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Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Rotterdam is known in the Netherlands and abroad as city of great architecture, thanks to its modern and daring constructions. Within just a couple of square kilometres in the city centre, you can get a complete overview of imposing architecture from the 20th and 21st centuries. From striking pre-war buildings like the City Hall, the Van Nelle factory and the Witte Huis (the first skyscraper in Europe) to the famous Cube Houses designed by Piet Blom, the Erasmus Bridge by Ben van Berkel to innovative architecture from the 21st century like De Rotterdam by OMA (Rem Koolhaas) and the Market Hall by MVRDV. This juxtaposition of old and new generates the unique Rotterdam atmosphere – and the city is still a work in progress, where new buildings continue to rise. This skyline has no competition in the Netherlands.

Rotterdam: World Port World City

As the largest Port in Europe, the Port of Rotterdam makes a significant contribution to Rotterdam’s international reputation. This region is one of the main drivers of the Dutch economy and defines the character of this city on the Maas. If you truly want to experience the essence of Rotterdam, the port is key. The enormous port area extends about 40 kilometres from Rotterdam into the North Sea.

The Maasvlakte II expansion was added to ensure that Rotterdam could maintain its competitive edge compared to other port cities. Its construction was a major accomplishment, demonstrating serious technical ingenuity: by spraying layers of sand to create new land off the coastline, Rotterdam and the Netherlands gained an additional 20 km² in total surface area. The new port and industry region is well on its way to becoming the most sustainable and innovative port in the world.

Rotterdam’s maritime flavour is intensified by the Maas River, which runs through the city and out to sea. The riverbank offers the best views of the Rotterdam skyline. Former inner harbour areas, like the Kop van Zuid peninsula and Katendracht, have since been transformed into metropolitan districts with an international, post-industrial style.

Rotterdam: City of Festivals and Culture

As host to an eclectic mix of festivals and events, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Port of Rotterdam North Sea Jazz Festival and Robin Rotterdam Unlimited, Rotterdam has earned a reputation as the festival city in the Netherlands. The city also has a surprising excellent art and culture scene.

Rotterdam was the winner of the 2010 IEFA World Festival & Event City award. The International Festival and Events Association praised Rotterdam for its positive local environments supporting festivals and events world-wide. The prevalence of professional organisations with creative ideas in Rotterdam is enhanced by the city’s excellent infrastructure.

Rotterdam is also a fertile breeding ground for art and culture. A major exhibition in the Kunsthal, an enthralling concert in the De Deolen or that fun little art gallery in Witte de Withstraat: the full scope of arts and culture is an entrinsic part of the city’s allure. The city offers top museums that present exceptional exhibitions, such as the Kunsthal and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, but also boasts numerous smaller galleries. Feast your eyes and ears on the great shows in the many Concert Halls and Theatres in Rotterdam.

Rotterdam: Cosmopolitan City

Rotterdam is a thriving cosmopolitan city with a wealth of cultures and ethnicities from all over the world. The 170 different nationalities add to the city’s dynamic, international character and atmosphere.

Rotterdam has the youngest population of any city in the Netherlands. This youthful energy is expressed in an urban youth culture, a richly diverse array of festivals and events, a unique assortment of shops and a city serving every cuisine under the sun. From classic French cuisine to spicy and exotic dishes, Rotterdam has it all.


1. Cosmopolitan city Rotterdam is a thriving cosmopolitan city, with a wealth of cultures and ethnicities from all over the world, Rotterdam has more than 170 nationalities.

2. Experience in trade and shipping Rotterdam embodies to this date more than 400 years successful experience in trade and shipping.

3. Largest port in Europe Rotterdam is the Gateway to Europe. It is currently Europe’s largest and one of the top 5 most important ports in the world.

4. Strategic location in Europe Rotterdam is strategically located in the European market with excellent access by road, rail, air and water. It is also connected to a vast network of fibre optic cables and pipelines.

5. Entrepreneurial city Rotterdam is an entrepreneurial city. The city’s ‘room for initiatives’ concept and its ‘down to work’ mentality make the city a stepping stone for entrepreneurs.

6. Wealth of knowledge Rotterdam is home to top quality international renowned knowledge institutions and universities and boasts a talented and highly-skilled workforce.

7. Attractive price/quality ratio Rotterdam is a ‘budget-friendly’ city. It has an attractive price quality ratio when it comes to housing and real estate.

