Welcome to Rotterdam!
Visit the Rotterdam place page To find a host in our city!
Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands with 617.347 inhabitants in the city, but the Stadsregio Rotterdam (connected cities Spijkenisse, Schiedam, Vlaardingen, Maassluis, Capelle a/d Ijssel, Krimpen a/d Ijssel, Berkel, Bergschenhoek, Rhoon, Smitshoek, Hoek van Holland, Ridderkerk) it actually has 1.2 million inhabitants. The Metropolian region Rotterdam -The Hague has 2.2 million inhabitants and is the most high-densed area in the Netherlands. Of course Rotterdam is also the biggest port in Europe, the third biggest port in the world. It's the only city in the Netherlands with a real skyline. Rotterdam or 'Manhattan on the Maas' as it is also called, was bombed in the second worldwar. But Rotterdammers have rebuilt it quickly and now it is the capital of modern architecture of the Netherlands! Rotterdam has 173 nationalities and more than 45% of the Rotterdammers immigrated here, which increased diversity of the city.
Rotterdam is also the youngest city in the Netherlands, almost a third of the city's population is under 28 years of age.
Other popular names of Rotterdam are 'Rotjeknor', 010 (referring the dialcode) or Roffa.
- 1 City of business
- 2 City of architecture
- 3 City of sports
- 4 Rotterdam city of art, food and culture
- 5 Home of the Kapsalon
- 6 Lakes & beaches
- 7 Things to see
- 8 Museums
- 9 Festivals
- 10 Cinema's
- 11 Markets
- 12 Pools
- 13 Getting around
- 14 Meetings & events
City of business
Rotterdam is home to the Erasmus University, a very famous university for Business and Economics. Despite the fact that Rotterdam is not so well known as a university city, the many cultural events and international and multicultural atmosphere good nightlife and very good transport options makes many students choose for Rotterdam as their university city.
City of architecture
Rotterdam is a un-dutch city in a way, because after the world war the historical centre was not restored but room was given to modern architecture. The city is therefore also home to the Dutch Architecture Institute (Nai) and of course many modern buildings and structures. Most famous is of course the Erasmus bridge (the Swan) which completes the futuristic skyline of Rotterdam. Near Blaak station there is another famous architectural site the Cube houses. But there are also new project, like the new central station of Rotterdam. The soon to be built Markthal of Rotterdam. Crowd-funded airbridge de Luchtsingel.
City of sports
Rotterdam is in the Netherlands seen as the capital of sports. First of all there are three professional football clubs in Rotterdam - Feyenoord plays in the Dutch Eredivisie and the best known and the most successfull club of the city and plays in the iconic football stadium 'the Kuip' in Rotterdam south. - Sparta Rotterdam plays in the Eerste Divisie and is the oldest football club of the Netherlands with a great history and a nice stadium located in the west part of the city. - The smallest club of Rotterdam is SBV Excelsior they also play in the Eerste Divisie and their stadium is located in the East part of the city.
Next to that Rotterdam is home to the biggest marathon of the Netherlands and the ABN Amro international tennis tournament. Also there is the indoor cycling event the Zesdaagse, the CHIO (equestrian sports), the world port tournament (baseball), the Roparun, Ladiesrun and many more.
Rotterdam city of art, food and culture
Rotterdam is a ever-changing city renewing itself quickly time after time. It is visible in the many new pop-up clubs, restaurants, galleries, vintage stores that keep popping up here and there, if something was nice and hip this month, next month it is maybe something else. This is all kept together in a sauce of events, art weeks, food fairs, exhibitions and cultural happenings. Keep up to date with this site.
Home of the Kapsalon
The story goes that a hairdresser walked down from his work to local Turkish food store in Schiedamseweg. It must have been one of those finicky days when he was not quite sure what he wanted to eat because he ended up asking Â�for a bit of everything, bit of that and thisÂ� in the takeaway container. Creativity induced by hunger pangs and the Kapsalon was born! With 1800 calories this after drinking food will take all your hunger away!
Lakes & beaches
Rotterdam is the city with the most water in the Netherlands. Of course because of all the ports, but also because there are three rivers in the city the Maas (that divides the North and the South of Rotterdam), the Rotte and the Schie. Next to that there are severals recreational lakes in Rotterdam, the Kralingse plas, the Bergse plassen, the Rottemeren en the Vrijenburger plas.
Also a good thing about Rotterdam is that it is close to the sea. There is a direct train that takes you in less then 30 minutes to the beach of Hoek van Holland with many popular beachclubs. Also the ferries to England go from Hoek van Holland.
A second great beach to visit is Rockanje beach, a bit to the South west of Rotterdam. Very easy to reach by car, by public transport take metroline D till station Spijkenisse Centrum, then take bus 103 to Rockanje Tweede Slag. It's a great and popular beach with nice beachclubs, for instance Havana.
