Iris van den Broek
Rotterdam is a young, dynamic city, continually renewing itself at a rapid rate. Sparkling skyscrapers, an impressive port, trendy restaurants and food markets, renowned museums and fun festivals are the direct result of the can-do mentality of the Rotterdammers. Add to that the many extraordinary attractions and city tours — by bike, bus, boat or on foot. Now is the perfect time to explore the Netherlands' second-largest city!
Generally, shops in the city centre are open 7 days a week, from around 10 am until 7 pm. On Sunday, shops open their doors at noon. On Friday, shops are open until 9 pm.
Most attractions can be visited 7 days a week as well. The Markthal is open until 8 pm except for Friday (9 pm) and Sunday (6 pm). Rotterdam museums welcome their visitors from Tuesday until Sunday (thus closed on Monday).
National holidays include Christmas, New Years Day, Easter, King's Day (27th of April) and Pentecost.
Urban: 1.3 (2023)
Metro: 2.4 million (2023)
Rotterdam Tourist Information
Coolsingel 114, Rotterdam
Rotterdam Tourist Information
Stationsplein 21, Rotterdam
Open daily 9:30am–6pm
+31 10 790 01 85
Full of energy and innovation, Rotterdam reinvented itself after the bombing of the Second World War. It broke with the past and chose modern architecture. The motto: light, air and space, was groundbreaking for that time. Rotterdam still embraces experimentation: almost anything is possible. Here, you are constantly surprised by new initiatives: from a rooftop city farm to a music festival in the harbour, from an exclusive rooftop bar to a brewery in an old warehouse.
If you love architecture then a visit to Rotterdam — with its patchwork of architectural styles — is a must. Icons of the Nieuwe Bouwen era stand beside the typical reconstruction-architecture from the sixties, seventies and eighties. They clash cheerfully with the hypermodern landmarks that have been built in recent decades: the Erasmusbrug, Rotterdam Central Station, De Rotterdam, the Timmerhuis and of course the Markthal.
Sailing through the port of Rotterdam, marveling at the exotic animals in Diergaarde Blijdorp (Rotterdam Zoo) or climbing the Laurenskerk tower: Rotterdam has an amazing variety of fun things to do for visitors of all ages.
As a port city, Rotterdam has unbreakable ties to the water, from the Maas River that flows right through the city to the many (historic) city harbours like Delfshaven. The city flows — courtesy of the Maas — seamlessly over into its industrial port that stretches for 40 kilometres to the Maasvlakte 2 and Hoek van Holland.
Keringhuis Public Water Center — Maeslantkering
Rotterdam has a rich cultural scene centred largely around the cultural axis between Museumpark and Witte de Withstraat. This area includes acclaimed museums like Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Kunsthal Rotterdam and The New Institute, where large and small (international) exhibitions of old and new art, design and photography are presented. The numerous galleries around Witte de Withstraat and the city centre are also well worth your time.
You don't necessarily have to head indoors to see art in Rotterdam, though. Pablo Picasso, Joep van Lieshout, Henry Moore, Paul McCartney, Elmgreen & Dragset: masterpieces by the world's most famous artists can simply be visited in public in Rotterdam. If you love street art, feast your eyes on the beauties around the Luchtsingel pedestrian bridge and the Hofbogen arches, where major and impressive wall paintings by local artists are progressively covering the walls.
Rotterdam also boasts many theatres, concert halls and arthouse cinemas where you go to be inspired and touched by classical and contemporary music, theatre, cabaret, dance and musicals from local, national and international artists and companies.
Fans of arthouse films can indulge themselves at the charming old Cinerama cinema, at the LantarenVenster movie house or the new small Kino movie theatre. Or visit Rotterdam in January during the global International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Shop till you drop! Whatever your style is and whatever you are looking for, Rotterdam is the place to be. Most shops in the city centre are open seven days a week. From trendy boutiques to megastores, from popular brand stores to the more tranquil, high-end fashion chic, you can find it all in Rotterdam.
Whether you're in the mood for a quick but delicious hamburger or curious about the latest molecular cooking techniques, feel like dining at a spectacular location, or simply want to grab a beer from a local brewery, it's all easy to find in Rotterdam. From trendy coffee bars and organic lunchrooms to fancy cocktail bars, from stylish restaurants with Michelin stars to surprising eateries and adventurous fast food concepts, Rotterdam's culinary options are extensive, and interesting newcomers join the list every week.
Like so much else in Rotterdam — the architecture, the people, their cultures and customs — the city's nightlife is filled with contrasts. Glamorous cocktail bars and classic pubs, hip and happening dance clubs and intimate concert venues. Depending on what you like to do when you hit the town and what mood you're in, Rotterdam can offer you wildly different nights out. It's all up to you!
Iris van den Broek/Rotterdam Partners
Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM) offers effortless access for travellers. Whether arriving by car, public transport, or even on two wheels, the airport caters to all. Secure parking spaces and designated Kiss & Ride zones streamline the experience for motorists.
For public transport users, a swift journey awaits with metro line E from Rotterdam or The Hague Central Station, complemented by convenient bus services. Those preferring a taxi will find reliable services at the ready, ensuring a smooth start or end to your journey.
Schiphol Airport is only 25 minutes away from Rotterdam Central Station by NS International trains.
Address: Rotterdam Airportplein 60, Rotterdam
Phone: +31 10 446 3444
Rotterdam has an excellent public transport system, mostly provided by the RET. Train, metro, tram, bus and waterbus can take you everywhere. Planning your route is easy via www.9292.nl.
To travel on public transport, you need a public transport chip card sold at any Metro Station.
Rotterdam Tourist Information Website & Offices
Are you interested in visiting Rotterdam and looking for some more inspiration? Visit the official Rotterdam Tourist Information website for a complete view of the city's highlights and activities.
The staff at the Rotterdam Tourist Information Offices at Coolsingel and Central Station will help you find your way in Rotterdam once you have arrived. Their tips will turn your visit into an even better experience.
Rotterdam Tourist Information Coolsingel is located at Coolsingel 114 (in the garden of the Schielandshuis, entrance Coolsingel).
Address: VVV Rotterdam, Coolsingel 114, Rotterdam
Phone: +31 10 790 0185
The Netherlands uses the Type F electrical plug with two round pins, same as in many countries in Continental Europe. The standard voltage is 230 volts, but some hotels have special plugs for 110 or 120-volt shavers.
Country code: +31
Area code: (0)10