A perfect blend of the past and the contemporary
So, you’re considering heading to Rotterdam? Well, I think you’re making a fantastic decision. I feel Rotterdam is so often overlooked with a preference for Amsterdam, and I say that because we did that exact thing.
Don’t get me wrong; I loved our time in Amsterdam.
However, if you’re looking for a similar Dutch experience that’s slightly calmer, has plenty of charm, and perhaps not so many canals, then Rotterdam is for you.
We headed to Rotterdam for the Traverse18 conference and decided it was a perfect opportunity to explore the city in more depth, so we decided to add a couple of days to the trip.
What to see in Rotterdam
Here you can head along the canals that branch off the harbour.
However, one of Rotterdam’s few surviving buildings from the Second World War bombing campaign is the White House.
Where is Rotterdam?
How to get to Rotterdam
- By Train
You can catch a train to Rotterdam Central. Direct services from London takes as little as 3hr 16min.
- By Air
Rotterdam is served by the 'Rotterdam The Hague Airport' (RTM) which is around 5 miles/ 7.5 km from the centre of Rotterdam.
- By Car
Like many European cities, Rotterdam has emission restrictions; for more information, check out the 'Urban Access Regulations in Europe' site. Our experience of driving in Rotterdam is easy enough, but we would recommend the Waze App to ensure you have the latest updates and traffic restrictions for your journey.
If you're thinking of heading of to the land of tulips and cheese, then grab this DK Eyewitness guide to help with your planning.
I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
Where to stay in Rotterdam
Wander to the Maritime Museum Harbour and take a stroll around the exhibits outside.
You’ll feel like you’ve walked into an old working port.
The striking red cast iron lighthouse once stood at the Hook of Holland.
A Dutch Road Trip
Discover more of Holland; you'll be amazed at how easy it is to tour around by car. Like us, you can create your own road trip and visit Keukenhof, Haarlem, Alkmaar, Utrecht and Gouda.
We also squeezed in a tour of Four Dutch Harbour Towns and visited the 19 traditional windmills at the UNESCO site of Kinderdijk.
Please take a peek at the offers at Rental Cars; they cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.
It now stands 185 metres tall, after the Space Tower was added in 1970.
If heights are your thing, catch the lift that takes just 30 seconds to transport you up to the observation deck, at around 100 metres above ground level.
Rotterdam Tourist Information
Mmmmm, apple pie and cream.
We sort of came across Dudok café in Het Park by accident.
We wanted a coffee break and noticed “Dudok’s” renowned apple pie.
We thought it would be rude not to give it a try, obviously for research purposes, you understand.
It was very nice; I wouldn’t mind a slice now.
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I love the look of Rotterdam, your photos are so inspiring. We have a day to kill before our ferry from Hook of Holland to the UK so hopefully this is where we will head to. I’ll definitely be referring back to this post nearer the time. #farawayfiles
Thanks Annabel, you’ll easily be able to fill a day in Rotterdam. There’s so much to see particularly around the old harbour and the city centre.Glad to be of help.
I absolutely adore Rotterdam, it’s a unique city in The Netherlands! Can you believe that up until 10 years ago the city was pretty grimy? It’s so much better now!#FarawayFiles
No. I didn’t realise that, you would never know from going there now. We loved it too.
Rotterdam is an absolute must for architecture lovers – I went there for work and we took an architectural tour which was fabulous. Love those cube houses! Thanks for linking up with #farawayfiles
That sounds like it would have interesting, some of the buildings are rather quirky, it would have been good to know a little bit of history behind them.
I’d really like to visit Rotterdam. It looks so different from Amsterdam and I love the arty vibe that you’ve captured in your photos. Thanks for sharing with #farawayfiles
Rotterdam has a different feel to Amsterdam, it doesn’t have as many canals & historic buildings, but it also doesn’t get as busy as Amsterdam, which is pleasant.
We missed Rotterdam as we had limited time in the area, but I have regretted it ever since, and seeing your photos makes it all the more clear that we need to get back and spend time there too. I love all the reflections shots, and as I’m married to an architect, the photos of all the unique architecture as well. #farawayfiles
To be perfectly honest Rotterdam wasn’t really at the top of our list, and we were so surprised how fantastic it was. Your husband will love it, if he is an architect, this is what really stood out for us.
It was my birthplace. I was recently there and had a meal in Hotel New York which is the old Holland America building situated at the waterside.
Ah fantastic that’s a beautiful building, how was your meal?