Rotterdam

Rotterdam is a city in the province of South Holland in the west of the Netherlands. The city is the second largest in the country with a population of approximately 617,000 inhabitants in the municipality and about 1.3 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area. Rotterdam is one of Europe's most vibrant, multicultural cities; it is known for its university (Erasmus), cutting-edge architecture, lively cultural life, striking riverside setting, its maritime heritage and colourful summer events.

Starting as a dam constructed in 1270 on the Rotte River, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre. The port of Rotterdam is Europe's busiest port by cargo tonnage, and was the world's busiest from 1962 until it was surpassed by Shanghai in 2004. Rotterdam's commercial and strategic importance is based on its location near the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas (New Meuse), a channel in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse on the North Sea. These rivers lead directly into the centre of Europe, including the industrial Ruhr region, which is why Rotterdam is often called the "Gateway to Europe".

The bombing of Rotterdam on May 14, 1940 by Nazi Germany forced the Dutch army to capitulate. The centre of Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed by the Luftwaffe, with 900 civilians killed and 80,000 homeless. Rotterdam was gradually rebuilt from the 1950s through the 1990s. Daring and new styles of apartments, office buildings and recreation facilities resulted in Rotterdam becoming a city of modern architecture and the only city in the Netherlands with an impressive modern skyline.

Understand

History

Settlement at the lower end of the fen stream Rotte dates from at least 900. Around 1150, large floods in the area ended development, leading to the construction of protective dikes and dams. A dam on the Rotte or 'Rotterdam' was built in the 1260s and was located at the present-day Hoogstraat ('High Street').

Although Rotterdam did well after the Middle Ages and in the 'Golden Century' - roughly between 1650 and 1750) it was not before the second part of the nineteenth century that the city started to develop itself rapidly. Helped by the digging of a new seaway (The Nieuwe Waterweg) Rotterdam was rid of access problems caused by the silting of the river and started receiving ever bigger ships with cargo for/from the booming Ruhrgebiet in Germany. Port related trade and industry skyrocketed, and the city started to draw lots of migrants from the then poor Brabant province, for whom the southern part of the city was constructed. At the turn of the twentieth century Rotterdam was well under way to become the largest economic centre in The Netherlands. It was between then and the second world war that large prestigious construction works were undertaken, in part to show off the new found economic pride.

Rotterdam was almost completely razed by Nazi bombings during World War II

The German army invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. Germany had planned to conquer the country in one day, but after meeting unexpectedly fierce resistance, it finally forced the Dutch army to capitulate on 14 May 1940 by bombing Rotterdam and threatening to bomb other cities. The heart of the city was almost completely destroyed by the German Luftwaffe, and 800 people were killed, while about 80,000 others were made homeless. During the war, Rotterdam was bombed several times during allied raids that were aimed at the harbour area but sometimes also hit the city. The City Hall survived the bombing. Unlike most other European cities however, the City Council did not aim at rebuilding what was lost, but on taking the opportunity to create a 'new' and better city. Damaged but not destroyed old builings were torn down in the process.

From the 1950s through the 1970s, the city was rebuilt. It remained quite windy and open until the city councils from the 1980s on began developing an active architectural policy. Daring and new styles of apartments, office buildings and recreation facilities resulted in a more 'livable' city center with a new skyline. In the 1990s, the Kop van Zuid was built on the south bank of the river as a new business center.

Demographics

In the Netherlands, Rotterdam has the highest percentage of foreigners from non-industrialised nations. Nearly 50% of the population are not native to the Netherlands or have at least one parent born outside the country. Recent figures show that Muslims comprise close to 25% of the city's population. The city is also home to one of the largest Cape Verdean communities in the world, as well as the largest Dutch Antillean community.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere of Rotterdam is absolutely distinct from other Dutch cities. The mentality can best be described as 'can do'. From the waiters you meet to the businessmen and the people who have just arrived as migrants, all of them breathe a dynamic optimism of getting forward with things and their town. The modern looks of the city, the bustle and its building spree all add to this impression. That said, you might also find that people are sometimes somewhat too straight with you. And yes, the city is not the cosiest, or the most picturesque of towns, especially on drab winter days. But; get acquainted with this small metropolis, easiest done on days of one of the festivals with nice weather, and you will come to love it.

