It has everything you are looking for: rich history, spectacular architectures characterized by bold design, high-rise buildings, cultural delights, and an art and design scene - among the best in the world. Rotterdam's character is shaped by its location on the Meus River, and it is glorious with the largest and busiest port in Europe.
|ROTTERDAM THE HAGUE AIRPORT (RTM)||MAIN|
Pegasus flights take off from Sabiha Gokcen Airport and land in Rotterdam The Hague Airport that is located about six kilometers northwest of the city. The bus line number 33 runs between the Rotterdam Centraal (Central Station) and the airport.
When you arrive in the center, Rotterdam offers many options to tour the city. First of all, bicycles, with easy rental options, present a smart option to get around the city as you will find bicycle lanes all over the city. Walking is also an ideal way to discover the city center whether combined with public transport or not.
Rotterdam has an extensive bus network which covers “greater Rotterdam” as well as the city center. If you prefer using public transportation, you need to have an ‘OV-chipkaart.' Alternatively, you can buy the “Rotterdam Welcome Card”, which includes discounts for attractions and museums.
For short distances, trams are the best and take to you most places within the city. The Rotterdam metro is convenient for trips to the suburbs and to nearby cities like The Hague.
What about water transportation? The water taxi is a very nice way to travel with 50 stops, which also show you a different side of Rotterdam. Alternatively, you can get on a waterbus that takes you from north to south and to places surrounding Rotterdam such as Dordrecht or Kinderdijk.
Rotterdam presents plenty to gourmands because of the great variety of restaurants in the city. You can find all types of cuisines, featuring exotic foreign food to Dutch delicacies.
If you enjoy fine-dining, there are several restaurants with the Michelin stars in Rotterdam; these restaurants are all French Cuisine and very popular all year round, so remember to book a table before you go:
Parkheuvel (2 Michelin stars) in the park Tel: 0031 10 436 0766
FG Restaurant (2 Michelin stars) Tel: 0031 10 425 0520
Restaurant Fred (2 Michelin stars) Tel: 0031 10 212 0110
Joelia at the Rotterdam Hilton (1 Michelin star) Tel: 0031 10 710 8034
FG Food Labs (1 Michelin star) Tel: 0031 10 425 0520
Amarone (1 Michelin star) Tel: 0031 10 414 8487
Following restaurants are known with their outstanding kitchens and prices below €35:
Huson (international cuisine) Tel: 0031 10 413 0371
Asian Glories (Chinese cuisine) Tel: 0031 10 411 7107
In den Rustwat (French cuisine) Tel: 0031 10 413 4110
Fishing has been a part of The Netherlands’s core for centuries, with the North Sea coast marked by old seafaring villages. In Rotterdam, you can choose from a variety of specialized seafood restaurants:
Brasserie Kaat Mossel specializes in mussels and oysters. This restaurant is very popular among locals. Tel: 0031 10 404 8600
Zeezout uses fresh and seasonal fish for their dishes, so the menu varies by the season or even the month. Tel: 0031 10 436 5049
The restaurant, Mozaik, is located along the Maas River with an oriental ambiance to make you feel like you are in the Middle East. Tel: 0031 10 314 2514
Pancake is a typical Dutch food, so don’t miss out the experience of the pancake boat, Pannenkoekenboot, which tours along all major sights in Rotterdam. The boat offers a relaxed atmosphere in which you can enjoy all you can eat pancakes from the buffet. They are freshly baked with all sorts of dishes to garnish your pancakes. Tel: 0031 10 436 72 95
In Rotterdam, the Old Dutch is a bodega and restaurant, founded in 1932. It holds significance because of its cultural heritage value. The building is shaped like a farmhouse and is noted for the regular customers being mainly business people and wealthy ladies and gentlemen. Tel: 0031 10 436 0344
Finally, the restaurant of Hotel New York in Rotterdam is located at a historical site on the Maas River, offering a unique dinner experience because of its one-of-a-kind location. Tel: 0031 10 439 0500
If it’s time to hit the shops, you are in the right place!
Rotterdam is a city where you can shop seven days a week and find almost anything within the city center. The shopping area is extensive, starting with Rotterdam Centraal and expanding to Blaak. You can stroll around the well-known shopping streets such as Coolsingel, Lijnbaan, Koopgoot, Hoogstraat, and Meent as well as the “High-End Fashion District Rotterdam” in the Kruiskade. The big market of Binnerotte in Rotterdam and the famous Market Hall are located within walking distance from Blaak.
Meent is an exclusive shopping street right in the center. You find a great variety of high-quality shops. If you want to take a break from shopping, try the ‘appelgebak’ (apple pie) in the well-known grand café Dudok.
The High-End Fashion District Rotterdam is on the Kruiskade, the stylish part of Rotterdam when it comes to shopping. Exclusive brands such as Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, and Coccinelle are all located here, and when you are done shopping, treat yourself with a cocktail at Hilton Rotterdam.
