A day out in Rotterdam? 27 local things to do in Rotterdam

Wat te doen in Rotterdam

Things to do in Rotterdam on a day outRotterdam is fairly different from the average Dutch city. The many modern buildings and international trade appear to be a conscious choice. While Rotterdam has obviously got a past of which the consequences show today (by amongst others no longer having a historical centre) it's definitely a city with a strong and unique identity.

Oddly enough this “second largest city of the Netherlands” isn't on everybody's favorite list, while it's lively enough to fill your trip with fun things to do for days and days.

From the largest port of Europe, a sight in itself thanks to the many tours to the Europoort (Eurogate, also Europort), to some of the best museums in the country. In addition the city centre brustles with life both during the day and at night thanks to the excellent shopping facilities and many clubs and bars.

Sightseeing Squares Parks Museums Nearby Events

Sightseeing in Rotterdam city center

The Rotterdam city centre is most known for its modern architecture and various shopping areas. The most interesting way to find out more about this is simply by bike.

On bike you prevent getting hooked on the shopping streets (unless that’s what you’re here for) and allows you to explore more remote parts of the city when you’re done “architecturing”. Having a guide with you on bike is guarantee not to miss a thing.

Cube Houses

Cube Houses in Rotterdam Tilted cubes, that's how you can best imagine the Cube Houses in Rotterdam. Placed on the first floor, the Cube Houses represent a forest in Rotterdam, designed by Piet Blom. The world upside down. As you'll notice during your visit, the bottom floor is like [...] Continue reading about Cube Houses.

Delfshaven

Delfshaven in Rotterdam Just outside the city center of Rotterdam you find the borough Delfshaven (Port of Delft), a great area to discover the history of international travel, with an abundance of restaurants of stores. The borough has an extensive history as the departure location for travellers to [...] Continue reading about Delfshaven.

Erasmus Bridge

Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam After a day of shopping or visiting museums in Rotterdam you can sit by the Maas river to catch your breath and relax. For example by visiting the Erasmus bridge which is a great example of the aspiring mentality and youth of the city thanks [...] Continue reading about Erasmus Bridge.

Euromast

Euromast in Rotterdam Build for the Floriade in 1960, the Euromast has been registered as monument since 2010 and is accessible to the public to enjoy the impressive view at a height of 185 meters. Did you know that there are both a hotel and a restaurant in [...] Continue reading about Euromast.

Hotel New York

Hotel New York in Rotterdam Since 1901 this Jugendstil building with its large white engraving saying Holland Amerika Line has been standing proudly at the Wilhelminapier in Rotterdam. From this location almost half a million people traveled to the United States to find their fortune. Today the building is both [...] Continue reading about Hotel New York.

Laurenskerk

Laurenskerk in Rotterdam Build in 1449, the Laurenskerk is the only monument in Rotterdam remaining from the Middel Ages. The highest tower of the Laurenskerk is 64 meters high and made out of stone. As you can make up from the height, it would be great to enjoy [...] Continue reading about Laurenskerk.

Port of Rotterdam

Port of Rotterdam The largest port of Europe and situated directly at the North Sea, the Port of Rotterdam is most definitely a tourist attraction. It has a surface of almost 25000 acres and employs 70,000 people. The city port is largely accessible to the public. So explore [...] Continue reading about Port of Rotterdam.

Witte Huis

Witte Huis in Rotterdam As a large part of the city center of Rotterdam was destroyed during the Second World War, the few buildings remaining are definitely worth a visit. Like, for example, the Witte Huis (White House) which was the first sky scraper in Europe in 1898. Inspired [...] Continue reading about Witte Huis.

Rotterdam hotspots from the Beursplein to the Stadhuisplein

Whether you’re in Rotterdam to go shopping or to discover its many sights, the bars or a terrace, you’ll stumble upon plenty of squares to have a relaxing moment.

Beursplein

Beursplein in Rotterdam The popularity of the Beursplein (Stock Exchange Square) can be largely explained by the dug up Koopgoot (Shopping Gutter) which offers the shopping public another floor of stores. At the street level of the square you furthermore find the larger chain stores like the Bijenkorf [...] Continue reading about Beursplein.

Binnenrotteplein

Binnenrotteplein in Rotterdam The Binnenrotteplein in Rotterdam is not a square in the regular sense of the word, but an open area of which the original function has been deprecated. Reason why it is in fact worth a visit, at least on Tuesday and Friday through Sunday, is [...] Continue reading about Binnenrotteplein.

Stadhuisplein

Stadhuisplein in Rotterdam A popular area for nightlife in Rotterdam is the Stadhuisplein (City Hall Square) with a variety of bars and restaurants. As expected, with nice weather there's an abundance of terraces to be found. The City Hall itself is quite an impressive sight on the square, [...] Continue reading about Stadhuisplein.

Parks in Rotterdam with plenty of fun activities

Maybe not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Rotterdam, but the city has a lot of green to offer. Visit one of the various city parks to escape from the busy daily life and relax.

Arboretum Trompenburg

Arboretum Trompenburg in Rotterdam The Arboretum Trompenburg in Kralingen east in Rotterdam is a beautiful piece of nature of no less than 14 acres in the middle of the city. It's history goes back to the 19th century. This garden with a unique collection of among others trees, bushes, [...] Continue reading about Arboretum Trompenburg.