Winters in Rotterdam are moist and thus can be freezingly cold, but just as well uniquely beautiful

Climate

One may also find that visiting this city in spring or summer time is more enjoyable than in winter time, as the Netherlands can be a rainy place and Rotterdam is a city that especially gains a lot of charm when the sun is shining.

Tourist information

Upcoming events and performances are listed on the VVV and Use-it websites. The larger events are well documented on the VVV site, for smaller venues check Use-it (under Calendar) for a very attractive and well updated listing of music, expositions, movies and parties that need checking out.

Twice a month the nl10 magazine is distributed around the city. You can take your free copy at a lot of locations (like bars, supermarkets, municipal offices). Besides some articles about interesting things going on in town it also has a large listing of upcoming gigs (in Dutch). Their website can also be handy.

Get in

By plane

Rotterdam The Hague Airport is relatively small, but close to the city

Rotterdam The Hague Airport (IATA: RTM) is located 6km north of the city centre. There are direct flights to/from cities in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Commercial sirlines that operate to the airport include Transavia, Lufthansa, British Airways, and Turkish Airlines.

To travel between the airport and the city centre:

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (IATA: AMS) is 58km north of Rotterdam and has more flights than the Rotterdam airport.

To travel between the airport and the city centre:

Eindhoven Airport (IATA: EIN) is 106km southeast of Rotterdam. Ryanair and Wizzair operate flights to/from this airport. The train from Eindhoven takes about 75 minutes.

Brussels Airport (IATA: BRU) is 140km south of Rotterdam. Many international carriers operate flights to/from this airport. The train from Brussels takes about 120 minutes and costs €35. Buses are also available, although less frequent.

Rotterdam Centraal has been completely reconstructed and now features a striking roof over the main concourse

By train

Rotterdam Centraal Station is served by high-speed trains from Belgium and France. Thalys operates high-speed trains to Antwerp (Antwerpen-Centraal, 35 min), Brussels (Brussel-Zuid/Midi, 1 h 12 min) and Paris (Gare du Nord, 2 h 37 min). Book well in advance to secure the best ticket deals. The only alternatives for Thalys are the Intercity Brussels service between Amsterdam and Brussels and the local service from Antwerpen-Centraal to Roosendaal, which connects to the intercity to Rotterdam.

The Dutch railway company NS runs high-speed Intercity Direct trains between Amsterdam, Schiphol, Rotterdam and Breda. The train stops only at those four stations and shaves 25-30 minutes in journey time between Amsterdam and Schiphol and Rotterdam vs. the regular Intercity and Sprinter trains that stop in between.

Rotterdam is also well served by NS from other parts of the Netherlands, with direct connections to Amsterdam, Delft, Eindhoven, Gouda, Leiden, The Hague, Utrecht and Vlissingen. See also the Netherlands page for further information on national rail.

For onward travel Rotterdam Centraal Station is well served by bus, tram, metro and taxi.

By car

Finding a good spot to park can be a problem in central Rotterdam

Rotterdam is easily reached by car. From Amsterdam take the A4 South to The Hague, change to the A13 to Rotterdam. From Utrecht take the A12 and change to the A20 just after Gouda. Traffic congestion on highways is common during peak hours (morning and evening commutes).

You can pay for on-street parking with debit and credit card. Remember your license plate number. Parking regulations are enforced regularly.

Parking garages can be easily found by following the sign-marked P-route, or check locations on this site (Dutch only). The easiest way to pay is by credit card, just insert your card on the way in, and insert it again on the way out, and the total time is automatically deducted. You can also pay with cash, chip-knip or PIN.

Park & Ride (P&R) facilities outside the center of Rotterdam offer free or cheap parking with public transport connections into the city center. For some locations (Slinge A15, Kralingse Zoom A16/E19 and Alexander A20/E25) the reduced fee (2 euro) will only be calculated if you have a valid check-out on your public transport card (OV-chipkaart). For all P&R locations and information on cost and opening times, see Bereikbaarheid Regio Rotterdam (Dutch only).

