Lonely Planet Writer

Rotterdam jumps into second spot as favourite Dutch tourist city

Rotterdam has become a major attraction for tourists with visiting numbers showing a marked increase for the fifth year in a row.

Rotterdam growing in popularity.
Rotterdam growing in popularity. Image by Shutterstock

More than 200,000 people visited the port city to the end of May this year, new figures from the city’s marketing department reveal. RTL news reports that the 23% increase was the best of any Dutch city in that period. It means that Rotterdam has now surpassed capital city The Hague to become the country’s second most visited city behind Amsterdam. The city has been the subject of increasing international focus and has jumped up the tourism list as a result. It has received commendations for its innovative architecture in such places as the new Markthal and the enormous De Rotterdam development.

As well as growing from a tourist point of view, Rotterdam is also in demand as a business centre and for new residents. Hotel stays in the city rose by 6% last year over 2014, which meant that close on one million hotel guests stayed in Rotterdam in 2015. Hotel figures show the majority of guests (55%) were Dutch residents, but international growth was recorded from Britain and Germany (both at 7%) and Belgium (5%). Amsterdam continues to be the jewel in the crown of the Netherlands’ tourist industry. In the first five months of this year, almost 2.4 million people visited the city which represents a jump of 14%.

Although outstripped by Rotterdam for the second spot, The Hague still showed an increase in visitor numbers of 8%, which put it with 190,000 visitors until the end of May.  Two other cities, Utrecht and Maastricht, came in joint fourth place on the tourist rankings which were compiled from the national statistics office figures.