinner or before exploring the rest of this very lively neighborhood.
- 1 Charly's Lunchroom (Café De Unie), Mauritsweg 34-35 ( ). This restaurant/café/art society is a Rotterdam institute. Housed in a magnificent building reminiscent to a Mondriaan painting, being built in the De Stijl-style, it also hosts all kinds of cultural venues and parties. A good place to have coffee too.
- Pol Bar, Meent 46-48. In weekends open till 02:00. Nice looking bar with modern solid patio. Crowd can be sort of posh sometimes, but don't let that scare you too much. Right next to the market (Tuesday and Thursday), and they won some prices with their sandwiches.
- Paddy Murphy's. This Irish pub is really Irish. Green and wooden colors and a bar crew who only speaks English. Live music every night! On Monday there's pub bingo. In the weekends the entrance fee is €2.50.
- 2 De Pui, Oostzeedijk Beneden 221 (Metro: Oostplein). Very nice bar in a corner building in the heart of Kralingen. Recognizable by the distinguished red awnings. There are students there, but it is not a student pub. There are musicians there, but it is not a musicians cafe. There are businessmen there, but that makes it no business cafe. It is the mixture of people and taste, that makes it so enjoyable.
- Tiki's, Hartmansstraat 16/A (between Witte de Withstraat and Westblaak). Don't let the cheesy Hawaiian interior put you off. Frequented by an alternative arty crowd, with rockabilly and ska (and occasionally Ethiopian jazz) on the loudspeakers. Cocktails and small dinner menu.
As everywhere in the Netherlands, the possession (of small quantities) and use of cannabis (hash and weed) is tolerated in Rotterdam. Since Amsterdam draws more coffee-shop tourism prices are lower in Rotterdam. Some renowned places:
- Coffeeshop "De lachende paus" ("The laughing pope", Nieuwe Binnenweg): A shop where you can buy over 40 kinds of pre-rolled joints (voorgedraaide in Dutch). The prices can be high, but it's worth a visit.
- Coffeeshop "Pluto" (Nieuwe Binnenweg 139a): Actually a headshop. They also sell loads of paraphernalia like pipes, and bongs.
- Coffeeshop "Greenhouse" (Nieuwe Binnenweg) Ditto.
- Coffeeshop "The Reefer" (De Meent, City center)
- Coffeeshop "The Pool" (Westersingel, 5 m from Central Station): A nice Coffeeshop on the 1st floor where you can sit and relax by a table or bar. Or play some pool on the 2nd and 3rd floor.
- Coffeeshop the "Act" / Cafe "De Nieuwe Wet" (Westerwagenstraat): Since the mid-1990s the sale of alcohol and cannabis in the same place has been made illegal. The natural solution? Split your coffeeshop and pub into two separate entities, with only one door.
- Coffeeshop "Nemo" (Nieuwe Binnenweg): Unlike many coffeeshops this place is bright, open and airy with large windows and comfortable seats; the walls are covered in a (Disney) Nimo-esque montage and the music is more relaxed than many coffeeshops. A good place for someone wanting something softer than many other coffeeshops.
Possessing large quantities of hasheesh or cannabis is a crime in the Netherlands: do not take stuff with you when leaving the Netherlands (you can be punished severely in neighbouring countries). It's also unwise to buy for someone else, especially if it's a foreigner as you can be punished in his or her country of origin (it has happened).
Smoking tobacco is banned inside food and drink establishments — even coffeeshops! But tobacco smoking appears to be tolerated in coffee shops, and their pre-rolled joints are often mixed with tobacco.
- Rotown where smaller international and national indie artists perform.
- WORM, venue focused on underground and avant garde music
- Roodkapje, a gallery that also host various parties
- Poortgebouw, a venue run by the squatters that live in the building.