By bus

Eurolines operates bus service between Rotterdam and many cities across Europe. Buses arrive and depart at the office at Conradstraat 16, next to Rotterdam Central Station. Tickets can be purchased online or from the office. Buses are available to/from Berlin (€53, 12 hours), Brussels (2-3 hours, €15), Frankfurt (€31, 8 hours), Paris (€32, 7 hours), and many other cities.

Megabus operates bus service between Rotterdam and many cities in Belgium, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Tickets are generally cheaper if purchased well in advance. Buses arrive and depart at Rotterdam Central Station. Destinations include London (£18, 9 hours), Frankfurt (£16, 8.5 hours), Cologne (£12, 6 hours), and Paris (£12, 7.5 hours).

By boat

You can also get to Rotterdam by ferry from the United Kingdom.

Get around

Since virtually everybody in the Netherlands speaks at least passable English, getting directions should be very easy too.

By bicycle

in Rotterdam, everybody bikes

Like any city in The Netherlands, Rotterdam is very, very bicycle-friendly. Getting around by bike is probably the fastest way of travel within the city. There are separate bike lanes on most major streets and there are separate traffic lights for bicyclists. Avoid getting your tire in the tram rails. Always cross tram rails at an angle. Always lock your bike securely when leaving it, preferably chained to a fixed object.

Renting a bike

At Rotterdam Centraal, you can rent bicycles at the shop in the underground bicycle parking, below the Station square. Leave the station at the front, exit 'Stationsplein' . The entrance of the bicycle parking ('fietsenstalling', with the glass roof) is at your right, in front of grand cafe Engels. Alternatively, try Use-it, which rents out nice Kronan bikes (Schaatsbaan 41-45, leave Central Station towards the center. Turn right at restaurant Engels and take the 2nd right).

A RET tram leaves the Stationsplein

By public transport

RET operates the buses, trams, and metro within the city. A system map is available here. You can find a journey planner here. Transport generally arrives every 10 minutes during the day. As in the rest of the Netherlands, unless you plan on only taking a couple trips using public transport, it makes sense to purchase an anonymous OV Chipkaart, a debit card used to pay for public transport that costs €7.50. For more information, see Netherlands#Get_around.

Rotterdam Welcome Card allows for unlimited use of all RET public transport for 1 day (€10), 2 days (€13.50), or 3 days (€17.50), and offers 25%+ discounts on 50+ attractions, museums, and restaurants.

Rotterdam Metro reaches as far as the Hague

By metro

There are five metro lines operated by RET. Lines A (green), B (yellow) and C (red), formerly known as Calandlijn, share tracks between Schiedam Centrum and Capelsebrug and offer an east-west connection. Lines D (light blue, formerly known as Erasmuslijn) and E (blue, also known as RandstadRail) share tracks between Rotterdam Centraal and Slinge and offer a north-south connection. Interchange between all lines is possible on Beurs station in the city center.

Lines A, B and C operate every 10 minutes on working days and Saturday, which allows 3-4 minute intervals on the main section between Schiedam Centrum and Capelsebrug. Lines D and E operate every 10 minutes on working days and Saturday, which give shorter intervals between Rotterdam Centraal and Slinge. There is a more frequent service during rush hours. In the evening, on Saturday morning and Sunday the service is reduced to a 15 minute interval. The Rotterdam Metro operates from 5:30 until midnight. See also the Map of the metro system

Many metro cars have free Wi-Fi inside (you just need to accept the terms of use), including when going underground.

By tram

RET operates 9 tramlines. Al tram lines except line 2 will stop at Rotterdam Centraal. Tram stops provide a detailed map of the public transport system. Most lines operate every 10 minutes on workdays with more frequent service during rush hours on some lines. Each tram has a conductor.

By bus

Multiple companies operate buses in Rotterdam, RET, Arriva and Connexxion. These companies share some of the bus stops, but the route numbers are not interchangeable. RET is the larger operator in the city and metropolitan region itself, while Arriva and Connexxion service areas outside the city. Use the front door when boarding a bus.

