Rotterdam: Wikis


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—  Municipality / City  —
Skyline of Rotterdam with lights commemorating the Rotterdam Blitz


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Rotjeknar, Rottedam, Rotjeknor, Waterstad, Maasstad, Manhattan aan de Maas,The Docks,Porfotto,Rottingham, Roffa,Roffadam,Stad zonder hart[citation needed]
Motto: Sterker door strijd (Stronger through struggle)
Location of Rotterdam
Coordinates: 51°55′51″N 4°28′45″E / 51.93083°N 4.47917°E / 51.93083; 4.47917
Country Netherlands
Province Zuid-Holland
 - Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb
 - Aldermen Lucas Bolsius
Leonard Geluk
Rik Grashoff
Hamit Karakus
Jantine Kriens
Peter Lamers
Dominic Schrijer
Hans Vervat
Area [1]
 - Municipality / City 319 km2 (123.2 sq mi)
 - Land 206 km2 (79.5 sq mi)
 - Water 113 km2 (43.6 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2007)[1][2]
 - Municipality / City 589,615
 Density 2,850/km2 (7,381.5/sq mi)
 Metro 1.186.990
 - Demonym Rotterdammer
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Area code(s) 010

Rotterdam (pronounced /ˈrɒtərdæm/; Dutch Nl-Rotterdam.ogg [rɔtərˈdɑm] ; the Latinised adjectival form for the city is Roterodamus) is a city and municipality in the Dutch province of South Holland, situated in the west of the Netherlands. The municipality is the second largest in the country, with a population of 589,615 as of October 2009. The greater Rotterdam area, best known as 'Rotterdam-Rijnmond'/'Rijnmond region' (Rijnmond is to be literally translated as 'The Rhine's mouth', referring to Rotterdam its location at the end of the Rhine-delta and it's economic position as Europe's main port) contains around 1.3 million people (by some standards it rather approaches 2 million inhabitants). It forms the southern part of the Randstad, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in Europe, with a population of 6.7 million.

The port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe. From 1962 to 2004 it was the world's busiest port until surpassed by Shanghai. Rotterdam is on the banks of the river Nieuwe Maas ('New Meuse'), one of the channels in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse rivers. The name Rotterdam derives from a dam in the Rotte river.



On 1 January 2007 (source: Statistics Netherlands), the municipality covered an area of 319 km2 (206.44 km2 of which is land) with a population of 584,046. It is part of a larger metropolitan area with a total population (including Dordrecht and surrounding cities) of approximately 1.6 million. In 1965, the municipal population of Rotterdam reached its peak of 731,000, but by 1984 it had decreased to 555,000 as a result of suburbanization.

Rotterdam consists of 11 submunicipalities: Charlois (including Heijplaat), Delfshaven, Feijenoord, Hillegersberg-Schiebroek, Hoek van Holland, Hoogvliet, IJsselmonde, Kralingen-Crooswijk, Noord, Overschie, and Prins Alexander (the most populous submunicipality with around 85,000 inhabitants). Two other areas, Centrum ('Center') and Pernis, do not have official submunicipality status.

Rotterdam is in the Zuidvleugel ('South Wing') of the Randstad ('Rim City') conurbation, with 6.7 million inhabitants, the sixth largest metropolitan area in Europe (after Moscow, London, the Ruhr Area, Istanbul, and Paris). The Zuidvleugel includes Leiden, The Hague, Zoetermeer, Delft, Vlaardingen, Schiedam, Capelle aan den IJssel, Spijkenisse and Dordrecht, and has a population of around 3 million.

Municipal additions

The current size of the municipality of Rotterdam is the result of the amalgamation of the following former municipalities,[3] some of which now are a submunicipality:


For the destruction of the city center in 1940, see Bombing of Rotterdam
Rotterdam, by Johan Barthold Jongkind (1856)
Rotterdam, by James Webb (before 1895)
Rotterdam centre after the 1940 aerial bombing. The ruined Laurens Church has been restored.

Settlement at the lower end of the fen stream Rotte (or Rotta, as it was then known, from rot, 'muddy' and a, 'water', thus 'muddy water') dates from at least 900 CE. Around 1150, large floods in the area ended development, leading to the construction of protective dikes and dams, including Schielands Hoge Zeedijk ('Schieland’s High Sea Dike') along the northern banks of the present-day Nieuwe Maas. A dam on the Rotte or 'Rotterdam' was built in the 1260s and was located at the present-day Hoogstraat ('High Street').

On 7 June 1340, Count Willem IV of Holland granted city rights to Rotterdam, which then had approximately 2000 inhabitants. Around 1350 a shipping canal, the Rotterdamse Schie was completed, which provided Rotterdam access to the larger towns in the north, allowing it to become a local transshipment center between Holland, England and Germany, and to urbanize.

The port of Rotterdam grew slowly but steadily into a port of importance, becoming the seat of one of the six 'chambers' of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), the Dutch East India Company.

The greatest spurt of growth, both in port activity and population, followed the completion of the Nieuwe Waterweg in 1872. The city and harbor started to expand on the south bank of the river. The Witte Huis or White House skyscraper,[4] inspired by American office buildings and built in 1898 in the French Chateau-style, is evidence of Rotterdam's rapid growth and success. When completed, it was the tallest office building in Europe, with a height of 45 m (147.64 ft).

During World War II, the German army invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. Adolf Hitler had hoped to conquer the country in just one day, but his forces met unexpectedly fierce resistance. The Dutch army was finally forced to capitulate on 14 May 1940, following Hitler's bombing Rotterdam and threatening to bomb other Dutch cities. The heart of Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed by the Luftwaffe; 30,000 civilians were killed and 80,000 made homeless. The City Hall survived the bombing. Ossip Zadkine later strikingly captured the event with his statue Stad zonder hart ('City without a heart'). The statue stands near the Leuvehaven, not far from the Erasmusbrug in the centre of the city, on the north shore of the river Nieuwe Maas.

Rotterdam was gradually rebuilt from the 1950s through the 1970s. It remained quite windy and open until the city councils from the 1980s on began developing an active architectural policy. Daring and new styles of apartments, office buildings and recreation facilities resulted in a more 'livable' city center with a new skyline. In the 1990s, the Kop van Zuid was built on the south bank of the river as a new business center.


Overall the demographics differ per city area. According to a recent area analysis city centre has a singles population of 70%, between the age of 20 and 40, considerably more than other city areas. Also the city centre has a much larger population of people with higher education and higher income. Nonetheless 80% of the homes are rented not owned. City centre also has a higher percentage (51% vs 45%) of foreigh born citizens (Dutch: Allochtonen). The majority (70%) of shops is also run by foreign born citizens.[5]

Ethnic make-up

Figures are from 2008:

In the Netherlands, Rotterdam has the highest percentage of foreigners from non-industrialised nations. They form a large part of Rotterdam's multi ethnic and multicultural diversity. Nearly 50% of the population are of non Dutch origins or have at least one parent born outside the country. Recent figures show that Muslims comprise close to 25% of the city's population.[6] The current mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, is of Moroccan descent and is a practicing Muslim. The city is home to the largest Dutch Antillean community and the largest community of people from Cape Verde. The city also has its own China Town at the (West-) Kruiskade, close to the central railway station.

Historical population

  • 1796: 53,200 inhabitants
  • 1830: 72,300
  • 1849: 90,100
  • 1879: 148,100
  • 1899: 318,500
  • 1925: 547,900
  • 1965: 551,000
  • 1984: 555,000
  • 2005: 596,407
  • 2006: 588,576
  • 2007: 584,046


A satellite image of Rotterdam and its port
Climate diagram

Rotterdam is divided into a northern and a southern part by the river Nieuwe Maas, connected by (from west to east): the Beneluxtunnel; the Maastunnel; the Erasmusbrug ('Erasmus Bridge'); a subway tunnel; the Willemsspoortunnel ('Willems railway tunnel'); the Willemsbrug ('Willems Bridge'); the Koninginnebrug ('Queen's Bridge'); and the Van Brienenoordbrug ('Van Brienenoord Bridge'). The former railway lift bridge De Hef ('the Lift') is preserved as a monument in lifted position between the Noordereiland ('North Island') and the south of Rotterdam.

The city centre is located on the northern bank of the Nieuwe Maas, although recent urban development has extended the center to parts of southern Rotterdam known as De Kop van Zuid ('the Head of South', i.e. the northern part of southern Rotterdam). From its inland core, Rotterdam reaches the North Sea by a swathe of predominantly harbor area.

Built mostly behind dikes, large parts of the Rotterdam are below sea level. For instance, the Prins Alexander Polder in the northeast of Rotterdam extends 6 meters below sea level, or rather below Normaal Amsterdams Peil (NAP) or 'Amsterdam Ordnance Datum'. The lowest point in the Netherlands (6.76 meters (22 ft) below NAP) is situated just to the east of Rotterdam, in the municipality of Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel.

The Rotte river no longer joins the Nieuwe Maas directly. Since the early 1980s, when the construction of Rotterdam’s second subway line interfered with the Rotte’s course, its waters have been pumped through a pipe into the Nieuwe Maas via the Boerengat.

Commerce and industry

Landmark building the Willemswerf. Its architecture features the 'N' of Nedlloyd.

Rotterdam has always been one of the main centers of the shipping industry in the Netherlands. From the Rotterdam Chamber of the VOC, the worlds first multinational, established in 1602, to the merchant shipping leader Royal Nedlloyd established in 1970, with its corporate head quarters located in the landmark building the 'Willemswerf' in 1988. In 1997 Nedlloyd merged with the British shipping industry leader P&O forming the third largest merchant shipping company in the world. The anglo-Dutch P&O Nedlloyd was bought by the Danish giant corporation 'AP Moller Maersk' in 2005 and its Dutch operations are still head quartered in the 'Willemswerf'. Rotterdam is also home to the Dutch half of the anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever, and Mittal Steel Company N.V., subsidiary of Luxembourg-based Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steel company.

The Erasmus University has a strong focus on research and education in management and economics. The University is located on the east side of the city and is surrounded by numerous multinational firms. On Brainpark I, Brainpark II, Brainpark III and Het Rivium are located offices of major multinationals. In the center of the city are the above-mentioned Unilever offices, but also Robeco, Fortis (including Mees Pierson and Stad Rotterdam Verzekeringen), ABN AMRO, ING (Nationale Nederlanden), the Rotterdam WTC, and the before mentioned Maersk Line who incorporates the Dutch merchant marine legacy.


The Waalhaven by night
Unmanned vehicles handle containers at Europe Container Terminals (ECT), the largest container terminal operator in Europe.

Rotterdam has the largest port in Europe, with the rivers Meuse and Rhine providing excellent access to the hinterland upstream reaching to Basel, Switzerland and into France. In 2003 Singapore took over, and in 2005 Shanghai, as the world's busiest port. In 2006, Rotterdam was the world's seventh largest container port in terms of Twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) handled.[7]

The port's main activities are petrochemical industries and general cargo handling and transshipment. The harbour functions as an important transit point for bulk materials and between the European continent and overseas. From Rotterdam goods are transported by ship, river barge, train or road. In 2007, the Betuweroute, a new fast freight railway from Rotterdam to Germany, has been completed.

In 1872, the Nieuwe Waterweg ('New Waterway') opened, a ship canal constructed to keep the city and port of Rotterdam accessible to seafaring vessels as the natural Meuse-Rhine channels silted up. The canal proper measures approximately 6.5 kilometers (4 mi) from the western tips of its protruding dams to the Maeslantkering ('Maeslant Barrier'). Many maps, however, include the Scheur as part of the Nieuwe Waterweg, leading to a length of approximately 19.5 kilometers (12 mi).

In the first half of the twentieth century, the port's center of gravity shifted westward towards the North Sea. Covering 105 square kilometers (40.5 sq mi), the port of Rotterdam now stretches over a distance of 40 kilometers (25 mi). It consists of the city center's historic harbor area, including Delfshaven; the Maashaven/Rijnhaven/Feijenoord complex; the harbors around Nieuw-Mathenesse; Waalhaven; Vondelingenplaat; Eemhaven; Botlek; Europoort, situated along the Calandkanaal, Nieuwe Waterweg and Scheur (the latter two being continuations of the Nieuwe Maas); and the reclaimed Maasvlakte area, which projects into the North Sea.

The construction of a second Maasvlakte received initial political approval in 2004, but was stopped by the Raad van State (the Dutch Council of State, which advises the government and parliament on legislation and governance) in 2005, because the plans did not take enough account of environmental issues. On 10 October 2006, however, approval was acquired to start construction in 2008, aiming for the first ship to anchor in 2013.


