100 Great Things to Do in Rotterdam (Yes, 100!)
Table of Contents
Great Things to Do in Rotterdam in 2020: All you need to know about visiting Rotterdam
Congratulations, you’ve just found the most extensive Rotterdam guide out there. 😉 Having lived in Rotterdam for a few years now, I know more than most that Rotterdam is certainly not the place where you’ll struggle to find things to do. Like Amsterdam, Rotterdam is filled with interesting attractions, quirky bars and restaurants and a great city vibe.
However, Rotterdam offers something that most Dutch cities do not – a huge range of modern and impressive architecture.
What Is Rotterdam Known For?
You may have heard about Rotterdam before and you may not have. Either way, you’re searching for it now – so, what makes Rotterdam so special?
Rotterdam is famous for its port and its architecture. It was once the largest port in the world and is still the largest port in Europe.
Rotterdam was destroyed in WW2 and this meant that Rotterdam was a blank canvas when it came to architecture. This is why Rotterdam is so different from many other Dutch cities. So, what is there to do in this great city?
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Things to Do in Rotterdam:
1. Watch a Match at Feijnoord Stadium
If you fancy watching a match, then check out the Feijnoord Stadium. It has a capacity of 51,000 and is the heart of Rotterdam. They even won the Eredivisie (The Dutch League) in 2016/17. I went to see them a couple of years ago, but they had their arss kicked… nevermind. 😉
2. Take to the Ice and Go Ice-Skating
In the winter, two rinks are open until spring. The Schaatsbaan – a 400m tunnelled ice rink and the Plaswijkpark – an ice risk especially designed for children and families. So if you’re in Rotterdam this winter, then consider putting your ice skating boots on.
3. Have a Drink on Wit de Witte
Rotterdam is known for its bustling nightlife and there’s one place in particular that steals the show. Wit de Wittstraat is a street full of quirky bars, restaurants, dessert shops and cafes. It’s also THE place to go if you want to sit outside and enjoy your beverages and socialise.
4. Take a Walk Along the Erasmus Bridge
The iconic Erasmus bridge is every Instagrammers dream (especially at night). This bridge, also known as ‘the swan’ because of its swan-like appearance, breaches the gap between the north and the south of Rotterdam and lights up all different colours at night. It’s definitely worth a walk across it to watch the boats, cargo and cruise ships sail by – it also gives the perfect view of The Rotterdammer.
5. Get a Bite to Eat at Fenix Food Factory
Fenix Food Factory is a trendy food hall located in the Karendrecht region. It has replaced an old warehouse along the seafront and has kept all of its original industrial features, which is what makes FFF so appealing. You’ll find a range of different food in there, from bakery food to cheese boards and homebrewed beers and ciders. Fenix Food Factory isn’t going to be here forever due to regeneration in the area, so be sure to give it a visit soon.
6. Go for Drinks on a Rooftop Bar
Rotterdam has no shortage of rooftop bars, which makes it super appealing as you can gaze across the beautiful Rotterdam skyline. One of these, Suicide Club, is located right next to the station and gives you an amazing view of all of the quirky Rotterdam architecture. Others include Aloha and Cafe Rotterdam to name but a few.
7. Have a Shot at Glow Golf (& a Cocktail While You’re There)
The glow golf centre at De Kuip hasn’t been around all that long and I jumped at the chance to go when I could. It’s literally what it says on the tin – an adventure golf experience but in the dark with all of the area glowing. Afterwards, you can enjoy some lekker food and drinks in their trendy bar.
8. Go Onboard the SS Rotterdam
The SS Rotterdam is an icon of the city. It was the first cruise ship to sail from the city and it’s kept all of its original features. It’s now docked permanently near Hotel New York and offers fine dining, snack/pool food, a luxury hotel and events.
9. Go on a Boat Tour Around the Port
Boat tours are a must when in Rotterdam as the sea has, of course, played a vital part in Rotterdam’s history. Rotterdam has the largest port in the whole of Europe (and used to be, the world) and here you can take a look for yourselves and see the runnings of the port. You can take a Spido tour from the Erasmus bridge and it will take you down the Maas river and into the port.
