Rotterdam is a vibrant and modern city in the Netherlands that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and architecture. As the second-largest city in the country, Rotterdam is known for its innovative and iconic architecture, bustling art scene, and rich maritime history. Planning ahead for a trip to Rotterdam is essential to ensure that you make the most of your time in this dynamic city.
This post is going to cover in detail Things to do in Rotterdam Netherlands on your next trip to Europe. This is one of the best things to combine with Amsterdam when you looking for a Day Trip from Amsterdam.
Now you may be wondering why to visit Rotterdam and what makes it special. This post will list down all the attractions in Rotterdam so find out which one fascinates you to visit this place.
Discover Rotterdam’s Iconic Architecture
One of the most iconic sights in Rotterdam is the Cube Houses, designed by architect Piet Blom. These unique houses are tilted at a 45-degree angle and are a must-see for architecture enthusiasts. Visitors can even step inside one of the houses to experience the unconventional living spaces.
Another architectural marvel in Rotterdam is the Erasmus Bridge, also known as the “Swan” bridge due to its elegant design. This cable-stayed bridge connects the northern and southern parts of the city and offers stunning views of the skyline and the river Maas.
The Markthal Rotterdam is another architectural gem that should not be missed. This horseshoe-shaped building is covered in colourful murals and houses a market with a wide variety of food stalls and restaurants. It is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.
Explore the City’s Vibrant Art Scene
Rotterdam is home to several world-class art institutions, including the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. This museum houses an extensive collection of art from various periods, including works by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Mondrian. It also features contemporary art exhibitions and installations.
The Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art is another must-visit for art lovers. This contemporary art centre showcases cutting-edge exhibitions and hosts events and performances that push the boundaries of traditional art forms.
In addition to these institutions, Rotterdam is known for its vibrant street art scene. The city is adorned with colourful murals and graffiti, which can be found in various neighbourhoods. A street art tour is a great way to explore this aspect of Rotterdam’s art scene.
Take a Stroll Through the Historic Delfshaven District
Delfshaven is a historic neighbourhood in Rotterdam that dates back to the 14th century. It is known for its picturesque canals, charming houses, and windmills. The area has a rich maritime history and was once a bustling port. Today, it offers a glimpse into Rotterdam’s past and is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the canals, admire the well-preserved historic buildings, and visit the windmills. Delfshaven is also home to a variety of shops and restaurants, where visitors can sample local delicacies and purchase unique souvenirs.
Visit the World-Renowned Rotterdam Zoo
The Rotterdam Zoo, also known as Diergaarde Blijdorp, is one of the oldest and most prestigious zoos in Europe. It is home to a wide variety of animals from around the world, including elephants, giraffes, lions, and penguins.
The zoo is committed to conservation efforts and participates in breeding programs for endangered species. Visitors can learn about these efforts through educational exhibits and presentations.
Families will find plenty of activities to keep them entertained at the zoo, including playgrounds, petting zoos, and interactive exhibits. There are also several restaurants and cafes where visitors can grab a bite to eat.
Enjoy a Scenic Cruise Along the River Maas
One of the best ways to experience Rotterdam’s skyline is by taking a scenic cruise along the river Maas. These cruises offer breathtaking views of the city’s modern architecture, including the Erasmus Bridge and the Euromast Tower.
During the cruise, passengers can listen to historical commentary about the city’s landmarks and learn about Rotterdam’s maritime history. Some cruises also offer sunset and evening cruises, which provide a romantic and magical atmosphere.
If you are a fan of tasting wines then you can also take Rotterdam Cheese and Wine Cruise as well.
Experience the Thrill of Rotterdam’s Skyline from the Euromast Tower
For a truly unforgettable experience, visitors can head to the Euromast Tower, the tallest tower in the Netherlands. The tower offers panoramic views of Rotterdam’s skyline from its observation deck, which is located at a height of 185 meters.
In addition to the observation deck, the Euromast Tower also features a restaurant and bar where visitors can enjoy a meal or a drink while taking in the breathtaking views. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, the tower offers adventure activities such as abseiling and zip-lining.
Shop for Unique Souvenirs at the Markthal Rotterdam
The Markthal Rotterdam is not only a feast for the eyes but also a great place to shop for unique souvenirs. The market is home to a variety of local vendors and artisans who sell everything from fresh produce and cheese to handmade crafts and clothing.
Visitors can also indulge in a wide range of food and drink options at the market, including international cuisine and local specialities. Whether you’re looking for a tasty snack or a unique gift to take home, the Markthal Rotterdam has something for everyone.
