Start your exploration at one of Rotterdam's most impressive examples of architecture, Centraal Station. Purchase and charge an OV Chipkaart from the ticket office, grab a city map from the Tourist Information desk and then walk down the Lijnbaan, the world's first pedestrianised shopping mall. Visit Museum Rotterdam to learn about the city's history and culture and then walk east to the Meent shopping and eating precinct.
Start your afternoon at the Markthal, the city's iconic modern food market, and then make your way to the Leuvehaven watertaxi stop. Take a watertaxi to the Hotel New York stop and then wander around Wilhelmenapier (aka Kop van Zuid), admiring the many significant buildings that have been constructed here in recent decades and enjoying a coffee and drink at the Hotel NY Terrace Bar if the weather allows. Then walk over the Rijnhaven pedestrian bridge to Katendrecht, where you can visit another popular food market, the Fenix Food Factory.
- Dinner For a casual meal, try Posse; for something more sophisticated, CEO Baas van Het Vlees. Book ahead for the latter.
Finish the day with a cocktail in the nhow Bar in Rem Koolhaas' iconic De Rotterdam building.
Devote the morning to the wonderful Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, admiring its collection of Dutch, Flemish, Impressionist and Modern masterpieces, and checking out its design collection and temporary exhibitions.
- Lunch Adjourn to the museum's Babel Restaurant to enjoy a light lunch and lovely views of the sculpture garden.
- Centrum & Westen
Take the audiotour of the Huis Sonneveld (Sonneveld House), a wonderful example of 1930s Dutch Functionalism, and then hop on a tram to historic Delfshaven, one of the only historic neighbourhoods in Rotterdam to emerge unscathed from the WW2 bombings. Wander around the canal, pausing to enjoy one of the house brews at Stadsbrouwerij De Pelgrim.
- Dinner Head back to Centrum to eat at somewhere on or around Witte de Withstraat – Supermercado, Dertien, Ter Marsch & Co and Bazar are only a few of the choices on offer. For dessert, try the sensational gelato at De IJsmaker.
After dinner, relax in one of the nearby bars or clubs.
After enjoying breakfast at the hip Urban Espresso Bar, check out the exhibitions being staged in the Rem Koolhaas-designed Kunsthal and then cross Westzeedijk and explore the leafy green Het Park, a popular urban escape for Rotterdammers of every age.
- Lunch Claim a striped deckchair on the lawn at Parqiet and enjoy a gourmet sandwich, excellent coffee or herbal tea.
After lunch, make your way to the Euromast watertaxi stop and call for a watertaxi to take you to the Boompjes or Leuvehaven stop, from where you can visit the Maritiem Museum Rotterdam and then join the after-work crowd over a cocktail at sophisticated Stirr or a beer at down-to-earth Biergarten.
- Dinner Try one of the neighbourhood bistros in Noord – Tosca, Zino's Urban Bistro and Angelo Betti will all fit the bill.
Dinner finished, join the jazz aficionados at Bird Jazz Club at Station Hofplein, where you can while the night away listening to world-class jazz acts.
Hop on a tram or metro and head to the historic town of Schiedam, where you can climb to the top of the Korenmolen de Walvisch, one of the highest windmills in the world, before taking a Whisper Boat tour along the town's canals, passing historic distilleries, mansions and warehouses on your journey.
- Lunch Have a quick bite at Korenbeurs, a charming cafe in a branch of the Schiedam Library. Browse a book or take advantage of the free wifi while you do so.
- Schiedam & Centrum
Visit the National Jenevermuseum Schiedam, viewing its displays about the history of the jenever (traditional Dutch gin) trade and tasting the real thing. Then head back towards Rotterdam's city centre.
Spend your last night in town in the Suicide Club, a rooftop bar where you can dance and drink the night away while admiring the city skyline.