Things to do in
Rotterdam

Discover architectural gems, hip neighborhoods, and creativity galore in this vibrant Dutch city.

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Our most recommended things to do in Rotterdam

Rotterdam Harbor Tour

1. Rotterdam Harbor Tour

Explore one of the world's most innovative ports on this 75-minute tour. See the busy traffic of sea-going and inland ships, and admire Rotterdam's impressive skyline as its imposing buildings glide by. Get a unique perspective of the harbor's shipyards, docks and the hypermodern transshipping of thousands of containers. Last but not least, the tour will end with views of the steamship 'Rotterdam', the former cruise flagship of shipping company Holland America Line.

Rotterdam: Rotterdam Zoo Skip-the-Line Ticket

2. Rotterdam: Rotterdam Zoo Skip-the-Line Ticket

Visit Rotterdam Zoo and see fascinating animals that feel perfectly at home in specially-imitated natural landscapes. Avoid the long lines and explore one of Europe’s most beautiful zoos. Rotterdam Zoo supports a number of conservation projects in the wild and actively participates in many breeding programmes for endangered species and is one of the international top ten of zoos in this field. Dive into Oceanium and take a magical voyage over the bottom of the sea and along coastal regions, meeting many marine and coastal inhabitants such as fish (from herring to sharks), puffins, snakes and a large group of king penguins. Discover beautiful butterfly paradise Amazonica where you'll experience tropical temperatures, fragrant flowers, thousands of colorful South American butterflies, the awesome anaconda and greedy piranhas.  In Africa, an exciting path takes you safely past a group of large crocodiles! Once you’re at the top of the path, stand eye to eye with the giraffes. At a safe altitude, admire the other inhabitants of the new savanna such as hyenas, kudus, ostriches and zebras. On the African Gorilla Island, you will be delighted by Bokito’s playful gorilla family. ...and much more! On top of these experiences, see a rare species of forest giraffe, take a voyage through Asian marshes, and discover the Ice Cave for a magnificent view of polar bears.

Rotterdam: Harbor Cruise with Live Guide & Optional Coffee

3. Rotterdam: Harbor Cruise with Live Guide & Optional Coffee

Relax and see Rotterdam's most spectacular landmarks as you sail down the Maas River on a boat cruise with live commentary and a bar with drinks and snacks. Find a place inside the cozy salon or sit on the open deck. Start your cruise from the Parkhaven under the Euromast. The boat will pass by the Sint Jobshaven, the Waalhaven, and the Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij, home to Onderzeebootloods. Spot the container ships if you are lucky. See the famous cruise ship SS Rotterdam and the Hotel New York where the Holland America Line used to be housed. Enjoy the skyline of downtown Rotterdam, as you approach one of the most famous city landmarks, the Erasmus bridge.

Rotterdam: River Cruise and Euromast Entrance Ticket

4. Rotterdam: River Cruise and Euromast Entrance Ticket

Admire Rotterdam’s famous attractions from the water aboard a 1-hour cruise sailing down the Maas River, which includes live commentary and an entrance ticket to the popular Euromast viewing tower. Board the cruise and, as the journey begins, look up to see a unique view of the Euromast. Glide past such renown landmarks like SS Rotterdam, Kop van Zuid, and Hotel New York. Continue down the river an pass by the White House, the Willems Bridge, city’s port, and other impressive buildings decorating the skyline. Listen to the onboard guide as they tell you interesting facts about Rotterdam and what makes the city’s architecture so special. Explore the open decks that allow you to feel the cooling river breeze and see the city from many vantage points that provide perfect photo opportunities. Experience a relaxing alternative to sightsee in Rotterdam- a perfect way to see the city free of traffic noise and congestion. After the cruise, receive your ticket to visit the Euromast. Make your way up glass elevator of the highest watchtower in the Netherlands and enjoy breathing panoramic views from 185 meters up in the air.

Rotterdam: Guided Maas River Cruise

5. Rotterdam: Guided Maas River Cruise

After meeting with your guide at the pier, board your boat for an approximately 1-hour cruise on the Nieuwe Meuse river. This experience will see you pass along all of the highlights of Rotterdam. Enjoy beautiful views over the impressive skyline and the various ports, as your enthusiastic guide tells you about all the ins and outs of the sailing route throughout your journey. Sail past the famous SS Rotterdam, Kop van Zuid, the Hotel New York, the White House, the Willems Bridge, and the Euromast, as well as other more special places that you should not miss. You can find a cozy inside place inside the salon as you travel, or instead, opt to sit outside on the sun deck. Onboard is a bar where drinks and snacks are available. You also have the option to include a cup of coffee and sweet cake when booking. At the conclusion of your sightseeing experience, you'll return to your tour starting point.

Rotterdam: Kinderdijk Windmill Village Entry Ticket

6. Rotterdam: Kinderdijk Windmill Village Entry Ticket

Explore the windmill village of Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See museum mills and a pumping station, then glide across the polders on a tour boat. Journey back through time to a world of old Dutch windmills. Stroll through the centuries-old buildings of a delightful village, and see fascinating exhibits from different historical eras. Visit three museum mills, open-air displays, and a pumping station. There's also an interactive scavenger hunt for kids, a multi-screen film, and an app to make the most of your visit. Then, clamber aboard one of the inclusive tour boats. Glide across the polder waters as the many windmills of the village drift past.