Learn About Rotterdam’s Maritime History at the Maritime Museum
Rotterdam has a rich maritime history, and visitors can learn all about it at the Maritime Museum. The museum features exhibits and artefacts that showcase the city’s seafaring past, including model ships, navigational instruments, and historical documents.
In addition to the museum, visitors can also take tours of the shipyard and harbour to get a firsthand look at Rotterdam’s maritime industry. These tours provide a unique opportunity to see ships being built and repaired and to learn about the daily operations of a busy port.
The Maritime Museum also offers interactive experiences, such as sailing simulations and workshops, where visitors can learn about navigation and shipbuilding techniques.
Take a Bike Tour of the City’s Hidden Gems
Rotterdam is a bike-friendly city with an extensive network of bike paths and lanes. Taking a bike tour is a great way to explore the city’s hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path locations.
Several companies offer guided bike tours that take visitors to lesser-known neighbourhoods, parks, and landmarks. These tours provide a unique perspective on Rotterdam and allow visitors to see parts of the city that are not easily accessible by other means of transportation.
For those who prefer to explore on their own, there are also bike rental options available throughout the city. Renting a bike allows visitors to create their own itinerary and explore Rotterdam at their own pace.
Indulge in Rotterdam’s Culinary Delights
Rotterdam is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide range of culinary delights to satisfy every palate. The city is known for its diverse cuisine, influenced by its multicultural population and its proximity to the sea.
Visitors can sample local delicacies such as herring, bitterballen (deep-fried meatballs), and stroopwafels (thin waffles filled with caramel syrup). Rotterdam is also home to several Michelin-starred restaurants, where visitors can indulge in gourmet dining experiences.
Food festivals and events are also a highlight of Rotterdam’s culinary scene. Throughout the year, the city hosts various food-related events, including food truck festivals, beer festivals, and culinary tours.
Attend a Concert or Show at the Luxor Theater
The Luxor Theater is one of Rotterdam’s premier entertainment venues, hosting a wide range of performances and events throughout the year. From Broadway musicals to stand-up comedy shows, there is something for everyone at the Luxor Theater.
The theatre has a rich history dating back to 1917 and has been a cultural hub in Rotterdam ever since. It has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years, and today it boasts state-of-the-art facilities and a seating capacity of over 1,500.
Tickets for performances at the Luxor Theater can be purchased online or at the box office. It is advisable to book in advance, especially for popular shows, as tickets tend to sell out quickly.
Relax in One of Rotterdam’s Beautiful Parks and Gardens
After a day of exploring the city, visitors can unwind and relax in one of Rotterdam’s beautiful parks and gardens. These green spaces offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city and provide an opportunity to connect with nature.
Het Park is a popular park located near the Euromast Tower. It offers stunning views of the river Maas and is a great place for a picnic or a leisurely stroll. The park is also home to several sculptures and monuments, adding to its charm.
Kralingse Bos is another picturesque park in Rotterdam that is perfect for outdoor activities. It features a large lake where visitors can go boating or fishing, as well as walking and cycling paths. The park is also home to several restaurants and cafes where visitors can grab a bite to eat.
Trompenburg Gardens and Arboretum is a hidden gem in Rotterdam that is worth a visit. This botanical garden features a wide variety of plants and trees, including rare and exotic species. Visitors can take a leisurely walk through the gardens and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of nature.
Is Rotterdam worth visiting
Sure! Rotterdam, the vibrant city nestled in the heart of the Netherlands, is absolutely worth visiting. Bursting with a unique charm and striking architecture, this diverse metropolis offers a multitude of reasons to explore its dynamic streets.
A stroll along the iconic Erasmus Bridge, with its sleek design spanning the sparkling waters of the Maas River, provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the city’s impressive skyline. As you wander through Rotterdam’s bustling streets, you’ll encounter an array of modern marvels, such as the remarkable Cube Houses and the awe-inspiring Markthal.
Art lovers will find themselves captivated by the world-renowned Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, showcasing an extensive collection of masterpieces spanning centuries. Indulge in the city’s vibrant culinary scene, where you can savour a delectable array of international cuisines, from traditional Dutch delights to tantalizing fusion fare.
Summing it all up : Best Things to Do in Rotterdam Netherlands
Rotterdam offers a wide range of activities and attractions that cater to every interest and taste. From iconic architecture to vibrant art scenes, from historic neighbourhoods to modern zoos, there is something for everyone in this dynamic city.
By planning ahead for a trip to Rotterdam, visitors can ensure that they make the most of their time and experience all that the city has to offer. Whether you’re interested in history, art, food, or nature, Rotterdam has it all. So why wait? Start planning your Rotterdam trip today and prepare for an unforgettable experience.