10. Eat, Drink, Socialise and Take Pictures in the Markthal
Rotterdam’s markthal is by far the best in the country. The markthal is a relatively new addition to the Rotterdam skyline and it is stunning. It’s arch-shaped with glass sides and a painted ceiling. It is basically every Instagram-lovers dream. It’s filled with delicious food stalls, bars, restaurants and supermarkets.
11. Be Amazed When Arriving at Rotterdam Central Station
You may have already seen Rotterdam Central Station on your way in, but if not then you MUST go (and it doesn’t even matter if you don’t want to catch a train). The station inside and out is super impressive and really modern.
12. See Rotterdam in a Different Light at Mini World Rotterdam
So you’ve seen the whole city, or maybe you’re about to see the whole city, so what next? If you’re into ‘miniature’ cities, then head to Mini World Rotterdam. It’s the whole city, but miniature and it’s great for kids and adults alike. I went in with no expectation and came out very surprised.
13. Take a Water Taxi to Your Next Rotterdam Destination
Getting around the city is easy, but if you’re after something a bit different and much faster, then catch a water taxi. Of course, if your destination doesn’t involve going near any water, then it’s worth just taking one for the experience.
14. Celebrate King’s Day (The Biggest Event of the Year)
Rotterdam comes to life on King’s day, with many of the main streets full of people in orange having a drink out on the terraces. So if you happen to in Rotterdam on the 27th April, then be sure to join in.
15. See All the Animals at Blijdorp Zoo
Blijdorp zoo is one of the most popular zoos in the Netherlands. It’s known for its large variety of animals, including sea animals. The area in which its located in is a beautiful area too.
16. Witness a Bobbing Forest
This is certainly not something you’ll see every day, but Rotterdam has it. If you head to the Karendrecht district you’ll find lots of trees attached to buoys floating around in the water.
17. Go to a Coffeeshop (The Smoking Kind)
For some reason, tourists always seem to think that coffeeshops only exist in Amsterdam, when in fact they are found all over the country. Rotterdam has a variety of different coffeeshops, including some ‘themed’ coffeeshops (such as an aquarium coffeeshop). Don’t expect to find them as swish and as popular as you would in Amsterdam, but if you’re looking for somewhere to relax, it’s there!
18. Check out Rotterdam Town Hall
Rotterdam Town Hall is an absolute gem of a building and showcases classic Dutch architecture. This is where people go to register their addresses in the country, but you can go outside and see how nice it looks for yourself.
19. Go up the Euromast
The Euromast is one of Rotterdam’s most popular tourist attractions and once you get there, you’ll see why. This mast stands 185m tall in Rotterdam, with a 360-degree rotating pod. You can experience the most incredible views (as it’s the highest building in the Netherlands!) and wine, dine and eat there.
20. Be Nostalgic in the Pinball Museum
Rotterdam pinball museum has around 100 different arcade/pinball machines to really take you back. This is the perfect thing to do if it’s a rainy day or if you’re after a bit of fun after a hectic day.
21. Have Dinner on a Modern Ferris Wheel
Think the London eye, but a massively scaled-down version. The wheel is not there all year round, but when it’s there it’s definitely worth going on to catch views of the city (you’ll find it next to the Markthal).
22. Sunbathe or Swim at Kralingse Bos
Kralingse Bos is a beautiful park in the north of Rotterdam. The park has a large lake suitable for swimming and sailing in and there is also sanded areas where you can sunbathe in the summer. Walk along the bridges at the lakeside, grab a bite to eat in the cafe or just take a leisurely stroll around the park.
23. Take a Shopping Trip in Rotterdam
There are sooo many places to go shopping in Rotterdam. You have the usual main city streets, you also have Koopgoot (Beurstraverse), a half undergound shopping street. You also have a small independent mall called Central Plaza, opposite Rotterdam Central Station and also a large mall called Alexandrium in the outskirts.
24. Take a Visit to One of Rotterdam’s Many Statues (Psst, There’s a ‘Butt Plug’ One…)
Rotterdam has lots of statues located all over the city – many of which are war memorials or other similar statues. However, there’s one statue in particular which has caught the eye of many tourists and locals. The santa ‘butt plug’ statue is just what it says on the tin, however, the designer (Paul McCarthy, not McCartney, sorry guys) was meant to create a santa holding a christmas tree, but looking at it… we know his game.