By nightbus

RET operates a night bus service (BOB-bus) on Friday and Saturday nights (single fare: 4,50 with OV-Chipkaart, or 5,00 for ticket purchased by the driver).

A WaterBus in Rotterdam

By boat

The WaterBus provides connections between Rotterdam and the Drechtsteden (Dordrecht and surrounding cities).

Rotterdam was built on a number of islands and if you want to travel from shore to shore, the nicest way to go is to take the Water Taxi. This speedboat will escort you over the Maas. They have more than 250 landing stages. Call Watertaxi Rotterdam at +31 (10) 403 03 03 or check their website.

By taxi

If you do need a taxi you will have to find yourself a taxi rank or call a taxi company like the Rotterdamse Taxi Centrale RTC N.V. at +31 (10) 462 60 60 or the Coöperatieve Taxi Onderneming St. Job u.a. at +31 (10) 425 70 00. There is a minimum taxi fare of €2.30 (first it was €7,50 which included the first two kilometers). Additionally, each subsequent kilometer is charged €2.20. You could book your taxi also online .

By tuk-tuk

A Thai-influenced transportation service using three-wheeled, open-air (but covered) motorized vehicles called Tuk Tuk's offers a more economical and fast way to get around the city centre when compared to taxis. Tuk-tuk pricing is based on a zone system. Within a zone, a ride is €3.50 per person, €5 for 2 persons and €6.50 for 3. If you go to another zone, €3.50 is added (irrespective of number of persons). This service is handy if it is past the regular tram/bus/metro service hours (approximately half past midnight). They take reservations 24 hours a day on 0900 99 333 99 and there is a fee of €0.55 per call.

See

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Museums

Museumkaart is accepted at the city's museums.

Inside the Kunsthal Rotterdam
The NAi
Scale model of the port of Rotterdam at the Maritime Museum
Schielandshuis today stands surrounding by modern glass and steel buildings
Witte de With Center
Des Ster and De Lelie at dusk

Windmills

De Distileerketel was reconstructed among a modern residential development in Delfshaven

Rotterdam has only seven windmills left. Of these, only De Ster and De Lelie are open to visitors on a regular basis. Other windmills are open to visitors when the mill is turning (easy enough to see), but there are some exceptions to this rule of thumb. A blue flag also indicates that the mill is open to visitors.

The historic Diergaarde Blijdorp is definitely worth a visit

Zoo and botanical gardens

Erasmusbrug and the skyline of Rotterdam

Historic Churches

Please note that in The Netherlands churches are generally closed to visitors on Sundays.

The Rotterdam City Hall

Other Sights

The modern skyline of Rotterdam can be truly appreciated from the Euromast
The Van Nellefabriek is regarded as a prime example of International Style
Erasmus bridge of Rotterdam

Areas of Rotterdam

Do

"Het witte huis" in Old Harbour

Tours

Football

Cinema

The International Film Festival Rotterdam takes place in February

There are two huge megacinemas in Rotterdam. The one in the city centre is called Pathé Schouwburgplein (located at the Schouwburgplein), the other one is on the southside of the city. It's called Pathé De Kuip (located next to the Feyenoord stadium De Kuip). In these cinemas you can see Hollywood movies and occasionally an arthouse movie.

If you're more into alternative cinema go to Lantaren/Venster Cinema (Otto Reuchlinweg 996 (Wilhelminapier), ). Here you'll get European, Asian and Latin American cinema in a nice atmosphere. It has a nice bar too. The other option is Cinerama (Westblaak 18) which shows a combination of art/house films and commercial Hollywood flicks. During the IFFR (International Film Festival Rotterdam), which usually takes place in February, art-house movies are shown at much more locations throughout the city.

In August, an open air cinema at the Lloyd's Kwartier shows both blockbusters and independent films. Entrance is free, and you can either bring your own chair or rent one onsite. To get there, take the subway to Coolhaven and walk for about 10–15 minutes towards the river in the south.

Unique Attractions

Rotterdam can be breathtaking from above

When you want to combine a unique experience with a great view over the city of Rotterdam, you can make a (tandem) skydive at Skydive Rotterdam. At Skydive Rotterdam (also called The Flying Dutchman) you can book a tandem skydive or do a complete skydiving course and jump from a height of 3 or 4 kilometers. It's the only skydiving school in the "Randstad" area and the only place in the Netherlands where you can jump over a major city like Rotterdam. When the weather's good you will have a spectacular view over the Rotterdam skyline and other parts of the Randstad area, all the way to the coastline.

An airplane can be rented at reasonable rates at Rotterdam Airport at Happy Wing. Nice tours above the city, its ports or the coastline are on offer.

On summer Sundays, it is possible to lower yourself down from the Euromast. On last Sundays of summer months you can glide down in 15 seconds on a wire (tokkelen). Both: Not for the faint of heart! Check the website of Heightspecialists

Beach

The closest good beach is a short trainride (32 min) away at Hook of Holland. Trains leave Rotterdam Centraal station every half hour. Wait for the last station, Hoek van Holland Strand (strand = beach). Here you will find a very fine sand beach with good swimming and enough entertainment. Leave the town of Hoek van Holland proper to itself, there is nothing there.

For a more urban-party beach experience head to Scheveningen where you can find everything beach-party addicts dream about; Endless rows of beachside bars, restaurants and discothèques and a boulevard along a splendid fine-sand beach. It can get very crowded here. Take the train to Den Haag HS station and from there Tram 1, or take the train to Den Haag Centraal Station and Tram 9 subsequently.

De Doelen concert hall in Schouwbourgplein

Events

In July, you can enjoy the North Sea Jazz festival

Rotterdam plays host to a lot of events, a lot of them yearly ones. Besides these there are a lot smaller ones that can be very nice, so ask around and check the VVV website. A few of these yearly events to name:

For full listings of events check Rotterdam.info and Use-it.

Water sports and yachting

Kralingse Plas

Being a major harbour and having lots of waterways and lakes, Rotterdam has a lot to offer for water-enthousiasts. Boating: There are four major lakes in Rotterdam. The Kralingse Plas, The double Bergse Plas, the Rottemeren and the Zevenhuizer Plas. All of them have active yachting communities and sometimes sailing races can be seen. The Zevenhuizer plas is mainly populated by Windsurf enthousiasts. Sailing boats can be rented at the Kralingse Plas at the Van Gent sailing school , Plaszoom, a 10 minute walk from Metro Voorschoterlaan (walk through the Julianalaan until you reach Plaszoom). Rowing- and sailing boats can be rented at the windmill at the very end of the eastern Rottekade at Van Vliet's (Rottemeren, go by car or bike, a very nice ride). Yachting: When visiting Rotterdam with your own yacht you will find that most yachting harbours are on the inland waterways, were there are a lot of them. On the river Maas you will only find the City Marina , behind a bascule bridge on the southern bank, and the Veerhaven , right in the city center on the northern bank. Unless you need the better shelter of the characterless City Marina, go for the admittedly a little choppy Veerhaven marina, very central and scenic.

Lijnbaan

Buy

The main shopping areas in the center are the Lijnbaan and the Hoogstraat. Both are pedestrianised. The Lijnbaan, which runs straight south from the Weena (close to Rotterdam Centraal) was the first pedestrianised shopping street in the world when it was built in 1953. Now it is more of an average shopping street with average shops. In weekends it's very crowded. Linking the Lijnbaan with the Hoogstraat is the Beurstraverse, dubbed Koopgoot (Buying-gutter). A subterrainean passage, also connecting to Beurs metro station. It's all rather big and somewhat strange for a Dutch city, but it fits perfectly into the Rotterdam aspiration of being different. If you're looking for it, ask for the Koopgoot, as the official name is little known.