- 1 Stadscamping Rotterdam, Kanaalweg 84 (Bus 33 (Airport) or 40 (Delft) from Rotterdam Centraal Station, metro stop Blijdorp or busstop Blijdorpplein), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Northwest of the center. For camping near the city it's the only option. There are a lot of trees to give shelter from sun or wind. Basic facilities. Little chalets (2/4 persons) can be rented too. Tent €5, person €6.
- 2 Hostel ROOM Rotterdam, Van Vollenhovenstraat 62, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 24/7, check-out: 24/7. In the city center in the popular district named Scheepvaartkwartier enclosed by the river Maas, the Erasmus bridge, the Westzeedijk and the park at the Euromast. In a 1920s Art Deco building they offer 16 theme rooms (like the Port room, Festival room, Dutch Delight), a lively bar, guest kitchen, common room, etc. From the hostel everything in Rotterdam is just a doorstep away. Prices start at 15€.
- 3 Hostel De Mafkees, Vijverhofstraat 47, 3032 SB Rotterdam, ☏ , email@example.com. Originating from a summertime-only location near the Central Station, they have moved in 2013 to a new, all-year location in Zomerhofkwartier, bordering the city centre in the north. Prices start at €12.50 for an overnight stay in a dormitory, breakfast included.
- 4 Stayokay Rotterdam (Cubic Houses), Overblaak 85-87 (Metro: Blaak), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Clean, safe and easy to find. Since they are in the world-famous Cubic Houses, all the rooms are different shapes and nothing is 'square'. Surrounded by bars and concrete, party noises are amplified and bounced into your room. Not a problem if you plan on staying out late...
- 5 King Kong Hostel, Witte de Withstraat 74, 3012BS Rotterdam, ☏ , email@example.com. Lively hostel on the even livelier Witte de Withstraat. Clean & friendly, good place to be in the middle of the action and to get to know people. Possibly not best place for quiet sleep though. Bed in dorm from €18.50, Private rooms €80 upwards.
Bed and Breakfast
There are numerous bed and breakfast houses in Rotterdam and they generally offer a good possibility of getting a "local" experience.
- 6 Bed, Brood en Eieren, Schiedamseweg 43a. This authentic place is in Delfshaven. Breakfast eggs from their own chicken, it is claimed. €65 for a double with breakfast.
- 7 ibis Rotterdam City Centre, Wijnhaven 12. Opened in August 2014. Features a waterfront location on an island in Wijnhaven.
- 8 easyHotel Rotterdam City Centre. A budget hotel group created by the founders of airline easyJet and according to the same principles - the basic accommodation is cheap, but everything else costs extra.
- 9 Holiday Inn Express Rotterdam - Central Station, Weena 121. In a converted office building close to Rotterdam Centraal. As in every other hotels in this chain, rooms are basic but adequate, while breakfast and Wi-Fi are included in room rates.
- 10 Eurohotel Centrum, Baan 14-20, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. A double room starts at €55 per night, breakfast included.
- 11 Grand Hotel Central, Kruiskade 12, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. A double room starts at €75 per night, breakfast included.
- 12 Hotel Baan, Rochussenstraat 345, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. A double room starts at €78 per night, breakfast included.
- 13 Hotel Bazar, Witte de Withstraat 16 (Metro: Beurs or Churchillplein), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Get in touch with real Rotterdam multiculturalism in this splendidly decorated place. Do not forget to dine here too. Ideally situated in the lively Witte de Withstraat. Doubles from €75, breakfast included.
- 14 Maritime Hotel, Willemskade 13 (Metro: Leuvehaven from where it's a short walk to the riverside). This no-nonsense 3-star has an excellent location directly on the riverquay in the interesting Scheepvaartkwartier neighbourhood. Doubles from €75 per night, breakfast included.
- 15 Hotel New York, Koninginnenhoofd 1, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. The former headquarters of the Holland Amerika Lijn, was done up in 1993 and is now a hip and lively place. From €105 per night.
