Things to do in Rotterdam

About Rotterdam

When visiting Rotterdam, don't miss the modern marvels such as the Cube Houses, the impressive Erasmus Bridge, and the striking market hall, Markthal. Rotterdam also offers cultural treasures like the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and a stroll through the historic Delfshaven. Each of these attractions brings a unique essence of the city's architecture, history, and culture to the forefront.
Rotterdam is fantastic for kids, offering attractions like the interactive Maritime Museum, the vibrant Blijdorp Zoo, and the adventurous Plaswijckpark, which features a sprawling outdoor play area and a petting zoo. Family-fun is guaranteed with Rotterdam's child-friendly offerings.
The best outdoor activities include exploring the lush Het Park, enjoying a harbor tour to see the bustling port at work, and cycling through the city's numerous bike-friendly paths. Visiting the Kinderdijk windmills, just outside the city, offers a great outdoor excursion as well.
Rain or shine, you can savor the indoor attractions like the futuristic Markthal for an array of food experiences, Art Rotterdam for contemporary art lovers, or overall wellness at the Spa Heaven. The Rotterdamse Schouwburg presents various indoor performances from plays to concerts for an enriching cultural experience.
The best Rotterdam tours include a visit to architectural highlights on the 'Building the Future' tour, a journey through local flavors with a 'Culinary Exploration', and a culturally invigorating 'Art and Design' walking tour, each providing a deep dive into city's essence.
Some popular museums in Rotterdam include the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Kunsthal Rotterdam, the World Museum, and the Nederlands Fotomuseum. These institutions offer a wealth of artistic, historical, and cultural exhibits.
For rainy days, among the best tours in Rotterdam are those that visit indoor attractions, such as the various art museums, the historic Van Nelle Factory on a guided architecture tour, or the interactive exhibits at the Maritime Museum.
Short Rotterdam tours include a quick explorative mission around the Cube Houses, a brief yet informative trip at the Rotterdam City Hall, or a condensed gallery hopping experience in the Witte de Withstraat art district. These bite-sized tours are perfect for visitors short on time.

Best Things to Do In Rotterdam

Discover the vibrant cityscape of Rotterdam with its futuristic architecture, rich history, and eclectic culture through our engaging self-guided audio tours.

Rotterdam: Cube Houses

What is it?
A set of innovative cubical homes resting on hexagonal pylons, designed by architect Piet Blom.
Why you should go?
The Cube Houses (Kubuswoningen) are an essential part of the Rotterdam landscape, showcasing the city's architectural ingenuity. These tilted houses represent a forest where each cube is a tree, metaphorically and visually fascinating. A tour provides insight into the concept of high-density living with a unique twist. One cube is open to the public as a museum, providing a first-hand experience of living in this architectural wonder.

Rotterdam: The Rotterdam

What is it?
A towering example of modern architecture, The Rotterdam is a multifunctional building by Rem Koolhaas.
Why you should go?
Nicknamed ‘The Vertical City,’ The Rotterdam is one of the most prominent features of the city's skyline. Home to offices, apartments, and a hotel, this building is a marvel to explore or observe from afar. Tours in Rotterdam often highlight The Rotterdam for its innovative design and contribution to the cityscape. Visitors can indulge in the spectacular views and luxe ambience of this colossal structure.

Rotterdam: Het Park

What is it?
A sprawling urban park offering a serene escape with lush greenery and charming walking paths.
Why you should go?
Adjacent to the Euromast, Het Park is an idyllic retreat within the urban compass. Whether looking for relaxation or engaging in outdoor Rotterdam activities, the park serves as an all-encompassing venue. Joggers, families, and tourists alike can appreciate the well-maintained landscape, historical monuments, and the occasional festival making it a hub of enjoyment and leisure.

Rotterdam: Fenix Food Factory

What is it?
A culinary collective and artisanal marketplace housed in a refurbished warehouse on Katendrecht peninsula.
Why you should go?
Fenix Food Factory provides an authentic taste of Rotterdam's local food scene, housing a diverse group of food entrepreneurs. It's a place where one can experience the city's gastronomic diversity, from fresh-baked bread to craft beers. The communal seating and industrial charm make it not only one of the fun things to do in Rotterdam but also a perfect spot to engage with locals and fellow travelers.