25. Go on a Boat Trip to Kinderdijk
Kinderdijk is a windmill farm near Rotterdam, so if you’re dying to see something traditionally Dutch, then this is completely possible from Rotterdam. You can catch a boat from Dordrecht or Rotterdam and it will take you to Kinderdijk and back (for timetable and more info, click here).
26. Catch a Movie at One of Rotterdam’s Many Cinemas
Is it a rainy day? Or are you just desperate to see a new movie? Thankfully Rotterdam has cinemas located all over the city and all with varying prices. If you want a regular cinema with sticky seats and salted popcorn, you have Pathe. Towards the centre, you have more independent cinemas, with comfier seats and alcohol.
27. Have a Drink at Oudehaven
Oudehaven is a beautiful harbour with bars and restaurants all along the front. Some of these bars even have firepits, so you can enjoy that outside drinking experience all-year-round.
28. Party at One of Rotterdam’s Underground Clubs
Rotterdam is known for its underground music scene and although the country has seen a rather large decline in the night entertainment scene (much like other countries), there are still enough great nightclubs to go around. Just make sure you pre-drink first, it’s not cheap. 😉
29. Visit One of Rotterdam’s Beautiful Parks
Although Rotterdam is full of high-rise buildings, there still is a fair bit of green space to go around. Het Park, Museum Park, Kralingse Bos, Vroesenpark and Zuiderpark are to name but a few.
30. Take a Metro Ride to the Outskirts of Rotterdam & Go to Hoek van Holland
You can now catch a metro to Hoek van Holland, located on the outskirts of Rotterdam. We’ve all been waiting for literally years for a service to run and now it’s a reality.
31. Attend One of Rotterdam’s Many Festivals/Events
All throughout the year, Rotterdam hosts may different festivals and events all year round. If you’re interested in music, food, boats, museums and more, then there’s likely to be at least one of these on when you’re in Rotterdam. Check out Rotterdam’s Tourist Information website to see all of the organised events.
32. Grab a Bargain at a Rotterdam Market
If you’re looking for goods and food at discount prices, then head to one of Rotterdam’s markets. The main outside market is the one next to the Markthal in the centre of Rotterdam and it’s well worth a browse if you’re in the area.
33. Take a Swim Outside on a Cruise Ship
I’ve already mentioned the SS Rotterdam once before – but outside on their deck they have a small swimming pool, surrounded by tables and a bar. The perfect place to cool down on a hot summers day in Rotterdam.
34. Take a Ride on a Floating Bus
Floating buses exist? Oh yes they do. Splash tours provide Rotterdam tours in a bus that also doubles up as a boat. So for one part of your tour you’ll be on road and then right after you’ll hit the Maas river. Certainly something you can’t do everyday (unless you live here of course). 😉
35. Head to One of Rotterdam’s Most Iconic Buildings -Hotel New York
Hotel New York was once the home of the Holland America Line (cruise ships). It then transformed into a luxury hotel, bar and restaurant. In the summer it’s almost impossible to get a table down there because of the stunning views of Rotterdam. Get down there early and enjoy!
36. Marvel at ‘De Rotterdam’ and All of the Other Iconic Skyscrapers
Rotterdam has won many awards for its impressive architecture and you can see why when you witness ‘the Rotterdam.’ This skyscraper is located on the south side of Rotterdam and is visible from the Erasmus bridge. It’s not a traditional one either, it’s interesting and innovative design makes it look like parts of the building is missing – it’s super impressive (and your Instagram will love it)!
37. Discover Rotterdam’s Street Art
As you wander around the centre of Rotterdam you’ll come across a range of street art. Download the app Rewriters Rotterdam to have a street art route map and walk around for yourself.
38. Go to a Botanical Garden
If you’re wanting a bit of peace of quiet, visit Arboretum Trompenburg. It has a vast collection of tree and plant species and is located not far from the centre. If you want to learn more, you can even hire a tour guide to take you around it.
39. Watch Sinterklaas Arrive in Rotterdam
Every November, Sinterklaas travels around the country to greet children during the festive period. He will enter the port and then ride through the city on his horse afterwards. If you want to see something traditionally Dutch this Christmas, then don’t miss it.
