As the Dutch centre of modern architecture and big city vibes, there are lots of things to do in Rotterdam.
This vibrant city is home to Europe’s largest port, the only skyline in the Netherlands, and a melting pot of cultures.
With a knack for innovation and some of the most unique architecture in the country, here are 32 things to do in Rotterdam that will guarantee an unforgettable trip.
- 1. Gorge yourself at the food stalls and restaurants of Markthal
- 2. Visit the beloved Blijdorp Zoo
- 3. Ascend the Euromast Tower for some city-wide views
- 4. Order a pint at Witte de Wittstraat
- 5. Enjoy the art at Depot Boijmans van Beuningen
- 6. Explore Rotterdam’s Oude Haven (Old Harbour)
- 7. Get fanatical at Feyenoord Stadium
- 8. Sleep in a floating home at Wikkelboat
- 9. Have a picnic at Het Park
- 10. Enjoy the abstract modern architecture of Cube Houses
- 11. Soak in nature at Trompenburg Gardens & Arboretum
- 12. Discover a small city at Miniworld Rotterdam
- 13. Marvel at the exhibitions in the Nederlands Fotomuseum
- 14. Take a stroll through Kralingse Plas and Bos
- 15. Admire the Sint Laurenskerk
- 16. Watch some movies at KINO Theatre
- 17. Explore Rotterdam’s Museumpark
- 18. Drink up at the National Jenever Museum Schiedam
- 19. Watch a classical concert at De Doelen
- 20. Walk along the famous Erasmusbrug and the Willemsbrug
- 21. Check out the art installations at De Kunsthal Rotterdam
- 22. Jam out at the North Sea Jazz Festival
- 23. Enjoy some pancakes and the river views on the Pannenkoekenboot
- 24. Shop till you drop at the Koopgoot
- 25. Get a history lesson at Museum Rotterdam
- 26. Board the SS Rotterdam for a tour
- 27. Visit the historical Delfshaven
- 28. Grab a bite to eat at Fenix Food Factory
- 29. Browse Rotterdam’s street art
- 30. Take a boat tour down the river Maas
- 31. Catch a show at the Luxor Theatre
- 32. Get a glimpse of naval history at the Maritime Museum
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1. Gorge yourself at the food stalls and restaurants of Markthal
Markthal features restaurants and food stalls with all kinds of cuisine, from sushi and tapas to frietjes and kapsalons — a real testament to Rotterdam’s multiculturalism.
This food hall is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat, with the building acting as a modern take on a marketplace, merging Rotterdam’s famous architecture with traditional markets.
💰 Price: Food and snacks from the hall run between €3 and €15, while a restaurant dish can cost up to €20
⏰ Opening hours: Open all week, with varying opening hours
📍 Location: Ds. Jan Scharpstraat 298, 3011 GZ Rotterdam
2. Visit the beloved Blijdorp Zoo
Blijdorp, officially known as the Rotterdam Zoo, is one of the most fun things to do in Rotterdam. Here, you’ll find botanical gardens, an aquarium, and all kinds of enclosures for over 180 species.
Our top tip: check out the animal feedings. You can see heaps of different types, including polar bears, sharks, and penguins. Wat leuk! (How nice!)
READ NEXT | Dierentuinen: 10 best zoos in the Netherlands
💰 Price: €23.50 for ages 12 and above, discounted for children (prices are lower if you buy them online)
⏰ Opening hours: Every day from 9 AM to 5 PM
📍 Location: Blijdorplaan 8, 3041 JG Rotterdam (main entrance)
3. Ascend the Euromast Tower for some city-wide views
You can buy tickets to check out the 96-metre-high observation deck and book a table at the restaurant after you’ve soaked up all the views.
Feeling extra bold? Why not go rappelling off the side of the building?
💰 Price: Entry to the observation deck is €8.00 for children ages 4 to 11, €12.50 for people ages 12 to 64, €10.00 for people aged 65+
⏰ Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 AM to 10 PM, closed on Mondays
📍 Location: Parkhaven 20, 3016GM, Rotterdam
4. Order a pint at Witte de Wittstraat
There is nothing more Dutch than finding a terrasje (terrace), ordering a beer and some borrel snacks, and hanging out with your friends.
What was once a place for cars is now a place for people.— Melissa & Chris Bruntlett (@modacitylife) February 5, 2022
Before the pandemic, Rotterdam’s Witte de Withstraat was a car-choked thoroughfare.