Rotterdam has one major university, the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), named after one of the city's famous former inhabitants, Desiderius Erasmus. The Woudestein campus houses (among others) the Rotterdam School of Management. In Financial Times' 2005 rankings it placed 29th globally and 7th in Europe. In the 2006 rankings of European Masters of Management, the school reached a second place with the CEMS Master in Management and a thirteenth place with its RSM Master in Management. The university is also home to Europe's largest student association, STAR Study Association RSM Erasmus University.

The Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam's main art school, which is part of the Hogeschool Rotterdam. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious art schools in the Netherlands and the number 1 in Advertising and Copywriting. Part of the Willem de Kooning Academy is the Piet Zwart Institute for postgraduate studies and research in Fine Art, Media Design and Retail Design. The Piet Zwart Institute boasts a selective roster of emerging international artists.

The Hoboken campus of EUR houses the Dijkzigt (general) hospital, the Sophia Hospital (for children) and the Medical Department of the University. These are known collectively as the Erasmus Medical Center, which is ranked third worldwide for medical research,[citation needed] behind the Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. The Erasmus Medical Center ranks as the top European institution in clinical medicine[8] according to the Times Higher Education rankings. As a combined medical treatment and research center it is particularly noted for its patient cohort studies in which large numbers of patients are followed for long periods of time.[citation needed]

There are also three Hogescholen (Universities of applied sciences) in Rotterdam. These schools award their students a professional Bachelor's degree and postgraduate or Master's degree. The three Hogescholen are Hogeschool Rotterdam, Hogeschool INHOLLAND and Hogeschool voor Muziek en Dans (uni for music and dance) which is also known as CodArts.


Rotterdam waterfront, with spotlights shining into the air to commemorate the Rotterdam Blitz

Alongside Porto, Rotterdam was European Capital of Culture in 2001. The city has its own orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra with its world famous musical director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, a large congress and concert building called De Doelen, plus many theatres (including the new Luxor theatre) and movie theatres. The Ahoy complex in the south of the city is used for pop concerts, exhibitions, tennis tournaments and other activities. A major zoo called Diergaarde Blijdorp is situated at the northwest side of Rotterdam, complete with a walkthrough sea aquarium called the Oceanium.

The city is home to the Willem de Kooning Academy and Piet Zwart Institute.

Rotterdam is currently going through somewhat of a renaissance, with some urban renewal projects featuring ambitious architecture, an increasingly sparkling nightlife, and a host of summer festivals celebrating the city's multicultural population and identity, such as the Caribbean-inspired 'Summer Carnival', the Dance Parade, Rotterdam 666, the Metropolis pop festival and the World Harbor days. The city has a few venues for pop music like Rotown, WATT, Exit. The venue WORM focuses on experimental music and related cutting edge subcultural music. There are also the International Film Festival in January, the Poetry International Festival in June, the North Sea Jazz Festival in July, the Valery Gergiev Festival in September, September in Rotterdam and the World of the Witte de With. In June 1970, The Holland Pop Festival (which featured Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, Canned Heat, It's a Beautiful Day, and Santana) was held and filmed at the Stamping Grounds in Rotterdam.

The self-image of the city is that of a no-nonsense workers' city. In that sense, there is a healthy competition with Amsterdam, which is often viewed as the cultural capital of the Netherlands. There is a saying: "Amsterdam to party, Den Haag (The Hague) to live, Rotterdam to work". Another one, more popular by Rotterdammers, is "Money is earned in Rotterdam, divided in The Hague and spent in Amsterdam". Another saying that reflects both the rivalry between Rotterdam and Amsterdam is "Amsterdam has it, Rotterdam doesn't need it".

Rotterdam has had a rich hiphop music scene since the early 1980s. It is also the home of Gabber, a type of hardcore electronic music popular in the mid-1990s, with hard beats and samples. Groups like Neophyte and Rotterdam Terror Corps (RTC) started in Rotterdam.

The main cultural organisations in Amsterdam, such as the Concertgebouw and Holland Festival, have joint forces with similar organisations in Rotterdam, via A'R'dam. In 2007 these organisations published with plans for co-operation.[9] One of the goals is to strengthen the international position of culture and art in the Netherlands in the international context.


Rotterdam has many museums. Well known museums are the Boijmans-van Beuningen Museum, the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute), the Volkenkundig Museum (foreign peoples and cultures), the Kunsthal (design by Rem Koolhaas),the center for contemporary art Witte de With,[10] the Maritiem Museum[11] and the Brandweermuseum (Fire brigade museum). The Historisch Museum [2](Historical museum) has two buildings: the Dubbelde Palmboom and the Schielandshuis. Other museums include the tax museum and the nature historical museum. At the historical shipyard and museum Scheepswerf 'De Delft the reconstruction of Ship of the Line 'De Delft' can be visited.[12]

Architecture and skyline

Modern residential architecture (cube houses) in the city centre of Rotterdam.
The Erasmus Bridge and Wilhelminapier

In 1898, the 45 meter high-rise office building the White House (or in official Dutch Witte Huis) was completed, at that time the tallest office building in Europe. In the first decades of the 20th century, some influential architecture in the modern style was built in Rotterdam. Notable are the Van Nelle fabriek (1929) a monument of modern factory design by Brinkman en Van der Vlugt, the Jugendstil clubhouse of the Royal Maas Yacht Club designed by Hooijkaas jr. en Brinkman (1909), and Feyenoord's football stadium de Kuip (1936) also by Brinkman en Van der Vlugt. The architect J. J. P. Oud was a famous Rotterdammer in those days. During the early stages of World War II the center of Rotterdam was bombed by the Germans, destroying many of the older buildings in the center of the city. After initial crisis re-construction the center of Rotterdam has become the site of ambitious new architecture.

Rotterdam is also famous for its Kubuswoningen or cube houses built by architect Piet Blom in 1984. In addition to that there are many international well known architects based in Rotterdam like O.M.A (Rem Koolhaas), MVRDV, Neutelings & Riedijk and Erick van Egeraat to name a few.

Rotterdam houses several of the tallest structures in the Netherlands.

  • The Erasmus Bridge (1996) is a 790-meter (2,600 ft) cable stayed bridge linking the north and south of Rotterdam. It is held up by a 138 meters (453 ft) tall pylon with a characteristic bend, earning the bridge its nickname 'De Zwaan' ('the Swan').
  • Rotterdam has the tallest residential building in the Netherlands: the Montevideo Tower (160 m (524 ft)).
  • Rotterdam is also home to the tallest office building 'Delftse Poort' (160 m (520 ft)) which houses Nationale-Nederlanden insurance company, part of ING Group.[13][14]
  • The city also houses the 186 meters (610 ft) tall Euromast, which has long been a major tourist attraction. It was built in 1960, initially reaching a height of 101 meters (331 ft); in 1970, the Euromast was extended by 85 meters (279 ft) to its current height.

Rotterdam has a reputation in being a platform for architectural development and education through the Berlage Institute, a postgraduate laboratory of architecture, and the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute), which is open to the public and has a variety of good exhibitions on architecture and urban planning issues.

Rotterdam is standing in the best European SkylineTop together with Frankfurt, London, Paris, Brussels, Moscow, and Warsaw. Over 30 new highrise projects are being developed at the moment, including the 165 meters (541 ft) high 'Maas Tower', the 'New Orleans Tower', which will be about 158 meters (518 ft) and the Zalmhaven Urban Tower 212 meters (696 ft).[15]


Rotterdam is the home of two Eredivisie ('Honorary Division', or Dutch Premier League) football clubs, Feyenoord and Sparta, and one Eerste Divisie club, Excelsior. Rotterdam also has three Hoofdklasse (main class) clubs, SC Feijenoord (Feyenoord Amateurs), PVV DOTO and TOGR.

Feyenoord, founded in 1908 and the dominant of the three, has won fourteen national titles since the introduction of professional football in the Netherlands. It won the European Cup as the first Dutch club in 1970, and won the World Cup for club teams in the same year. In 1974, they were the first Dutch club to win the UEFA Cup and in 2002, Feyenoord won the UEFA Cup again. In 2008, the year of their 100-year-anniversary, Feyenoord won the KNVB-cup. Feyenoord also has the biggest supporter group in the Netherlands.

Seating 51,480, its 1931 stadium, called Stadion Feyenoord but popularly known as De Kuip ('the Tub'), is the second largest in the country, after the Amsterdam ArenA. De Kuip, located in the southeast of the city, has hosted many international football games, including the final of Euro 2000 and has been awarded a FIFA 5 star ranking. There are concrete plans to build a new stadium with a capacity of at least 80,000 seats. If the football worldchampionship in 2018 will go to the Netherlands and Belgium, the stadium is supposed to host the final of the tournament.

Sparta, founded in 1888 and situated in the northwest of Rotterdam, won the national title six times; Excelsior (founded 1902), in the northeast, has never won any. Nowadays Rotterdam is the only city with two (and with Excelsior sometimes even three) teams in the Eredivisie.

Rotterdam has its own annual international marathon, which offers one of the fastest courses in the world. From 1985 until 1998, the world record was set in Rotterdam, first by Carlos Lopes and later in 1988 by Belayneh Dinsamo. The marathon starts and ends on the Coolsingel in the heart of Rotterdam.

Since 1972, Rotterdam hosts the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, part of the ATP Tour.

Members of the student rowing club Skadi were part of the 'Holland Acht', winning a gold medal at the Olympics in 1996.[citation needed]

In field hockey, Rotterdam has the largest hockey club in the Netherlands, HC Rotterdam, with its own stadium in the north of the city and nearly 2,400 members. The first men's and women's teams both play on the highest level in the Dutch Hoofdklasse.

Rotterdam is home to the most successful European baseball team, Neptunus Rotterdam, winning the most European Cups.

Since 1986, the city has selected its best sportsman, woman and team at the Rotterdam Sports Awards Election, held in December.

Motor cycle speedway was staged in the Feyenoord Stadium after the second world war. The team which raced in a Dutch league was known as the Feyenoord Tigers. The team included Dutch riders and some English and Australian riders.

Tour De France

In November 2008 it was announced that Rotterdam will host the Grand Depart of the 2010 Tour De France.

"Rotterdam is a great metropolis and (as the start venue) is sure to be a big popular success – it does all it can to enable people to get around by bike," said Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme according to the AFP.

Rotterdam won the selection over the Dutch city of Utrecht. Germany's Düsseldorf had previously also expressed interest in hosting.

The Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), organizers of the Tour de France, said in a statement on its web site that it chose Rotterdam because in addition to it being another big city, like London, to showcase the use of bikes for urban transportation, it provided a location well positioned considering the rest of the route envisioned for the 2010 edition.

The start in Rotterdam will mark the fifth time The Netherlands kicks off the Tour de France. More details about the Grand Départ will be announced on December 11 in a press conference at the Nieuwe Luxor Theater in Rotterdam


Well-known streets in Rotterdam are the shopping center the Lijnbaan (the first set of pedestrian streets of the country, opened in 1953), the Hoogstraat, the Coolsingel with the city hall, and the Weena, which runs from the Central Station to the Hofplein (square). A modern shopping venue is the Beurstraverse ('Stock Exchange Traverse), better known by the informal name 'Koopgoot' ('Buying/Shopping Gutter', after its low-lying position, crossing Rotterdam's main street Coolsingel below street level).

The Blaak open market of Rotterdam

The main shopping venue in the south of Rotterdam is Zuidplein, which lies close to Ahoy' Rotterdam, an accommodation center for shows, exhibitions, sporting events, concerts and congresses. Another prominent shopping center, called Alexandrium (sometimes still called by its former name Oosterhof), lies in the east of Rotterdam. It includes a large kitchen and furniture center.

Yearly events


Rotterdam is well connected in international, national, regional and local public transport systems, as well as by the Dutch motorway system.


The 'Ring' (ring road) of Rotterdam is displayed in darker red.

There are several motorways which run to/from Rotterdam. The following four are part of its 'Ring' (ring road):

The following two other motorways also serve Rotterdam:


Much smaller than the international hub Schiphol airport, Rotterdam The Hague Airport (formerly known as Zestienhoven) is the third largest airport in the country. Located north of the city, it has shown a very strong growth over the past five years, mostly caused by the growth of the low-cost carrier market. For business travelers Zestienhoven Airport offers advantages due to rapid handling of passengers and baggage. Environmental regulations make further growth uncertain.


