Top 15 Things to Do in Rotterdam
Heading to this impressive Dutch city and looking for things to do? Read on to discover incredible tips to help you enjoy the best of Rotterdam!
While not nearly as famous as Amsterdam, Rotterdam is full of things to do! And because it’s not as tourist heavy as the Dutch capital, it’s a much more chill environment, which can make for an amazing travel destination. That is, unless you’re here for King’s Day! Visitors are constantly taken aback by its impressive skyline, but behind its imposing appearance, it’s a city full of surprises. Whether you just want to stroll around admiring the architecture and street art, cycle to some great green spaces, or indulge in an art exhibition, Rotterdam always has something going on. Ready to see what this exciting destination has to offer? Read on to see the Top 15 Things to Do in Rotterdam!
This food mecca is a delicious activity in Rotterdam! Markthal is home to over 90 food stalls with a variety of treats for you to get stuffed on. And you won’t only find just Dutch food; like many European markets, it also hosts a variety of international food vendors. While here you should definitely try some kibbeling (Dutch style fried fish) and pofferjes (similar to pancakes, but better). And don’t forget to look up if you end up here; the ceiling is an impressive display of art!
2. Rent a Bike
Everyone knows the Dutch love to cycle, and Rotterdam is no different. Seeing Rotterdam by bike is truly the best way to explore, and much more efficient. You’ll often see bikepackers cycling through the city en route to their destination, but we don’t expect you to necessarily take it that far! Rotterdam is flat and fully equipped with safe bike lanes, so you’ll feel comfy even while you get your bearings. If you want to rent a bike for only 10€, ask the receptionist at Hostel ROOM (available for Hostel ROOM guests only).
3. Euromast Tower
If you have a fear of heights, you can skip to the next tip. If not, then you have to head to the Euromast Tower, which is the tallest in the Netherlands. Standing in at 185m, you can get some incredible views of the city from here. And if you get hungry, you don’t have to go all the way down to fill up! There are a few bars and restaurants at the top for you to enjoy the views a bit longer.
4. Explore Rotterdam’s Street Art
The Dutch are also known to be creative people and appreciative of art, so it should come as no surprise that Rotterdam is home to tons of great street art. If you want to do your own Street Art Tour, check this website for tons of cool routes through Rotterdam. Be prepared to be amazed!
5. See Rotterdam From the Water
Rotterdam is home to Europe’s biggest port, so seeing it is a must. The Spido boat tour takes you as close to the harbour as you can get, and also gives you stunning views of the city. Tickets are less than 14€ and the ride lasts for 75 minutes. If you’d rather go for something more relaxed, you can hop on a water taxi. Taxi fare is €4,50/person and is always an enjoyable and quick boat ride.
6. Explore Rotterdam’s Skyline & Architecture
Rotterdam was bombed into devastation during the Second World War and has been a success in their vision and gradual reconstruction. Its modern and towering skyline is characterised by jutting angles and glass facades, decorated with stunning bridges at its feet. Be sure you check out the following buildings: Hotel New York, Manhattan at the Maas, Centraal Station, Markthal, The Witte Huis, Cube Houses, and Van Nelle Factory.
7. Erasmus Bridge
This iconic bridge is an emblem of the Rotterdam waterfront. The best views are alongside the bridge on Maas Boulevard. The views from the bridge give you a great panorama of the port, and you can enjoy different Rotterdam skyline scenes on either side. We especially recommend visiting at sunset, and enjoying the chill vibes.
8. Kinderdijk’s Windmills
If you don’t think of bikes, cheese, and wooden shoes when you think of the Netherlands, it’s windmills that always come to mind. To see some classic Dutch style windmills, head to Kinderdjik, which is roughly 20km east of Rotterdam. It’s a great afternoon activity, and is easily accessible by bike!
9. Cube Houses
Who doesn’t love a wonky bright yellow house at a 45 degree angle? Piet Blom’s Cube Houses (Kijk-Kubus) are iconic architectural landmarks you have to check out. While they’re great to see from the outside, we encourage you to visit inside as well. Check out the bizarre interior, inspired by abstract art and modern urban planning. The Kijk-Kubus Museum-house is open daily from 10am to 6pm (except holidays).
10. Visit a Museum
No matter your interest, Rotterdam has a museum for you. For art lovers, head to either Boijmans Museum e Kunsthal. For something different, check out the Dutch Pinball Museum! The museum is home to 100 pinball machines, and you can play on at least 80 of them. It’s basically a museum and arcade all in one, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy this experience!
11. Go on a Walking Tour
If you’ve ever travelled before, you know that walking tours are the best way to get to know a new destination. While you can always go on city ones, you can often find ones that explore specific themes, like street art, architecture, or history. Ask the receptionist at your hostel if they offer a tour or if they recommend any!
This area is full of Instagram hot spots, and is one of the few areas of Rotterdam to have survived the bombings of World War II. Visit this charming harbour and take in the classic houses that line the sidewalks. It’s full of old breweries, restaurants, and boutique shops, so be prepared to spend some time here!
This is the oldest underwater tunnel in the Netherlands and dates back to 1942. It’s still used today by lots of Rotterdammers to get across town, but has made itself a name on Instagram with its satisfying symmetry. It’s best to explore the tunnel by bike, and is truly a cool experience unique to this area in Europe!
14. Check out a Cool Bar
Okay, so the Dutch are ALSO know how to throw a good party, so be sure to take part in the vivid nightlife scene here! If you’re into Jazz music, head to Bird on Wednesday nights. But if you want to show off your Karaoke skills, head to BAR.! The liveliest spot in Rotterdam is easily Witte de With Straat, where you’ll be able to find bars and clubs of all sorts.
Rotterdam is also home to lots of LGBTQI friendly bars, but if you want to experience the best, then be sure to come during Rotterdam Pride Week!
15. Visit a Market
And the last suggestion on our top things to do in Rotterdam is to visit a market. For some fresh foods, check out the Rotterdam Market on Binnerotte, every Tuesday and Saturday. But if you want to see one of Europe’s biggest outdoor markets, then head to Blaak Market, which is also held on Tuesday and Saturdays. At both markets, you can try some typical Dutch snacks like: kibbeling, stroopwafel, or cheese.
Where to Stay in Rotterdam
Our top recommendation in Rotterdam is Hostel ROOM. No matter your travel style, there’s a place for you at Hostel ROOM. With clean and comfortable rooms, a great in-house bar, daily activities, and friendly staff, you’ll feel at home here.
Top 15 Things to Do in Rotterdam
As you can see, Rotterdam is a dynamic city with so many options to explore. While there are certainly more than 15 things to do in Rotterdam, this is a great base to start planning your adventure in this ultra cool destination. If you need more information to help you plan your time in Rotterdam – or elsewhere – click aqui for a range of helpful tips, city guides, food guides, and more. For all the latest news at Famous Hostels, follow us or subscribe on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube.