Thinking about a citytrip in The Netherlands? Don’t mind to visit Rotterdam. After the bombings of 1940 Rotterdam was rebuilt into a modern city that stands out in modern architecture. The lively city is a perfect weekend trip and has a lot of variation to offer. Walk along the Erasmusbrug, photograph the Kubuswoningen or relax at the Witte de Withstraat.
Keep reading this guide as we will tell you more about the things to do in Rotterdam.
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Things to do in Rotterdam
Arrive at Centraal Station
When you arrive at Rotterdam Centraal Station you immediately get a glimpse of the architecture Rotterdam has to offer. In 2014 the station had to go through a redesign because the old station didn’t had the capability to receive the average of 110.000 passengers it has daily.
The unique design make it an interesting piece of architecture to visit. The combination between sharp edges and innovative material combined with old elements make it a great asset for Rotterdam city. Photograph the shape in contrast with the sky and this building could make a stunning frame.
Walk along the Luchtsingel, Yellow Bridge
Back in the days het Hofplein was the heart of Rotterdam, a few years ago nothing was left of that. So the city of Rotterdam raised money with crowdfunding to connect the city with a unique project called The Luchtsingel. With over 8.000 people that supported the initiative the 390 metre long yellow pedestrian bridge became a reality.
The bridge now functions to connect central rail station with the forgotten parts of the city Rotterdam North and the Binnenrotte. In 2013 Luchtsingel won the Urban Intervention Award Berlin as an appreciation for this beautiful project that reconnects the city. If you walk along the bridge you will reach Luchtpark hofbogen where you can sit down and take a break.
Look for bridges and architecture
After the bombings of 1940 Rotterdam was rebuilt into a modern city that stands out in modern architecture. The city center is compact so you get along excellent by foot. Walk over the Willemsbrug and have a look in the neighbourhood Kop van Zuid and walk back along the Erasmusbrug.
Or have a look at Post office POST Rotterdam that was built between 1915 and 1923. It is currently going through renovations as it will soon be functioning as apartments to match modern day Rotterdam.
Have lunch at Witte de Withstraat
With all kinds of trendy cafés, restaurants and bars this truly is the place to be in Rotterdam. Witte de With is without doubt the place to simply relax while soaking up the atmosphere.
If you like Mexican cuisine you should have a taste at Supermercado, a cocktail bar-restaurant with Latin American kitchen that creates a street food vibe. Top it off with a delicious ice cream at De IJssalon on the other side of the trendy street. They serve sorbets and dairy ice cream that will attack your taste buds.
Another place you might like is Nieuw Rotterdams Café that goes by the name NRC. This Metropole Café is one of the hotspots and transforms itself from café restaurant to bar every weekend. Enjoy funky, soul and r&b beats while drinking a cocktail.
Beside the booming restaurant scene Witte is popular for her street art. As one of the places with the most graffiti in Rotterdam don’t mind wandering off to the side streets of Witte de Withstraat.
Check out the cube houses
The Kubuswoningen is a series of innovative Cube Houses designed by architect Piet Blom. Located between de Markthal and de Blaak you will find this piece of unique modern architecture. If you look at it from the outside you will question yourself if it is possible to live in one. If you want to have an impression how the inside looks, visit the museum named ‘kijk-kubus’. The show cube is open every day from 11 am to 5 pm for an entrance fee of €3,-. Or book your stay here, to spend the night in one of the cubes and get the ultimate experience.
Try to plan your visit early in the morning, it is one of the most popular spots in Rotterdam.
Eat your heart out at Markthal
The Markthal in Rotterdam is the biggest one in The Netherlands. With more than a hundred food stalls and a building that is just as spectacular The Markthal is a must visit in Rotterdam. Try local cuisine such as poffertjes, cheese and herring or have a go on famous national dishes.
Beside the fact that the Markthal is a foodie walhalla, it’s also a gigantic piece of art. The inner walls are covered with 4.000 tiles decorated with colorful artwork named Horn of Plenty by Arno Coenen and Iris Roskamp. An interesting thing about the Markthal is that it also functions as apartments, 228 to be exact.
How to get around in Rotterdam
All though the city centre of Rotterdam is really compact, it can be a little confusing finding your way. If you keep the Erasmusbrug as a start point it will be easier to navigate around the town. The best way to explore Rotterdam is by foot. All attractions in Rotterdam are on walking distance from each other.
Another way to get along in Rotterdam is by bike. Donkey Republic is an easy service when it comes to renting a bike. But be careful, the traffic can be a bit chaotic in the Netherlands.
The easiest way to get around is with public transportation. The Rotterdam Welcome Card is a travel card that also provides discount on a lot of tourist attractions in Rotterdam.
There are three options to choose from all of them coming with a city map and information about the discounts.
The 3 options
1 DAY €12
2 DAYS €18
3 DAYS €23
Where to stay in Rotterdam
Ani & Haakien || Located close to central station this hostel makes you feel at home while in Rotterdam. A modern looking, clean and cozy place with a lovely backpackers vibe. The price is good and the Wifi even better.
CityHub Rotterdam || A high-tech private sleeping cabin that can be controlled by an app on your phone. All cabins have a king size double bed and the shared bathroom has a rainshower and free toiletries. Perfectly located on the Witte de Withstraat close to the main tourist attractions of Rotterdam.
King Kong hostel || The most popular hostel in Rotterdam and the vibe is just amazing. The combination between trendy and artistic interior makes this hostel a unique place to stay. The lively vibe that attracts you to the Witte de Withstraat translates itself perfectly into the King Kong Hostel.
StayOkay Rotterdam || If you are curious to experience how it feels to stay in a Cube House then this is your chance. The room is quite basic but the experience itself is just fun and exciting.