Rotterdam Central Station, built in 1953, demolished in 2008.
The modular, temporary station at Rotterdam

Rotterdam is well connected to the Dutch railroad system, and has several international connections. The train system hosts:

Four trainlines

Railway stations

Main connections

  • Direct international services to Belgium and France via high speed train system: Thalys
  • Frequent international trains to Antwerp and Brussels, Belgium
  • Frequent services within the Netherlands:
    • Intercity line to The Hague, Leiden, Schiphol airport and Amsterdam (north)
    • Intercity line to Utrecht and on to Deventer or Enschede (the east), Leeuwarden (north-west) or Groningen (north-east)
    • Intercity line to Dordrecht, Roosendaal and on to Vlissingen (south west)
    • Intercity line to Dordrecht, Breda, Tilburg, Eindhoven and Venlo (south east)
    • Night services every hour connecting every day of the week to Delft, The Hague, Leiden, Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, and, with a detour, Utrecht. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday night services (either direct or via a detour) to Den Bosch, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Roosendaal.
    • Several semi-fast services and local trains originate or call at Rotterdam Centraal; semi-fast services Amsterdam-Breda.
  • Detailed information available from the site of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways)[22]

Light Rail

To bridge the gap between national train services and local public transportation the Dutch Randstad has developed a regional lightrail system called Randstad Rail. First trains ran in September 2006.


In 1968 Rotterdam was the first Dutch city to open a subway system. Currently the system consists of two main lines, each of which has some variants.

Rotterdam metro
  • Erasmus Line: Rotterdam Central station - Albrandswaard (Rhoon, Poortugaal) - Hoogvliet - Spijkenisse
  • Caland Line: two lines from the northeast of Rotterdam (Ommoord and since September 2005 to the new constructed neighborhood Nesselande (before it ended at Zevenkamp which is one stop before Nesselande), both in Prins Alexander) and one from Capelle aan den IJssel join; the combined line terminated in the west of Rotterdam, but on 4 November 2002, an extension was opened: the line now connects to the main railway network at Schiedam railway station, has a stop in Pernis and joins the Erasmus Line in Hoogvliet; trains on the Caland Line, like those on the Erasmus Line, terminate in Spijkenisse.
The eastern parts of the Caland Line have some level crossings (with priority), and could therefore be called light rail instead of metro; however, they are integrated in the system; these parts have overhead wires, while the rest has a third rail, the vehicles can handle both.


Rotterdam offers 10 tramlines with a total length of 93.4 kilometers.


Rotterdam offers 38 buslines with a total length of 432.7 kilometers.

Water bus

Every half hour a water bus (Waterbus route 1) goes from Rotterdam to Dordrecht and vice versa. The trip takes an hour, inclusive stops along the way. The ferry can carry about 130 passengers and there is space for 60 bicycles. The stops are:



Since the summer of 2003 an artificial beach is created at the Boompjeskade along the Nieuwe Maas, between the Erasmus Bridge and the Willems Bridge. Swimming was not possible, digging pits was limited to the height of the layer of sand, ca. 50 cm. Alternatively people go the beach of Hoek van Holland (which is still a Rotterdam district) or one of the beaches in Zeeland or the Zuid Hollandse Eilanden: Ouddorp, Oostvoorne, Renesse.

Notable Rotterdammers

International Relations

Rotterdam has the following city and port connections throughout the world:

  • 14 Sister Cities
  • 13 Partner Cities
  • 4 Sister Ports

Twin towns - sister cities

Rotterdam is twinned with:

Partner Cities

Sister Ports



  1. ^ a b "Kerncijfers Rotterdam 2006" (PDF). City of Rotterdam. May 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  2. ^ "Randstadmonitor 2006" (PDF). Regio Randstad. January 2007. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  3. ^ Ad van der Meer and Onno Boonstra, "Repertorium van Nederlandse gemeenten", KNAW, 2006. [1]
  4. ^ "The Witte Huis or White House,". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  5. ^ Gebiedsanalyse 2006, Centrumgebied, Gemeente Rotterdam. Page 7 and 9.
  6. ^ Europe works to assimilate Muslims, Atlanta Journal Constitution
  7. ^ "Home". Port of Rotterdam. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  8. ^ Top European institutions in clinical medicine
  9. ^ "Concertgebouw and Holland Festival manifesto". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  10. ^ "Witte de With museum". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  11. ^ "Maritiem Museum official site". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  12. ^ "Scheepswerf 'De Delft' official site". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  13. ^ "ING building brief". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  14. ^ "Sky Scraper City ING site". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  15. ^ "Sky scraper city project view". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  16. ^ "International Film Festival official website". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  17. ^ "Rotterdam Marathon official website". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  18. ^ "Pleinbioscoop official website". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  19. ^ "Zomer Carnival official website". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  20. ^ "FFWD Heineken Dance Parade official website". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  21. ^ "World Port Day (Rotterdam) official website (in Dutch)". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  22. ^ "Dutch Railway website". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  23. ^ "Lile Facts & Figures". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  24. ^ Turin City Hall - International Affairs (English) Retrieved on 2008-01-26.
  25. ^ "Gdańsk Official Website: 'Miasta partnerskie'" (in Polish & English). © 2009 Urząd Miejski w Gdańsku.,62,733.html. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  26. ^ Granma - En La Habana vicealcalde de la ciudad de Rotterdam -La delegación visitante hará la entrega oficial de una donación de implementos deportivos, en momentos en que se celebra el aniversario 25 de las relaciones entre ambas urbes
  27. ^ "Saint Petersburg in figures - International and Interregional Ties". Saint Petersburg City Government. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  28. ^ "Baltimore City Mayor's Office of International and Immigrant Affairs - Sister Cities Program". Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  29. ^ "Dresden - Partner Cities". © 2008 Landeshauptstadt Dresden. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  30. ^ "Sister Cities of Istanbul". Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  31. ^ Erdem, Selim Efe (2003-11-03). "İstanbul'a 49 kardeş" (in Turkish). Radikal. "49 sister cities in 2003" 
  32. ^ "Christmas around the world". Hull in print. Kingston upon Hull City Council. 2003. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  33. ^ Partners - Oslo kommune
  34. ^ "Bratislava City - Twin Towns". © 2003-2008 Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  35. ^ "Durban Official Website: Sister Cities Home Page". © 2009 eThekwini Municipal Communications Department. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  36. ^ "Partner cities". Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  37. ^ City of Kobe - "Sister City, Friendly City, Friendship & Cooperation City". Retrieved February 15, 2007.
  38. ^ Port of Busan, Sister Ports, Busan

External links

Rotterdam travel guide from Wikitravel

Coordinates: 51°55′18″N 4°28′52″E / 51.92167°N 4.48111°E / 51.92167; 4.48111

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Erasmus bridge of Rotterdam
Erasmus bridge of Rotterdam

Rotterdam [1] is a municipality and city in the Dutch province of South-Holland, situated in the west of The Netherlands and part of the Randstad. The municipality is the second largest in the country (behind Amsterdam), with a population of approximately 600,000 people. The city has 1.3 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area.

The port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe. From 1962 to 2004, it was the world's busiest port; then it was superseded by Shanghai.

Rotterdam is known as a city of architecture. A few square kilometres of the city centre offers a complete overview of what the twentieth century has produced in terms of modern architecture.



Settlement at the lower end of the fen stream Rotte dates from at least 900. Around 1150, large floods in the area ended development, leading to the construction of protective dikes and dams. A dam on the Rotte or 'Rotterdam' was built in the 1260s and was located at the present-day Hoogstraat ('High Street').

Although Rotterdam did well after the middle ages and in the 'Golden Century' - basically between 1650 and 1750) it was not before the second part of the nineteenth century that the city started to develop itself rapidly. Helped by the digging of a new seaway (The Nieuwe Waterweg) Rotterdam was rid of acces problems caused by the silting of the river and started receiving ever bigger ships with cargo for/from the booming Ruhrgebiet in Germany. Port related trade and industry skyrocketed, and the city started to draw lots of migrants from the then poor Brabant province, for whom the southern part of the city was constructed. At the turn of the twentieth century Rotterdam was well under way to become the largest economic centre in The Netherlands. It was between then and the second world war that large prestigious construction works were undertaken, in part to show off the new found economic pride.

The German army invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. Germany had planned to conquer the country in one day, but after meeting unexpectedly fierce resistance, it finally forced the Dutch army to capitulate on 14 May 1940 by bombing Rotterdam and threatening to bomb other cities. The heart of the city was almost completely destroyed by the German Luftwaffe, and 800 people were killed, while about 80,000 others were made homeless. During the war, Rotterdam was bombed several times during allied raids that were aimed at the harbour area but sometimes also hit the city. The City Hall survived the bombing. Unlike most other European cities however, the City Council did not aim at rebuilding what was lost, but on taking the opportunity to create a 'new' and better city. Damaged but not destroyed old builings were torn down in the process.

From the 1950s through the 1970s, the city was rebuilt. It remained quite windy and open until the city councils from the 1980s on began developing an active architectural policy. Daring and new styles of apartments, office buildings and recreation facilities resulted in a more 'livable' city center with a new skyline. In the 1990s, the Kop van Zuid was built on the south bank of the river as a new business center.


In the Netherlands, Rotterdam has the highest percentage of foreigners from non-industrialised nations. Nearly 50% of the population are not native to the Netherlands or have at least one parent born outside the country. Recent figures show that Muslims comprise close to 25% of the city's population. The city is also home to one of the largest Cape Verdean communities in the world, as well as the largest Dutch Antillean community.


The atmosphere of Rotterdam is absolutely distinct from other Dutch cities. The mentality can best be described as 'can do'. From the waiters you meet to the businessmen and the people who have just arrived as migrants, all of them breathe a dynamic optimism of getting forward with things and their town. The modern looks of the city, the bustle and its building spree all add to this impression. That said, you might also find that people are sometimes somewhat too straight with you. And yes, the city is not the cosiest, or the most picturesque of towns, especially on drab winter days. But; get acquainted with this small metropolis, easiest done on days of one of the festivals with nice weather, and you will come to love it.


One may also find that visiting this city in spring or summer time is more enjoyable than in winter time, as the Netherlands can be a rainy place and Rotterdam is a city that especially gains a lot of charm when the sun is shining.

  • VVV (Tourist office), Coolsingel 5 (Metro: Stadhuis), +31(0)900-4034065 (fax: +31(0)10-2710128), [2]. Mo-Thu,Sat; 09.00-17.30,Fri; 09.00-21.00, Sun;10.00-17.00. Just slightly offset opposite of City Hall, this well equipped tourist office can provide loads of information like city maps, small guide books, souvenirs and the like. Check the website for upcoming events.  edit*
  • Use-it, Schaatsbaan 41-45 Leave Central Station towards the center. Turn right at restaurant Engels and take the 2nd right. (Metro: Centraal Station), +31 (0)10 240 91 58 (), [3]. Mo-Sat; 09.00-17.00. This friendly office is very much geared towards helping the budget traveller out. It is also a good spot to meet fellow travellers. Use-it can help with things like finding accomodation or even a temporary job in town. They rent out bicycles too.  edit*
  • Uitburo, Hoogstraat 110, inside the Centrale Bibliotheek (Metro: Blaak), +31(0)10-240 01 66, [4]. Mo; 13.00-1800, Tue-Fri 10.00-1800, Sat; 10.00-17.00, Sun; 13.00-1700. The Uitburo office inside the Cental Library provides information on theatre and music performances. It also sells tickets and offers an overview of performances that can be visited for free ('gratis').  edit*


Upcoming events and performances are listed on the VVV and Use-it websites. The larger events are well documented on the VVV site, for smaller venues check Use-it (under Calendar) for a very attractive and well updated listing of music, expositions, movies and parties that need checking out.

Twice a month the nl10 magazine is distributed around the city. You can take your free copy at a lot of locations (like bars, supermarkets, municipal offices). Besides some articles about interesting things going on in town it also has a large listing of upcoming gigs (in Dutch). Their website can also be handy. [5]

Get in

By plane

Rotterdam is served by a small airport (IATA: RTM [6]) with direct flights from selected cities in Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the United Kingdom.

  • Transavia [7] flies to Rotterdam from London (London Stansted Airport), Nice, Grenoble, Toulon, Girona, Alicante, Malaga, Friedrichshafen, Genoa and Rome (Fiumicino Airport).
  • VLM Airlines [8] flies to Rotterdam from Hamburg (Hamburg Airport), London (London City Airport) and Manchester (Manchester International Airport).