De Bijenkorf is housed in a unique building

Department stores

The Beurstraverse gives direct access to the city's main department stores:

Open-air markets

There are about 12 larger and smaller open air markets dotted around Rotterdam. Most of them are enjoyable places to walk through. A nice place to visit is the inner   City Market (Tue and Sat, in summer also on Sun a smaller version) which is a huge (about 450 stalls) open air food and hardware market. It's at the eastern end of the Hoogstraat on the Binnenrotte. Metro: Blaak. More exotic and colourful is the   Afrikaanderplein Market (South of the river, Metro: Maashaven). This market is geared very much towards Rotterdam inhabitants of Antillian, South American or African descent (a lot of whom happen to live nearby). Wed and Sat, about 300 stalls.

The Koopgoot

Sustainable shopping

Things to buy

Dutch cheese is very famous, you can get some at grocery stores or wider variety at the marketplace. Other typical Dutch things are stroopwafels, hagelslag and drop (liquorice).

Eat

The area around metrostation Blaak, called Oude haven (Old Harbour), is not only worth seeing but has also a lot of pubs and restaurants. The Rotterdam dining scene is developing very fast with new restaurants opening very often. While most of the attention focusses on new Michelin-star aspiring places, there is very much a trend towards high quality mid-range restaurants offering French/Dutch cuisine.

You can find many gastronomic outlets around the Schouwburgplein

Budget

Mid-range

The Old Harbour area offers many commendable options for eating out

Splurge

SS Rotterdam also offers culinary delights

Drink

Nightlife in Rotterdam is extremely varied, every subculture has its own area in the city. The Oude Haven (close to the Kubuswoningen) and the main market square Blaak are the hang out spot for business, economic and law students. The cafés and restaurants in the Oude Haven (Old Harbour) are located around a picturesque little harbour. Scenery of water, city lights, boats and Het Witte Huis, the first skyscraper of Europe (1897). The atmosphere is really great and it is best to go when the sun sets, very romantic! Great place for a night out.

Close to the Oude Haven area, the streets around the Pannenkoekstraat have recently emerged as a new center for shopping and going out. Amidst small boutiques, selling clothes and interior design by young, upcoming designers, you can find cocktailbars such as Level or Soho, which both attract large crowds. Especially in the summer this is a great place for a mojito.

The Santa Claus statue on Eendrachtsplein impersonates the genius loci

The most lively bar area in town is Eendrachtsplein/Nieuwe Binnenweg. Alternative, easy going and full of friendly, open-minded people. The cafés you should be looking for are Stalles, Parket and Rotown. This is the place to be for the more creative orientated people, musicians, designers and artschool students. Walk down de Nieuwe Binnenweg and arrive at Café Ari (Nieuwe Binnenweg/Mathenesserlaan) and Westerpaviljoen (grand café with the best terrace in the city). This is a good place to start the evening. Walk a little bit (3 minutes) down the Binnenweg again and go left at ‘s-Gravendijkwal (you'll see the flashy neon lights of sexclub OQ). Across the street you'll find Jazz Cafe Dizzy. A great place for a quality beer and some live jazz music. You can also eat at almost all places mentioned.

Now walk back the Binnenweg up eastbound. Cross Eendrachtsplein and go to the right towards the Westersingel. Walk 3 minutes and on your left there is the Witte de Withstraat. Some nice café's like De Witte Aap, Mondriaan, Bar P, and De Schouw are located here, along with some good restaurants as well. This is also the most arty street of Rotterdam. Here you'll find Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art , MAMA, showroom for media and moving art and many more. Drinking in style!

If you're into loud music, your best option would be to go to De Baroeg at the "Spinozaweg" in Rotterdam-Lombardijen. Loads of heavy metal acts play here each year. Should you not feel like making your way all the way into sub-urbia, you could also try your luck at the Rhythm on Oude Binnenweg. A popular hang out of alternative types.

