Rotterdam Travel Guide

Introduction to Rotterdam

Spread across a number of little islands, Rotterdam is the Netherland’s second largest city after Amsterdam. Not only does Rotterdam have a spectacular port which happens to be the largest in Europe, it is also a ‘city of architecture’ flaunting almost every iconic style of construction that the twentieth century has produced. Be sure to view the skyline by boat – there’s no better view of the city. Dynamic, modern and vibrant, Rotterdam is an example of a truly contemporary metropolis. Museums, historic churches, monuments and windmills pepper Rotterdam’s landscape; a sandy beach is just a short train ride away, while skydiving, water sports, open air markets, film festivals and summer carnivals bring the city to life. In fact, a weekend in Rotterdam may not be enough -- book your hotels in Rotterdam now.

Rotterdam Windmills - Skyscanner

Windmills – there are seven windmills left in Rotterdam, many of which are open to visitors.

Rotterdam City Hall

City Hall – a stunning example of the Art Deco period, City Hall has beautiful statues and public spaces to peruse. 

Rotterdam Chinatown

China Town – a strange as it may seem, Rotterdam has a colourful China Town located just in front of the main Central Train Station.

Other things to do in Rotterdam

Rotterdam is a hive of artistic activity brimming with museums and galleries. The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has fantastic collections from old masters to modern masterpieces; Kunsthal also has a contemporary feel in an eye-catching building while the excellent Nederlands Fotomuseum exhibits photographs of everything from portraits to social documentary. There is a maritime museum where you can learn about Rotterdam’s famous port or for something a little different, visit the museum of chess pieces. The City Hall and Picasso’s statue, Sylvette, are two beautiful monuments to see in the heart of the city. If you are travelling with children they’ll have a fantastic day out at Rotterdam Zoo, exploring one of the city’s seven working windmills or a day trip to the beach, just 30 minutes away by train. Climb the Euromast for breath-taking views, or hop on a boat for a harbour tour and views of Rotterdam’s panoramic skyline. Film festivals, football, cinemas and skydiving add to Rotterdam’s list of things to do or if you’re feeling adventurous, why not do askydive over the city with Skydive Rotterdam!

Eating and drinking in Rotterdam

The Old Harbour area of Rotterdam is where to discover some of the city’s best restaurants and bars from Michelin star fine dining to family friendly spots. Sample the delights of Dutch cuisine from the famous fast food fries that come with a variety of interesting sauces to the heavenly sweet pastry Banket filled with almond paste and dusted with sugar. Something you mustn’t leave Rotterdam without trying is the delicious array of local cheeses like Edam, Gouda and Leyden. French cuisine is popular in Rotterdam but there are also plenty of cafes where you can kick back with a coffee and watch the world go by. Nightlife in Rotterdam is a mixture of laid back harbour bars and the trendy cocktail joints that mingle with the fashionable boutiques on the Pannenkoekstraat. Bohemian Nieuwe Binnenweg is where you can drink with artists, musicians and students in hip, lively bars.

Rotterdam climate

Rotterdam has a temperate climate meaning that it rarely ever gets too hot or too cold. July and August are the warmest months with temperatures peeking into the mid-twenties. January and May are the driest months, while the rest of the winter months can get a little damp. 

When to go to Rotterdam

If you want to escape the crowds, January is a great time to visit Rotterdam. Temperatures could get down to four degrees but with a jumper, you’ll be warm and have the city to yourself! June to August are the busiest months and the best time to visit if you want to enjoy the beach and harbour café life. September is quieter with potentially nice weather but it is more unpredictable with a higher chance of rain.  

Flying to Rotterdam

Rotterdam The Hague Airport is the main airport serving Rotterdam.  Flights to Rotterdam arrive from countries such as Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy and France. Buses will get you into the city centre in approximately 25 minutes. Alternatively you can fly to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and take the train on arrival to Rotterdam Centraal station, which takes just 26 minutes!

 Rotterdam Deals

Hotels in Rotterdam

Car hire in Rotterdam

Images by Flickr/Zhenzation, RDVRS, and roolrool