Advance Planning

Three months before Book your accommodation – hotels here fill up fast.

One month before Check the websites of De Rotterdam Tours and Urban Guides to see what architecture tours are being offered during your stay.

One week before Check the Agenda section of the Rotterdam Tourist Information website to find out what festivals and events are on, and find out whether tickets should be booked.


Rotterdam Tourist Information ( The official tourist office website is a treasure-trove of city information.

City Rotterdam ( Useful information about attractions, festivals and more.

Lonely Planet ( Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Top Tips

  • Purchase a 1-, 2- or 3-day Rotterdam Welcome Card from one of the tourist-office branches – these offer free travel on the RET public transport network and a discount of 25% or more on a large range of attractions and tours, including cruises and the major museums.
  • Purchase and charge an OV Chipkaart ( so that you can hop on and off the city's trams, metros, buses and waterbuses easily, and save money at the same time.
  • Take at least one guided architecture tour while here – you can do these on foot, bicycle and boat.
  • Hop on board a watertaxi – they're fast, comfortable and loads of fun.

What to Take

  • Good walking shoes – the best way to explore is on foot.
  • An umbrella and sweater, as the weather is notoriously unpredictable.
  • Electrical adaptor (Europe, two pronged).
  • At least one credit card (or European debit card), as a growing number of businesses don't accept cash.

What to Wear

Rotterdammers are a casual lot, and are far more likely to be clad in jeans than in designer duds. You won't need to dress up for dinner, or to get past the door at bars and clubs. Waterproof coats or jackets are a good idea at all times of the year, as the city has a high rainfall.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Check to see if you need a visa; if you do, apply well in advance of your trip.
  • If you're visiting between April and September, make hotel reservations well ahead of time.
  • Book tickets for the North Sea Jazz Festival online as soon as its program is announced.