Rotterdam: Luchtsingel

What is it?
A public pedestrian bridge connecting the north and center of Rotterdam, famous for its bright yellow color.
Why you should go?
The Luchtsingel is a crowdfunded project that epitomizes Rotterdam's spirit of innovation and community. Spanning 390 meters, this wooden bridge revitalizes areas previously disconnected by infrastructural gaps. Visitors can leave their mark on the bridge by sponsoring planks with their names. Experiencing the Luchtsingel becomes not just a sightseeing highlight but also a way to connect with Rotterdam's commitment to urban renewal.

Rotterdam: Markthal

What is it?
A distinctive indoor market hall offering a unique blend of food stalls and residential living.
Why you should go?
Not just a place to satiate your taste buds, the Markthal is an architectural marvel. This horseshoe-shaped building features an array of things to do in Rotterdam, from sampling international cuisines to purchasing fresh local produce. The ceiling boasts the world's largest artwork, adding to the immersive experience. Visiting the Markthal is a foray into the cultural and culinary heart of the city, ensuring visitors leave with both full stomachs and rich memories.

Rotterdam: Kinderdijk Windmills

What is it?
A picturesque UNESCO World Heritage site with the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands.
Why you should go?
Just a stone’s throw from the city, visiting the Kinderdijk windmills is among the best Rotterdam excursions. The site offers a glimpse into Dutch water management history and provides a quintessentially Dutch backdrop for photographers. The tranquil paths along the canals and the operational windmills offer a learning experience about sustainable practices of the past, that are still relevant today.

Rotterdam: Rotterdam Zoo (Diergaarde Blijdorp)

What is it?
An expansive and well-maintained zoo featuring a wide range of wildlife habitats and conservation projects.
Why you should go?
Rotterdam Zoo is perfect for family-friendly Rotterdam activities, housing creatures from every continent. It's recognized as one of Europe's most beautiful zoos and is home to the Oceanium, where visitors can walk through underwater tunnels as sharks swim overhead. Engaging in the Zoo's animal encounters and educational programs also makes for fun things to do in Rotterdam while contributing to wildlife conservation efforts.

Rotterdam: Witte de Withstraat

What is it?
The cultural and artistic hub of Rotterdam, known for its vibrant nightlife and contemporary art offerings.
Why you should go?
Witte de Withstraat is where art galleries, hip boutiques, and street art coalesce to form Rotterdam’s trendiest street. By day, a stroll here leads to discovery of the cutting-edge art scene; by night, the street transforms into a dynamic social spot with some of the city’s best bars and eateries. The street’s ever-changing nature earns it a spot on every list of what to do in Rotterdam for a taste of local life.

Rotterdam: SS Rotterdam

What is it?
A retired ocean liner now serving as a floating hotel, museum, and cultural venue.
Why you should go?
The SS Rotterdam invites visitors to step back in time to the golden age of sea travel, with restored 1950s décor and informative exhibits. Those researching things to see in Rotterdam will enjoy the guided tours that reveal the ship's rich history. For a truly unique experience, you can dine in the onboard restaurants or even stay overnight. Aboard this vessel, history and luxury seamlessly intertwine.

TOP-5 tours in Rotterdam for first-time visitors

  • Embark on the 'Architectural Wonders' tour to explore iconic places to visit in Rotterdam, like the Cube Houses and the Erasmus Bridge, learning about their history and impact.
  • 'Harbor Highlights' takes you on a journey through Europe's busiest port, delving into maritime Rotterdam activities and providing insights into the industry.
  • The 'Cultural Kaleidoscope' audio tour offers a deep dive into the city's artistic side, highlighting what to see in Rotterdam, from the Boijmans Museum to the Witte de With street.
  • 'Historic Rotterdam' walks you through the old and the new, revealing the resilience of the city with stories of WWII and its reconstruction—truly fun things to do in Rotterdam.
  • Our 'Urban Green Spaces' tour showcases the lush gardens and parks that rank among the best things to do in Rotterdam, perfect for a leisurely self-guided adventure.

