A dynamic blend of old and new, Rotterdam is one of Europe’s most exhilarating cities. With its contemporary architecture, futuristic skyscrapers and world-class galleries, it’s often gazetted as the Dutch answer to New York City. Rotterdam is also steeped in maritime history and remains Holland’s busiest port. This means that for history buffs, there’s a fascinating past just waiting to be discovered.
Things to do in Rotterdam
Pack your camera and walking shoes because the streets of Rotterdam are an architectural dream. After being virtually flattened during WWII, much of Rotterdam was rebuilt with innovation and flair. Don’t miss the Cube Houses, Erasmus Bridge, Central Station and vibrant Market Hall.
If you’ve got kids in tow, you can try your hand at inner-city canal surfing, or head to family-friendly attractions like Miniworld Rotterdam and Rotterdam Zoo. You can also hop on board the famous Pancake Boat for impressive views of the futuristic skyline along with unlimited pancakes.
Slow down the pace and soak up some history in the 17th-century Delfshaven neighbourhood, anchored by a picturesque marina. Spend the day sifting through antique stores, admiring historic facades and relaxing at a canalside cafe.
The Maritime Museum Rotterdam is a great place to discover the city’s seafaring history, while places like the Witte de With Center and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen celebrate Rotterdam’s avant-garde art scene. Alternatively, simply walk the streets and admire trailblazing graffiti, public art and pop-up exhibits.
Getting around Rotterdam
The fastest and easiest way to reach Rotterdam is by train. Amsterdam is only 30 minutes away, with the rest of the Netherlands easily connected. Once in town, grab a Tourist Day Ticket for unlimited public transport on bus, tram, metro and waterbus. The city is also bike-friendly with numerous dedicated cycle paths.