Introducing the city

£1.00 | 1.14 €

GBP | EUR

Gasoline £1.36 | 1.54 €

One-way ticket £2.64 | 3.00 €

Beer £3.52 | 4.00 €

Main Course £13.19 | 15.00 €

About Rotterdam

Although Rotterdam remains a counterpart to the tourist hotspot of Amsterdam, this city should not be underestimated with a thriving art and nightlife scene amongst its picturesque skyline.

With the nickname ‘the Gateway of Europe’ due to having one of the largest ports in the world, you could say that Rotterdam is just as accessible as its neighbouring city’s chocolate brownies (the naughty kind). This multi-cultural municipality is the second biggest city in the Netherlands with a population of just over 600,000.

While Rotterdam doesn’t have the winding cobbled streets, pretty canals and brazen red light districts of Amsterdam, it does have an atmosphere with a ‘can do’ attitude and optimism which makes for an enjoyable city break. Rotterdam’s ever changing skyline is one of the most fascinating across the continent with innovative architecture that rivals any other European destination. Plus, its impressive event calendar attracts thousands of tourists to the city who, when they arrive, discover there’s more to the Netherlands than hazy cafes selling lazy treats (although there are still many coffee shops for those types too).

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

May enjoys warm weather, fewer crowds and the least number of rainfall days of all 12 months.

Rotterdam is a beautiful place during the summer when temperatures reach over 20 degrees Celsius and drop to just below 15 at night. In contrast, winters are chilly and January is the coldest month of the year which can see temperatures drop below freezing during the night. Spring and autumn are pleasant but a jacket or jumper will be needed in the evenings and on some colder days. Rainfall is unpredictable and falls regularly throughout the year. Winter has the most rainfall days on average.

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Travioor top tips

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Insider Info

  • Make sure you properly explore this city. Bikes are one of the best ways to get around and the city has some fascinating architecture to see which won’t cost you a penny. The Rotterdam Cube Houses prove an interesting attraction, whilst if you can reach a worthy spot at night, a picture of the city skyline is sure to get a few likes on your Instagram portfolio.

  • Always look out for festivals and events in this city. There are more of them here than anywhere else in the Netherlands including the North Sea Jazz Festival – the biggest of its kind in the world.

  • On a budget? Get a Rotterdam Welcome Card giving you discounts on many admission fees as well as in a number of bars and restaurants. You’ll also get free transportation for a few days too.

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Food and drink

Main Course £13.19 | 15.00 €

3-Course Meal £52.75 | 60.00 €

Cappuccino £2.22 | 2.52 €

Beer £3.52 | 4.00 €

The Scene

There are a number of delightful areas to enjoy a bite to eat in this city such as the Katendrecht peninsula, the Oude Noorden and the Markthal with its 100 market stands, around 15 themed food shops and eight restaurants. And at each of these top foodie hotspots you can sample traditional Dutch cuisine which has been influenced by an influx of immigrants over the years.

There are many international options in Rotterdam but you’ll still find Dutch favourites like bitterballen (fried beef meatballs, usually served with mustard) and if you’re in a hurry with no time to eat in a restaurant, patat special (fries with curry ketchup, mayonnaise and onions).

As for the drinking and partying, the nightlife here is renowned with a host of lively bars and live music venues dotted all over the city. There are spots for every budget and preference. Whether you want to enjoy a glass of wine at the harbour while the sun sets or a few shots with friends in a nightclub, you’ll be taken care of in Rotterdam.

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History

Rotterdam’s Story

Originally a small fishing village on the River Rotte, the 13th century saw a dam built to try and regain some land for development and in the next century, it was declared a city in 1340. In the following years, the city was to grow enormously because of its excellent location for European trade with a highly accessible harbour.

Despite a great fire destroying some of the city’s buildings in 1488, Rotterdam prospered soon after during and beyond the war with Spain in the 16th century when other major cities in the Netherlands became inaccessible. Although the 18th century slowed the city’s trade, the 19th century was to see Rotterdam blossom again thanks to the Industrial Revolution. The railway, steam power and the new waterway all contributed in making the most out of the city’s desirable port, and this expansion continued into the 20th century.

Although Rotterdam went on to experience great damage in the war, immense poverty and German dictatorship for some five years, from 1950 onwards, the city began to rebuild itself and is a major economic player in the Netherlands with a port that is said to be the largest in Europe.

Language

Hallo | Hello
Dank je | Thank you

Dutch

The official language of the city is Dutch but most people will have some level of English so getting around knowing little or no Dutch is possible. Yet, if you want to give the language a go, we’ve listed some basics below:

  • Please: Alsjeblieft
  • Do you speak English: Spreek je Engels
  • Excuse me: Excuseer Me

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Need to know

+31 Dialling Code
112 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • Cannabis is legal in Rotterdam (in small quantities, for personal use only) but all other drugs, including magic mushrooms, are illegal.
  • Beware of pickpockets in the markets, at stations and on public transport.
  • The metro usually runs until midnight.
  • Trams are present in the city also.


VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for the Netherlands here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. The Euromast

Experience breath-taking views from the highest tower in the Netherlands, the Euromast.

2. Museumpark

Visit some of the city’s best museums at Museumpark.

3. Food Market

Wander the Markthal which is a hugely popular indoor food market with locals and tourists.

4. The Zoo

Enjoy the land animals and aquarium at Rotterdam Zoo (Diergaarde Blijdorp).

5. The Harbours

Eat and drink at Oude Haven (the Old Harbour) or tour the new one which is one of the largest in the world.


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