In Zuid-Holland lies the port city of Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands. A city break in Rotterdam is an ideal way to combine a visit to a world port with exploring a multicultural city.
Rotterdam was founded in 1230 and was a very rich trading city for many years. In 1853, the Nieuwe Waterweg was built, connecting the city with the whole world. One of the largest ports in the world quickly developed. During the Second World War, fighter bombers destroyed almost the entire city centre. After the war, a modern city with some futuristic-looking houses was built on the drawing board, and many young people have been drawn to the city since then.
Excursion tips in Rotterdam
What sights are there in Rotterdam? The first things that come to mind are the Market Hall, the Cubic Houses or the Euromast Tower. A boat tour of the port is also almost mandatory when travelling to a seaport city. But there is so much more to the city and we would like to show…
There is a lot to explore on a trip to Rotterdam. We toured the city and visited the Cubic Houses and the Market Hall, we strolled through the tunnel under the river Meuse and viewed the city from above from the Euromast Tower. What is missing from this list? A boat tour of course.
The ss Rotterdam lies in a harbour basin. The former passenger ship is now a hotel, restaurant, event venue and museum. It was crystal clear that we had to capture (aka visit) and explore the ship. But before, we wanted to find out why the ship has the “ss” in her name. The internet had…
The Markthal is right in the centre of Rotterdam. It is a spectacular building that houses a mix of shopping mall, living spaces, restaurants, shops and car parks. Shoppers can browse the market on 7 days a week and try a variety of different foods.
Travel information Rotterdam
Rotterdam Airport is located about 8 kilometres outside the city centre. There are flights to Rotterdam from a number of European countries.
From the airport you can take bus 33 to the main station. The journey takes about 20 minutes.
Rotterdam Centraal station is connected to most major Dutch cities and is also served by the Thalys, which travels to Paris. Coming from Germany, you have to change trains in Utrecht to continue to Rotterdam.
The main railway station is located in the city centre. From there you can take the public transport to the whole city.
The long-distance bus station is right next to the main railway station. There are several bus companies that serve the city directly.
There is a ring road around the city with numerous motorways leading to it. Traffic is always heavy and it is advisable to park in the P&R car parks outside the city and take public transport into the city.
Ferries to England depart from Rotterdam and there is a cruise terminal near the city centre.
In addition to maritime shipping, there is also a possibility for inland vessels to enter the port.
On the way in …
There are two metro lines running through the city centre – one in a north-south direction and one in an east-west direction. They intersect at Beurs station.
In addition, further lines run to the suburbs. The five lines are marked with the letters A-E.
Single tickets are quite expensive, those who travel more should get an OV-chipkaart, a time ticket for several days or the Rotterdam Welcome Card.
By bus and tram
The network of bus and tram lines is somewhat more extensive, but not quite as easy to navigate. Even though there are maps at most stops, it is difficult to find your way around.
There is a historic tram (line 10) that runs in summer and is good for a city tour. You need an extra ticket that is valid for the whole day. You are allowed to interrupt the ride!
As everywhere in the Netherlands, the use of bicycles is a priority for many. The cycle paths are well developed and safe, as they are often completely separated from the roadway. Visitors can rent bikes at numerous rental stations. There are also OV-fiets that can be rented with the OV-chipkaart.
Outside rush hour, bicycles travel free of charge on the metro.
The streets in the city are quite crowded at rush hour. Parking spaces are usually chargeable, but not quite as scarce as in Amsterdam.
In most areas in Rotterdam, parking in parking lots is subject to a fee. The rates vary depending on the location and time of day. In the center it is usually most expensive, parking is charged from 9 am to 11 pm and on Sunday at least in the afternoon. On the outskirts of the city center, parking spaces can sometimes be used free of charge as early as 6 pm and are free all day on Sunday.
A tip: The parking machines in Rotterdam do not accept cash. You have to pay by EC or credit card. No parking tickets are issued either. The system works on the basis of the license plate number. The machines are multilingual, the menu is also available in English. And this is how it works:
- Car parking
- Find the nearest parking machine (follow signs)
- Enter your license plate number and the desired parking time
- Pay the indicated amount
The parking time should not be calculated too tightly. There are strict controls and the fines are not very favorable.
Those who park their car in the parking garage pay here only when leaving the parking garage. The prices are comparable to street parking. Those who reserve a parking space in advance can often park cheaper.
Best time to travel
The best time to visit Rotterdam is from May to October. At this time there are pleasant mild temperatures and there is hardly any precipitation. The highest average temperature in Rotterdam is 22°C in July and the lowest temperature is 5°C in January. The fewest rainy days occur from April to August.
The vacation season of the Dutch is in July and August and in October. Here the waiting times at the ticket offices of the sights can be a little longer.