Welcome to the best Rotterdam City Guide. We are here to help you with up-to-date information for tourists, visitors on a day or business trip, students, expats or whatever reason you are in our city.
We add original photos and pictures every week. Our goal is to give you the best experience possible in beautiful Rotterdam. Enjoy yourself.
Rotterdam is a port city in Netherlands or Holland with over 650.000 inhabitants. The Port of Rotterdam is the biggest in Europe. In 1872, after the construction of the Nieuwe Waterweg, the city grew enormously through the port. Rotterdam was the gateway to Europe and became an important place where much trade was conducted. The town was founded around 1270 and received city rights in 1340. According to the Rotterdam city archives, the now-called Rotterdam area was already inhabited in 800.
Perhaps you’ve only heard of Rotterdam because they’re organizing the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020. Many people got to know Rotterdam when they were the European Capital of Culture in 2001. Sports fans do know Feyenoord and Sparta. And lovers of architecture come from around the world to see different architectural styles.
Holland or the Netherlands?
Rotterdam is located in the province of South Holland. The capital city, Amsterdam, is located in North Holland. These 2 provinces are both named Holland. In the 17th century, most of the VOC’s merchants came from the province of Holland. The merchants introduced themselves as being from Holland. And since many countries did business with the VOC of Holland, they thought they did business with the country of Holland. That’s why people are using the name Holland. But the Netherlands has twelve provinces.
Now you know why our country has two names. If you want to learn more about the whereabouts, follow this link: where is Rotterdam located? Maybe we will teach you something new. You already know it’s in Holland and the Netherlands.
Rotterdam VS Amsterdam
Rotterdam and Amsterdam are the two biggest cities in Holland. Amsterdam has about 850.000 inhabitants, so is a little bigger. Both cities also have a port. The port of Amsterdam is significant, but the port of Rotterdam is the biggest in Europe and still number 10 in the world. Amsterdam is known for its canals and the Red-Light District, De Wallen. In Rotterdam, we have an astonishing skyline. Amsterdam doesn’t have very high buildings. This has to do with Schiphol. Tall buildings are dangerous near an airport.
What are Rotterdam, Netherlands, Famous for
The yellow Cube Houses are known all over the world. Erasmus University was ranked among Europe’s top 10 business schools. Every year, new students from all over the world come to Rotterdam to secure their future with an excellent education.
The Summer Carnival is getting bigger every year. And since 2006, the North Sea Jazz festival has been held in Ahoy, Rotterdam. Rotterdam has a lively nightlife, many cultural sights, and iconic architecture. More than 20% of the city is green areas. Tour boats on the Nieuwe Maas sail along beautiful locations. If you fancy Street Art, the streets of Rotterdam are yours. Download the app with six art walking tours to see every painted artwork.
So if you question whether Rotterdam is worth a visit, the answer is definitely YES. Kindly let me know if I was right or wrong on the Rotterdam Netherlands Facebook Page.
Hotels in Rotterdam
Getting to know Rotterdam takes time. As you can see on the map of the Rotterdam districts, the city of Rotterdam is an extensive area. You will find many hotels in different districts. Click here to find your favourite hotel in Rotterdam.
What can you do on a rainy day?
You can go to one of the many bars or stay in your hotel room. But my advice would be to visit some museums. You can find the list of museums in Rotterdam here.
How safe is Rotterdam?
In the city, 174 cultures have been living together for many years. Most people are friendly and open to a pleasant chat. The majority speak good English.
Public transportation in Rotterdam is very well-organized. The vehicles are clean, and there’s almost always an employee who can help you. Sometimes, like in most big cities, pickpockets look for victims at the train or metro stations. But luckily, this is not a common problem in Rotterdam. You will be safe.
The Uber taxis in the city are safe and secure. And also the street taxis are generally clean and reliable. There can always be an exception. With most taxi drivers, you can have a chat about our city.
There is no Red-Light District in Rotterdam. Of course, there are erotic nightclubs. These places are clean and safe.
