Rotterdam, the second-largest city of the Netherlands, is located in the province of South Holland and has a history that goes back to 1270.
Did you know that Rotterdam is Europe’s largest port?
The story of the city, the bombardment and reconstruction, and the drive to innovate that locals still use today to shape their city, all make Rotterdam a fascinating place to visit. Everything seems possible here and there’s so much left to explore. Is Rotterdam a must-see? Absolutely!
A multi-faceted city with layers of history, Rotterdam is one of the most intriguing cities in the Netherlands. Some of the top attractions you shouldn’t miss are the Rotterdam Markthal, Hofbogen, the Euromast observation tower, Rotterdam’s beaches, and canals:
The Erasmus Bridge is a beautiful combination of art and technology and can be counted among the architectural style of Supermodernism. This Rotterdam icon is 800 meters long and 139 meters high. Thanks to the bent asymmetrical steel pylon, the bridge is also known as ‘De Zwaan’ (The Swan). The bridge was designed by architect Ben Berkel and officially opened in 1996. It connects the city centre with the new district called Kop van Zuid.
This is one of those architectural feats that will definitely blow your mind. The Cube Houses were designed in the seventies by Piet Blom. He turned an ordinary cube-shaped house 45 degrees and put it on a hexagonal pylon. Every house represents a tree, so all the houses together form a forest. Nicknames for the Cube Houses include Huubkuberkluber, the Blaakse Bos and the Paalwoningen. Because they do not have a straight wall, buying furniture is difficult.
Rotterdam Central Station is one of the most iconic architectural sites in Rotterdam. The roof over the tracks is covered in solar panels and the striking hall roof points towards the city centre. A number of historic elements from the former station building have been re-used, like the original clock in the front façade and the letters spelling out ‘Centraal Station’. In the main hall you can find shops, public transport information and the Rotterdam Tourist Information.
The Netherlands used to be a world-power and that meant that they had quite a powerful navy. The Maritime Museum is located in the oldest and largest museum port in the Netherlands. Go on a journey through the country’s maritime past and also discover the present. Listen to stories, admire masterpieces and experience the historic ships in the museum harbor. Learn about the enormous influence of the maritime world on the daily lives of people in the Netherlands.
The White House
Rotterdam has its own White House! This house, built in Art Nouveau style, was designed by architect Molenbroek. The 43-meter high building was the first skyscraper in the Netherlands and even in Europe with 10 floors. As if by a miracle, it survived all bombings in Rotterdam during the Second World War. On the flat roof is a viewing platform that can be reached by elevator. After you’ve enjoyed the view, you can go for a snack and a drink on the ground floor.
You’ll find an indoor market hall in various world-class cities, but the combination with luxury housing makes Rotterdam’s Markthal the first of its kind. The apartments are arched over the food market in a horseshoe configuration. The main hall houses the market itself, as well as shops and various restaurants, with a supermarket and a four-storey car park situated below. Look up to enjoy the massive artwork sprawled across the ceiling.
Getting around Rotterdam:
Thanks to its strategic position in Europe, the city can be reached by plane, train, ship, coach or car. Many business and conference locations, hotels and other amenities are within walking distance of each other. Connections in Rotterdam arise naturally, maybe exactly because of these very short distances.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Rotterdam is just 26 minutes away from the world’s 2nd largest international hub, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The direct high speed train to Rotterdam Central Station departs five times per hour from the airport. To show you how easy it is, please view our instruction video on how-to-get-to-Rotterdam.
• 26 min to Rotterdam Central Station
• 300 direct destinations
• 4,633 flight per week
• 63 million passengers each year
Rotterdam Airport is a comfortable and easy regional airport, making it an ideal hub for your European delegates. Travel times between the airport and the city are excellent: 15 minutes by taxi and 20 minutes by public transport (airport shuttle & metro) to Rotterdam Central Station.
• 15 min to Rotterdam Central Station
• 40 European destinations
• Quick and easy access
• Low cost carriers
One of the fastest and easiest ways to get to Rotterdam is to travel by train.
International direct trains from Belgium, France, the UK and Germany arrive
and many times a day at Rotterdam Central Station.
• Schiphol Airport 0 hr 26 minutes
• Antwerp 0 hr 30 minutes
• Brussels 1 hr 11 minutes
• Paris 2 hr 36 minutes
• London 3 hr 01 minute
Rotterdam can easily be reached by car, using the A4, A13, A15, A16 and A20 motorways. Exits to Rotterdam Centrum are clearly marked on signs.
Obviously, any true port city can be reached by boat! You can travel to Rotterdam by ferry from the United Kingdom. P&O Ferries and Stena Line offer regular ferry services between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Stena sails from Harwich, England to Hook of Holland, and it takes 30 minutes to travel from there to Rotterdam. P&O sails from Hull to Rotterdam Europoort. De Jong tours operates a shuttle service between Rotterdam Europoort and the city.
Big city on a small scale Rotterdam has a compact and easily accessible city centre. Downtown Rotterdam offers a wide variety of flexible conference centres, hotels and social venues that are all close by, mostly within walking distance.
Thanks to the compact city centre and efficient public transport system, there is no need to provide bus transfers. Unlimited travel and discounts For travelling with public transport in Rotterdam a public transport chip card is required. With this chip card you can check in and check out at all metro stations and in trams and buses of the RET in Rotterdam for 1, 2 or 3 consecutive days. Rotterdam Partners Convention Bureau can provide you with discounted travel passes including the Rotterdam Welcome Card. Please see this page for more information.