Discovering the City’s Unique Charm
Rotterdam has been around since 1270. The Rotterdam-The Hague metro area has the most people in the country and is the 10th largest in the European Union.
It has Europe’s largest port and a significant logistics and business hub. In 2020, there will be 651,446 people living there from more than 180 different countries. It is also known for its university, riverfront, lively culture, maritime history, and modern architecture.
The Rhine, Meuse, and Scheldt have waterways leading to Western Europe’s heart, including the industrialized Ruhr. Rotterdam is known as the “Gateway to Europe” and the “Gateway to the World” because it is connected by rail, road, and water.
At least 950 CE, people started living at the lower end of the Fen stream, Rotte. Around 1150, the area’s extensive floodplain development came to an end. The Schielands Hoge Zeedijk and the passenger town to the sand town were built along the northern shore of the Nieuwe Maas Sea, now called the North Sea. In the 1260s, a barrow was constructed at the site of Rotte.
Willem IV, Count of Holland, bought Rotterdam’s city rights on July 7, 1340. The canal was finished around 1350, giving Rotterdam access to the northern cities, the Netherlands, England, and Germany. In the middle, it will become a local transportation hub and make it possible for cities to grow.
After the Neue Waterweg was finished in 1872, growth sped up the most in port activity and population. Due to its crucial location, the city was the most significant intelligence center in the world during World War I. After the town was bombed on May 14 and other Dutch towns were threatened to be attacked, the Dutch army had to give up on May 15, 1940.
The Luftwaffe nearly destroyed all of the city centers. As part of Rotterdam’s coat of arms, Queen Wilhelmina gave the motto “Stronger Dora fights” to the city government in January 1948. The Dutch Queen Wilhelmina From the 1950s to the 1970s, Rotterdam was slowly fixed up. In 1953, Lijnbaan became the first shopping street in Europe that didn’t allow cars.
How To Get Into Rotterdam
Flying into The Hague Airport
This airport is north of Rotterdam and is the Netherlands’ third largest. In 2010, the building officially changed its name from Rotterdam Airport to The Hague Airport. At The Hague Airport, the airport’s international connections are used by about 1 million people annually. The Hague Airport has flights to Munich, London, Barcelona, Budapest, Madrid, and Rome. However, there are no flights between continents.
Every 10 minutes, a train leaves the airport and heads toward Rotterdam Centraal. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the city center, stopping at the Meijersplein metro station. From Meijersplein, people can take the Metro E or the Randstadrail to The Hague, which may be their final destination. Taxis are easy to find outside the airport, and a ride to the central station costs about €25.
Flying into Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Amsterdam Schiphol is the Netherlands’ biggest airport. To get to Rotterdam City Center from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, you can take a train to Amsterdam Schiphol Station right below the airport. From there, you can take a direct train to Rotterdam Central. Taxis are easy to find outside the airport, and the trip will cost an average of 150 euros because it is 60 km long.
Trains to Rotterdam Centraal
Rotterdam Centraal is the city’s central train station. It is on Stationsplein. There are good connections between train stations and most places in the Netherlands and worldwide. There are also bus, metro, and tram stops here.
If you need them, metro lines D or E trams 4, 7, 8, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, and bus lines 33 and 38 all stop at the station. If needed, you can also take a taxi.
Buses to Rotterdam Bus Station Conradstraat
This bus station is on the Conradstraat, which is very close to the central station. Eurolines and RET run buses from this station, and local trips are also available.
From Konradstraat, you can walk to the Rotterdam bus station, which is close to the city center. But if you need to, you can also get to the train station, local buses, trams, and metro lines from here.
Buses to Willemsplein Bus Station
You can find this place near the Erasmus Bridge. From Megabus, services are run.
The Willemsplein bus station is a 3-minute walk from the city center. But if you need to get to the center, trams 20 and 25 go there.
Driving to Rotterdam
Getting to Rotterdam by car A13 (A4 via Rotterdam-Delft-The Hague and Amsterdam), A15 (Rozenburg-Rotterdam-Ridderkerk-Nijmegen), A16 (A1 via Rotterdam-Dordrecht-Breda and Antwerp), A20 Hoek van Holland – Cars Follow the signs: A12 or A29 from Rotterdam to Gouda and Utrecht (Rotterdam – Hellegatsplein – Dinteloord).
Trajectory Control is a zone control that measures travel time to ensure you don’t exceed the speed limit while driving on a highway. The city center can be reached by car.
Rotterdam has a Koppen climate classification of Cfb, which means it has a temperate oceanic climate. This is the same as all coastal areas of the Netherlands. Since it is near the coast, it has milder weather than places further inland. The winters are cold, and the summers are mild to warm, with a few hot days. In the summer, the temperature goes above 30°C on average for four days. In the winter, the temperature at night can briefly drop below -5°C, mainly when there are easterly (continental) winds.