- 16 NH Atlanta Rotterdam, Aert van Nesstraat 4, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Combines a historic 1930s building with a newer one adjoining De Bijenkorf department store. While the common areas entice with art deco charm, some of the cheaper rooms have fallen behind the times and are now badly worn. On balance, the Atlanta is in the very centre and offers brilliant views from its rooftop breakfast room and terrace, as well as from selected rooms.
- 17 Hotel Rotterdam, Schiekade 658 (Tram 25 to Schiekade stop), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. This hotel is a little bit out of the city center on the (very) busy Schiekade street. Doubles from €120.
- 18 Tulip Inn Rotterdam-Centre, Willemsplein 1, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. A splendid location, in front of the tram stop at the start of the Erasmus Bridge with brilliant views thereof, as well as the Kop van Zuid across the Maas. From €125 for a double.
- 19 Hampshire Hotel - Savoy Hotel Rotterdam, Hoogstraat 81, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 20 citizenM Rotterdam, Geldersestraat 50. One of the first hotels of this chain with an innovative concept - offering ample, four-star level amenities, including designerish common spaces, combined with ultra-small cabin-sized rooms, all at a reasonable price vs. regular upscale hotels.
- 21 Bilderberg Parkhotel Rotterdam, Westersingel 70 (Metro: Eendrachtsplein), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. The somewhat stately Parkhotel has a reputation of offering real value. Its location is very practical too, just off the lively Witte de Withstraat and close to the major museums.
- 22 Hilton Hotel Rotterdam, Weena 10, ☏ , fax: .
- 23 Marriott Hotel (formerly Manhattan Hotel Rotterdam), Weena 686 (Rotterdam Centraal Station), ☏ , fax: . This towering high rise is just across Rotterdam Centraal. Luxurious rooms that are sometimes to be had for as little as €100. Check the site (walk-ins pay far more)
- 24 Inntel Hotels Rotterdam Centre, Schiedamsedijk 140 (Metro (D,E): Leuvehaven). A design hotel with modern, simplistic appointments. It occupies a striking waterfront building at the foot of the Erasmus bridge.
- 25 Mainport Design Hotel, Leuvehaven 77. A luxury offshot of Inntel Hotels along the same waterfront, Guests can enjoy rich interior decorations, a spa, sauna, hamam, spa, a restaurant and a bar, all with views of Leuvehaven.
- 26 nhow Rotterdam, Wilhelminakade. An upscale hotel concept of NH Hoteles, with features, rooms and common spaces inspired by art, music, fashion and such. nhow Rotterdam, housed in the new striking waterfront highrise on Wilhelminakade (across the Erasmus Bridge), tops it up with great views from the pricier rooms.
- 27 Bed, Bites & Business hotel Rotterdam (Bed, Bites & Business), Nico Koomanskade 94 (on the quay of the Rijnhaven), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Bed, Bites & Business has a spectacular view of Wilhelminaplein, the head from south to the Euromast, inside the building "San Francisco", which in 1930 was the former headquarters of the largest transhipment warehouse in the world. 120.
The telephone country code for the Netherlands is 31, and Rotterdam's city code is 010. In case of an Emergency, dial 1-1-2 (free of charge). When staying for a longer time, buy a prepaid sim card for your mobile phone.
You should take normal precautions against pickpockets and baggage theft, especially in the main shopping streets, at markets, in trams and trains, at stations, and anywhere where tourists congregate. It is not wise to hang around Stadhuisplein when nightlife ends. Fights often occur in this area after midnight. Rotterdam also has a reputation of mass venues getting out of hand, though you shouldn't worry too much about it. If violence breaks out at football festivities (not so unlikely) or at the end of sun soaked festive days, like Kings Day (even less unlikely, especially at the Stadhuisplein), just get out of the way and you're unlikely to be affected. It's advisable not to wear a football jersey of Ajax Amsterdam or any other stuff promoting Ajax or Amsterdam. In terms of general safety, at daylight most areas in the city are safe. But at night, some areas such as Spangen, Charlois and Hillesluis are wise to avoid.
