Top attractions in Rotterdam
The 8 Best Things to Do in Rotterdam
If you imagine a tour of Rotterdam brimming with gingerbread-style buildings, you'll be in for a surprise. Leveled by Nazi bombs in WWII, the city has transformed itself with architectural and quirky trends over the decades.
1. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
This top museum presents Dutch and European artists throughout the ages, and one room highlights only Dalí's works. The sculpture garden boasts Claes Oldenburg's "Bent Screw."
The art museum doesn't offer a permanent collection, but rather, it puts on 25 different exhibitions each year, ranging from photography to paintings to design.
3. Cube House
Each tilted, cubed house on a 45° angle represents a tree, and as an ensemble, a forest. If you want to see what it's like inside one of them, pop into the Kijk-Kubus Museum.
Inaugurated in 1960, the concrete observation tower offers a commanding 360° view of the city from 315 feet above the street. The elevator ride takes a mere 30 seconds.
5. Erasmus Bridge
Named after the 15th-century Dutch Renaissance humanist, the gleaming white, emblematic symbol of the city, nicknamed "The Swan," stretches 2600 feet across the Maas River.
The 19th-century building, which was once the Royal Yacht Club, contains a fine collection of acquired ethnographic pieces from Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the Americas.
7. Diergaarde Blijdorp
The Amazonica exhibit at the 150-year-old zoo transports visitors to a tropical world full of butterflies in a lush environment. Water pools hold catfish, turtles and piranhas.
Go on a culinary adventure in the extensive market hall in Rotterdam. Don't forget to look up: the 11,000 m2 glass façade (about the size of two football fields) displays giant artwork by artist Arno Coenen.
Planning Your Visit
How many days to spend in Rotterdam?
You could spend a good two to three days visiting Rotterdam's attractions, but don't forget to explore its neighborhoods, such as Laurenskwartier and Delfshaven. Tack on a few extra days and use Rotterdam as a base; the cities of Delft and The Hague are within easy reach by train. You could go further and rent a bike for a day-trip to Kinderdijk, with its string of windmills along the canals in the countryside.
The central district is easy to explore by foot, but there's also a network of buses, trams and metro. Alternatively, you could rent a bike to get from point A to point B. After all, you're in the Netherlands.
Where to stay in Rotterdam
The Centrum (central district) is your best bet. You'll be close to all the sightseeing you want to do in Rotterdam and have easy access to public transportation.
Good to know
- Dutch and lots of English
- Euro (€)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+01:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- The best weather can be found in spring and summer, but you'll need your umbrella, as it can rain year-round in Rotterdam. There are more crowds in the summer, but the weather is great for strolling outdoors, taking in the sights.
Other Sightseeing Options in Rotterdam
Want to discover all there is to do in Rotterdam? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Rotterdam
The tour itself was nice, interesting especially if you like to know a bit about the big Rotterdam harbour and see some containers around. It doesn't go very technical, so it's easy to follow. The boat is well equipped with indoor and outdoor seats. However it was still cold inside.Loudspeakers comment some sights in Dutch, German, English and French. We knew there was no Spanish audio-guide, but it was said there would be some brochure - this was non-existing.
Während 2,5 Stunden vermochte es Willem, unser Guide, seine Begeisterung für Rotterdam mit uns zu teilen. Viele kleine Details und Anmerkungen machten diesen Rundgang zu einem tollen Erlebnis. Jedem zu empfehlen, der einen Einblick in Geschichte und städtischer Entwicklung bekommen möchte. Wir haben jede Minute genossen.
Our guide Stephan was amazing!! His experience and interesting anecdotes made the tour fun and informative. Also Rotterdam is really an amazing city that not a lot of people know of. The architecture is just amazing and this tour was a perfect introduction. Highly recommended!
Very well organized and on time. Pity about the weather though . I can recommend this excursion especially at the price! Maybe personalized earphones will improve the audio as passengers talking made hearing the information difficult at times.
What a wonderful way to discover this city! Despite Corona we were able to enjoy ourselves and learn so much. Our guide was very knowledgeable and what she told/showed us made us really appreciate Rotterdam’s history and rebirth.