Once arrived at Rotterdam Airport you can use public transport to get in the city. RET [9] city bus 33 runs frequently to Rotterdam Centraal Station and takes you there in about 20 minutes. Bus 41 connects the airport to the Schiedam-Centrum metro- and railway station (only working days) and the small Rotterdam Noord railway station (daily).

You might have a better deal if you fly to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (IATA: AMS [10]) and take the train to Rotterdam Centraal Station, which would take about 50 minutes by intercity train. The highspeed Fyra train will take you to/from Schiphol Airport in 26 minutes. Ryanair flights go to Eindhoven (IATA: EIN [11]). The train from Eindhoven takes about 75 minutes.

By train

Rotterdam is served by an international rail link, operating out of Rotterdam Centraal Station, from Belgium and France. High-speed trains from Antwerp (Antwerpen-Berchem, 59 min), Brussels (Brussels Midi, 1 h 41 min) and Paris (Paris Nord, 3 h 11 min) are operated by Thalys [12]. Book well in advance to secure the best ticket deals. Beyond that, a (very much) slower and (slightly) cheaper intercity service, operated by Nederlandse Spoorwegen [13], links Rotterdam Centraal to Antwerp (Antwerpen Centraal, 1 h 3 min), Mechelen (Mechelen, 1 h 27 min) and Brussels (Brussels Midi, 1 h 57 min).

Rotterdam is also well served by trains from other parts of the Netherlands, with direct connections to Amsterdam, Delft, Eindhoven, Gouda, Leiden, The Hague, Utrecht and Vlissingen. See also the Netherlands page for further information on national rail.

A high speed rail link called Fyra [14] connects Rotterdam with Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport.

For onward travel Rotterdam Centraal Station is well served by bus, tram, metro and taxi.

By car

Rotterdam is easily reached by car. From Amsterdam take the A4 South to The Hague, change to the A13 to Rotterdam. From Utrecht take the A12 and change to the A20 just after Gouda. Traffic congestion on highways is common during peak hours (morning and evening commutes).

  • Parking

On street it's only possible to pay with a chip card (Dutch: Chipknip). The card has a balance in Euros and can be purchased at various points in the city, such as tobacconists and multi-storey car parks. Some meters in the center and near major attractions accept credit card. There is no option to pay with cash. Parking regulations are enforced regularly.

  • Parking garage

Parking garages can be easily found by following the sign-marked P-route, or check locations on this [15] site (Dutch only). The easiest way to pay is by credit card, just insert your card on the way in, and insert it again on the way out, and the total time is automatically deducted. You can also pay with cash, chip-knip or PIN.

  • Free parking outside the center

Park & Ride (P&R) facilities outside the center of Rotterdam offer free or cheap parking with public transport connections into the city center. Free and secure P&R facilities are: Slinge A15, Hoogvliet A15, Kralingse Zoom A16/E19 and Alexander A20/E25. For all P&R locations and information on cost and opening times, see Bereikbaarheid Regio Rotterdam [16] (Dutch only).

By bus

Eurolines [17] links Rotterdam with various cities of Europe. The Eurolines buses arrive in front of Rotterdam Centraal Station.

By boat

You can also get to Rotterdam by ferry from the United Kingdom.

  • P&O Ferries [18] has a daily overnight sailing from Kingston Upon Hull to Rotterdam Europoort. From Rotterdam Europoort P&O Ferries operates a shuttle bus service that takes you to the city center of Rotterdam. Please book this shuttle service while you book your sailing.
  • StenaLine [19] has a daily day as well as a daily overnight sailing from Harwich to Hoek van Holland. From Hoek van Holland Haven you have a connecting rail service to Rotterdam Centraal Station that takes you to the city center of Rotterdam in 30 minutes at a fare of €4.80.

Get around

By bicycle

Like any city in The Netherlands, Rotterdam is very, very bicycle-friendly. Getting around by bike is probably the fastest way of travel within the city. There are separate bike lanes on most major streets and there are separate traffic lights for bicyclists. Avoid getting your tire in the tram rails. Always cross tram rails at an angle. Always lock your bike securely when leaving it, preferably chained to a fixed object.

Renting a bike Handy places near Central Station to rent a bike are: The two official NS rental offices: 1. Leave the station in the direction of the city center. Follow the indication "stationsstalling" to your right. You will find the office in the 'Groot Handelsgebouw'. 2. Leave the station in the opposite (northern) direction. You will find the other office on your right hand, directly when leaving the building. Alternatively, try Use-it, which rents out nice Kronan bikes (Schaatsbaan 41-45, leave Central Station towards the center. Turn right at restaurant Engels and take the 2nd right).

Public transport

The public transport system in Rotterdam is very well organized. If you are not sure about which kind of public transporation route you should take, you may find advice on OV9292 [20]. All metro, tram and most bus lines are operated by RET [21].

The new national public transport ticket called OV-Chipkaart ("Public Transport chip card") has been introduced in Rotterdam. The old system called Strippenkaart is being phased out and is no longer valid on the two metro lines. The old system will be abandoned altogether (i.e. on all forms of RET public transport) on 11 February 2010.

There are major construction works at Rotterdam Centraal Station which may affect your travel. Train platforms may be closed and bus stops are being relocated. Check the Rotterdam Centraal website [22] for more information.

By metro

There are two metro lines both operated by RET. The Erasmuslijn (blue, north-south) and the Calandlijn (red, east-west). The Calandlijn has three branches east of Capelsebrug station, displays on the stations and trains will show the destination of the train. The two lines share the same track towards [Spijkenisse] west of the Tussenwater station in Hoogvliet. Interchange is possible on Beurs station in the city center.

The three Calandlijn branches operate every 10 minutes which allows 3-4 minute intervals on the main section between Schiedam-Centrum and Capelsebrug. The Erasmuslijn offers trains every 5 minutes between Centraal Station and Slinge and every 10 minutes to De Akkers. On both lines there is a more frequent service during rush hours. The Rotterdam Metro operates from 5:30 until midnight.

A renaming operation of the metro lines is currently underway. The three branches of the Calandlijn now have their own letter and color: A (green), B (yellow) and C (red). The Erasmuslijn is now line D (light blue). See [23]

You can travel with the OV-Chipkaart only on both Metro lines! The Strippenkaart is not valid.

By RandstadRail

The RandstadRail line is a lightrail link between Rotterdam (Hofplein station) and The Hague (central station). A tunnel is being build to connect the RandstadRail line with Rotterdam Centraal Station. In 2010, RandstadRail trains will be running on the Erasmuslijn to Slinge station. RandstadRail trains currently operate every 15 minutes during daytime. After 20:00h and on Saturday and Sunday there is a reduced service.

By Tram

RET operates 8 tramlines. Al tram lines except line 2 will stop at Rotterdam Centraal Station.Tram stops provide a detailed map of the public transport system. All lines operate every 10 minutes with more frequent service during rush hours on some lines. Each tram has a conductor, and currently both OV-Chipkaart and Strippenkaart are valid.

By bus

Multiple companies operate buses in Rotterdam, RET [24], ARRIVA [25], Qbuzz [26] and Connexxion [27]. These companies share some of the bus stops, but the route numbers are not interchangeable. RET is the larger operator in the city itself, while ARRIVA, Qbuzz and Connexxion service areas outside the city. The Strippenkaart can be used on all bus lines. OV-chipkaart can be used on all RET and Qbuzz lines and is currently being introduced on other operator lines in the region.

Night Bus

RET operates two night bus services [28]: the BOB-bus on Friday and Saturday nights (single fare: 4,50) and the Nachtnet on the other nights (single fare 2,50). Tickets can only be puchased by the driver, no other tickets or travel passes valid.


WaterBus [29] provides connections between Rotterdam and the Drechtsteden (Dordrecht and surrounding cities).

By taxi

Of course, you can also travel by taxi however distances in Rotterdam are relatively short. Even if you don’t have a car it is still very easy to get around by bike or public transport. But if you do need a taxi you will have to find yourself a taxi rank or call a taxi company like the Rotterdamse Taxi Centrale RTC N.V. [30] at +31 (10) 462 60 60 or the Coöperatieve Taxi Onderneming St. Job u.a. [31] at +31 (10) 425 70 00. There is a minimum taxi fare of €7.50. This includes the first two kilometers. Additionally, each subsequent kilometer is charged €2.20.

Water taxi

Rotterdam was built on a number of islands and if you want to travel from shore to shore, the nicest way to go is to take the Water Taxi. This speedboat will escort you over the Maas. They have more than 250 landing stages. Call Watertaxi Rotterdam [32] at +31 (10) 403 03 03 or check their website.

Tuk Tuk

A Thai-influenced transportation service using three-wheeled, open-air (but covered) motorized vehicles called Tuk Tuk's [33] offers a more economical and fast way to get around the city centre when compared to taxis. Tuk-tuk pricing is based on a zone system. Within a zone, a ride is €3.50 per person, €5 for 2 persons and €6.50 for 3. If you go to another zone, €3.50 is added (irrespective of number of persons). This service is handy if it is past the regular tram/bus/metro service hours (approximately half past midnight). They take reservations 24 hours a day on 0900 99 333 99 and there is a fee of €0.55 per call.


Since virtually everybody in the Netherlands speaks at least passable English, getting around should be very easy too.