8. City of Architecture Rotterdam is known for its rich architectural heritage & design.

9. Modern vibrant city Rotterdam is a young, trendy and dynamic city and is the most modern city in the Netherlands. Rotterdam has a vibrant cultural scene and a wonderful assortment of shops, attractions, festivals, restaurants – almost 100 cuisines – and parks.

10. Festival and event city Rotterdam is great for sport and event lovers. It is the ‘event’ city of the Netherlands with a broad variety of international sports and cultural events.

Information courtesy of Rotterdam Info

Cathedral of Rotterdam – Grote- of St. Laurenskerk. The Grote of Sint Laurenskerk, which is known locally as Laurenskerk or Laurens Church, is been Rotterdam’s ‘cathedral’ for many centuries. Built some time between 1449 and 1525, Laurenskerk is the only surviving late-Gothic building from the original mediaeval city of Rotterdam.

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Euromast Rotterdam. The Euromast Tower is the highest observation tower in the Netherlands. At 100 metres, the tower provides a fantastic panoramic 360° view of the city and much further afield. Visitors who want to go even higher can take the Euroscope, a rotating lift, another 85 metres to the top

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The Cube Houses were designed by Piet Blom, who saw his design as a tree and the entire complex as a forest. Blom wanted to develop a village within a large city; a safe haven where various different functions could take place.

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During a day trip to Kinderdijk, you will meet Holland below sea level. Kinderdijk is the only place in the world with so many windmills so close together in an authentic polder landscape.

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On 15 July 1915, Queen Wilhelmina laid the foundation stone for the City Hall on Coolsingel, opposite Stadhuisplein. The monumental building has a symmetrical design, constructed around a courtyard, with the main entrance in the middle.

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Beeldenroute Westersingel. Along the Westersingel canal, which runs between Chinatown and the Museumkwartier, the Beeldenroute Westersingel (Westersingel Sculpture Route) displays various works of art from Rotterdam’s International Sculpture Collection

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Drijvend Paviljoen – Floating Pavilion is a complex consisting of three floating half-spheres. The structure will be 12 metres tall, with a total floor area the size of four tennis courts, and will be fully relocatable. For the first five years, the futuristic pavilion will be moored in the Rijnhaven, serving as an exhibition and reception space.

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De Doelen is a famous concert hall and prominent congress centre, the meeting point for various gatherings in the heart of the city. De Doelen is named after the former music centre that was destroyed during the bombing of May 1940.

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Pannenkoekenboot Rotterdam. Sail and eat all the pancakes you can manage! This is possible all year round on board the Pannenkoekenboot (Pancake Boat) in Rotterdam. Enjoy all the pancakes you can eat while sailing past the striking skyline or through the impressive harbours.

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Blijdorp Zoo. Blijdorp is one of the most beautiful zoos in Europe, with plenty to see and do. Blijdorp is home to giraffes, gorillas and polar bears and more, all of which have their own unique living quarters. One of the highlights is the Oceanium, where you can literally walk among the fish.

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De Kuip (Feyenoord stadium). Book a Feyenoord Tour! The 90-minute tour takes you past the beautiful and exceptional nooks and crannies in De Kuip stadium complex. Be inspired by the guides and their authentic Feyenoord stories, as well as the history of the best stadium in the Netherlands.

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The Nederlands Fotomuseum is a multi-functional museum that provides insight into all different aspects of photography. Not only does the museum have various exhibition programmes with famous international photographers and young talent, you can also view the digital collection (over 100.000 photographs), relax in the film lounge, or visit the photography library.

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Kunsthal Rotterdam is an exceptional exhibition building, where around 25 exhibitions are held annually. The Kunsthal displays culture in the widest sense of the word: classical and contemporary art, design and, photography, from elitist to popular.

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Shopping in Rotterdam. Rotterdam is a fabulous shopping city any season of the year. Even on Sunday, when many shops in this country close their doors for a day off, shopaholics can indulge themselves in Rotterdam. The shops in the city centre are open seven days a week. From exclusive to popular, from megastore to small boutique, situated in an arcade or a bustling street, Rotterdam has it all.

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Waterbus is the daily fast ferry with a stop in Rotterdam next to the Erasmusbridge and Spido. Waterbus sails between Rotterdam and Dordrecht, and the Drecht-cities. From stop “Rotterdam Erasmusbrug” another ferry service departures called “Aqualiner” and sails towards Katendrecht (close to museum and hotel “ss Rotterdam”), Lloydkwartier (close to Euromast) and Heijplaat-RDM with active harbour-area for cycling and exhibitions during summer.

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