Today, cars are banned, and terraces have taken the place of on-street parking spaces; part of a program that converted 1,000+ citywide. pic.twitter.com/agx7fidBkE
Witte de Withstraat in the centre of Rotterdam is one of the cosiest spots in the whole city, and you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants to suit your mood.
💰 Price: Depends on what you buy, but a pint of beer usually costs between €2 and €4
⏰ Opening hours: Most bars and restaurants are typically open between 10 AM to 12 AM
📍 Location: Witte de Withstraat, Rotterdam
5. Enjoy the art at Depot Boijmans van Beuningen
If you love art and modern architecture, visiting the Boijmans van Beuningen Depot is one of the perfect things to do in Rotterdam.
The Depot is the only publicly-accessible art depot in the world, with over 150,000 art items stored there.
Not to mention, the reflective panel on the building’s exterior gives it a cool, modern look, right in the centre of the city.
💰 Price: Free for children under 18, €10 for students, and €20 for adults
⏰ Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 AM to 6 PM, closed on Mondays
📍 Location: Museumpark 24, 3015 CX Rotterdam
6. Explore Rotterdam’s Oude Haven (Old Harbour)
The Oude Haven (Old Harbor) is one of the oldest ports in Rotterdam — but believe us, this is no ugly industrial port.
Here, you can enjoy cafés, bars, and restaurants, take a stroll along the water, and admire the boats docked in the harbour.
💰 Price: Meals at a restaurant usually cost between €10 and €20 for a plate, and beverages can cost between €1 and €4.
⏰ Opening hours: Depends on the restaurants, bars, and cafés, however, they are generally open from 12 PM to 12 AM
📍 Location: Oude Haven, Rotterdam
7. Get fanatical at Feyenoord Stadium
Affectionately nicknamed De Kuip (The Tub), a visit to the Feyenoord stadium is one of the coolest things to do in Rotterdam — and a must-visit for any football fan.
Visitors can tour the whole stadium and check out the museum of one of the biggest Dutch teams.
And if you’re extra lucky, you may even plan your trip when the Feyenoord team has a match in their home stadium. Score!
💰 Price: €15 for people ages 15 and up for the stadium tour, match ticket prices vary
⏰ Opening hours: Vary, tours available Wednesday to Saturday
📍 Location: Van Zandvlietplein 1, 3077 AA Rotterdam
8. Sleep in a floating home at Wikkelboat
A water mattress is one thing, but imagine drifting to sleep while your entire house floats on water. Turns out that in Rotterdam, living out this impossible fantasy has actually been made possible.
Thanks to Wikkelboat, you can make your inner mermaid/merman come to life by floating on these tiny homes through the waters in Rotterdam and Den Bosch.
Not only that, but there are also potentially private jacuzzis, televisions, or massages onboard.
Who else is curious to find out what kind of marine-themed dreams that night of sleep conjures up? 👀 🐟
💰 Price: €181.48 for Wikkelboat 2, €213.84 for Wikkelboat 4
⏰ Opening hours: You can check the full availability per boat on Wikkelboat‘s website
📍 Location: The Rotterdam Rijnhaven (Antoine Platekade 995, 3072 ME Rotterdam) or The Rotterdam Wijnhaven (Wijnhaven 2, dockside, 3011 WP Rotterdam)
9. Have a picnic at Het Park
Het Park is one of Rotterdam’s most picturesque spots, with loads of picnic space and greenery to enjoy.
Get your biggest blanket, pack all your favourite snacks, and find a comfy spot to share a bite with your friends and family!
💰 Price: Free
⏰ Opening hours: All day, every day, but it’s best to go during the daytime
📍 Location: Baden Powelllaan 2, 3016 GJ Rotterdam
10. Enjoy the abstract modern architecture of Cube Houses
It’s not a real visit if you don’t have “check out the architecture” on your list of things to do in Rotterdam!
The Cube Houses (Kubuswoningen) are one of the city’s most iconic attractions. Dutch architect Piet Blom designed these residential houses in the shape of a cube — and then turned them on a 45-degree angle!
Ever wondered what it would be like to live there? You can buy a ticket to check out the interior of one of the Cube Houses and get a feel for the architecture!
💰 Price: €3 per person
⏰ Opening hours: Every day from 11 AM to 5 PM
📍 Location: Overblaak 70, 3011MH Rotterdam
11. Soak in nature at Trompenburg Gardens & Arboretum
With plenty of trees, shrubs, and flowers, Trompenburg Gardens and Arboretum is the perfect place for anyone with a green thumb or walkers who are looking to get away from the bustling city outside.