City Hall
City Hall
  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Museumpark 18-20 (Metro: Eendrachtsplein), +31 (10) 441 94 00 (fax: +31 (10) 436 05 00), [34]. Tue-Sun: 11.00AM to 5.00PM; Mon: closed. The museum, founded in 1849, houses a rich, broad collection that can be generally grouped into four wings: Old Art, with masterpieces such as Pieter Brueghel the Elder's The "little" Tower of Babel (1563). The collection of Prints and Drawings and the collection of Applied Arts and Design with their international allure. And the Modern Art wing has an important collection of surrealism, prominently featuring Salvador Dalí and René Magritte. Adult: €9.00; child under 18: free entry.  edit
  • Kunsthal, Westzeedijk 341 (Metro: Eendrachtsplein), +31 (10) 440 03 00 (, fax: +31 (10) 43 67 152), [35]. Tue-Sat: 10.00AM - 5.00PM; Sun: 11.00AM - 5.00PM. An exhibition hall that houses some 25 expositions annually. The Kunsthal often experiments with themes that have never been used for an exhibition before. This approach produces a fascinating and widely varied repertoire. In total, the Kunsthal has 3,300 m² of exhibition space in a striking building, designed by OMA (Rem Koolhaas / Fuminori Hoshino) and is a true work of art all on its own. Adult: €8.50; child 6-18: €2.00; child under 6: free entry.  edit
  • NAi: Netherlands Architecture institute, Museumpark 25 (Metro: Eendrachtsplein), +31 (10) 440 12 00 (, fax: +31 (10) 436 69 75), [36]. Tue-Sat: 10.00AM - 5.00PM; Sun: 11.00AM - 5.00PM. Adult: €8.00; child 12-18: €5.00; child 4-11: €1; child under 4: free entry.  edit
  • Nederlands Fotomuseum, Las Palmas building, Wilhelminakade 332 (Metro: Wilhelminaplein), +31 (10) 213 20 11 (, fax: +31 (10) 203 04 06), [37]. Tue-Fri: 10.00AM - 5.00PM; Sat-Sun: 11.00AM - 5.00PM. The Nederlands Fotomuseum focuses on photography in the broadest sense of the word. By doing so, the museum wants to show the diversity of forms of photography. Not only as an artistic form of expression, but also and especially as a medium of social expression and commentary. Adult: €6; child under 12: free entry.  edit
Old Harbour
Old Harbour
  • Maritime Museum, Leuvehaven 1 (Metro: Churchillplein or Beurs), +31 (10) 413 26 80 (fax: +31 (10) 413 73 42), [38]. Tue-Sat: 10.00AM - 5.00PM; Sun: 11.00AM - 5.00PM; Mon: 10.00AM - 5.00PM in July and August as well as during school holidays in Rotterdam. A variety of expositions about the harbour of Rotterdam and maritime history. The museum also has an outdoor part of wich the Museumschip De Buffel is the absolute highlight. This 19th century gunboat is restored in all its glory and a must-see for naval enthousiasts. Adult: €5.00; child 4-16: €3.00; child under 4: free entry.  edit
  • Chabot Museum, Museumpark 11 (Metro Eendrachtsplein), [39]. Mo-Fri: 11.00 - 16.30; Sat: 11.00-17.00; Sun: 12.00 - 17.00. This neat little museum is housed in a splendid modernist 30's villa. It houses a collection of works of the expressionist painter Hendrik Chabot. A very recommendable if short visit for art lovers. Adult: €6.50; child under 12: free entry.  edit
  • Het Schielandshuis, Korte Hoogstraat 31 (Metro: Churchillplein or Beurs), +31 (10) 217 67 67 (, fax: +31 (10) 433 44 99), [40]. Tue-Fri: 10.00AM - 5.00PM; Sat-Sun: 11.00AM - 5.00PM. The historical museum of Rotterdam. The museum is established in the only remaining 17th century building in the city center of Rotterdam. Adult: €3.00; child under 4: free entry.  edit
  • Museum De Dubbelde Palmboom, Voorhaven 12 (Metro: Delfshaven), +31 (10) 476 15 33 (, fax: +31 (10) 478 23 76), [41]. Tue-Sun: 11.00AM - 5.00PM. Experience the atmosphere of this former warehouse and discover the exhibition on Rotterdam Junction, which shows the city's development into a world port. Adult: €3.00; child under 18: free entry.  edit
  • Natuurhistorisch Museum, Westzeedijk 345 (Next to the Kunsthal, Metro: Eendrachtsplein), [42]. Tue-Sun: 10.00AM - 5.00PM. The "Natural History Museum" Is situated in the Museumpark, near Boijmans, the NAi and the Kunsthal. It has changing expositions and a fixes collection of mammals, plants and fossiles. Adult: €4.00; child 4-15: €2.00; child under 4: free entry.  edit
  • Wereldmuseum, Willemskade 25 (Metro: Leuvehaven), +31 (10) 270 71 72 (, fax: +31 (10) 270 71 82), [43]. Tue-Sat: 10.00 - 17.00 Sun: 11.00 - 17.00. The Wereldmuseum (World Arts Museum) focuses on encounters and cross-cultural inspiration. Adult: €8.00; child 4-16: €4.00; child under 4: free entry.  edit
  • Witte de With, Witte de Withstraat 50 (Metro: Eendrachtsplein), +31 (0)10 4110144 (, fax: +31 (0)10 4117924), [44]. Tue-Sun: 11.00AM - 6.00PM. Witte de With(Centre for Contemporary Arts) exhibits, lectures, multimedia for comtemporary arts.  edit
  • Mariniersmuseum, Wijnhaven 7-13 (Metro: Blaak), [45]. Tue-Fri: 10:00-17:00, Sat,Sun: 11:00-17:00. The museum of the Marine Corps is situated in a historic building in the Oude Haven. It shows the history of the 340 years-old corps as well as it's modern day role. Special attention is given to the heroic role of the corps in the 1940 defence of Rotterdam.  edit
  • Oorlogs Verzets Museum, Coolhaven 375 (Metro: Coolhaven, it's under the bridge), [46]. Tue-Fri: 10:00-17:00, Sat,Sun: 12:00-17:00. The small 'War and Resistance Museum' paints life in Rotterdam and the Netherlands during the Second World War. Attention is also given to the military developments of the time and the destruction of the city of Rotterdam. € 3,00, children € 1,50.  edit
  • SSN Museumstoomdepot, Bosdreef 75 (Take bus 38 to Nieuwe Crooswijkseweg from where it's a 5 minute walk), [47]. Wed: 10:00-15:00, Sat: 10:00-17:00. Old steam locomotives and trains can be admired at the 'Steam Depot Museum'. Besides a small museum it's very much a workshop too where you can see the actual work of restauration in progress. Check the website for rides, that actually use the normal railway lines.  edit
  • Railz Miniworld, Weena 745 (Near Centraal Station), [48]. Wed-Thu: 12:00-17:00, Fri-Sun: 10:00-17:00. It’s the largest indoor model railroad layout of The Netherlands.  edit
  • City Hall, Coolsingel 40 (Metro: Stadhuis). Mon-Sat: 8:00-17:00. Rotterdam City Hall was built in 1914 in a somewhat exuberant Art Deco style. It is nice to walk into the monumental main hall and see the statues. The courtyard is also worth a look. As the City Hall is still in use you are free to enter the public areas and have a look. The other halls will be off limits, unless you can persuade one of the guards to open the showpiece Burgerzaal for you. The City Hall also has a belltower with carillon which is often played.  edit
  • Erasmus Statue, Grotekerkplein (Metro: Stadhuis or Blaak). The statue of Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam stands opposite the Grote of Sint Laurenskerk. It is a handsome bronze of the hand of sculptor Keijser and dates from 1622.  edit
  • De Verwoeste Stad Statue, Plein 1940 (Metro: Beurs). This statue, "The Destroyed City", by the Franco-Belarussian sculptor Ossip Zadkine dates from 1953. Zadkine got his inspiration when visiting Rotterdam shortly after the second world war. The cubist statue depicting a man in agony who just lost his hart (symbol of the bombed city centre) still evokes strong feelings in Rotterdam.  edit
  • Sylvette, Westersingel (Metro: Eendrachtsplein). This large work by Pablo Picasso was erected in 1973. It is one of the elaborations Picasso made based on the portraits of his muse Sylvette David. Definitely worth a look.  edit


Rotterdam has only seven windmills left. Of these, only De Ster and De Lelie are open to visitors on a regular basis. Other windmills are open to visitors when the mill is turning (easy enough to see), but there are some exceptions to this rule of thumb. A blue flag also indicates that the mill is open to visitors.

  • Windmills De Ster and De Lelie, Plaszoom (Metro: Voorschoterlaan. From there it is a 10 minute walk (follow the Julianalaan until you reach Plaszoom), [49]. open every 2nd Sat of the month: 10.00 - 16.00; And also whenever the mills are in use. These two windmills (Star and Lily) date from 1777 and 1829. They are very handsomely situated on the side of the Kralingse Plas lake. The mills do still do their original job wich is grinding ingredients for spices and snuff tobacco. Adjacent is a small shop where these products are sold.  edit
  • De Prinsenmolen, Prinsenmolenpad (Take tramway 4 to Lommerijk. Walk 5 minutes along the Prins Bernardkade to reach Prinsenmolenpad. From there it's another 10 minutes.). closed to visitors. De Prinsenmolen dates back to 1648 and worked until 1966 to keep the adjacent polder dry. It's a house now, but the mill is still in working order. It's a nice walk alongside the Bergse Voorplas lake.  edit
  • De Vier Winden, Terbregse Rechter Rottekade (From De Prinsenmolen it's 10 minutes further along the Rotte river). closed to visitors. De Vier Winden was built in 1776. Until 1964 it was used to grind wheat. Although the mill itself is not open to visitors, it has a small shop with old fashioned mill-products.  edit
  • De Speelman, Overschiese Kleiweg (Go by bike or car). Open when turning. De Speelman was built in 1712. Heavily damaged during WW2 it was restored and moved to it's present location.  edit
  • De Zandweg, Kromme Zandweg (From Maashaven Metro station take tramway 2 towards Charlois to the end of the line). Open when turning.. De Zandweg dates from 1723. It's situated at the southern part of town called Charlois. When walking a litlle bit futher you can also see the nice Oliphant country mansion.  edit
  • De Distilleerketel, Voorhaven 210 (Metro: Delfshaven). Open We; 13.00-17.00 and Sat; 10.00-16.00. De Distilleerketel ('the Distillers' Kettle) was rebuilt in 1986 after the original mill was destroyed in WW2. The original mill from 1727 was meant for grinding malt for the numerous distilleries in Delfshaven. Now it works as a mill for grinding wheat on a commercial basis.  edit
  • Rotterdam Zoo, Blijdorplaan 8 (Take RET city bus 33 from 'Rotterdam Centraal towards Rotterdam Airport and get off at Blijdorpplein), +31 (10) 443 14 95, [50]. Mon-Sun: 9.00AM - 5.00PM. Rotterdam Zoo (Dutch: Diergaarde Blijdorp), established in 1857, is one of the most popular day trips in the Netherlands. Walk through different parts of the world, seeing interesting animals that feel right at home in an approximation of their natural habitats. An interesting feature of Rotterdam Zoo is the Oceanium. Feast your eyes on your journey through this enchanting world of water, filled with ocean and coastal dwellers, including exotic fish and puffins.  edit
  • Arboretum Trompenburg, Honigerdijk 86 (beneden) (Tram 21 towards De Esch, Woudestein stop), +31 (10) 233 01 66 (, fax: +31 (10) 233 01 71), [51]. Mon-Fri: 9.00AM - 5.00PM; Sat-Sun: 10.00AM - 5.00PM. Arboretum Trompenburg, dating back to 1820, is a lovely park filled with well-designed walking paths. The seven hectare park houses a rich collection of trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs. Adult: €3.85; child under 12: free entry.  edit
  • Botanische Tuin Kralingen, Kralingse Plaslaan 110b (Take tram to 7 to the Jericholaan stop), [52]. Mon-Fri: 8.00 - 16.00; Sat-Sun: CLOSED. This small botanical garden is known for its medicinal plants. As it is currently being brought back to its old glory the visit is recommended if you were to walk by, or for garden buffs. free entry.  edit

Historic Churches

Please note that in The Netherlands churches are generally closed to visitors on Sundays.

  • Grote of Sint Laurenskerk, Grotekerkplein 15 (Metro: Stadhuis or Blaak), [53]. Tue: 10:00-14:00 Wed-Sat: 14:00-16:00. The "Great or Saint Lawrence church" (Saint Lawrence is the patron saint of Rotterdam) is a late-gothic inner city landmark that dates from the year 1449. It is nice to visit its spacious and attractive, but not so elegant interior. Of special interest are the large organ and the elaborate graves of Dutch sea heroes Kortenaer, Witte de With and Van Brakel. All kinds of cultural and musical venues take place here.  edit
  • Paradijskerk, Nieuwe Binnenweg 25 (Metro: Eendrachtsplein), [54]. Sat: 14:00-17:00. This church only dates from 1910, but it was built on purpose to house the baroque interior from 1719 of its predecessor. It is interesting to have a look at the baroque carvings. Also noteworthy that this church belongs to the small Old Catholic denomination.  edit
  • Pilgrimfathers' church, Aelbrechtskolk 20 (Metro: Delfshaven), [55]. Sat: 13:00-16:00, in summer also Mo-Fri 11.00-17.00. This historic church, the Oude Kerk (old church) of Delfshaven, is from which the Pilgrim Fathers set sail to the new world. The building dates from 1417. It is also possible to attend to classical concerts here.  edit
  • HH. Laurentius en Elisabethkathedraal, Mathenesserlaan 307 (Metro: Coolhaven), [56]. Due to restoration works temporarily closed. The cathedral of Rotterdam (Roman Catholic) is a somewhat heavy neo romanesque creation from 1907. The interior is quite well proportioned and atmospheric. Sunday mass is at 11.00 (sometimes with a good choir). Besides assisting at the normally well attended mass you can walk in before or after to have a look inside.  edit
"Het witte huis" in Old Harbour
"Het witte huis" in Old Harbour
  • Euromast, Parkhaven 20, +31 (10) 436 48 11 (), [57]. Mon-Sun: 10:00AM - 11.00PM. There's also a great restaurant halfway up the tower, with good food at a good price. Adult: €8.30; child 4-11: €5.40; child under 4: free entry.  edit
  • Spido harbour trip, Willemsplein 85, +31 (10) 275 99 88 (, fax: +31 (10) 412 47 88), [58]. You only see the first 8 km of the harbor starting at the Erasmus bridge (the trip doesn't go all the way to the north sea, and skips some of the more interesting harbors) But Rotterdam is REALLY big, so even in those first 8 km there's plenty to see.  edit
  • De pannenkoekenboot, [59]. Eat as many pancakes as you like while you cruise, departs from near the foot of the Euromast.  edit
  • International Film Festival Rotterdam, [60]. (IFFR) is an annual film festival held in various cinemas at the end of January. It is one of the larger film festivals in Europe.  edit
  • Shipyard 'De Delft', Schiehaven 15 (Take tramway 8 from Rotterdam Centraal towards Spangen and get off at Oostkousdijk), +31 (10) 276 01 15 (, fax: +31 (10) 244 03 62), [61]. Tue-Fri: 10.00AM - 4.00PM; Sat-Sun: 11.00AM - 5.00PM. Follow the construction of the 18th century ship-of-the-line 'De Delft' from close-by. 'De Delft' will become one of the largest ship replica's in the world. Adult: €6.00; child 4-12: €3.00; child under 4: free entry.  edit
  • The kuip, football stadium of the club Feyenoord [62]
  • Football. Rotterdam boasts three professional footballclubs, Feyenoord, Sparta, and Excelsior [63]. Especially games of Feyenoord [64], that draw huge crowds, and Sparta ([65] with a more homey atmosphere) are well worth a visit.
  • The area around train station Blaak. The area was destroyed by a German bombardment during World War II, forcing the Netherlands to surrender. After the war, it has been reconstructed with all kinds of strange and fascinating buildings. Especially the Cube Houses are worth seeing. The marketplace is also here on each Tuesday, Saturday (all year around) and every Sunday (in the summer), it is definitely worth a visit to get acquainted with local food and customs. And the 'Old Harbour'(Oude Haven) is around the corner for a drink and a bite to eat.
  • Delfshaven. Easily accessible by metro (station of the same name), historic Delfshaven is a very scenic walk. It consists of an 17th-century area around two canals with a lot of charm. By day visit the Dubbelde Palmboom museum, the pilgrimfathers' church, or the little shops in this neighbourhood. By night atractive pubs and restaurants make the visit worthwile.
  • Chinatown. Just walk out the front of Rotterdam Centraal Station to the first intersection. You can't miss it!
  • Maaslandkering. Storm surge barrier that is one of the largest moving structures in the world.  edit
  • The Snerttram, a historical tram, runs on weekends and provides a guided tour of Rotterdam along the tram routes for around 90 minutes. Extensive commentary is given in Dutch, but you can get some English too if requested. [66]


