The city of many faces and the “Gateway to the World”—Rotterdam. Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the country, next to Amsterdam. 

Above all the many “descriptions” there are for it, one thing’s for sure and will always stick, it is the architecture city of the Netherlands. Here, there is always a change in its skyline; nothing is always the same. Amid the skyscrapers, you can taste, feel, see, and touch Dutch’s wonderful innovations to breathe new life to the city. 

rotterdam guide the gateaway guide to the world

In the whole of Europe, the city has the biggest seaport. It gained its nicknames “Gateway to the World” or “Gateway to Europe” because of the Rhine, Meuse, and Scheldt that provides access into the heart of Western Europe. Check out this ultimate Rotterdam guide. 

What To See & Do

Have you ever seen houses that are tilted 45-degree on their side? Perhaps, you haven’t yet; and now that you’re here, you need to check out The Cube Houses In Rotterdam. There are plenty of architectural sites in the city, and you don’t want to miss the Erasmus Bridge

Dive deep into their culture and check out the many Rotterdam museums. Do you love architecture? The Netherlands Architecture Institute is a gem. 

Just like Amsterdam, there are plenty of interesting neighborhoods you can explore here as well, such as the Delfshaven where you can feel and see the city pre-war It is one of the few places in the city that was spared during WWII bombing runs. There are a lot of things to see in this neighborhood you shouldn’t miss. 

The Old Harbor (Oude Haven) located in the Maritime District is worth a visit as well, if you’re into boats. Here, you will find plenty of restored historic boats, and there are houseboats where locals live in as well. 

There are cafes and restaurants in the area. When the weather is good, you can sit outside these establishments to enjoy people watching or you can stroll around and watch the boats getting repaired or painted. 

While you’re in the area, you can walk to the Maritime Museum Rotterdam that will let you see the city’s connect to the sea and its famous waterways. You can also check out the Maritime Museum Harbor an open-air facility that is home to the well-preserved 19th-century Buffel and an old lightship. 

Whether you’re going with kids or not, the Rotterdam Zoo is something you should check out.The zoo has a botanical garden and Oceanium as well as breeding programs to help endangered species, such as the Red Panda. The zoo is split into various themed areas, such as the Malayan Forest, Mongolian Steppes, and a crocodile river. 

Furthermore, your time in the city won’t be complete without visiting a church (even if you’re not religious!). The Great St. Lawrence Church, or the Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk is special because it is all that’s left of the city’s medieval buildings. The church’s bright interior combined with the stained windows will struck you the moment you step inside. While you’re here, check out the famous Danish organs. You can get a guided tour as well. 

Of course, you should also see the impressive Markt Hall, which is also known as Koopboog by locals. If you’re into architecture (even if you’re not), you’re going to appreciate this! The arched ceiling of its food hall covered in massive murals of fish, vegetables, and other produce. 

Where To Stay In Rotterdam

In a city as big as Rotterdam, there are many hotels to stay in. Hotel New York is a popular accommodation with its unique rooms and great views of the city’s skyline. For the backpackers, you can check out the hostels in Rotterdam. Check out the world renowned Cube Houses in the city and stay a night at Stayokay Rotterdam. 

Looking for a more intimate place to stay in? There are Rotterdam bed and breakfasts as well, such as the Rooms on Water that will give you a unique experience. Perhaps you’re looking for a place for a group while you’re in the city? Bed & Breakfast Maria is also an excellent place to stay in. It’s clean and cozy, and you get to have a relaxing time at the garden and terrace. 

There are also holiday homes in Rotterdam you can stay in, such as the Urban Residences. If you’re looking for a more private place, this beautiful secluded cottage will be perfect for a small group. It’s close to the Rotterdam Tram Museum. 

How To Get To Rotterdam

Getting to Rotterdam can be done in various ways—from across the country and abroad. You can take the bus, train, plane, car, or even a bike. 

Plane

If you are coming from a different country, there are now more European cities that provide direct flights to Rotterdam The Hague Airport. 

You can check out these following airlines: 

  • Transavia
  • British Airways
  • TUlfly Belgium
  • TUIfly Nederland
  • Corendon fly

From the Rotterdam The Hague Airport, you can get to the heart of the city via car or public transport. 

Train

An easy way to get to Rotterdam is to travel by train via the Rotterdam Central Station. 

From Amsterdam, Schiphol, and Breda: Take the NS Intercity Direct, which runs twice per hour. 

From France and Belgium: Take the Thalys, which runs ten times per day. 

From the United Kingdom: You will arrive direct by Eurostar. 

Car

You can reach Rotterdam via car as well using the following motorways: 

  • A4
  • A13
  • A15
  • A16
  • A20

You can clearly spot the exits to Rotterdam Centrum on these motorways. 

Boat

You can travel to the city by ferry from the United Kingdom. There are ferry services that provide regular services between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. 

Bus

There are several bus routes that connect the centre to several city districts and neighborhoods. 

Where To Eat In Rotterdam

Don’t worry; when you’re in the city of Rotterdam, you won’t go hungry. There are plenty of places to eat, and you can explore various dishes. 

By Jarmusch is one of the best places to have breakfast in the city. Enjoy their delicious pancakes. Take advantage of the good weather and dine al fresco in the courtyard. Aside from their pancakes, they also have waffles, acai bowls, and a lot of delicious options. 

If you’re craving something sweet, but you’re watching your calories, the Yoghurt Barn is where you should go for that sweet fix. They offer different types of yoghurt. However, if it’s your first time, you should try their specials, such as the Energy Explosion. The place is cozy as well, which makes it a great area to relax in if you want to chill for a couple of hours. 

Since the city is known for its biggest port in Europe, it should come as no surprise that there’s an abundance of seafoods here, such as oysters. You can indulge in delicious and fresh oysters at The Oyster Club. It’s a great dinner place and perfect for date nights as well. Aside from oysters, they also have lobster, sushi, sashimi, and meat. 

For that late-night runs in the city, feast in pizza at Old Scuola where they prepare the Fior di latte mozzarella, buffallo mozzarella, and burrata based on their own recipes. They are also popular for their fresh ingredients that come from Dutch water buffalo and cows. Pizzabakers is also a great place to have pizza in. Their pizza are cooked in a traditional Italian wood oven that will make you feel like you’re having your slice in Italy. 

Alfredo’s Taqueria, on the other hand, is perfect for guests who are craving Mexican food. They serve delicious tacos and burritos. You can also have a drink or two here because they serve cocktails. 

For vegan tourists, Rozey is a hotspot in the city; it’s the first city in the country where you can indulge in unlimited vegan and vegetarian dishes all night for a fixed price. There are 55 dishes on the menu that you can choose from. Indeed, this is vegan heaven!

Non-vegans can also enjoy food at another vegan hotspot, which is the Vegan Junk Food Bar, where you can eat delicious 100% plant-based snacks. Here you can enjoy healthy junk foods, such as flash fries and velvet cakes. 

When it’s time to for sinful sweets, Baker’s Dough is heaven. There are different kinds of cookie dough here with all sorts of delicious toppings such as Snicker Cookie Dough, and you can even have cookie dough ice cream. 

Get to know more about Rotterdam and other cities in the Netherlands here at Ask The Dutch Guy. Browse our topics today!

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