Anyway, the Netherlands is typically a safe country. In Rotterdam, there are some areas where people don’t like to walk around when it’s dark. And yes, some bad things can happen. But there are no areas that are known as unsafe.
Our advice is to use your common sense, and you will be safe.
How Do I Get To Rotterdam, Netherlands?
The majority of the people coming to the Netherlands arrive at Schiphol Airport. There’s a train station at the airport. In around 30 minutes, you will arrive at Rotterdam Central Station. If you like architecture, look at the outside of the station building.
Rotterdam The Hague Airport
Airport Rotterdam Zestienhoven changed its name to Rotterdam The Hague Airport in 2010. RTHA is the abbreviation. Locals talk about Rotterdam Airport most of the time. From around 50 airports, you can fly directly to Rotterdam.
You can take a taxi or Uber to the city centre from the airport. Or use public transportation, Bus line 33 takes you to the metro station. Metro, line E brings you to the city centre within 10 minutes.
Transportation in Rotterdam
You will see many taxis in Rotterdam. They are affiliated with one of the 9 approved taxi organizations. All these taxis have official licences to pick up customers and bring them to their destinations. Names of the organizations: MTC, OTC, RTC, RTS, RTC Taxi, RTO, RTR, STC Taxi and Taxi Sint Job.
The taxis are often stationary at taxi stands. You are supposed to take the first taxi when they are in line. Taxis have a blue licence plate, by law, in the Netherlands. Most taxis also have a skylight on their car, which is not mandatory.
Download the UBER and BOLT apps to order a taxi from your phone. Both companies have taxis driving around the city. It’s illegal in the Netherlands to hold a taxi from one of these companies in the Netherlands. You have to order them before you can use them.
A speedy and spectacular way of going from one place to another is by Water Taxi, Rotterdam. You can board at one of the many jetties. Read more about how to sail with the water taxi here.
Maybe you would like to explore other parts of the Netherlands. If this is the case, renting a car is perhaps easier. Below we show the list of the bigger companies with addresses and districts.
|Sixt Airport||Airportplein 4||Overschie|
|Hertz Weena||Plaza 15||City Centre|
|Van ‘t Hart||Kortekade 82||Kralingen|
|Enjoy||Weena 948||City Centre|
|Sixt Hilton||Weena 4||City Centre|
|Avis Rotterdam||Walenburghof 17||Noord|
|Autohopper||Abraham van Stolkweg 100||Blijdorp|
|Sixt Rotterdam||Kleine Beer 601||Prins Alexander|
|Avis Zuid||Tandwielstraat 2||Feijenoord|
|Rent n Go||Aelbrachtskade 129B||West|
When you are an official resident of Rotterdam, car sharing is very cost-effective and convenient. Six companies offer this service.
You can’t miss the electric scooters in Rotterdam. The colourful scooters are on almost every street corner. And many times, they lay on the ground. Very handy if you want to go somewhere. You grab a scooter and drive to your destination. There, you park the scooter and pay for the ride.
First, you must download an app from one of the scooter companies. FELYX was the first company to offer this form of mobility. Their scooters are dark green. The CHECK scooters are white and purple.
Go Sharing is the third company with electric scooters. Their vehicles are bright green and white.
In Netherlands, we ride bikes. One of the things we are famous for is those vehicles on small wheels. Our prime minister Mark Rutte regularly has shown himself on a bicycle to uphold his image. But Mark still uses his legs to move forward.
These days, many people enjoy the comfort of electric bikes. You have a battery to support your leg power. And you can tent them as well. Donkey Bikes rents orange electric bikes. They offer alternative solutions for one-time use or regular use.
Even as a tourist, you can rent an electric bike in Rotterdam. If you rent a bike for the weekend, you grab one if you need one. You can park the bike and have a drink somewhere when you’re tired. If you want to return to the hotel with Uber, you can leave the bike where you parked it. The next day you can use another bike.
Besides Electric scooters and cars, Go Sharing also has electric bikes you can use. One app allows you to travel in and around Rotterdam with three different vehicles.
VAIMOO offers the black bikes you see. You park these bikes in racks all over the city, where they are also charged again. So, you will always start with a fully loaded battery when you start.