Nightlife in Rotterdam is extremely varied, every subculture has its own area in the city. The ‘Oude Haven' close to the 'Kubuswoningen' and the main market square 'Blaak' is the hang out spot for business, economic and law students. The cafés and restaurants in the Oude Haven (Old Harbour) are located around a picturesque little harbour. Scenery of water, city lights, boats and 'Het Witte Huis', the first skyscraper of Europe (1897). The atmosphere is really great and it is best to go when the sun sets, very romantic! Great place for a night out. The most lively bar area in town is Eendrachtsplein/ Nieuwe Binnenweg. Alternative, easy going and full of friendly, open-minded people. The cafés you should be looking for are Stalles, Parket and Rotown. This is the place to be for the more creative orientated people, musicians, designers and artschool students. Walk down de Nieuwe Binnenweg and arrive at Café Ari (Nieuwe Binnenweg/ Mathenesserlaan) and Westerpaviljoen (grand café with the best terrace in the city). This is a good place to start the evening. Walk a little bit (3 minutes) down the Binnenweg again and go left at ‘s-Gravendijkwal (you'll see the flashy neon lights of sexclub OQ). Across the street you'll find Jazz Cafe Dizzy. A great place for a quality beer and some live jazz music. You can also eat at almost all places mentioned. Now walk back the Binnenweg up eastbound. Cross Eendrachtsplein and go to the right towards the Westersingel. Walk 3 minutes and on your left there is the Witte de Withstraat. Some nice café's like De Witte Aap, Mondriaan, Bar P, and De Schouw are located here, along with some good restaurants as well. This is also the most arty street of Rotterdam. Here you'll find Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art [67], MAMA, showroom for media and moving art [68] and many more. Drinking in style! If you're into loud music, your best option would be to go to "de Baroeg" [69] at the "Spinozaweg" in Rotterdam-Lombardijen. Loads of heavy metal acts play here each year. Should you not feel like making your way all the way into sub-urbia, you could also try your luck at the "Rhythem" on Oude Binnenweg. A popular hang out of alternative types.

  • Discos: Rotterdam has some of the best discos and dancings in the Netherlands, but you might need help finding them! Most are situated in or around either the "Delftsestraat" or the "Stadhuisplein" (both at metro station "Stadhuis", Erasmus-line).

One notable exception is Now&Wow, an extremely trendy disco situated in the old grainsilos at subway station "Maashaven". Check out their website at [70].

  • There are two huge megacinemas. The one in the city centre is called Pathé Schouwburgplein (located at the Schouwburgplein), the other one is on the southside of the city. It's called Pathé De Kuip (located next to the Feyenoord stadium De Kuip). In these cinemas you can see Hollywood movies an occasionally an arthouse movie.

If you're more into alternative cinema go to Lantaren/Venster Cinema (Gouvernestraat 133 [71]). Here you'll get European, Asian and latin american cinema in a nice atmosphere. It has a nice bar too.

The other option is Cinerama (Westblaak 18) which shows a combination of art/house films and commercial Hollywood flicks.

Unique Attractions

When you want to combine a unique experience with a great view over the city of Rotterdam, you can make a (tandem)skydive at Skydive Rotterdam [72]. At Skydive Rotterdam (also called The Flying Dutchman) you can book a tandem skydive or do a complete skydiving course and jump from a hight of 3 or 4 kilometers. It's the only skydiving school in the "Randstad" area and the only place in the Netherlands where you can jump over a a major city like Rotterdam. When the weather's good you will have a spectacuair view over the Rotterdam skyline and other parts of the Randstad area, all the way to the coastline.

An airplane can be rented at reasonable rates at Rotterdam Aiport at Happy Wing [73]. Nice tours above the city, its ports or the coastline are on offer.

On summer Sundays, it is possible to lower yourself down from the Euromast. On last Sundays of summermonths you can glide down in 15 seconds on a wire (tokkelen). Both: Not for the faint of heart! Check the website of Heightspecialists [74]


In summer, a city beach is created along the river, at the Boompjes quay (metro Leuvehaven). It's a good place to laze in the sun or party in the evening, but not much of a real beach.

The closest good beach is a short trainride (32 min) away at Hoek van Holland. Trains leave CS every 1/2 hour. Wait for the last station, Hoek van Holland Strand (strand = beach). Here you will find a very fine sand beach with good swimming and enough entertainment. Leave the town of Hoek van Holland proper to itself, there is nothing there.

For a more urban-party beach experience head to Scheveningen where you can find everything beach-party addicts dream about; Endless rows of beachside bars, restaurants and discoteques and a boulevard along a splendid fine-sand beach. It can get very crowded here. Take the train to Den Haag HS station and from there Tram 1, or take the train to Den Haag Centraal Station and Tram 9 subsequently.


Rotterdam plays host to a lot of events, a lot of them yearly ones. Besides these there are a lot smaller ones that can be very nice, so ask around and check the VVV website. A few of these yearly events to name:

  • The Six Days[75] cycling competition in January
  • Art Rotterdam[76] in February were you can see (and buy) masterpieces of modern art.
  • World tennis Tournament[77] in February.
  • The Marathon[78] in April, internationally reputed as a very fast marathon.
  • The very nice Dunya[79] festival with lots of world music artists in may, and it's free!
  • Poetry International[80] festival in June.
  • The sublime North Sea Jazz[81] festival in July with loads of worldfamous artists.
  • Summer Carnival[82] a huge caribbean-oriented parade and party in the city centre.
  • The Danceparade[83] in August. The Rotterdam version of the Love Parade.
  • The Racesalon[84] in August, a streetrace formula 1 event.
  • The classical music Gergjev[85] festival in September, led by master-conductor Valery Gergjev.

For full listings of events check the website of the Rotterdam VVV;[86] and Use-it [87].

Water sports and yachting

Being a major harbour and having lots of waterways and lakes, Rotterdam has a lot to offer for water-enthousiasts. Boating: There are four major lakes in Rotterdam. The Kralingse Plas, The double Bergse Plas, the Rottemeren and the Zevenhuizer Plas. All of them have active yachting communities and sometimes sailing races kan be seen. The Zevenhuizer plas is mainly populated by Windsurf enthousiasts. Sailing boats can be rented at the Kralingse Plas at the Van Gent sailing school [88], Plaszoom, a 10 minute walk from Metro Voorschoterlaan (walk through the Julianalaan until you reach Plaszoom). Rowing- and sailing boats can be rented at the windmill at the very end of the eastern Rottekade at Van Vliet's [89](Rottemeren, go by car or bike, a very nice ride). Yachting: When visiting Rotterdam with your own yacht you will find that most yachting harbours are on the inland waterways, were there are a lot of them. On the river Maas you will only find the City Marina [90], behind a bascule bridge on the southern bank, and the Veerhaven [91], right in the city center on the northern bank. Unless you need the better shelter of the characterless City Marina, go for the admittedly a little choppy Veerhaven marina, very central and scenic.

shoppin area at the Bourse
shoppin area at the Bourse

The main shopping areas in the center are the Lijnbaan and the Hoogstraat. Both are pedestrianised. The Lijnbaan, which runs straight south from the Weena (close to Centraal Station) was the first pedestrianised shopping street in the world when it was built in 1953. Now it is more of an average shopping street with average shops. In weekends it's very crowded. Linking the Lijnbaan with the Hoogstraat is the Beurstraverse, dubbed Koopgoot (Buying-gutter). A subterrainean passage, also connecting to the Metro station. It's all rather big and somewhat strange for a Dutch city, but it fits perfectly into the Rotterdam aspiration of being different. If you're looking for it, ask for the Koopgoot, as the official name is little known.

There are about 12 larger and smaller open air markets dotted around Rotterdam. Most of them are enjoyable places to walk through. A nice place to visit is the inner City Market (Tue and Sat, in summer also on Sun a smaller version) which is a huge (about 450 stalls) open air food and hardware market. It's at the eastern end of the Hoogstraat on the Binnenrotte. Metro: Blaak. More exotic and colourful is the Afrikaanderplein Market (South of the river, Metro: Maashaven). This market is geared very much towards Rotterdam inhabitants of Antillian, South American or African descent (a lot of whom happen to live nearby). Wed and Sat, about 300 stalls.

Department stores The Beurstraverse gives direct access to the city's main department stores:

  • De Bijenkorf; This upmarket store offers a lot in terms of better clothing, perfumes, fashion articles, jewellery and the like. The store offers quality, but it comes at a price. Every year in October there's a special sale (called 3 dwaze dagen, the 3 mad days) during which you run the risk of being trampelled over by stampeding bargain hunters.
  • Vroom & Dreesmann; A more middle class department store. Rather lacking in allure, V&D as it is always called, is an average priced store that offers value. The assortment is rather broad and varies from food to children's games and clothing. A safe bet, but not special.
  • HEMA; This star of Dutch budget shopping has a limited range of clothing, food and hardware. HEMA has a reputation of delivering quality goods at very competitive prices. A lot of what it sells is of a fresh and bright design.

Sustainable shopping De Groene Passage is a collection of sustainable shops including a grocery store, restaurant, bookstore and butchery. Mariniersweg 1 – 33 near Blaak train- and metrostation.

Things to buy Dutch cheese is very famous, you can get some at grocery stores or wider variety at the marketplace.



All kinds of liquorice.


The area around metrostation Blaak, called "Oude haven" (Old Harbour), is not only worth seeing but has also a lot of pubs and restaurants. The Rotterdam dining scene is developing very fast with new restaurants opening very often. While most of the attention focusses on new Michelin-star aspiring places, there is very much a trend towards high quality mid-range restaurants offering French/Dutch cuisine.