Top Sights In Rotterdam
Rotterdam Erasmus Bridge
This considerable bridge goes over the Rhine’s branch, the Neue Maas, and where the Noord and Lech rivers meet. This impressive bridge is 802 meters long and the second-largest bridge in the Netherlands.
A bascule section in the middle of the bridge lets big ships pass through the water. This fantastic piece of modern engineering looks great in Rotterdam’s harbor and is a great place to look at and walk around. Rhododendron, Ligustrum, Rodgersia, and Hosta.
The Euromast is an observation tower in Rotterdam, Netherlands. It was built for the 1960 Floriade and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2010. The tower is made of concrete and has walls that are 30 cm thick and 9 m in diameter on the inside.
It has an observation deck and restaurant 96 meters above the ground called the “crow’s nest.” When it was first built, it was 101 meters tall and the tallest building in the city. It is a part of the World Federation of Great Towers as well.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
The Netherlands’ city of Rotterdam is home to the art museum Municipal Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. It is near the city Centre, the Natural History Museum, and the Kushal. In 1849, the museum opened. The museum has had over 151,000 art pieces in the past 170 years. The collection has elements from the Middle Ages to the present day.
It has works by Rembrandt, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Salvador Dal, as well as Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpieces “Achilles” and “A Cornfield.” Since 2019, the museum has been closed for repairs. It is expected to reopen in 2026.
Diergaarde Blijdorp, officially Rotterdam Zoo, is a zoo northwest of the city. It is one of the oldest zoos in the Netherlands and is operated by Stichting Koninklijke Rotterdams Diergaard. The Blijdorp Zoo is 26 hectares, has several zoo zones, and is home to more than 180 species. It also has a shop, a few cafes, and a center for getting information.
Markthal (Market Hall)
Rotterdam’s Markthal is a market hall under a building with apartments and offices. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands opened the facility on October 1, 2014. In addition to the large market hall, the complex has 228 apartments, 4,600 m2 of retail space, 1,600 m2 of food service, and a 4-story underground parking garage that can hold more than 1,200 cars.
Arboretum Trompenburg is a botanical garden in Rotterdam, Netherlands. It has an extensive collection of woody and herbaceous plants. It is 7 hectares in size and 4 meters below sea level. To drain the land, a system of canals is used. The park has been around since the early 1800s. It has been open to the public daily for a small fee since 1958. Arboretum Trompenburg has a collection of conifers, Quercus, Fagus, Rhododendron, Ligustrum, Rodgersia, and Hosta.
Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk
The Church of St. Lawrence is the only medieval Rotterdam building still. The church was built in 1449 and grew over the years.
The church was one of the first buildings in the city to be made of stone. It has been the site of many important events. The church stands out against Rotterdam’s mostly new skyline because it is in the old city center, near the Maritime Museum and the Erasmus Bridge.
The Maritime Museum is one of the biggest in the world. It has many maps, art, and other ship-related things. The museum is in the middle of the city, close to the Markthal and the Cube houses.
A controversial painting of the Battle of Trafalgar, a group of statues of different ships, and different naval uniforms and flags from sea battles are some of the exciting things on display.
This place is full of exciting things about the sea, and the artifacts you can find here are the best in the world.
Rotterdam City Details
Rotterdam is split north and south by the river Nieuwe Maas. The Beneluxtunnel connects the two parts. The city center is on the northern side of the Nieuwe Maas, but recent urban development has brought the center to the Kop van Zuid area in the south of the city. Rotterdam mostly gets to the North Sea from its center through a port area. There are a lot of sites that are below sea level.
City area: Municipality 324.14 km2
- Land 217.55 km2
- Water 106.59 km2
Rotterdam time zone: UTC+1 (CET)
Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Rotterdam official language: Dutch
Netherland dials Code: +31
Getting around in Rotterdam
Rotterdam’s public transportation is high-speed and reliable. Several metros, tram, bus, train, and ferry services connect all parts of the city. Both locals and tourists use these services. RET is in charge of the bus, metro, and tram service, and NS is in order of the train service.
There are 14 tourist zones in the city center, but there are even more if you count the ones that go out into the suburbs. When you buy a Rotterdam Welcome Card at the Visitor Center, you get discounts at attractions and accessible public transportation for the number of days on your card (1, 2, or 3).
Like most Dutch cities, Rotterdam has a lot of people who ride bikes to get around. The city has many bike lanes, making it safe and easy to get around by bike. There are often guided bike tours and places to rent bikes. OV-fiets bikes are ones that you can rent, and you can usually find them at train stations.
OV-Fiets is the official provider of urban bikes. Renting one costs 10 euros per month plus 3.15 euros per trip (up to 24 hours).