Coolsingel is a famous street of Rotterdam. Here, you find the department store Bijenkorf, a well-known chain in the Netherlands. If you are a book lover, don’t forget to check out Donner, which is one of the biggest bookstores in the country with a six thousand square meter area.
After World War II, two architects were commissioned to design sixty-five shops in Rotterdam's central business district in the 1950s. They came up with the concept of a traffic-free shopping precinct and so designed the Lijnbaan. The two-story shops made from prefabricated concrete panels were wide and low, and they did not resemble the traditional Dutch retail buildings. This is a very special shopping street that influenced the retail architecture around the world.
Koopgoot is a street that reaches the square Beursplein; here, you can find chains like the biggest H&M store of Europe, the Dutch C&A, Zara, and Hema.
You will love this shopping area that was once a railway. Train tracks have been turned into a hipster center. Many creative entrepreneurs settled here since 2010 - that's why there are plenty of small specialty shops with unique products, owned by Rotterdammers, instead of famous brand stores or big chains. You can expect to see record shops, bakeries, coffee bars, fine restaurants, and much more.
With its modern architecture and unusual design like an inverted U, the magnificent Markthal is now the new icon of Rotterdam. Opened in 2014, the Markthal has about one hundred stalls that sell everything you can imagine related to food. It has been dubbed as the “Food Valhalla” by the local press.
The Markthal features a market hall and an apartment complex. There is an exceptional attraction inside, the ‘Horn of Plenty’ designed by the artist Arno Coenen. It is the biggest work of art in the world with the size of two full-size soccer fields (11.000 m2); it is a mural of flowers, fruits with vibrant colors. It has been called the “Sistine Chapel of Rotterdam” by a few newspapers.
The biggest market of Rotterdam sits on the Binnenrotte, which was used to be a river, next to the Markthal. Covering an area of 2.5 km and having about 465 market stalls, you can choose from a huge range of food and non-food. The market is open every Saturday and Tuesday and from April until October. It is also open on Sundays.
On cold and rainy days, indoor shopping is a good alternative. In the huge Alexandrium Mall, you can find many shops, well-known brands, and mega-stores. The Zuidplein Mall contains another 150 stores for you to shop until you drop dead.
This is the largest shopping center in all of the Netherlands, located in the eastern part of Rotterdam. It has three parts: Alexandrium Shopping Center, Alexandrium Megastores, and the Alexandrium Woonmall; one hundred forty shops are focusing on fashion and interior decoration.
Whether you are in Rotterdam on business or tourism, there is a wide selection of hotels to suit everyone's taste and budget. As Rotterdam is a relatively compact city with a good network of public transportation, you can get easily to the main attractions and sights regardless of where you are staying.
Rotterdam has three five-star hotels that are all located in the center. The Hilton and Marriott Hotel are close to the Centraal Station in the middle of all stores and restaurants. The Mainport Hotel is located on the other side of the center near the Erasmus Bridge, only a 10-minute walk from the stores.
In addition to these five-star hotels, there are plenty of other luxury hotels in the Rotterdam city center, such as the Bilderberg Parkhotel, NH Atlanta Hotel, and the Art Hotel.
If you want to stay somewhere unique, you can also consider the Hotel New York or the SS Rotterdam, both once owned by the Holland-America Line cruise company. Hotel New York's unique building was used as the former head office of the Holland-America Line. It is located on one of the most beautiful spots along the Maas River. Surely, you will experience a charming stay.
One of the most popular hotels in Rotterdam is the Euromast, which is one hundred meters above ground; it offers a great view with luxurious suites towering over the city.
Mainport Design Hotel (5-star)
The design rooms at Mainport Design Hotel are all individually decorated.
Leuvehaven 77, 3011 EA Rotterdam
Tel: 00 800 37 46 83 57
Rotterdam Marriott Hotel (5-star)
Rotterdam Marriott Hotel has elegant rooms with great facilities in the Millennium Tower, opposite the Rotterdam Central Station.
Weena 686, 3012 CN Rotterdam
Tel: 00 31 10 430 2000
Hilton Rotterdam (5-star)
Hilton Rotterdam is only a seven-minute walk from Rotterdam’s central station.
Weena 10, 3012 CM Rotterdam
Tel: 0031 10 71 0800
Bilderberg Parkhotel (4-star)
Located in the center of Rotterdam, the Bilderberg Parkhotel is next to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
Westersingel 70, 3015 LB Rotterdam, Netherlands
Tel: 0031 10 436 3611
NH Atlanta (4-star)
Across the street from Rotterdam World Trade Center, this is an art deco hotel that you enjoy staying at.