40. Cycle Through the Maastunnel
The Maastunnel is a 1,373m tunnel running between the south and the north of Rotterdam. This tunnel goes under the river and it’s possible to drive, walk and cycle through it. It’s not a Rotterdam experience if you don’t go for a cycle through it. 😉
41. Have a Look Around Sint Dominicuskerk
One of the most prominent churches in Rotterdam is the Sint Dominicuskerk, located next to the Markthal. It was heavily damaged during the war and was almost completely demolished until it was decided to be saved. It was declared a national monument a few years ago.
42. Check out one of the Weirdest McDonalds in the World
The McDonalds on the Coolsingel was considered one of weirdest, but coolest McDonalds. It’s housed in a glass cube with a spiral staircase that almost looks like a kids slide from far away. The good thing is that it’s almost always open, so you can stumble in after a boozy night on Witt de Withe.
43. Check out the Flag of Every Single Country
Next to the Erasmus bridge and along the harbourside, you’ll find a flag of every single country stretched all along the riverside. Who can name them all? See how well you can do.
44. Attend an Event at Maassilo
Back in the day, Maassilo was a large part of the countries grain trade. Now it’s the hub for nighttime entertainment, with many great events being held there. The outside and inside of the building have remained largely the same, so it looks so cool for an event. A real old industrial vibe.
45. Go to an Irish Bar If You’re Craving a Different Vibe
If you got to any large city in the world, the chances are, there’s going to be an Irish pub there. That’s no exception to Rotterdam, with one of their Irish pubs located right under the World Trade Centre. If you’re wanting to watch the football, participate in a pub quiz or enjoy a different variety of drinks, you know where to go.
46. Sip Champagne on a Floating Hot Tub
This must be the coolest, yet the most bizarre invention ever. In Rotterdam you can rent a ‘hottug’, a hottub that doubles up as a boat, so you can float along the harbour, drink in hand and nice and warm in your hot tub.
47. Eat And/Or Sleep on a Boat in the Harbour
Rotterdam, being a port city and all, has plenty of trendy boats to go around. There are quite a few boats that are permanently mored around Rotterdam and they range from bars to restaurants, to hotels. Some even serve as both.
48. Visit China Town
Rotterdam has its very own China Town and here you’ll find Asian supermarkets and restaurants. So if the Dutch cuisine is not to your taste, then this in the place go.
49. Try Some Fries and Frietsaus/Herring from a Van
Here’s your chance to try some Dutch food. If you don’t mind cold fish, order some herring. Meat eater? Order some bitterballen. Like Belgium fries? Well they’re just as good here in the Netherlands. You can find them around the Markthal.
50. Rent a Bike and Explore the City
There’s no better way to see a Dutch city than on a bike. You can rent them from the train station or around the city through an app. Rotterdam is by the best city to cycle around as the streets are really Americanised, so there is room for separate lanes well away from the road (unlike Amsterdam).
51. Get a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour
You’ve likely seen the classic red ‘city sightseeing‘ buses in other large cities around Europe. Well, Rotterdam is one of those cities. Here you’ll be able to hop on and hop off whenever you like throughout the day. If you’d rather, you can stay on the bus and see the sights that way.
52. Visit an Escape Room
Escape rooms have stolen our hearts over the past couple of years and Rotterdam has them. So if you’re wanting a challenge, then here’s your place. Just make sure they provide instructions in English or you may be stuck in that room forever. 😉
53. Go to Delftshaven to See the Older Part of the City
Rotterdam is not everybody’s cup of tea – most people come to the Netherlands to see the traditional Dutch architecture and windmills. Don’t rule Rotterdam out just yet though. Delfshaven still holds all the charm of a traditional Dutch area, with old buildings, canals and a windmill. It’s a snapshot of what Rotterdam looked like before the war.
54. Go to the Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum is a huge attraction in Rotterdam due to the importance of maritime history within the city. Here you’ll be able to learn about its naval history. Perfect for the young and old!