  • Angelo Betti, Schiekade 6a, +31 (10) 465 81 74. Mon-Sun: 4.00PM - 10.30PM. Italian kitchen and ice cream parlour. Whether you come for a dinner or a takeaway pizza, you always have to wait. But everything hre is definitely worth the wait! And what is so bad about having to wait a while when you can sit in the sun with a glass of great Italian wine in front of the restaurant? The good ingredients and the classy Italian waiters make the picture complete. In one word: fantastic! Three-course meal: €12.50 / table wine: €2.90 by the glass.  edit
  • Lokanta Dunya, Proveniersstraat 40a, +31 (10) 243 06 69 (fax: +31 (10) 243 09 31), [92]. Mon-Sun: 12.00AM - 11.00PM; Sat-Sun: no lunch. The first floor is much like a Turkish market square. It is fully decorated and cozy, the fake balcony and window pane complete the market square. Through a small staircase you reach the ‘living room’. Tip: Enjoy the fresh baked bread before you start your dinner. They have a wood stove that gives the food that extra authentic taste; some great wood-heated meals are stuffed zucchini and stuffed kofte. This place is comparable to the Wereld Eethuis Bazar in the Witte de Withstraat 16. However, if you are looking for more intimacy, good and honest food and superb service, this place is where you want to go! Three-course meal: €20.00 / table wine: €2.15 by the glass.  edit
  • Restaurant Café Lux, 's-Gravendijkwal 133, +31 (10) 476 22 06 (fax: +31 (10) 476 00 69), [93]. Mon-Sat: 6.00PM - 11.00PM; Sun: 5.30PM - 11.00PM. Nicely decorated Italian restaurant where you don’t just drop by for a simple pizza. As a matter of fact, they don’t even serve pizza. With the fine use of herbs, garlic and more interesting stuff that the Italian kitchen has to offer, it is almost impossible to not like this food. The personal is professional and for what you get the prices are actually not too bad. In summer you can eat outside (there is a small terrace at the back). A nice feature of this restaurant is that the kitchen is open until 11:00PM, something that is not very common in Rotterdam. For sure you’re going to love this one! Three-course meal: €35.00 / table wine: €2.60 by the glass.  edit
  • Restaurant Soit, 's-Gravendijkwal 136b, +31 (10) 436 31 14 (), [94]. Sun-Thu: 5.30PM - 9.30PM; Fri-Sat: 5.30PM - 10.30PM. When you follow the Nieuwe Binnenweg towards the west side of Rotterdam and u take a left on the 's-Gravendijkwal you don't expect to find a nice cosy restaurant like Soit. This restaurant is well known for their staff. The smile of the hostess towards her customers is genuine; she knows that they're going to enjoy their dinner. It is not really cheap and can be compared with Eten. They have a nice mix of French, Dutch, and Asian food. Definitely a good place for romantic dinners. Don't forget to make a reservation! Three-course meal: €29.00 / table wine: €2.75 by the glass.  edit
  • Stalles, Nieuwe Binnenweg 9, +31 (0)10 4361655. This café at the offers pizza's for € 4,50-7,00 on Mondays and Tuesdays. The atmosphere in the restaurant is relaxed and friendly. The menu furthermore features salads, sandwiches, tapas and more... The owner also owns Club Vibes, around the corner.  edit
  • Restaurant Amarone, Meent 72 (near the City Hall (Stadhuis)), +31 (0)10 4148487, [95]. A culinary gem in the very heart of the city, this stylish restaurant needs to be booked well in advance. Very rewarding french cuisine. Valet parking. About €50 for 3 courses.  edit
  • Rotown, +31 (0)10 4362669. This is 'the' place in town for creative people. Or it used to be, because lots of people now go to the next-door café's Stalles and Parket. Rotown has a restaurant with decent food for a decent price. The daily changing menu (meat, fish and vegeterian) costs around € 9,-- and usually you'll get something nice. After eating you can go watch a band or drink your drink in the café.  edit
  • Bierhandel De Pijp, Gaffelstraat 90 (Take Tram 4 to the Bloemkwekerstraat stop on the Nieuwe Binnenweg), +31 (0)10 4366896. daily 12.00-14.00 and 17.30-00. Closed on Sun and festive days and Sat afternoon. Prepare yourself for something special when visiting this famous eatery. The outside is absolutely rundown (so is the interior) and you must convince yourself to really push open the dark door. Once inside you will be welcomed by waiters in white and you will be allocated directly next to other visitors on benches. Good food is served (traditional Dutch and French fare), cooked in the same space that you're sitting. The place is frequented by Rotterdam businessmen and students and guests should fit in in terms of behaviour and appearance.(Mick Jagger was famously denied acces here for not being a gentleman.) From €30 for 3 courses.  edit
  • Café Restaurant Sijf, Oude Binnenweg 115. In weekend open till 2:00.. Very nice old-looking bar. They also serve food for a reasonable price and most of the food is home made. Try the grilled beef with Spanish pepper and garlic! Or have one of their great sandwiches or salads. Wanna have a nice Belgium beer that gets u all fuzzy? They have a awesome Belgium beer called “la Chouffe” (the midget) on draft... Very tasty! A good start for the evening.  edit
  • Zinc Restaurant, Calandstraat 12a (Take Tram 7 to Westplein and walk 4 minutes from there), +31 (0) 10 43 66 579, [96]. Tue-Sun 18.00-00.00. Located in a very pleasant area called Scheepvaartkwartier this nice little (crammed) place offers good cuisine for a very good price. There is no á la carte dining, but a fixed menu with a limited choice per course (always 3 courses). The kitchen is French and Dutch oriented and focusses on traditional fresh seasonal ingredients. Reserve your table as it's often fully booked. € 27,50 for 3 courses.  edit
  • Werelds Restaurant, Witte de Withstraat 81, +31 (0)10 4121652. 11AM-11PM. Amazing fish and chips on a Monday and Tuesday, and Irish stew is great. €15 for 3 courses.  edit
  • Restaurant Parkheuvel, Heuvellaan 21 (Metro Dijkzigt + a short walk through the 'Park'), +31 (0)10 4360530, [97]. This sublime Michelin 2 star is the best place in town. Very nice views and service to match. From €75 for 3 courses.  edit
  • Stalles, Nieuwe Binnenweg 11a. A small bar next to Parket. They serve a large variety of single malt whiskys. It's pretty small, but very cosy.  edit
  • Will’ns en Wetens, Nieuwe Binnenweg 111-A. Forgot your name, can hardly walk, and had so much beer that you can’t see the difference between your socks and underpants? No worries! When all bars are closed you can always go to the Will’ns en Wetens. You don’t want to be around there when you're sober, you don’t want to be around there when you hate drunk people and maybe even under the influence of other products, but you DO want to be around when you like burping, like whiskey (40 kinds), like weird conversations, and like Heineken! Open till the last person walks out.  edit
  • Grand café Westerpaviljoen, Nieuwe Binnenweg 136. Open till 2:00 in the weekend. Rotterdammers like to read their newspaper here. For a solid breakfast (Dutch “wentelteefjes”), good lunch, or a fast meeting Westerpaviljoen is a perfect place. Hang out on their huge and fantastic terrace, drink a nice glass of Amstel or Hoegaarden White beer.  edit
  • Le Vagabond, Nieuwe Binnenweg 99, +31 (0)10 4365293, [98]. The oldest, but best bar of the Binnenweg. It attracts a mixed crowd of musicians, journalists, students and travellers. The atmosphere is very laid back during the afternoon, but at night there are various activities being organised. Thursdays and Saturdays there are DJ's who organise HipHop and Britpop parties which are definitely worth a visit if you want to party it up. Every Sunday there is live music by a great variety of bands.  edit
  • Café De Witte Aap, Witte de Withstraat 78 (Metro: Eendrachtsplein), [99]. Voted as best bar of the world by Lonely Planet readers this classic Rotterdam pub (The White Monkey) draws a very varied and often too large crowd for its premises. It's a cool place to have a few drinks before dinner or before exploring the rest of this very lively neigbourhood.  edit
  • Café De Unie, (Metro: Eendrachtsplein). This restaurant/café/art society is a Rotterdam institute. Housed in a magnificent building reminiscent to a Mondriaan painting it also hosts all kinds of cultural venues and parties. A good place to have coffee too.  edit
  • Pol Bar, Meent 46-48. In weekends open till 2:00. Nice looking bar with modern solid patio. Crowd can be sort of posh sometimes, but don’t let that scare you to much. Right next to the market (Thuesday and Thursday), and they won some prices with their sandwiches.  edit
  • Exit, Mauritsstraat 173 (From Metro Eendrachtsplein walk up the Oude Binnenweg. It's the seceond street on your left), [100]. A fairly recently opened bar. On Thursday through Saturday this place offers live music. Most of the bands you'll find here are new yet-to-be-discovered-soon type of bands. You may be charged a small cover charge, but most of the time it is worth it. Check their website to know what's on.  edit
  • O'Shea's Irish Pub, Lijnbaan. This Irish pub is in many ways quite typical. On Friday and Saturday nights the place is quite often overflowing with a decent mixture of the average going-out-partying type of young men and ladies. Tuesday nights they host a pub quiz with prizes to be won. On most other nights it's a bit more quiet and you can meet some interesting characters in there. Thursday through Saturday this place hosts live music which can be anything between really good and sheer crap. If you're lucky there might be a jam session on Sunday nights which usually is enjoyable. Under the new management it has lost its original atmosphere and it's more of a Dutch pub now.  edit
  • Dynamo. Muzikantencentrum Dynamo is a place which rents out rehearsal rooms and a studio to musicians. It also has a bar that operates as late as the bar staff decide to make it. It is located a bit of the beaten track and is one of Rotterdam's secrets (over 95% of the locals don't even know about it!). It's location won't be disclosed here, but if you're lucky enough you might find someone who can take you there.  edit
  • De Pui, Oostzeedijk Beneden 221 (Metro: Oostplein), [101]. Very nice bar in a corner building in the heart of Kralingen. Recognizable by the distinguished red awnings. There are students there, but it is not a student pub. There are musicians there, but it is not a musicians cafe. There are businessmen there, but that makes it no business cafe. It is the mixture of people and taste, that makes it so enjoyable.  edit


As everywhere in The Netherlands, the possession (of small quantities) and use of cannabis (hash and weed) is tolerated in Rotterdam. Since Amsterdam draws more coffee-shop tourism prices are lower in Rotterdam. Laws are getting tightened, however, so don't keep too high a profile. Some renowned places:

  • Coffeeshop "De lachende paus" ("The laughing pope", Nieuwe Binnenweg) A shop where you can buy over 40 kinds of pre-rolled joints (voorgedraaide in Dutch). The prices can be high, but it's worth a visit.
  • Coffeeshop "Pluto" (Nieuwe Binnenweg 139a) Actually a headshop. They also sell loads of paraphernalia like pipes, bongs etc.
  • Coffeeshop "Bambu" (Bergweg) Located on two sides of the Bergweg/Noordsingel-cross, this coffeeshop is part of a really good franchise. Good quality at reasonable prices.
  • Coffeeshop "Greenhouse" (Nieuwe Binnenweg) Ditto.
  • Coffeeshop "The Reefer" (De Meent, City center)
  • Coffeeshop "The Pool" (Westersingel, 5m from Central Station) A nice Coffeeshop located on the 1st floor where you can sit and relax by a table or bar. Or play some pool on the 2nd and 3rd floor.
  • Coffeeshop the "Act" / Cafe "De Nieuwe Wet" (Westerwagenstraat) Since the mid '90s the sale of alcohol and cannabis in the same place has been made illegal. The natural solution? Split your coffeeshop and pub into two separate entities, with only one door.
  • Coffeeshop "Nemo" (Nieuwe Binnenweg) Unlike many coffeeshops this place is bright, open and airy with large windows and comfortable seats; the walls are covered in a (Disney) Nimo-esque montage and the music is more relaxed than many coffeeshops. A good place for someone wanting something softer than many other coffeeshops.

One word of warning: since Rotterdam isn't such a tourist city as Amsterdam, the local police could give someone smoking in public a hard time. Never forget: smoking weed in public is forbidden, even in The Netherlands! Also note that, while tolerated, smoking weed is not universally regarded as socially acceptable in The Netherlands.

Please remember that possesing large quantities of hasheesh or cannabis is a crime in The Netherlands, and please do not take stuff with you when leaving The Netherlands (you can be punished severely in neigbouring countries). It's also unwise to buy for someone else, especially if it's a foreigner as you can be punished in his or her country of origin (it has happened).

A noteworthy fact is that smoking tobacco is currently banned inside of food and drink establishments—even coffeeshops!




  • Stadscamping Rotterdam, Kanaalweg 84 (Bus 33 (Airport) or 40 (Delft) from Rotterdam Centraal Station, busstop Blijdorpplein), +31 (0)10 - 4159772 (, fax: +31 (0)10 - 4373215), [102]. The Rotterdam City Camping is located just northwest of the center. For camping near the city it's the only option. There are a lot of trees to give shelter from sun or wind. Basic facilities. Little chalets (2/4 persons) can be rented too. Tent € 5,--, Person € 6,--.  edit


  • Hostel ROOM Rotterdam, Van Vollenhovenstraat 62, +31 (10) 282 72 77 (, fax: +31 (10) 240 07 40), [103]. checkin: 24/7; checkout: 24/7. Hostel ROOM Rotterdam is in the city center in the popular district named Scheepvaartkwartier enclosed by the river Maas, the Erasmus bridge, the Westzeedijk and the park at the Euromast. In a 1920's Art Deco building they offer 16 theme rooms (like the Port room, Festival room, Dutch Delight), a lively bar, guestkichen, common room, etc. From the hostel everything in Rotterdam is just a doorstep away. Member of the I-hostels network [104] Prices start at 15€.  edit
  • Sleep-in De Mafkees, Schaatsbaan 41-45, +31 (10) 281 04 59 (), [105]. Please note that the hostel is only open in July and August and during the International Film Festival in January. Prices start at €10 for an overnight stay in a dormitory, breakfast included.  edit
  • Stayokay Rotterdam, Rochussenstraat 107-109 (Metro: Dijkzigt), tel +31 (10) 436 57 63 (, fax: +31 (10) 436 55 69), [106]. This hostel is very easy to access, being right next to the underground station Dijkzigt. The staff is friendly and it is a great spot from which to discover Rotterdam, as it is less than ten minutes from practically anywhere. It also has a restaurant that does breakfast and dinner in the evening. There is also a bar open from 7.30PM to 9.00PM. Prices start at €20 for an overnight stay in a dormitory, breakfast included.  edit
  • Stayokay Rotterdam (Cubic Houses), Overblaak 85-87, +31 (0)10 436 57 63 (), [107].  edit

Bed and Breakfast

There are numerous bed and breakfast houses in Rotterdam and they generally offer a good possibility of getting a "local" experience.