When you drive a car with a foreign numberplate (especially if it's a French or Belgian one) you might or will be approached by so-called drugsrunners. This can occur on the motorways surrounding the city and in the city proper. These guys try to lure people to places where drugs are dealt. Do not respond to their signals and do not follow them.
If you do not have a car, the hub for leaving the city will probably be Rotterdam Centraal, from where trains leave in all directions at short intervals (you can generally drop in and catch the next train to your destination). Most regional and longer distance buses leave here too, with the exception of most buses to southerly destinations and the province of Zeeland that leave from metro station Zuidplein. Contrary to trains, bus departure times should be checked in advance as they can be far and between.
For trains to the North and the South travellers can also choose to depart from Rotterdam Blaak.
The Hague can also be reached easy and rather fast by metro line E.
Nearby destinations like Schiedam or even Delft can also be reached by bike if you fancy a somewhat longer ride. Bike routes and directions are well marked and available in abundance. A good idea for a sunny day! Schiedam can be reached by train or by metro (in 15 minutes) too. MRDH is the area of the region Rotterdam-Schiedam-Delft-The Hague, see this page for more information on travel and cycling.
- Kinderdijk — a UNESCO World Heritage site. 19 old windmills are still helping to control the water level there. Windmill #2 is open to the public (€3), allowing you to see the inner workings. In season there is a direct waterbus service from an embankment at the Erasmus bridge (travel time ~1/2 hour). Alternatively, Arriva bus 90 from bus and metro station Zuidplein will get you there in 50 minutes.
- Schiedam — visit the historic centre of this small town at the edge of Rotterdan, including the six world tallest windmills. Also you can find there the Stedelijk Museum, ant attractive museum with some nice modern art exhibitions. Easily reached by bicycle, a train (from Rotterdam Centraal to Schiedam Centrum), metro A, B or C line to Schiedam Centrum station, or tram lines 21 or 24 (Broersvest or Koemarkt stop).
- Hoek van Holland is a part of the Rotterdam municipality and it's 30 km from Rotterdam. On hot summer days it serves as Rotterdam's beach town, overlooking large ships leaving the port of Rotterdam, including the ferries to the United Kingdom.
- Delft — this famous town is in a 15-min train ride from Rotterdam Centraal. Very historic and scenic, but also very touristy.
- Dordrecht — a magnificent historic town with little tourism and an excellent old art museum (Dordrechts Museum). It is a 15-min train ride, or even better, take a waterbus[dead link].
- Gouda — visit this small picturesque postcard-like town and see the magnificent stained glass windows in the Sint Janskerk. Also 20 min by train.
- Delta Works — a series of construction projects protecting the Southwest of the Netherlands from the sea. The Oosterschelde storm surge barrier is the most impressive, and next to it is Neeltje Jans, a water theme park dedicated to the Delta Works.
- Brielle — a mediaeval fortified town. The centre is a nice ensemble of old houses and churches, enclosed by the original earthen defensive walls. There are some museums and the Roman Catholic shrine of the Martyrs of Gorcum. Walking around town and fortifications is a treat. You can easily spend a full day in Brielle. Take bus 103 at the Spijkenisse Centrum metro station. A journey takes about 70 min.
- Schoonhoven — a nice small town with many well preserved medieval buildings on the Lek river in a halfway to Utrecht. From Station Capelsebrug, Rotterdam, take a bus 195 (direction Utrecht). A journey takes about 1 hour.
- Go to the other cities of the Randstad, e.g. The Hague is 1/2 hour by train or metro, Utrecht is around 45 min by train, Amsterdam about an hour.
|Routes through Rotterdam|
|Brielle ← Spijkenisse ←||W E||→ Dordrecht → Arnhem|
|Amsterdam ← Delft ←||N S||→ Zwijndrecht → Antwerp|