Fun things to do in Rotterdam with kids

Rotterdam's dynamic cityscape offers an array of family-friendly attractions perfect for visitors with children. Marvel at the wonders of the animal kingdom at the Rotterdam Zoo, where the vast biodiversity and immersive habitats make for an educational and entertaining outing. For a more hands-on experience, the Maritime Museum's interactive exhibits provide insight into the nautical world, engaging kids with simulations, games, and captivating histories of the seas. Meanwhile, the Plaswijckpark is a recreational haven offering a unique blend of playgrounds, petting zoos, and outdoor activities set amidst picturesque greenery. This park caters to various ages and interests, ensuring that your family trip is filled with joyous memories. These attractions encapsulate the child-friendly fun things to do in Rotterdam, ensuring that every family member, regardless of age, comes away with an enriched appreciation for this vibrant Dutch city.

Things to do in Rotterdam with family

When planning a family trip to Rotterdam, certain attractions stand out for creating lasting memories. First, the Rotterdam Zoo, known as Diergaarde Blijdorp, invites exploration into exotic wildlife and rare species, making it educational and one of the best things to do in Rotterdam with children. For a bit of adventure and learning, the Maritime Museum offers families a captivating look at the seafaring heritage of the Netherlands, complete with real ships and interactive exhibits. Then, for outdoor enthusiasts, the lush Het Park provides ample space for picnics, play, and relaxation, right by the majestic Euromast, which allows for sprawling city views from its observation tower. These spots effectively combine education, excitement, and relaxation, ensuring a varied itinerary full of engaging Rotterdam activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Free things to skillet in Rotterdam

Exploring Rotterdam doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag, as the city boasts numerous free attractions. Stroll down the innovative Luchtsingel pedestrian bridge, which connects the heart of Rotterdam north to the city center, enjoying urban renewal at its finest. Engage with street art and soak up the atmosphere at Witte de Withstraat, a cultural lifeline of the city, lined with galleries, bars, and murals - a prime example of what to do in Rotterdam without spending a dime. For a serene escape, visit the tranquil Arboretum Trompenburg, a hidden gem filled with lush botanical gardens showcasing a diverse array of flora. These attractions provide a glimpse into Rotterdam's diverse offerings, from its creative urban projects to its peaceful natural retreats, all accessible for free and perfect to discover through self-guided tours.

Cheap things to do in Rotterdam

Budget-conscious travelers rejoice, as Rotterdam offers a wealth of affordable attractions. Immerse in the creative soul of the city by visiting the Rotterdam Street Art Museum, where the ever-evolving urban canvases provide a free open-air gallery experience. Discover the vibrant history and diverse cultures of Rotterdam with a visit to the Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk, a gothic church with a minimal entry fee, where you can marvel at its stunning architecture. Lastly, make your way to the bustling local markets, like the Blaak Markt, where you can browse through an array of goods and indulge in inexpensive street food. Each of these low-cost opportunities not only provides insight into Rotterdam's eclectic spirit but also invites visitors to enjoy the city's charms without breaking the bank, proving that the best things to do in Rotterdam can also be the most economical.

Things to do in Rotterdam for couples

Romance finds its place in Rotterdam with a blend of modern allure and intimate experiences. Begin by ascending the Euromast, an iconic tower that offers sweeping views of the city — a spectacular spot for couples to share a special moment, especially at sunset. Delight in a tranquil boat tour along the Maas River, where romantic Rotterdam tours unveil the cityscape from a unique waterfront perspective, allowing couples to toast to their journey with a glass of bubbly. For a dose of culture, saunter hand in hand through the cobbled streets of the historic Delfshaven, which oozes old-world charm, dotted with quaint shops, and cozy cafes — the perfect setting for creating cherished memories together. These attractions encapsulate the romantic spirit of the city, providing couples with an intimate look into what to do in Rotterdam for an experience that celebrates love and adventure.

Things to do in Rotterdam at night

Rotterdam's night scene buzzes with unique vibrancy that visitors can enjoy. One of the standout things to do in Rotterdam at night is to indulge in the eclectic mix of cuisines and cocktails at the Witte de Withstraat, known for its lively bars and restaurants. For a dash of culture, the Rotterdamse Schouwburg puts on an array of performances from drama to dance, providing an elegant evening of entertainment. Alternatively, take a nighttime stroll along the iconic Erasmus Bridge, which becomes a luminous spectacle after dark, casting reflections over the Maas River. The bridge serves as a beacon1 for the city, encouraging visitors to revel in its beauty and the skyline aglow. Each activity presents a different facet of Rotterdam's diverse character, providing unforgettable experiences as the city comes to life under the stars.