Lime partnered with Uber in Rotterdam. The original Lime colour is white and green; in Rotterdam, you will also find red electric bikes.
Dutch Lesson! As you know, visiting our website, we teach you Dutch occasionally. The word you learn now is bakfiets. You can also rent an electric bakfiets in Rotterdam. This is easy if you carry some bags or luggage with you. BAQME is the name of the company which rents electric cargo bikes.
Repeat; Bakfiets. That sounds good.
At most train stations, you can rent an OV-Bike. You need an NS train contribution or a personal OV-Card. In the city, you will also find bike rental shops. If you want to buy a cheap second-hand bike, I advise you to look at marktplaats.nl.
No, renting an electric step in the Netherlands is impossible. You will see people using an electric step, but it’s illegal by law. The Dutch government is working to regulate the electric steps, but we don’t know how long this will take.
Public Transportation in Rotterdam
Rotterdam has an excellent public transportation system. The whole area of Rotterdam is within reach by bus, train, metro, or tram. The vehicles are clean, and it’s safe to travel. Unfortunately, due to staffing problems, rides are sometimes dropping out.
The first Steam-powered train drove from Rotterdam to Delft. People paid around €0,50 for a ticket. In 2023, you go to Paris by train from Rotterdam in 2 hours and 40 minutes. The cheapest ticket is €35,00.
In South Rotterdam, there are 3 train stations. One of them, Station Feijenoord, stops at the football stadium. This station is only used during a football game in The Kuip. The supporters from the Feyenoord opponent sometimes arrive by train for security reasons.
Station Lombardijen and Station Rotterdam Zuid are the regular train stations.
You can hop on the train in the city centre at Rotterdam Centraal Station. Rotterdam Noord and Rotterdam Alexander are two other train stations on this side of the city.
Do you know that Rotterdam was the first city with a Metro in the Netherlands? Construction of the metro in Rotterdam officially started in 1960. The opening was eight years later. Currently, there are just over 100 kilometres of metro rails. 166 metro vehicles run over these rails.
More than 55 million passengers board and alight the metro every year. People get on and off at 1 of the 70 metro stations. They use 1 of the 5 metro lines. Line A, B, C, D and E.
At the moment, the finishing touches are being made to Hoek van Holland strand metro station. Meanwhile, the plan to extend the metro line along the North Sea coast to The Hague has been approved.
If you want to know how to travel by metro yourself? Then read the article; How to travel by metro in Rotterdam.
Sometime in the early 1980s, of the 19th century, with a steam tram. That was banned after a few years and replaced by a horse tram. The first electric-powered tram started transporting Rotterdammers(people from Rotterdam) and visitors(tourists and business people) to the city in 1904.
By 2023, there will be more than 300 tram stations in Rotterdam. These will run across 11 lines. Two of these lines, 10 and 12, run for tourists and during events.
Nice to know. Feyenoord supporters can take the tram to the stadium for free when their club plays at home. With a day ticket or season card, they are dropped off at De Kuip without paying. This can also be done with line 23, which also stops in front of the Feyenoord stadium.
PLEASE NOTE. This only applies to transportation by tram.
If you want to know how to travel by tram yourself? Then read the article; How to travel by tram in Rotterdam.
Of course, you can also travel by bus. There are 270 buses in the Rotterdam region. I haven’t mentioned them yet, but RET(Rotterdamse Electrische Tram N.V.) is responsible for public transport in the Rotterdam region.
Do you travel by bus in Rotterdam? Here’s an article you can read; Take the bus in Rotterdam.
Metropolitan Rotterdam – The Hague
This Metropolitan region is a voluntary partnership of municipalities. The goal is the development of a sustainable international metropolitan area. The Hague and Rotterdam are economically stable regions where residents live comfortably. Good transportation between all municipalities is great. But there’s an ongoing development to improve transportation and roads. This development makes the area even more interesting for tourists and visitors.
History of Rotterdam
Of course, we also want to introduce you to the history of Rotterdam. If you’re interested in fun facts you can’t just find online, read on.