55. See the First High Rise Building in Europe
If you head down to Oude Harbour for a bite to eat or a drink, then you’ll notice a beautiful white building dominating the skyline. This is ‘the whitte house’ and was the first high rise building in the whole of Europe. It’s a beautiful piece of architecture and looks great in pictures. 😉
56. Spot Some Windmills – or Head to the Outskirts/Schiedam and See Them
Coming to Rotterdam but still dying to see some windmills? Don’t fret – Rotterdam has windmills dotted around everywhere. One of which is in Delfshaven, which is the perfect place to go if you want to see what Rotterdam used to look like before the war. You can also find some around the outskirts of Rotterdam.
57. Walk Along the Luchtsingel Bridge
If you search Rotterdam into Instagram, there’s a high chance that you’ll find pictures on this pedestrian bridge. It’s a 390 metre bright yellow wooden bridge that connects the centre of the city to the north and is the perfect place to shoot some Insta shots.
58. Walk Along Rotterdam’s Harbourside
You can take a walk all along the harbour on the south side of Rotterdam. Here you’ll be able to see the bridge, the cruise terminal, Hotel New York, Fenix Food Factory, the floating forest and the SS Rotterdam. Just follow the path all the way around and you’ll hit all the good spots.
59. Go to a World Harbour Day (Seasonal)
‘World Harbour Days’ is an event in Rotterdam to celebrate its rich trading history. With boat displays, workshops and a huge firework display at the end of it all, it’s well worth going to if you happen to be in Rotterdam during this period.
60. Take a Walking Tour Around the City (Some Are Free)
Want to see the city from a local perspective? You can go on organised tours from local tour guides. Some of these are even free!
61. See the Nieuwe Delftse Poort
This amazing sculpture in Rotterdam is a symbolism that Rotterdam is still ever-changing. It gives the impression of a three-dimensional graphic design and looks really impressive up close.
62. Check out the Katendrecht District
Katendrecht was once an area of Rotterdam that was run-down and in disarray. It faced huge gentrification and now it’s one of the trendiest places in town. With food halls, hotels and bars, it’s the place to go if you want somewhere to sit outside with a drink and socialise.
63. Check out Van Nelle
The former Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam is seen as an industrial monument in the city. In 2014 it became an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. If architecture is your thing, then you may be interested in this little piece of history.
64. See the Delta Works
If you’re a bit of a science or climate nerd, then it may be worth reading up on the Delta Works and taking a look. The Delta Works is a product of great Dutch innovation, protecting the whole city from floods. The Netherlands is actually largely below sea level, so the Dutch have had to work really hard to keep rising sea levels under control. Check it out for yourselves.
65. Grab Your Skateboard and Go to Skatepark Westblaak
Want to let off some steam? Head down to skatepark Westblaak with your skateboard and get skating. It’s actually located in the middle of the road, so it’s quite unique.
66. Take a Walk Through the Walk of Fame
The Walk of Fame is a walking route showcasing concrete tiles with handprints of Dutch celebrities and other celebrities worldwide. You find it on Metroplein (the walk goes from Zuidplein to Ahoy).
67. Take a Visit to Plaswijckpark (Amusement Park)
If you want an amusement park fix, then head to Plaswijckpark. It’s perfect for all the family!
68. Go on a Cruise (Or Dream About It)
You can get cruises from Rotterdam that will take you all around Europe and some even go as far as America. If you’re wanting to have a holiday on your holiday, then that’s one way to do it. If you just want to sit on the harbourside and people-watch, wishing you were that person sat on the deck with a cocktail in hand, then head to the cruise terminal (I won’t judge).
69. Take a Flight over Rotterdam
You can even purchase special flights over Rotterdam if you want to see the city from something higher than the Euromast. It’s a unique and breathtaking experience (flyoverholland).
71. Watch the Fireworks from the Bridge on NYE
Probably one of the safest places to watch the fireworks in comparison to most of the country (honestly, NYE is mad here). Take a seat on the harbourside and watch an amazing firework display with music on the Erasmus bridge. Once you venture out to where other people are setting their fireworks off, you’re back in the danger zone.
72. Go to a Unique Rotterdam Bar
Rotterdam has rooftop bars, it has lots of bars with outside space, it has bars on boats and it even had bars in old swimming pools. ‘Aloha’ is a bar that many locals just won’t go to as it shatters their childhood memories of enjoying a great swimming pool. It’s housed inside this old pool – and yes, you can actually still see where the pool was and the slides are still there. It’s unique and so Rotterdam.