Kralingse plas

Kralingse plas in Rotterdam Despite the City Interior Award for best public space of the Kralingse Plas (Kralingen Lake) being a couple of years old, this doesn't mean you'll have any less fun in this nature rich environment these days. The almost 250 acres of the park from 1939 [...] Continue reading about Kralingse plas.

Museumpark

Museumpark Rotterdam The name of the Museumpark logically comes from the presence of numerous museums like the Chabot Museum, the Kunsthal (Art Hall), the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen and the Natuurhistorisch Museum (Natural History Museum). This former estate is nowadays split into various areas like the event [...] Continue reading about Museumpark.

The Park at the Euromast

Park at the Euromast in Rotterdam The Park at the Euromast in Rotterdam is the decor for numerous events in the course of the year. From previously the ZomerZondag (Summer Sundays) to the Dunya Festival and teh Bevrijdingsfestival Zuid-Holland (Liberation Festival South Holland) are organized in the most famous city park [...] Continue reading about The Park at the Euromast.

Zuiderpark Rotterdam

Zuiderpark Rotterdam The Zuiderpark (Southern Park) in Rotterdam is a city park with every opportunity for a relaxed day out. Thanks to the abundant green, from forests to allotments, you can at the very least go for a hike and enjoy the sun. Also the facilities for [...] Continue reading about Zuiderpark Rotterdam.

Fun things to do at museums in Rotterdam

Keeping in mind the turbulent history of the city of Rotterdam and its port, it’s no surprise you’ll find plenty of museums that take you by the hand into the history of art, trade, politics and nature.

Belasting & Douane Museum

Belasting & Douane Museum Rotterdam For everything about the history of taxes down to smuggled goods throughout the centuries, you head for the Belasting & Douane Museum (Tax & Customs Museum) in Rotterdam. And we're not talking about lengthy tax forms, but anything ranging from paintings to smuggle objects, antique [...] Continue reading about Belasting & Douane Museum.

Chabot Museum

Chabot Museum in Rotterdam It's not every day that you visit a museum in a villa, but the Chabot Museum in Rotterdam is actually housed in it. This museum with its many works by Hendrik Chabot, a Dutch art painter and sculptor, shows you paintings, drawings, statues and more [...] Continue reading about Chabot Museum.

Maritiem Museum Rotterdam

Maritiem Museum Rotterdam Situated at the Leuvehaven you find the Maritiem Museum (Maritime Museum) where you can come and explore, among others, the oldest ship model of Western Europe. A fun section for the kids is the area of Professor Plons who is about to make a trip [...] Continue reading about Maritiem Museum Rotterdam.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen With a collection spanning centuries from the 13th century till today, art lovers will definitely feel at home in the Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam. Next to modern art you find toasters that were never produced, East German pottery and various commercial products that were carefully [...] Continue reading about Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

Museum Rotterdam

Museum Rotterdam The Timmerhuis behind the city hall is where you come and visit the Museum Rotterdam. A great place to explore the inspiring exhibitions, educational presentations and research into the municipal heritage. This translates into a variety of exhibitions that are sure to fascinate. From the [...] Continue reading about Museum Rotterdam.

Museum Rotterdam ’40-’45 NU

Museum Rotterdam '40-'45 NU The impact of the Second World War, felt all the more in Rotterdam due to the bombings, is clearly exhibited in the Museum Rotterdam ’40-’45 NU (Museum Rotterdam ’40-’45 Now). From the propaganda which was used during the first steps of the German army to [...] Continue reading about Museum Rotterdam ’40-’45 NU.

Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam

Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam Dozens of animal species and for each specie a number of variations, the gigantic skeleton of an elephant and unique fossils from Dutch soil. And that is only part of what you can expect of the ongoing exhibition of the Natuurhistorisch Museum (Natural History Museum) [...] Continue reading about Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam.

Nederlands Fotomuseum

Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam From the library to the interactive floor and the millions of pieces that belong to the collection of the museum, make the Fotomuseum (Photo Museum) in Rotterdam worth a visit. The Dark Room of the museum is where you discover the permanent collection about the [...] Continue reading about Nederlands Fotomuseum.

Wereldmuseum

Wereldmuseum (World Museum) Rotterdam The Wereldmuseum (World Museum) in Rotterdam, with a freely accessible fixed collection, offers a semi annual themed exhibition. The free collections consists of 1,800 pieces from cultures from all around the world. The origin of this collection are the tradesmen and scientists who traveled around [...] Continue reading about Wereldmuseum.

Day trips from Rotterdam

Next to everything the city itself has to offer, you’ll also enjoy visiting nearby destinations. From the busy city life to the quiet and nature rich environment of the windmills at Kinderdijk and the Green Heart in the middle of the megalopolis called the Randstad.

Day trips from Rotterdam continue reading

Upcoming events and activities in Rotterdam

When planning a trip to Rotterdam, you definitely want to keep an eye on the event calendar to see whether one of the many musical, cultural or artistic events could make your trip even more exciting.

February

Feb 11 – Feb 17 | |

March

Mar 08 – Mar 10 | |

Mar 09 – Mar 10 | |