Rotterdam: Harbor Cruise and Euromast Entry Ticket

7. Rotterdam: Harbor Cruise and Euromast Entry Ticket

Relax and see Rotterdam's most spectacular landmarks as you sail down the Maas River on a harbor cruise with live commentary and a bar with drinks and snacks. Find a place inside the cozy salon or sit on the open deck. Start your cruise from the Parkhaven under the Euromast. Pass by the Sint Jobshaven, the Waalhaven, and the Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij, home to Onderzeebootloods. Keep an eye out for the massive container ships. See the famous cruise ship SS Rotterdam and Hotel New York. Enjoy the skyline of downtown Rotterdam as you approach one of the most famous city landmarks, the Erasmus bridge. Experience a relaxing alternative to sightseeing in Rotterdam- a perfect way to see the city free of traffic noise and congestion. After the cruise, receive your ticket to visit the Euromast. Make your way up the glass elevator of the highest watchtower in the Netherlands and enjoy breathing panoramic views from 185 meters up in the air.

Rotterdam: Harbor Cruise on a Historic Ship

8. Rotterdam: Harbor Cruise on a Historic Ship

Explore Rotterdam from the water on a 2-hour cruise that takes you from the heart of the city and shows you the workings of Rotterdam Harbor. See famous bridges and buildings as your English-speaking guide provides fascinating commentary. Enjoy the sightseeing highlights of this tour, passing several bridges and numerous ships. See the container ships, cranes, and ferries that are central to the life of this busy harbor. Take photos of the beautiful sights along the way.

Rotterdam: RIB Speedboat Sightseeing Cruise

9. Rotterdam: RIB Speedboat Sightseeing Cruise

Feast your eyes from the center of Rotterdam all the way to Schiedam on a thrilling sightseeing cruise aboard a RIB speedboat. Enjoy views of Euromast, Hotel New York, SS Rotterdam, and more as you travel at top speed over the famous Maas River. After boarding the speedboat, dash off on your sightseeing tour. See the old part of Rotterdam, Delfshaven, and take in the city's landmarks as you zoom by. Admire the former steamship SS Rotterdam, the mesmerizing city skyline, and the impressive bridges. Head all the way to the gin city of Schiedam before making the return trip through the old city ports of Rotterdam. Listen to fun facts and information about the places you see from the skipper and feel free to ask any questions. Enjoy a guilt-free experience as the carbon footprint of your speedboat tour will be compensated by Trees for All.

From Amsterdam: Rotterdam, Delft & The Hague Full-Day Tour

10. From Amsterdam: Rotterdam, Delft & The Hague Full-Day Tour

A great impression of Holland that starts with a drive to Rotterdam, famous for its modern architecture. During the city tour you will drive along the banks of the river Maas, to the old port and the remarkable yellow cube houses. Embark on an amazing 1-hour river cruise and then visit the famous food market. Continue on to Delft for lunch (not included) and a visit to the ‘Royal Delft Manufactory’, the last remaining Dutch ceramic factory from the 17th century. Take a city tour of The Hague, where you will see the beautiful Houses of Parliament, the working palace of the Dutch king and the Peace Palace. The last stop, before heading back to Amsterdam, will be at the miniature town Madurodam.

Frequently asked questions about Rotterdam

What top attractions are a must-see in Rotterdam?

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days to spend in Rotterdam?

    You could spend a good two to three days visiting Rotterdam's attractions, but don't forget to explore its neighborhoods, such as Laurenskwartier and Delfshaven. Tack on a few extra days and use Rotterdam as a base; the cities of Delft and The Hague are within easy reach by train. You could go further and rent a bike for a day-trip to Kinderdijk, with its string of windmills along the canals in the countryside.

  • Getting around

    The central district is easy to explore by foot, but there's also a network of buses, trams and metro. Alternatively, you could rent a bike to get from point A to point B. After all, you're in the Netherlands.

  • Where to stay in Rotterdam

    The Centrum (central district) is your best bet. You'll be close to all the sightseeing you want to do in Rotterdam and have easy access to public transportation.

Good to know

  • Language
    Dutch and lots of English
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +31
  • Best time to visit
    The best weather can be found in spring and summer, but you'll need your umbrella, as it can rain year-round in Rotterdam. There are more crowds in the summer, but the weather is great for strolling outdoors, taking in the sights.

Other Sightseeing Options in Rotterdam

Want to discover all there is to do in Rotterdam? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Rotterdam

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 3,898 reviews

Very pleasant atmosphere on deck, a good guide who can even sing. Seeing Rotterdam from the water is well worth it and this tour was a great way to do it. The staff was very friendly and the hour flew by.

Great organizations! Thanks alot to Adrian - fantastic guide! Recommend this excursion!

Super nice experience across the water, specially when the boat goes fast. Recommended

Great outing for the kids. Neat and fun for the whole family!!

Very nice place to visit. Must visit the ocean world.