A third option is the newly created beach of the Maasvlakte , this is also a great opportunity to visit Futureland. Here you can learn about the new created land that is taken from the sea to extend the port of Rotterdam.
Things to see
Rotterdam is the home to one of the oldest and nicest zoo's in the Netherlands, Diergaarde Blijdorp
The world famous UNESCO World Heritage Kinderdijk (a lot of dutch windmills in a beautiful landscape) is very near Rotterdam, there are even boat tours available from Rotterdam centre. The local hospitality community in Rotterdam usually organizes a bike tour in the summer or spring to this beautiful site.
Even though most historical parts of Rotterdam have been destroyed, there are some real nice historical parts to visit. For instance Delfshaven is a authentic and beautiful neighourhood where you will find the Pilgrimchurch but also many cozy bars and the only beer brewery in Rotterdam Pelgrim. You can try the beer on the bar of the brewery or take a tour. The name is Pelgrim, because the boat that took the Pilgrim fathers (first settlers in North America) left from Delfhaven and then to York.
Another magnificient building is the Hotel New York, this used to be the terminal for the famous Holland - America line, which transported many dutch that left to North America after the war to start a better life.
Rotterdam has many museums that are worth visiting, here is a selection:
- Museum Boymans van Beuningen Classic and modern art - the Kunsthal different art expositions - the Maritime Museum - the Wereldmuseum - Nederlands fotomuseum - Natuurhistorisch museum - War resistance museum - Port museum - Museum de Dubbelde Palmboom - Chabot museum - Tax and customs museum - Tram museum - National museum of Education
Rotterdam is a real festival city and has many annual events:
- International Film Festival Rotterdam 22 january - 2 february - Art Rotterdam Week 5 february / 10 february - ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament 11 -17 february - Museumnight Rotterdam 9 march - Motel Mozaique (arts, live bands, theatre) 5, 6 april - Parfum de Boem Boem (buiding sites tour) 5 - 7 april - Circusstad Festival 29 april - 5 may - New skool rules festival 5 - 7 april - Marathon of Rotterdam (biggest in NL) 13,14 april - Red ear festival (classical music, jazz, bands) 19 - 21 april - Queens day festival Rotterdam 30 april - Liberation day festival 5 may - Roparun finish (estafette tour from Paris to Rotterdam) 20 may - Operadays Rotterdam 5 may - 2 june - Zomerzondagen (summer sundays) sunday end may and june - Route du Nord 7-9 june - Ladiesrun Rotterdam 9 june - Poetry International festival Rotterdam 9 - 15 june - Rotterdam Unlimited (former Zomercarnaval and Dunya festival combined, multicultural festval and tropical summercarnaval) 11 - 16 june - CHIO Rotterdam (equestrian sports) 19 - 23 june - De Parade Rotterdam 20 - 30 june - Architecture Day 22 - 23 june - Northsea Jazz festival 28 june / 14 july - World Port Tournament International baseball 30 june / 7 july - Metropolis Festival 7 july - Camping Rotterdam 18 july / 21 july - Wednesdaynight skate wednesdays in july and august - Duizel in het park 9 augustus / 11 august - Boothstock Festival 10 augustus - Pleinbioscoop Rotterdam (open air cinema) 13 august / 2 september - City Racing Rotterdam 25 august - Dag van de Romantische Muziek 25 august - OVG Veerhavenconcert 28 august / 31 august - CuliNESSE 29 august / 31 august - World Port days 6 september / 8 september - De Nacht van de Kaap 7 september - De Wereld van Witte de With 13 september / 15 september - World Food Festival 18 september / 27 october - Baroeg Open Air 21 september
Tips - Organic farm near Rotterdam - Groene passage organic shopping - Burgertrut Art gallery & pop-up restaurant - Railz miniworld Miniature Rotterdam and trains - Vapiano cheap and good italian food (but long lines) - Happy Italy cheap and good italian food (but long lines) - Very Italian Pizza cheap and good italian food (no long lines yet) - Rotown legendary bar/restaurant/club/venue with indie rock/hipsters/concerts - Get Back restaurant/club with 70's 80's 90's music - Blender restaurant/club 30+ crowd - Off corso Big mainstream club - Thalia Club with latin house - Tiki's hawaiian style bar - Sorbonne bar/dancing - Paddy murphy's irish pub live music/sports bar - Skihut dutch apres-ski style partyplace - Maassilo & Factory010 Big dance events in an industrial building - Herr Zimmermann German style techno parties - Baroeg hardrock/metal venue - Frank010 Friday afterwork drink event (see and be seen) in the cruiseterminal - Stalles great bar with a good pizza deal - VIP room mainstream dance parties - Witte aap popular bar - Club vibes little club - Breakway cafe american style bar with pooltables - BED Rotterdam mainly international student parties (afterparty place of CS/BW meeting) - Hollywood music hall great club for ages 16-20 - Club Eclipse Danceclub with themeparties (surinam, hindi, hardcore, latin) - Worm alternative clubbing - Schieblock/dependance/Club BAR popup bar and dance events - BIRD Restaurant/bar/concert venue - RAAF Rotterdam Art Adventure Food - Toffler alternative party place - Le Vagabond legendary bar with jazz concerts - Roffaswing lindyhop and swingdance - Hemingway Social club Creative arty new club - La Maison d'être Music Art Food
Rotterdam is a great city for cinema's, the filmfestival is of course great, but there are a lot of movietheaters, not only blockbuster movieplextype, but also small arthouse cinema's and of course the pleinbioscoop open air cinema :-)
Rotterdam has some great markets where you can buys many fresh foods and items. The biggest one of the Netherlands is on tuesdays and saturdays on the Binnenrotte, another famous one is the market on the Afrikaanderplein and even a biological market on Eendrachtplein on tuesdays, check the details here.