Coolsingel / Aert van Nesstraat 4, 3012 CA Rotterdam
Tel: 0031 10 206 7800
Art Hotel (4-star)
Art Hotel Rotterdam is situated in a building with a view of the harbor and skyline of Rotterdam; it is five minutes from the center.
Mijnsherenlaan 9, Charlois, 3081 GA Rotterdam
Tel: 0031 10 279 4111
Hotel New York (4-star)
Feijenoord area is a great choice for you if you are interested in food. This former head office of the Holland America line offers great skyline views and authentic decorations.
Koninginnenhoofd 1, Feijenoord, 3072 AD Rotterdam
Tel: 0031 10 439 0500
SS Rotterdam (4-star)
SS Rotterdam is a former Holland-America line ship, offering rooms next to the harbor in the Katendrecht area. Don't miss out on the experience of sleeping on board...
Derde Katendrechtsehoofd 25, 3072 AM Rotterdam
Tel: 0031 10 297 3090
Euromast (special class)
Euromast is the highest watchtower in the Netherlands with a 360 view of the city.
Parkhaven 20, Delfshaven, 3016 GM Rotterdam
Tel: 0031 10 436 48 11
You will be impressed with this swan, floating across the New Maas River... Nicknamed “The Swan,” the 800 meters long Erasmus Bridge, constructed in 1996, links the northern and southern parts of Rotterdam. The bridge was specifically designed to be an iconic structure to redefine an old port area during its redevelopment. The suspension bridge has a 139-meter high steel pylon, which is secured by forty cables; the shape of the pylon gave the bridge its nickname.
The Euromast watchtower is made from reinforced concrete, with an inner diameter of nine meters and walls that are thirty centimeters thick. Its floor hangs ninety-six meters above the ground. The Euromast lift takes visitors to one hundred meters height in just thirty seconds where there are an observation deck and a restaurant. The Euroscope revolving lift takes people up to one hundred-eighty-five meter. The Euromast also has rooms for accommodation.
Piet Blom, an architect, aimed to design a kind of village within the city while building the Cube Houses. These houses are part of the Blaakse Bos (Blaakse Wood) development.
Blom envisioned the houses as trees and the whole area as a forest. Remember to visit the Kijk-Kubus (Show-Cube) so as to experience what life is like in a cube house.
If you are in Rotterdam, you must explore the Mass River and the largest port of Europe. Don’t pass up the chance to tour with Spido, one of Rotterdam’s biggest attractions. The tour of Rotterdam’s Port takes about seventy-five minutes, works year-round, and gives you a strong impression of Rotterdam’s container ports. Through this route, you also pass by the sights like the Hotel New York, the Euromast, and the SS Rotterdam.
Are you a fan of street art? Witte de Withstraat is the best art and culture street in Rotterdam and known for its lively character. Dubbed as the city’s ‘Axis of Art’ by the locals, it runs from the Maritime Museum to the Museumpark and is lined with galleries, avant-garde fashion boutiques, restaurants, and cafés. Discover impressive wall paintings from local artists on this route.
Rotterdam Zoo is in North Rotterdam; take a trip with the waterbus and don't miss out on this paradise. You feel as if you are walking across the African Savannah. You can see the giraffes and visit the gorilla Bokita. The indoor Oceanarium has stingrays and sharks. And the largest butterfly abode of Europe: Amazonica hosts thousands of South American butterflies.
Historisch Delfshaven of Rotterdam is one of the few parts of the old city that survived the 1940 bombardment of Rotterdam during WWII. This extremely picturesque marina has a remarkable history as the departure point of the Pilgrim Fathers sailing for America. Delfshaven was once a fisherman's village; locals earned their living by catching herring. The historic canal houses are now cozy shops that sell antiques and have lovely cafés and restaurants with waterside patio dining.
Your path will definitely cross the Rotterdam Centraal during your visit because it is probably the most used building in Rotterdam. The construction of Centraal Station was completed in 2013; it has a dramatically angled hall with a pointed, stainless-steel roof that aims towards the sky. It is one the most loved buildings by the locals.
Rotterdam emergency number 112
In case you need urgent help, you have to call number 112 that you can dial from any phone. This number can be used throughout Europe, and you will be asked for the address and city where you are calling from and the nature of the emergency.
Police: 00 31 10 900 8844
Fire Department: 00 31 10 446 8900
00 3110 290 9888 (south)
00 31 10 466 9573 (north-center)
0031 10 279 9262 (east)
Taxi Central Rotterdam: 00 31 10 462 6333
Hospital: Erasmus Medical Center
Dr. Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD Rotterdam
Tel: 00 31 10 704 0704
Rotterdam Turkish Consulate General
Westblaak 2, 3012 KK Rotterdam
Tel: 00 31 10 201 20 00
Fax: 00 31 10 201 20 50
Lost and stolen Credit Cards
American Express: 00 31 20 504 8000
MasterCard: 0800 022 5821
VISA: 0800 022 3110
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