Located just outside the city centre, this 20-acre botanical garden has lots of unique flora, from cacti to varieties of oak, and rhododendrons.
12. Discover a small city at Miniworld Rotterdam
Enchanting for both children and adults alike at Miniworld Rotterdam, you can take a look at some of the most famous landscapes and areas in Rotterdam on a tiny scale. Talk about adorable!
Discover Dutch suburbian life, the coastal and polder landscapes, and even get a simulation of day and night time with a change in the lighting.
💰 Price: Free for children until age 3, €9.25 for children ages 4 to 12, €14.70 for people ages 12 and above
⏰ Opening hours: Wednesdays to Fridays from 12 PM to 5 PM, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM to 5 PM, Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
📍 Location: Weena 745, 3013 AL Rotterdam
13. Marvel at the exhibitions in the Nederlands Fotomuseum
The Nederlands Fotomuseum showcases Dutch photography to preserve its heritage and traditions through several permanent and temporary exhibits.
The museum hosts several activities and workshops throughout the year by artists and photographers.
💰 Price: €7 for adults aged 18 to 25, €14 for adults aged 25+, free for kids and teens
⏰ Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM
📍 Location: Statendam 1, 3072 MD Rotterdam
14. Take a stroll through Kralingse Plas and Bos
If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, Kralingse Plas and Bos (lake and forest) is the perfect place to go.
Located in the suburbs of Rotterdam, this pocket of nature is lovely for taking walks in the day and soaking up the natural surroundings.
You can also get sporty and take a run or cycle around the forest. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, there are heaps of water sports on the lake, including fishing, rowing, and sailing.
READ NEXT | Hikes and walks in Rotterdam: 12 places for the perfect nature escape
💰 Price: Free
⏰ Opening hours: Every day but best during the daytime
📍 Location: Langepad 2, 3062 CJ Rotterdam
15. Admire the Sint Laurenskerk
Sint Laurenskerk (Saint Lawrence Church) is one of the only structures remaining from medieval Rotterdam after World War II.
This beautiful Protestant church sits right in the centre of Rotterdam, right next to the Markthal and the Cube Houses.
You can climb the tower and view Rotterdam from a gorgeous vantage point or admire the church’s interior, including the largest organ in the Netherlands!
💰 Price: €3 for adults and free for children under the age of 12 to visit the church, €7.50 and €4 to climb the tower.
⏰ Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11 AM to 5 PM from November until February and 10 AM to 5 PM from March to October.
📍 Location: Grotekerkplein 27, 3011 GC, Rotterdam
16. Watch some movies at KINO Theatre
If you’re a sucker for gezellig vibes, KINO Theatre is perfect for you.
Located right in the city centre, KINO Theatre has cute screening rooms and all the indie films and snacks you could ask for.
You can watch a movie for a fraction of the price compared to other movie theatres and support local Rotterdam businesses. What’s not to love?
💰 Price: €7.5 for children until age 12, €12 for regular tickets
⏰ Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays from 10 AM to 10 PM, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM to 12 AM
📍 Location: Gouvernestraat 129-133, 3014 PM, Rotterdam
17. Explore Rotterdam’s Museumpark
Just like Amsterdam’s Museumplein, Rotterdam has its very own Museumpark!
If you’re ever in the mood to check out some art exhibitions and installations, a walk through the park will certainly give you some inspiration.
💰 Price: Free
⏰ Opening hours: All day, every day but best during the daytime
📍 Location: Museumpark, 3015 CR Rotterdam
18. Drink up at the National Jenever Museum Schiedam
Did you know the Dutch have their own version of gin, called jenever? They like it so much, they even have a museum dedicated just to the liquor!
Suitable for groups of friends or a day with your SO, you can find out about jenever’s history, how it’s made, and even try some authentic jenever yourself at the National Jenever Museum. Lekker!
READ NEXT | Day trip to Schiedam: things to see and do in the gin capital of the world
💰 Price: €2.50 for children ages 6 to 12, €7.50 for children ages 13 to 17, €12.50 for adults, jenever tasting starting at €5.50
⏰ Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM
📍 Location: Lange Haven 74, 3111 CH, Schiedam
19. Watch a classical concert at De Doelen
De Doelen Concert Hall is the home turf of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and is one of the best spots to watch a concert in the country.