If you like swimming then there is a lot of choice, because Rotterdam has 14 pools to choose from.
Cycling Rotterdam is a great city for cycling and there are also many cycling routes around and in the city
Trams There are many tramlines in Rotterdam that will get you to your destination quickly and also to the connecting cities like Schiedam, Vlaardingen en Barendrecht. Plan your trip here.
Metro Rotterdam has the oldest and the biggest metronetwork of the Benelux, there are lines from East-West and North-South, but also it is very easy to reach connecting cities like Schiedam, Spijkenisse, Capelle a/d Ijssel, Rhoon, Hoogvliet, Pijnacker, Leidschendam and even to The Hague centre. Plan your trip here.
Bus There are many buslines in Rotterdam that will get you to your destination quickly and also to cities like Oud-Beijerland, Heerjansdam, Dirksland, Zeeland, Leiden, Utrecht and many more. Plan your trip here or here.
BOB-bus (nightbus) Rotterdam also has many nightbus lines that run in the weekend at night. Check it here.
Watertaxi and waterbus As Rotterdam is a watercity there are also waterbuses and watertaxis to transport you within the city and connecting cities or even to Dordrecht or to UNESCO heritage Kinderdijk.
Trains Rotterdam also has 8 train station if you would need it. There are good connections to Utrecht, The Hague, Eindhoven, Breda and Amsterdam and Intercity trains to Antwerp and Brussels. There is a hispeed connection (25 minutes) with Schiphol airport. There are also highspeed trains directly to Lille and Paris (Thalys) and to Cologne (ICE). Plan your trip here/
Taxi Necessary evil it is, but sometimes you need a taxi, a reliable one is RTC
Airport Even though there is a good connection with Schiphol airport and with the train you can also use Eindhoven airport, Rotterdam also has it's own airport, with mainly flights within Europe.
Meetings & events
The local hospitality community with many locals, international students and expats makes it supereasy to make friends or attend social events for both travellers and newbies in the city. To get easily in contact with the community the best way is the active Facebook group.
The local hospitality community has a weekly meeting on tuesdays, every other week in Haagse Bluf (near city hall). The meeting has 20-60 people weekly present and starts about 20:00 (but most show up after 21:00)
The Rotterdam local hospitality community organizes several meetings, such as the weekly meetings on Tuesdays. In the summer there are many Barbeque events, usually in Het Park (near the Euromast) in the Kralingse bos or the Vroesenpark (Blijdorp).
For the foodlovers and cooking talents there is also the Kitchensurfing group in Rotterdam. Organize a kitchensurf to let people try the delicious food from your country of join a potluck or attend a foodfestival.
For booklovers there is also a group where you can read and discuss literature called Book club Rotterdam
The local hospitality community in Rotterdam is also famous for the 'annual' CSinterklaas event at the end of November, the largest CS event in the Netherlands.
Besides the weekly meeting, there are often other meetings as well, from roller skating to visit art exhibitions and festivals. More meetings are either shown in the group it self and/or displayed on the event part of this site.
Getting a couch
Obtaining a place to stay in Rotterdam is relatively easy for a city as big (Dutch standards) as Rotterdam, please write locals a personal request first. If you still have problems finding a place, use the group. A last minute couch might be found easily at Tuesday's weekly meeting. If you still cannot find a couch or don't want to there is also the Stay-ok hostel, hostel Room King Kong Hostel (next to the Witte Aap) , Ani Haakien and Hostel the Mafkees
Looking for a room
Free market & Secondhand stuff for sale
If you want to look for free stuff people give a away or you have something to give away try this group. If that doesn't work and you want to sell or buy secondhand stuff use this group. Otherwise there is always Marktplaats.
Do you need a language tandem partner or you want to organize or join a conversation evening in a certain language, use this group.
Expat meetings & parties
For expats & Internationals Engels is regularly organizing parties in the Groothandelsgebouw (near Central Station) on the top floor of the building. More info here.
Also there are expat meetings organized by Expat Republic.
www.internations.org has a monthly barmeet in Rotterdam.