Welcome to Rotterdam

Innovation City

When German and allied bombers targeted Rotterdam in 1940 in WWII they left Rotterdammers with a daunting challenge – rebuilding the city almost from the ground up. An intrepid and visionary lot, the local authorities determined that their new city would be a modern metropolis rather than an ersatz recreation of a Golden Age port. This embrace of the contemporary with its vote of confidence in the future is something that has characterised the city ever since, resulting in a culture that is built on innovation – it's a city where cutting-edge design is enthusiastically adopted and underpins daily life.

Architecture & Urban Design

Tourist arrivals in Rotterdam are increasing every year and it's clear to everyone what the main attraction is: the city's world-class architecture and urban design. The local municipality has long been a crusader for innovative, sustainable and exciting architecture, and has shaped the physical form of the modern city to accommodate this. Projects such as the reimagining of the former docklands at Kop van Zuid (South Bank), home to the iconic De Rotterdam tower designed by superstar architect Rem Koolhaas; the magnificent Centraal Station redevelopment; the iconic Erasmus Bridge; and the utterly unique Markthal (Market Hall) make exploring in Rotterdam both eye-opening and hugely enjoyable.

Cafe Culture

Innovation here takes many forms, and one that is immediately apparent is the quality of the coffee served in the city's huge array of cafes. Until recently, there was only one coffee roastery in Rotterdam – the excellent Man Met Brill – but at last count there were 12, all roasting direct-trade beans to caffeinate coffee-obsessed locals. Cafes of every type (hipster hole-in-the-walls to traditional grand cafes) dot the city streets, functioning as work and study spaces for the digital generation as well as places where friends and family catch up over a drink or casual meal.


Rotterdam's character was forged by its location on the New and Old Maas Rivers, close to the North Sea, and it is proud of its status as the largest port in Europe. Daily life involves lots of water-related action, with people driving or walking over a slew of graceful, architect-designed bridges; zipping from one riverbank to the other in bargain-priced watertaxis; or sauntering along picturesque inner-city canals. While here, visitors should do the same, as well as take a boat tour or board a fast ferry to visit nearby destinations including Dordrecht and Kinderdijk.

Top experiences in Rotterdam

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Rotterdam activities

$98.34 Day Trips & Excursions

Full-day Trip from Amsterdam:Rotterdam,Delft,The Hague &Madurodam Miniature Park

You'll be picked up from central Amsterdam in the morning for your full-day tour of Holland's highlights. Throughout the day, your informative guide will share facts, stories and anecdotes about the Netherlands' history, politics, culture, arts, architecture and more.First, travel by comfortable coach to Rotterdam, where you'll take a 30-minute city tour and see the experimental architecture and eclectic collection of buildings that make Rotterdam so unique. Then climb the 606-foot (185-meter) Euromast sightseeing tower for spectacular views of Rotterdam, the port and the surrounding area. Take your time soaking up the scenery — you have about an hour here.Next, take a 1-hour tour of the Royal Delft, one of the famous Delft Blue pottery makers in the country. Watch a demonstration to see how this iconic blue-and-white pottery is made. Originally a duplicate of Chinese porcelain, the production of Delft pottery began in the 17th-century. Hundreds of years later, production of this beautiful, beloved earthenware pottery is still going strong. After your Royal Delft visit, spend an hour exploring the picturesque city of Delft, and stop for lunch (own expense).Continue on to The Hague, the seat of the Dutch government. Learn about the importance of this historic city on a 30-minute tour, during which you'll see notable sights and landmarks including the Houses of Parliament.Finally, your last visit will be the miniature city of Madurodam. Your action-packed sightseeing tour ends in central Amsterdam in the evening.

$34.13 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Private Tour: Rotterdam Walking Tour Including Harbor Cruise

Your walking tour departs from central Rotterdam at your chosen time. As this is a private tour, the exact itinerary can be tailored to your interests; simply notify your guide which sights you'd like to see.Start with a visit to one of the most fascinating architectural projects of post-war Rotterdam, the Cubic Houses, built by renowned architect Piet Blom. Hear about Blom’s imaginative approach and designs as you step inside these unique high-density housing cubes, which are tilted on hexagonal poles. It will change your perspective on modern architecture — literally!From here, walk to the Old Harbor (Oude Haven), Rotterdam’s historic harbor whose oldest parts date back to the 14th century. Now a busy waterfront offering a number of fine restaurants and cafés, Old Harbor is perfect for an afternoon stroll. Continue to Museumpark. Wander around the park past a number of museums including the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Chabot Museum, the Kunsthal museum, Villa Sonneveld and the Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam. Next, head to the borough of Rotterdam Centrum to visit St Lauren’s Church, a beautiful 16th-century church that was heavily damaged during a bomb attack in 1940 but has been restored to preserve its former grandeur. Also known as the Great Church of Rotterdam, this is the only remaining medieval structure in the city, and offers a wonderful view of the city from its spire.Your walk will last between 2.5 and 3 hours. Afterwards, head to the Port of Rotterdam for your cruise. Learn about the long history of the port, which helped Rotterdam develop from a small town into a major harbor city. The port expanded heavily, eventually becoming the largest port in Europe (it was the busiest port from 1962 to 2002, until Singapore snagged the title, followed by Shanghai).Rest your feet on a 75-minute narrated cruise along Rotterdam Harbor. Take in the city skyline and get a unique view of the harbor shipyards, docks and shipping containers, ending with a view of the Rotterdam steamship, the former cruise flagship of the shipping company Holland America Line. Your tour ends back at the port.