De Doelen primarily hosts concerts for classical music, but you can still watch all kinds of musical groups, acts, and performances.
💰 Price: Depends on the concert programme, but usually between €10 and €20 per ticket
⏰ Opening hours: Varies depending on the day and the concert programme
📍 Location: Schouwburgplein 50, 3012 CL Rotterdam
20. Walk along the famous Erasmusbrug and the Willemsbrug
The Erasmusbrug is famous for its unique shape, nicknamed “the Swan” for its light colour and neck-like appearance. The Willemsbrug is an older, red bridge, slightly further down the Maas river connecting the northern part of Rotterdam to the Feijenoord neighbourhood.
Visitors can enjoy strolling along the river and walking across the bridges in their full glory, both in the daytime and at night!
21. Check out the art installations at De Kunsthal Rotterdam
De Kunsthal is one unique cultural institution in Rotterdam, hosting over 20 different exhibitions per year, from fashion and photography to contemporary art and design.
The Kunsthall offers access to several art instalments, activities, workshops, and events, so get your tickets ASAP!
💰 Price: Free for children until age 17, €8.25 for students and adults until age 26, €16.50 for adults
⏰ Opening hours: 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Monday to Saturday
📍 Location: Westzeedijk 341, 3015 AA Rotterdam
22. Jam out at the North Sea Jazz Festival
North Sea Jazz Festival to Rotterdam is what Coachella is to California. For three days in July, visitors come from all over the Netherlands (and the world) to watch concerts by all kinds of artists and performers.
Despite the name, North Sea Jazz does not only showcase jazz music acts (although their jazz performers are absolutely killer). The North Sea Jazz Festival is usually held at Rotterdam Ahoy, Rotterdam Zuid’s event hall.
Past acts include Toto (yes, the guys who sang Africa), Herbie Hancock, Alicia Keys, and Jamiroquai.
💰 Price: Typically between €100 and €300, depending on how many days you want to visit.
⏰ Opening hours: Friday to Saturday from 3 PM to 1 AM
📍 Location: Ahoyweg 10, 3084 BA Rotterdam
23. Enjoy some pancakes and the river views on the Pannenkoekenboot
Eating pancakes and boating down the river Maas is one of the essential things to do in Rotterdam. And you can do both on the Pannenkoekenboot!
This boat is not actually made of pancakes, but you’ll still enjoy a sail down the Maas river while munching on some delicious Dutch pannenkoeken for an hour or two in the inner part of this floating restaurant.
It’s a memorable activity for families, friends, and anyone looking for an authentic pannekoek.
💰 Price: €16.50 for children ages 3 to 11, €21.50 for people ages 12 and up.
⏰ Opening hours: Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 AM to 9 PM, Sundays and Wednesdays from 9 AM to 7 PM, closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays
📍 Location: Parkhaven 13, 3016 GM Rotterdam
24. Shop till you drop at the Koopgoot
Translating to “The Shopping Gutter”, the Koopgoot is anything but a gutter. If you’re looking for a new pair of jeans or want to buy someone a souvenir for your visit, shopping at the Koopgoot is a must-do in Rotterdam.
The sunken shopping area connects the big shopping streets (Lijnbaan and Hoogstraat) to the Beurs metro station — so you’re sure to find everything you’re looking for at this shopping spot.
💰 Price: Free to window shop 😉
⏰ Opening hours: Depends on the shop, but generally from 10 AM to 10 PM on weekends and until 7 PM on weekdays
📍 Location: Beurstraverse 186, 3012 AT Rotterdam
25. Get a history lesson at Museum Rotterdam
From a close connection to its port and harbour to a solemn World War II experience, Rotterdam is a city with one of the most interesting histories in the country.
If you’re interested in learning about the city’s past, you should consider this museum as one of your things to do in Rotterdam.
Visitors can look at an exhibit and immerse themselves in their multimedia experience about Rotterdam during World War II.
💰 Price: Free for children until the age of 17, €9 for adults
⏰ Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 AM to 5 PM, Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM, Closed on Mondays
📍 Location: Coolhaven 375, 3015 GC Rotterdam
26. Board the SS Rotterdam for a tour
The SS Rotterdam is a former ocean liner and cruise ship docked in Rotterdam as a hotel and restaurant.
The ship used to be part of Holland America Line, carrying passengers back and forth from Rotterdam to New York back in the day.
Nowadays, if you’re looking for a fancy hotel to stay in or get a good bite to eat at a unique, the SS Rotterdam is your place to go. You can also book a guided tour and explore the interior of the steamer.