73. Watch a Concert at Ahoy
Ahoy is a massive concert venue in the south of Rotterdam. A huge variety of different events are held there, including summer festivals which are held outside there. It’s also the home for Eurovision 2020.
74. Spend All Your Spare Cents at an Arcade
You’re never too old to go to an arcade, so if you’re stuck for things to do, head to De Kuip and check out their arcade. It’s not what you’re used to though – you load your money onto an arcade card so you don’t have to worry about carrying a lot of change around with you. Game on!
75. Chill with Some Cats at a Cat Cafe
Wanting a bit of lovin’ in your life in furry form? Then it’s worth checking out Rotterdam’s cat cafe. Here you can enjoy a strong coffee whilst having a lot of cats in your life. What could be better?
76. Walk Around the Business District
If you come out of Rotterdam central station from the main entrance (you’ll know you have when you can see lots of skyscrapers, including a ‘mirrored’ one). If you turn left and walk all the way down to the big fountain, you’ll find yourself strolling through the business district. It’s full of high-rise buildings and trendy outside bars (and a big fountain of course).
77. Visit Museum Boijmans Van Beuingen
Museum Boijmans Van Beuingen is an Art Museum located at Museumpark. So if you’re heading there for a walk and love art galleries, then you can kill two birds with one stone here.
78. Visit Museum Rotterdam
If you’re looking to learn about the local history, then this is the museum to visit. I’ve visited before and I learned so much about Rotterdam’s past, present, and future.
79. Visit the National History Museum
Everybody loves a national history museum and Rotterdam’s is no exception. The perfect place to visit on a rainy day or with children.
80. Visit the Netherlands Photomuseum
If your a photography lover like me, then the Netherlands Photomuseum may be right up your street. This museum is dedicated to cultural, historical and social photography.
81. Be Amazed While Looking at the Cube Houses
Probably one of the weirdest buildings you’ll ever witness. The ‘cube houses’ are cube-shaped houses that are used as shops, houses and a hostel. You can even pay a small fee to go into one to see how weird they are for yourself.
82. Visit the Street Art Museum
The open-air Street Art Museum in Rotterdam is showcasing some incredible Rotterdam street art, around one of Rotterdam’s most infamous streets. Now it’s a place to witness moving art and to see the area like never before.
83. Dine in a UFO Restaurant
Located in the south of Rotterdam, the UFO restaurant takes you to new heights, with its UFO-shaped restaurant that goes up to 42 metres high. Here they offer ‘all-inclusive’ food packages, so you can eat and drink to your heart’s content, whilst gazing out over the city.
84. Take Pictures in the Underpass
If you’re walking towards the Harbourside, down the road from the cube houses, you will come to an underpass. It’s heavily featured on Instagram because the street art is really cool under there. So if you’re looking to spruce up your Insta feed, head here.
85. Go Bird Watching
There are plenty of great places to go bird watching in the outskirts of Rotterdam and there are specifically designed tours to take you there. These will be seasonal tours and all depends on weather conditions too.
86. Play a Game of Lasertag
If it’s a rainy day (goddamn Holland), or you want to do something fun for a couple of hours, then Rotterdam has a Lasergame centre. Here you can play laser games in unique settings,
87. Take a Segway Tour Around the City
If the idea of getting around the city in a conventional way is not enough for you, then you can take a segway tour around Rotterdam. It’s relaxing, it’s unique and it’s lazy (but that’s why we love it).
88. Play Some Outside Mini Golf
This 18-hole mini golf is located near the Euromast in’ Het Park’, the perfect place to kill three birds with one stone (Euromast, park and minigolf). Here you’ll also be able to get drinks and snacks and enjoy beautiful park views.
89. Visit Attractiepark Rotterdam
It’s up there with one of the most unusual amusement parks, but Attractiepark Rotterdam will be available to visit at the end of 2020 – start of 2021. This amusement park, complete with rides and a Ferris wheel located along the Rotterdam harbourside will be the perfect place to unwind.
90. Bounce Around at a Trampoline Park
For children and adults alike, Rotterdam’s trampoline parks are the perfect place to visit if you’re wanting to get some fun exercise and to entertain your family.