Taxis are standard, but you usually have to call them ahead of time, and they don’t always stop when you wave them down. The vehicles stand in lines in busy places like train stations. There are also Maastaxi, which are water taxis. Rotterdamse Taxi Centrale (+31 10 462 6060) and Stadstaxi Rotterdam (+31 10 818 2823) are well-known taxi companies.
The bare minimum fee- is approximately 2,50 euros.
Cost: A 10-minute ride costs around 10 euros.
People can drive in the city center but must know the many one-way systems and speed limits. As in most cities, people who need to learn how the roads work in the city center should avoid driving during rush hours. Park-and-ride lots outside of town are the cheapest places to park. Sometimes these are free and easy to get to from the city center on public transportation. There are a lot of places to park on the street and in multi-story car parks.
Sometimes, the best way to get around is on two feet. If you stay moderately in the city, you may not need other modes of transportation. The town is very walkable and worth exploring on foot to see all the architecture and have time to stop and take pictures.
Dutch food was made cheap and filling rather than tasty at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. It has a lot of vegetables and little meat. Dinner is usually meat and potatoes, seasonal food, and vegetables. Breakfast and lunch are traditionally bread with toppings like cheese.
The area around Metro Station Black is called Oud Haven (Old Harbour), and it is both exciting and full of pubs and restaurants. Rotterdam’s restaurant scene changes quickly, and new places are constantly opening. A lot of attention is paid to new restaurants that want to get a Michelin star, and there is a trend toward high-quality mid-range restaurants that serve French and Dutch food.
Rotterdam has a lot of different kinds of nightlife, and each subculture has its area of the city. Business, economics, and law students hang out in Oude Haven, with Kubuswoningen and the primary market square, Blaak. In Oude Haven (Old Harbour), where there are cafes and restaurants, there is a small harbor that is very pretty.
There was water, city lights, boats, and Het Witte Huis, Europe’s first skyscraper (1897). The atmosphere is excellent, and it’s most romantic to go at sunset—a great place to spend the night.
Stadscam weg, Kanaalweg 84, bus 33 or 40 from Centraal station, metro stop Blijdorp, or bus stop Blijdorpplein northwest of the city center. It is the only place near the city where you can camp. There are a lot of trees that can block the sun or wind—the bare necessities. You can also rent small cabins for 2–4 people.
Even though it is easy to get around on foot, staying in a hotel near public transportation or the city center is best. North, Central, Delftshaven, and Kop van Zuid are the best places to visit.
It would be best to spend around €121 ($129) per day on your holiday in Rotterdam, which is the average daily price based on the costs of other visitors. Past travelers spent an average of €43 ($46) on food and €21 ($22) on local transportation for one day. Also, a couple’s average hotel price is 123 euros ($131). So, a two-person weekly trip costs av7 ($1,810). All these average travel prices are just to help you plan your travel budget.
Rotterdam has many different sides. A busy port city, a city with sophisticated nightlife, trendy shopping, and an incredible art scene. Most of all, Holland’s town of architecture encourages new ideas. Its sky always looks different. There are a lot of things to do among Rotterdam’s tall buildings. You can shop in and around the city center, eat great food, and see many museums and other exciting places.
What is Rotterdam famous for?
It is known for its modern architecture, like the Cube Houses, Market Hall, Erasmus Bridge, and many skyscrapers. It has a wide range of bars, pubs, and nightclubs that make up its nightlife. It also has the biggest port in Europe.
Is Rotterdam in Germany
Rotterdam is a city in the western part of the Netherlands. It has the most significant European port and mixes different cultures. It is the second-largest city in the Netherlands, with more than 600,000 people.
Is Rotterdam like Amsterdam?
Rotterdam is a different city than Amsterdam. Amsterdam has centuries-old architecture, coffee shops, and a liberal attitude to life, while this city has striking modern architecture, world-class dining, and a very relaxed, laid-back feel.
Is Rotterdam suitable for tourists?
Rotterdam is popular with tourists and visitors because it has a lot of fun things to do, fabulous museums, beautiful architecture, and things to do on the water.
Is Rotterdam a party city?
It is popular with visitors and tourists for its vibrant entertainment options and many fine museums, magnificent architecture, and maritime tourist attractions.
Do people in Rotterdam speak English?
Rotterdam is a Dutch city, so Dutch is the language most people speak there. But Dutch kids start learning English at a young age. Some schools start teaching English to kids as young as six years old.
Is Rotterdam a walkable city?
Pedestrian-friendly sidewalks are the main factors that have made walking in Rotterdam attractive; the city’s renovation has left wide roads, creating spacious sidewalks where people can walk comfortably.
Is Rotterdam cheap to live in?
Rotterdam is the best place to go if you can’t afford the more expensive cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht. It is the third most expensive city in the Netherlands.