💰 Price: Depends on where you eat and if you’re staying at the hotel
⏰ Opening hours: Depends on the hotel and restaurant
📍 Location: 3e Katendrechtse Hoofd 25, 3072 AM Rotterdam
27. Visit the historical Delfshaven
If you want to see some traditional architecture in Rotterdam, visiting Delfshaven is one of the loveliest things to do in Rotterdam.
This particular neighbourhood in Rotterdam is one of the only spots to survive the bombings during World War II and maintain some of the traditional facades of Dutch homes.
Delfshaven is perfect for any lowkey activities like walking your dogs, having a drink on a terrasje (terrace), or simply wandering around the city.
💰 Price: Depends
⏰ Opening hours: All day, every day
📍 Location: Delfshaven, Rotterdam
28. Grab a bite to eat at Fenix Food Factory
Fenix Food Factory is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat or do your weekly grocery shopping!
You can buy your regular food products for home but also try out some special beers, coffees, and snacks from all kinds of food stalls and stands.
There’s also plenty of space to sit down, whether it’s to have a drink or eat a full meal! Get yourself a chair and enjoy some good food with your friends and family.
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💰 Price: Depends on the food and drinks you order, but meals typically cost between €10 and €20 while drinks costs between €2 and €5.
⏰ Opening hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays and Sundays from 8 AM to 10 PM, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 AM to 11 PM, closed on Mondays
📍 Location: Nico Koomanskade 1025, 3072 LM Rotterdam
29. Browse Rotterdam’s street art
Plenty of artists like to use the facades of Rotterdam’s buildings for their large murals — and we have to say, they only add to Rotterdam’s character!
There are some designated art routes you can pick and walk along yourself, or perhaps you’re curious to spot some murals just as you pass throughout the city.
You can download an app that shows you the different routes and is constantly updated.
💰 Price: Free
⏰ Opening hours: All day, every day
📍 Location: Scattered around the city — you might run into some art without realising!
30. Take a boat tour down the river Maas
Your trip to Rotterdam would be incomplete without a boat tour on your list of things to do — after all, it is a port city. 😉
Take a tour of all the major spots on Rotterdam’s river and relax as the boat whisks you around, completely stress-free. Different boating companies have different routes and pick-up/drop-off points, and add-on experiences, so you can certainly find a tour that suits your interests.
For example, you can do a boat tour and borrel, or get a tour of the Euromast after you’ve gone cruising on the waters. Other boat trips visit the popular harbours around the city, while others will show you highlights of Rotterdam’s skyline.
💰 Price: Varies but usually between €10 and €30 for children and €15 to €50 for adults
⏰ Opening hours: Usually between 10 AM and 5 PM
📍 Location: Depends on where you want to start and end your tour. Most boat tours board and depart along the river Maas
31. Catch a show at the Luxor Theatre
The Luxor Theatre has two auditoriums, one in the city centre and one in the city south, affectionately referred to as the ‘old’ and ‘new’ theatre — and both are perfect for movie buffs!
Visitors can enjoy various performances, from operas and musicals to cabaret and plays. Now lights, camera….action! 🎥
💰 Price: It depends on the show you want to watch and the seating rank but tickets usually cost between €15 and €50 per ticket.
⏰ Opening hours: 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Monday to Saturday
📍 Location: Posthumalaan 1, 3072 AG, Rotterdam (Nieuwe Luxor Theatre), Kruiskade 10, 3012 EH, Rotterdam (Oude Luxor Theatre)
32. Get a glimpse of naval history at the Maritime Museum
Rotterdam wouldn’t be where it is today without its historic harbours and invaluable port.
Rotterdam and the sea are practically inseparable, and you can learn all about the city’s naval and maritime history at the Maritime Museum.
The museum has many exhibits and displays to explore, detailing all kinds of interesting stories from history.
💰 Price: Free for children under the age of 4, €12 for children aged 5 to 12, €11 for students, €16 for adults
⏰ Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 AM to 5 PM, Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM, and closed on Mondays
📍 Location: Leuvehaven 1, 3011 EA Rotterdam
Whether you’re in the city for a day, a week, or a year, you’ll find a load of fun and exciting things to do in Rotterdam. Now, go forth and get that travel itinerary ready!
What’s your favourite activity in Rotterdam? Tell us in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in January 2023, and was fully updated in September 2023 for your reading pleasure.