Rotterdam
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Top attractions in Rotterdam

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The 8 Best Things to Do in Rotterdam

If you imagine a tour of Rotterdam brimming with gingerbread-style buildings, you'll be in for a surprise. Leveled by Nazi bombs in WWII, the city has transformed itself with architectural and quirky trends over the decades.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Photo: Playing Futures: Applied Nomadology@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

This top museum presents Dutch and European artists throughout the ages, and one room highlights only Dalí's works. The sculpture garden boasts Claes Oldenburg's "Bent Screw."

Kunsthal
Photo: Rick Ligthelm@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Kunsthal

The art museum doesn't offer a permanent collection, but rather, it puts on 25 different exhibitions each year, ranging from photography to paintings to design.

Cube House

Cube House

Each tilted, cubed house on a 45° angle represents a tree, and as an ensemble, a forest. If you want to see what it's like inside one of them, pop into the Kijk-Kubus Museum.

Euromast

Euromast

Inaugurated in 1960, the concrete observation tower offers a commanding 360° view of the city from 315 feet above the street. The elevator ride takes a mere 30 seconds.

Erasmus Bridge

Erasmus Bridge

Named after the 15th-century Dutch Renaissance humanist, the gleaming white, emblematic symbol of the city, nicknamed "The Swan," stretches 2600 feet across the Maas River.

Wereldmuseum
Photo: bertknot@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Wereldmuseum

The 19th-century building, which was once the Royal Yacht Club, contains a fine collection of acquired ethnographic pieces from Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the Americas.

Diergaarde Blijdorp
Photo: Tim Strater@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Diergaarde Blijdorp

The Amazonica exhibit at the 150-year-old zoo transports visitors to a tropical world full of butterflies in a lush environment. Water pools hold catfish, turtles and piranhas.

Markthal

Markthal

Go on a culinary adventure in the extensive market hall in Rotterdam. Don't forget to look up: the 11,000 m2 glass façade (about the size of two football fields) displays giant artwork by artist Arno Coenen.

Planning Your Rotterdam 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.

Things to Do in Rotterdam

Top Attractions in Rotterdam

Cities in Netherlands

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

We are part of an Architectural Practice from Dublin and our visit was intended to take in the most recent developments in Rotterdam. I had lived there between 1979-1982 and the developments over a short span was enormous. From the redevelopment of the train station as an Iconic building in a short period to the Markthal building and the new high rise office building De Rotterdam made for an interesting architectural with the historic footnotes added. Anet was a great host and interesting with her comments and observations with her added book material to illustrate her points with regard to history and place. The tour itself can only cover a small part of the architectural past that is Rotterdam but lots of exciting building are in the pipeline for a progressive city. The water taxi ride was novel to us and an interesting break form the architectural jargon which may be alien to some tourists.

Während 2,5 Stunden vermochte es Willem, unser Guide, seine Begeisterung für Rotterdam mit uns zu teilen. Viele kleine Details und Anmerkungen machten diesen Rundgang zu einem tollen Erlebnis. Jedem zu empfehlen, der einen Einblick in Geschichte und städtischer Entwicklung bekommen möchte. Wir haben jede Minute genossen.

Our guide Stephan was amazing!! His experience and interesting anecdotes made the tour fun and informative. Also Rotterdam is really an amazing city that not a lot of people know of. The architecture is just amazing and this tour was a perfect introduction. Highly recommended!

What a wonderful way to discover this city! Despite Corona we were able to enjoy ourselves and learn so much. Our guide was very knowledgeable and what she told/showed us made us really appreciate Rotterdam’s history and rebirth.

Rotterdam Architecture Walking Tour Reviewed by Barbara, 10/11/2020

The pancakes (Sweet with fruits/ marmelade/ chocolate or Salty with cheese) were delicious and the view was fantastic! The service was very polite and nice! Thank you very, very much. Always again :)

Rotterdam: Pancake Cruise Reviewed by Anonymous, 18/08/2020