The clubscene in Rotterdam is well-renowned. For example, it gave birth to the gabber-housescene in the early 1990s and was home to the Now&Wow, one of the world's trendiest clubs. The Now&Wow is now defunct, but in its last lcoation, an old grain silo near metro station Maashaven, there are still numerous dance parties. Just as with the barscene, there are clubs that cater for different groups of people. Moreover, Rotterdam nightlife is very dynamic: places come and go, move around, change ownership, etc. Currently, it is mostly centered around:

Some listings that can be found around these places:

Cafe de Unie is a Rotterdam institution

Coffeeshops

Some tourists come to Rotterdam for its coffeeshops

As everywhere in The Netherlands, the possession (of small quantities) and use of cannabis (hash and weed) is tolerated in Rotterdam. Since Amsterdam draws more coffee-shop tourism prices are lower in Rotterdam. Some renowned places:

Please remember that possessing large quantities of hasheesh or cannabis is a crime in The Netherlands, and please do not take stuff with you when leaving The Netherlands (you can be punished severely in neighbouring countries). It's also unwise to buy for someone else, especially if it's a foreigner as you can be punished in his or her country of origin (it has happened).

A noteworthy fact is that smoking tobacco is currently banned inside food and drink establishments even coffeeshops! That being said, tobacco smoking appears to be tolerated in coffee shops, and their pre-rolled joints are often mixed with tobacco.

Music venues

Sleep

Hotel New York in the former Holland-Amerika Lijn building is one of Rotterdam's landmarks

Budget

Camping

Hostel

Bed and Breakfast

There are numerous bed and breakfast houses in Rotterdam and they generally offer a good possibility of getting a "local" experience.

Hotel

Hotel NH Atlanta is one of the few surviving pre-war buildings in central Rotterdam

Mid-range

De Rotterdam, housing the nhow

Splurge

Connect

The telephone country code for the Netherlands is 31, and Rotterdam's city code is 010. If making local calls to reserve hotel rooms or restaurants, or calls to other cities in the country, you will need a phone card (€5 minimum) as many green KPN telephone booths do not accept coins. Blue/orange Telfort booths accept both coins and cards. The KPN booths are currently being replaced by newer models, which will accept coins again. In case of an Emergency, dial 1-1-2 from any public phone for free. Be advised, however, that with the rise of cell phone use, many public phones have been removed, and can therefore be hard to come by. When staying for a longer time, buy a prepaid sim card for your mobile phone.

Stay safe

You should take normal precautions against pickpockets and baggage theft, especially in the main shopping streets, at markets, in trams and trains, at stations, and anywhere where tourists congregate. It is not wise to hang around Stadhuisplein when nightlife ends. Fights often occur in this area after midnight. Rotterdam also has a reputation of mass venues getting out of hand, though you shouldn't worry too much about it. If violence breaks out at football festivities (not so unlikely) or at the end of sun soaked festive days, like Queensday (even less unlikely, especially at the Stadhuisplein), just get out of the way and you're unlikely to be affected. It's advisable not to wear a football jersey of Ajax Amsterdam or any other stuff promoting Ajax or Amsterdam. In terms of general safety, at daylight most areas in the city are safe. But at night, some areas such as Spangen, Charlois and Vreewijk are wise to avoid. When you drive a car with a foreign numberplate (especially if it's a French or Belgian one) you might or will be approached by so-called drugsrunners. This can occur on the motorways surrounding the city and in the city proper. These guys try to lure people to places were drugs are dealt. Do not respond to their signals and do not follow them.

With Rotterdam on the major high-speed line through the Benelux, there is a number of day trips and longer ones you can take out of the city by train

Go next

If you do not have a car, the hub for leaving the city will almost invariably be Rotterdam Centraal, from where trains leave in all directions at short intervals (you can generally drop in and catch the next train to your destination). Most regional and longer distance buses leave here too, with the exception of most buses to southerly destinations and the province of Zeeland that leave from metro station Zuidplein. Contrary to trains, bus departure times should be checked in advance as they can be far and between.

Nearby destinations like Schiedam or even Delft can also be reached by bike if you fancy a somewhat longer ride. Bike routes and directions are well marked and available in abundance. A good idea for a sunny day! Schiedam can be reached by metro in 15 minutes too.

Nearby municipalities

Day trips

Routes through Rotterdam

Brielle Spijkenisse  W  E  Barendrecht Arnhem


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, February 13, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.