Rotterdam is a city in The Netherlands with the largest port in Europe. Here are a few things to do in Rotterdam;
- Cube houses
- The White House
- Erasmusbrug Bridge
- Church of St Lawrence
- Rotterdam Zoo and Rotterdam Oceanium
- Mini World, Rotterdam
- Day trip to The Hague, Kinderdijk, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Gouda
You’ll find that hotels in Rotterdam are extremely good value. For this reason, you may consider staying here and making day trips to other places in the country.
For views of the city you must ascend the Euromast. I must confess I did not take the trip to the top of the Euromast as on the day I visited, the Euromast itself was hardly visible, never mind the views from up there! I do recommend a walk out to Euromast as you will see lots of the busy port as well as the boats passing through it. Weather permitting, the view from the top gives wonderful views over the largest port in Europe.
The port of Rotterdam is the largest port in the whole of Europe and used to be the world’s busiest port from 1962 to 2004. On Wilhelminapier there is a famous hotel called Hotel New York which used to be the headquarters of Holland and America line. Back in the day, this is where Europeans left to America in search for a better life. Nowadays however, it seems that The Netherlands offers a better way of life than America! Additionally, you’ll find the Netherlands Photo Museum close to the Hotel New York. Another important building on Wilhelminapier is the De Rotterdam which is the largest building in The Netherlands. If you wish, you can visit the bar at the nHow hotel which is part of the huge De Rotterdam complex.
The Cube Houses have become a famous landmark in Rotterdam but what are they? For starters, they’re an Instagram worthy building but that’s not why they were created. They were designed to maximise the amount of living space. Other than being spacious, they are considered modern art. It’s said, each house is a tree which together make a forest.
White House of Rotterdam
The White House was the first high rise building in Europe. It is in fact well over 100 years old. The building survived German bombings during World War II and you can still see bullet holes in it today. Lastly, it’s possible to visit the interior as there is a restaurant inside.
From central Rotterdam, it’s possible to walk to the things to do in Rotterdam including the Cube House, White House, Laurenskerk, World Trade Center, museums, bars and restaurants. Alternatively, you can get around the city by the underground Metro. For the adventurous visitors, you could try the Splash Tour. The Splash Tour is a typical bus tour but during the tour the bus transforms into a boat and it becomes a riverboat cruise. As a matter of fact, I’d compare the Splash Tour to something out of a James Bond movie!
Waffles and Chips
Like it’s neighbor Belgium, the food of choice are waffles or chips. In fact, you’ll see huge kiosks which exclusively sell chips! There are not many countries where you can enjoy delicious local food such as the waffles knowing once you go home, there will be no more. The question is, with all this unhealthy food, how do these guys not have an obesity probably? Most people travel by push bike, even during bad weather you’ll see lots of people traveling by bike.
Connecting Rotterdam to Wilhelminapier is the Erasmusbrug Bridge which is a landmark in itself. On a clear day I’d recommend crossing the bridge on foot, on a day like the one pictured above when you can barely see the bridge I’d recommend taking the Rotterdam Metro over.
Church of St Lawrence
Rotterdam is famous for its modern buildings such as Cube House and the Train Station. Therefore it’s interesting to see a Gothic style church in the mix. The church is very close to the Cube Houses, as a result you can visit these 2 locations together. It’s an interesting comparison, modern living in comparison with a Gothic style church.
Rotterdam Zoo and Oceanarium
Rotterdam is home to a zoo as well as an Oceanarium. If you’re visiting with kids, I’m sure they will insist on visiting this attractions. Visit the Rotterdam Zoo official site for the latest animal shows and events. The good news is the zoo is a short walk from central Rotterdam.
There are lots of rivers and canals in Rotterdam, as you’d expect in the largest port in Europe. Rotterdam is well connected by train and bus but they also make excellent use of their waterways too. As a matter of fact, there are regular water buses leaving to nearby towns and you’ll see various water bus stops from where you can catch a waterbus from. You may consider taking the waterbus to the UNESCO site of Kinderdijk which is where you’ll find those Dutch windmills the country is famous for.
Rotterdam Train Station
It’s not often you visit a city which has a train station as its top landmark. If you do, it’s usually a historic train station, like the one in Varna, Bulgaria for example. Nonetheless, the top Instagram worthy spot in Rotterdam is the brand new central train station. Not only is this a picturesque spot but also an efficient train service to make day trips all over Holland.
Day Trip to Kinderdijk
Kinderdijk is a UNESCO world heritage site full of what everybody expects to see in The Netherlands, windmills. There are a total of 19 working windmills from the 18th century at Kinderdijk. At the site you’re welcome to walk around photographing the windmills. If you are really interested in how they work you can also take a windmill tour. Additionally, you can also take a boat ride through the windmills but it’s not really necessary as it’s a short distance. Because much of the Netherlands is below sea level these windmills are necessary to manage the water levels and prevent flooding. I would recommend visiting here on a clear day (if possible) for sunset. As a result, the photos would be so colourful and if the water was still there’d be a beautiful reflection. On the day I visited, unfortunately I experienced terrible weather!
How to get to Kinderdijk from Rotterdam
Water buses leave from Rotterdam Veer Erasmusbrug Station in central Rotterdam. It’s much more fun taking a boat in Rotterdam than a bus so I decided to take the water bus. The water bus was not direct but the change is easy as people are very friendly, speak English and want to help you. To return, I took a bus from I took a direct bus back to Rotterdam from the bus stop at Kinderdijk which cost €4.
Day Trip to Utrecht, Amsterdam, The Hague or Gouda
If you visit Rotterdam train station, you’ll find regular trains all over The Netherlands. As a result it’s incredibly easy to independently make a day trip. Read about the things to do in Amsterdam, Gouda, The Hague as well as Utrecht on my travel blog. Most importantly, enjoy the efficient train service of The Netherlands.
How to get from Rotterdam to The Hague
The Rotterdam Metro Blue Line E takes you all the way to The Hague (Den Haag). The cost is €2,90 for a single ticket which takes you all the way to The Hague central station. The trains for The Hague pass every 10 minutes so are very convenient.