91. Go and See Eurovision Live
Eurovision WAS coming to Rotterdam in 2020, however, we have our fingers crossed for 2021. If you’re in Rotterdam, living in Rotterdam or are living in a neighbouring country, here’s your chance to attend a (possible) once-in-a-lifetime show. If not, you can enjoy all the festivities within Rotterdam at that time.
92. Check out One of Rotterdam’s Many Art Galleries
Rotterdam has 10 art galleries and art institutions, so there’s certainly no shortage of them in the city. If you’re really into your art, then there are plenty of places to choose from.
93. Go on Your Own Sightseeing Tour on Public Transport
You can purchase a Rotterdam day ticket to use public transport around the city for a whole day. It’s not too expensive, it’s easy and it’s quick to get around and whether you’re taking the metro, or the tram, it’s the perfect way to sightsee around the city without getting too worn out.
94. Get Competitive and Go Bowling
Is the weather terrible? Bowling alleys will come to the rescue! If you’re feeling competitive and want to kill some time, then book yourself a lane and enjoy.
95. Get on a Boat at the Kids Marina
If you’re looking for something fun for your child/ren to do, then check out the Kids Marina. Here they will learn all about the port and will also get the opportunity to control the little electric boats. Fun and education!
96. Head to Rotterdam Discovery
Rotterdam Discovery, accessible through the entrance to the Rotterdam Tourist Information, is the perfect place to go to kickstart your Rotterdam trip. Here you can learn all about Rotterdam and what it has to offer. Perfecto!
97. Get a Taste of Something Alcoholic at a Distillery
Right next to Rotterdam is Schiedam, a big gin hub and jenever capital. Here you’ll be able to find many distilleries, with some offering tastings and tours. So if you love your gin, then don’t forget to check it out.
98. See the De Hef/Koingshavenbrug
The iconic De Hef bridge, which went out of use in the 90s, is now a monument in Rotterdam that stands proud over the Maas River. If you’re taking a walk over the Erasmus bridge or although the harbourside you’ll be able to spot it to snap a picture.
99. Eat Pancakes to Your Hearts Content on the Pannenkoekenboot
Nothing in life is much better than a boat tour with all-you-can-eat pancakes on board. You’ll come off the boat feeling like you’ve seen Rotterdam in a new light, but you also might not be able to see your feet ever again in the process.
100. Try out Some Watersports and Go Canoeing or Kayaking
Don’t be fooled, Rotterdam isn’t just a concrete jungle. Once you get out of the heart of the city, the beautiful large city parks will be able to offer you a variety of watersports. Whether it’s canoeing, paddleboarding or kayaking, there is lots to do on the Kralingse plas.
Map of Rotterdam Attractions
How to Get to Rotterdam from Amsterdam / Schiphol Airport
It’s easy to get to Rotterdam from both Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam central station. You can catch a regular Sprinter or Intercity train and that will get you there in around 1 hour. If you opt for a high-speed train (Intercity Direct) you will get there in just over half an hour.
You don’t have to worry about buying your ticket in advance as they are the same price on the day and you can buy them at a machine or at the desk.
Where to Stay in Rotterdam
Like anywhere, the closer to the city you are, the more expensive it is. There are hotels for every budget in Rotterdam – including luxury hotels in skyscrapers, on boats, to your city hotels.
How to Get Around Rotterdam
There are many options when it comes to getting around Rotterdam (walking, cycling, on the bus, tram, metro or train). You can ask at the desk or download the NS app to help you with your route.
Places to Visit near Rotterdam
Things to Do in Rotterdam in the Rain
Things to Do in Rotterdam with Children
Free Things to Do in Rotterdam
Where to Eat and Drink in Rotterdam
What Can You Do in Rotterdam in a Day?
Every attraction on this list you can do in one day (not all at once of course). Wake up early and give yourself plenty of time to plan your day. It’s much better to visit the busy attractions (such as theme parks, zoo’s etc) in the morning and leave the rest until the afternoon/evenings.
How Many Days Do You Need in Rotterdam?
Depending on how intensely you want to explore Rotterdam and how quick you tend to move between different attractions, I would say between 2-5 days, with 3 days being the sweet spot. It’s the perfect place to go for a quick weekend break.
I hope this guide has covered everything you’ve wanted to know about visiting Rotterdam. Need any help? Just ask in the comments!
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