$172.38 Day Trips & Excursions

Rotterdam, Delft, The Hague from Amsterdam plus Spido Boat

Meet your guide and driver at a centrally located meeting point in Amsterdam; the Heineken Experience. A comfortable 90-minute ride in an air-conditioned luxurious minivan will get you to the first destination of Rotterdam. Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and quite famous for its commercial harbor. Here you will have the chance to enjoy a 75-minute Spido boat tour, the best way to view one of one of the world’s largest ports. See Rotterdam’s imposing skyline, cutting-edge architecture, harbors, shipyards, and docks. Your next stop is the picturesque city of Delft, birth and final resting place of Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. Known as the Princes’ city, it is also where countless members of the Dutch royal family have moved, married, and been buried for centuries. Visit Delft’s canal-streaked historic town center, packed with inspiring historical monuments including Old Church, New Church, and the town hall. While in Delft, you will also visit De Delftse Pauw, a factory specializing in handmade Delft Blue pottery, the most coveted porcelain since the 17th century. The next city is The Hague, which in addition to being the seat of the Dutch government, is also home of the Dutch royal family and the third largest city in the country. The Hague is where most foreign embassies in the Netherlands are located, as well as 150 international organizations, including the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. It is also home to the Peace Palace, a number of royal palaces, Mauritshuis (featuring work by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Andy Warhol, among others), and Binnenhof (the Dutch parliament). Enjoy a transfer back to Amsterdam at the end of your tour and get a better understanding of life outside the cultural capital. This tour is operated as a small-group tour in a luxurious minivan, making your tour a more personalized experience without large crowds.

$16.78 Sightseeing Tickets & Passes

Madurodam Miniature Park Admission Ticket

Visit: MadurodamMake your own way to The Hague, an hour south of Amsterdam, to spend a day at Madurodam. This open-air park is home to a range of perfect 1:25 scale models of Holland’s famous attractions, landmarks, castles, windmills, canals, tulip fields and more.View amazing miniature models of the stately Peace Palace, Rijksmuseum, Binnenhof complex, Delta Works, Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and the historical Port of Rotterdam.Holland’s story comes to life with multimedia visuals and interactive exhibits: operate the Oosterschelde storm surge barrier, load containers on a cargo ship at the Rotterdam port, take off with a plane from the airport or make a bid at the flower auction.Visiting the whole park takes roughly two hours, depending on your pace. Your ticket is valid for one visit.

$34.71 Private & Custom Tours

Private Rotterdam Walking Tour Including Cube House Entrance

Meet your private guide at the central station of Rotterdam under the 'meeting cloud'. From here you will start your 2-hour walking tour. Your guide will provide an overview of the city's history as you take in several historic sites, including the Town Hall, St. Laurens Church, and the first high-rise building in Europe. Learn what happened in the WWII bombings and why Rotterdam boasts such a wealth of modern architecture.Next you’ll see some examples of the most modern structures. Admire the new and imposing Markthal, the famous cube houses, and the Erasmus Bridge. The tour also includes admission to the Cube House Museum.Continue your walk along the lovely shopping streets and experience the lifestyle of modern Rotterdam. Feel free to ask your guide as many questions as you like!

$21.98 Tours & Sightseeing

Rotterdam Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Pass

Rotterdam is one of Europe’s largest ports, and is known for its maritime history and pretty riverside setting. See its highlights from a hop-on hop-off City Sightseeing bus, and travel around town at your own pace!Your tour includes stops at six key sites around the city, allowing you to hop on and off whenever you please. If you'd prefer, you can also do a full loop of the tour, taking approximately 1 hour. As you travel, you can also take full advantage of our included audio on-board commentary, giving you all the information you need to know about this beautiful city! The commentary is accessible in English, Spanish, German, French and Dutch. The first stop along the route is Central Station, hop-on here and admire the views from our open-top deck of one of the largest stations in the country. It's also a perfectly situated stop for those travelling into the city via Central Station - you can begin your tour with City Sightseeing Rotterdam straight away! Dive into the history of Rotterdam at Museum Park, hop-off and visit the Museum Quarter where you will find many interesting collections portraying Rotterdam's unique culture and historic background as well as modern pieces of artwork by iconic artists such as Picasso! There's plenty to see and do at this Museum and when you're finished, you can take a peaceful stroll around the beautiful surrounding urban park.One of the most iconic landmarks in Rotterdam is the Euromast. The Euromast is an observation tower and was the tallest building in the city for many years until 1968, when it was overtaken. In 1970, the tower added the Euroscoop, re-gaining it's top spot as the tallest building in Rotterdam again! Today, visitors can explore the Euromast and even enjoy a dinner at it's built-in restaurant over 150 metres in the air - it's arguably the best place to experience panoramic views of Rotterdam and an experience that won't be easy to forget!Another of the city's iconic landmarks is the Erasmusbrug, the city's cable-stayed bridge that connects the North and Southern parts of Rotterdam. It is the second largest bridge in the whole of the Netherlands.Hop-off at Stop 6, the Markthal, where you can get a real feel for the culture of Rotterdam and what it's like to live there! Try some traditional Dutch foods and drinks or have a look at some Dutch souvenirs to take home! The tour stops along the route are as follows: Central Station Museum Park Euromast Erasmusbridge Kop Van Zuid (Cruise Terminal) Market Hall