  • Bed, Brood en Eieren, Schiedamseweg 43a, [108]. This authentic place is situated in Delfshaven. Breakfast eggs from their own chicken, it is claimed. € 60 for a double with breakfast.  edit


  • Eurohotel Centrum, Baan 14-20, +31 (10) 214 19 22 (, fax: +31 (10) 214 01 87), [109]. A double room starts at €79 per night, breakfast included.  edit
  • Grand Hotel Central, Kruiskade 12, +31 (10) 414 07 44 (, fax: +31 (10) 412 53 25), [110]. A double room starts at €75 per night, breakfast included.  edit
  • Hotel Baan, Rochussenstraat 345, +31 (10) 477 05 55 (, fax: +31 (10) 476 94 50), [111]. A double room starts at €78 per night, breakfast included.  edit
  • Hotel Bazar, Witte de Withstraat 16 (Metro: Beurs or Churchillplein), +31 (0)10-2065151 (, fax: +31 (0)10-2065159), [112]. Get in touch with real Rotterdam multiculturalism in this splendidly decorated place. Do not forget to dine here too. Ideally situated in the lively Witte de Withstraat. Doubles from €75,--, breakfast included.  edit
  • Maritime Hotel, Willemskade 13 (Metro: Leuvehaven from where it's a short walk to the riverside), [113]. This no-nonsense 3 star has an excellent location directly on the riverquay in the interesting Scheepvaartkwartier neighbourhood. Doubles from €75 per night, breakfast included.  edit
  • Hotel New York, Koninginnenhoofd 1, +31 (10) 439 05 00 (, fax: +31 (10) 484 27 01), [114]. The former headquarters of the Holland Amerika Lijn, was done up somewhere in 1993 and is still a hip and lively place. Rooms start at €105 per night and are worth it.  edit
  • Hotel NH Atlanta, Aert van Nesstraat 4, +31 (10) 206 78 00 (, fax: +31 (10) 413 53 20).  edit
  • Best Western Crown Hotel, Schiekade 658, +31 10 4663344 (), [115]. The Crown hotel is situated a little bit out of the city center on the (very) busy Schiekade street. Best Western standard quality. Doubles from € 120,--.  edit
  • Golden Tulip Rotterdam-Centre, Leuvehaven 80 (Metro: Leuvehaven), +31 (0)10 413 41 39 (, fax: +31 (0)10 413 32 22), [116]. The Golden Tulip offers commanding vieuws of harbour and the Erasmus Bridge. The modern building is indeed very remarkable. From € 125,-- for a double.  edit
  • Eden Savoy Hotel Rotterdam, Hoogstraat 81, +31 (10) 413 92 80 (, fax: +31 (10) 404 57 12), [117].  edit
  • MyCityLofts, City Center Rotterdam, +31 6 38304873 (). Stay in a comfortable loft apartment in Rotterdam city center. As comfortable as a hotel room, with all the same services, but much more spacious! Fully equipped kitchens, a lounge area, dining table and separate bedrooms. And as much service as you can handle!  edit
  • Bilderberg Parkhotel Rotterdam, Westersingel 70 (Metro: Eendrachtsplein), +31 (10) 436 36 11 (, fax: +31 (10) 436 42 12), [118]. The somewhat stately Parkhotel has a reputation of offering real value. It's location is very practical too, just off the lively Witte de Withstraat and close to the major museums.  edit
  • Hilton Hotel Rotterdam, Weena 10, +31 (10) 710 80 00 (fax: +31 (10) 710 80 80), [119].  edit
  • The Westin Rotterdam, Weena 686, +31 (10) 430 20 00 (, fax: +31 (10) 430 20 01), [120]. This towering high rise is located just across from Centraal Station. Luxurious rooms that are some times to be had for as little as € 100,-. Check the site (walk-ins pay far more)  edit


The telephone country code for the Netherlands is 31, and Rotterdam's city code is 010. If making local calls to reserve hotel rooms or restaurants, or calls to other cities in the country, you will need a phone card (€5 minimum) as many green KPN telephone booths do not accept coins. Blue/orange Telfort booths accept both coins and cards. The KPN booths are currently being replaced by newer models, which will accept coins again. In case of an Emergency, dial 1-1-2 from any public phone for free. Be advised, however, that with the rise of cell phone use, many public phones have been removed, and can therefore be hard to come by. When staying for a longer time, buy a prepaid sim card for your mobile phone.

Stay safe

You should take normal precautions against pickpockets and baggage theft, especially in the main shopping streets, at markets, in trams and trains, at stations, and anywhere where tourists congregate. It is not wise to hang around Stadhuisplein when nightlife ends. Fights often occur in this area after midnight. Rotterdam also has a reputation of mass venues getting out of hand, though you shouldn't worry too much about it. If violence breaks out at football festivities (not so unlikely) or at the end of sun soaked festive days, like Queensday (even less unlikely, especially at the Stadhuisplein), just get out of the way and you're unlikely to be affected. It's advisable not to wear a football jersey of Ajax Amsterdam or any other stuff promoting Ajax or Amsterdam. In terms of general safety, at daylight most areas in the city are safe. But at night, some areas such as Spangen, Charlois and Vreewijk are wise to avoid. When you drive a car with a foreign numberplate (especially if it's a French or Belgian one) you might or will be approached by so called drugsrunners. This can occur on the motorways surrounding the city and in the city proper. These guys try to lure people to places were drugs are dealt. Do not respond to their signals and do not follow them.

  • easyInternetcafé, Stadhuisplein 16-18, [121]. Mon-Sat: 9AM-11PM; Sun: 11AM - 11PM.  edit

Get out

If you do not have a car, the hub for leaving the city will allmost invariably be Centraal Station from where trains leave in all directions at short intervals (so you can generally drop in and catch the next train to your destination). Most regional and longer distance buses leave here too, wit the exception of most buses to southerly destinations and the province of Zeeland that leave from Zuidplein Metrostation. Contrary to trains bustimes should be checked in advance as they can sometimes be far and between.

Nearby destinations like Schiedam or even Delft can also be reached by bike if you fancy a somewhat longer ride. Bike routes and directions are well marked and available in abundance. A good idea for a sunny day!

  • Historic center of Schiedam including the 6 tallest windmills of the world. In the historic center you can also find the attractive Stedelijk Museum [122] with nice modern art exhibitions. Easily reached by bicycle, or take the train from Rotterdam Centraal Station to Schiedam Centrum, or metro Calandlijn to Schiedam Centrum or Parkweg station, or tramlines 21 or 23, Broersvest or Koemarkt stop.
  • Historic town of Delft, a 15 min. trainride from Rotterdam Central Station. Very historic and scenic, but a little bit touristy.
  • Historic Town of Dordrecht, a 20 min. trainride, or even better, take the Waterbus (see Get around). A magnificent historic town with little tourism and an ecellent old art museum [123].
  • Visit the small picture postcard town of Gouda and see the magnificent stained glass windows in St. Johns church, an UNESCO monument [124]. Also 20 minutes by train.
  • There is a small hill at Carnisselande, near the final stop of Tram route 25. It's only 30 feet high but if you climb to the top it gives you breathtaking views of the entire city of Rotterdam, and the countryside to the South of it
  • Delta works. The Delta Works consist of a range of big works in coastal defence of which the Oosterschelde surge barrier is the most impressive.  edit
  • Neeltje Jans, (From the Rotterdam Ring motorway follow the A15 towards Europoort. Take exit 12 to Brielle/Middelburg/N57. Follow the N57 and after 10 km you will reach the Haringvlietdam. Keep on following the N57 and you will cross the Brouwersdam, and after 20km more the Oosterschelde surge barrier. Neeltje Jans is indicated there), [125]. Water theme park at the Oosterschelde storm surge barrier.  edit
  • Windmills of Kinderdijk, where 19 windmills still help to control the water level. Windmill number 2 is open to the public (€3), allowing you to see the inner workings. Arriva bus 90 from bus and metro station Zuidplein will get you there in 50 minutes. Kinderdijk is also accessible by boat [126] from the city centre (near Erasmus bridge).
  • Visit the medieval fortified town of Brielle. The center is a nice ensemble of old houses and churches, enclosed by the original earthen defensive walls. There are some museums and the Roman Catholic shrine of the Martyrs of Gorcum. Walking around town and fortifications is a treat. You can easily spend the day in Brielle. Take bus 103 at the Spijkenisse Centrum Metro station. All in all the ride is 70 minutes from Rotterdam.
  • Go to the other cities of the Randstad - eg The Hague is only half an hour by train, Utrecht is around 45 mins by train, Amsterdam about an hour.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ROTTERDAM, a city of Holland in the province of South Holland, on both banks of the New Maas, at the confluence of the canalized Rotte, and a junction station 14z m. by rail S.S.E. of the Hague. Steam tramways connect it with Schiedam, and with Numansdorp on the south of the island of Beierland, and there is a regular service of steamers by river and canal to Antwerp by way of the South Holland and Zeeland Islands and in every direction. The population of the city was about 20,000 in 1632; 53,212 in 1796; 105,858 in 1860; and 379,017 in 1905. Its shipping facilities have raised Rotterdam to the position of the first commercial city of Holland. By means of the New Waterway (1869-90) to the Hook of Holland it is accessible for the largest ships. The principal quay is the Boompjes ("little trees"), forming the riverfront on the north side. Although originally situated exclusively on the north or right bank of the Maas, in 1869 Rotterdam was extended to the southern shore by the acquisition of the commune of Feienoord; while in 1886 Delftshaven on the west, and in 1895 Charlois on the south-west and Kralingen on the east, were also incorporated. The river is spanned by a road bridge (1878) and a railway bridge (1877) passing from the Boompjes to the North Island, whence they are continued to the further shore by swing-bridges through which the largest ships can pass to the upper river. These bridges prove useful in breaking up the ice which forms above them in winter. On the south side of the river are numerous large docks and wharves, while the city proper on the north side consists of a labyrinth of basins and canals with tree-bordered quays.

In the centre of the town is the Beursplein, or Exchange Square, with the large general post office (1875), the "Amicitia" club, and the exchange itself (1723). Behind the exchange is the great market-place, built on vaulting over a canal, and containing a bronze statue of Erasmus, who was born in Rotterdam in 1467. The statue is the work of Hendrik de Keyser, and was erected in 1622 (the inscription being added in 1677) to replace an older one. Beyond the marketplace is the High Street, which runs along the top of the Maas Dyke. On the west of the city a pretty road planted with trees and grass plots leads from the Zoological Gardens (1857), on the north to the small park overlooking the river. In the park is a statue of the popular poet Hendrik Tollens (d. r856), a native of the city. Among the churches of Rotterdam are an English church, originally built by the 1st duke of Marlborough, whose arms may be seen with the royal arms over the entrance. The Groote Kerk, or Laurens Kerk (end of the 15th century), contains a fine brass screen (1715), a celebrated organ with nearly 5000 pipes, and the monuments of Admirals Witte de Witte (d. 1658), Kortenaer (d. 1665), and van Brakel (d. 1690), and other Dutch naval heroes. The lofty tower commands an extensive view. In the New Market adjoining is a fountain adorned with sculptures erected in 1874 to commemorate the jubilee of the restoration of Dutch independence (1813). The museums of the city comprise an ethnographical museum, the maritime museum established by the Yacht Club in 1874, and the Boyman's Museum (1867) containing pictures, drawings and engravings, as well as the town library. Of the original collection of pictures bequeathed by F. J. O. Boyman in 1847, more than half was destroyed by fire in 1864; but the collection has been enlarged since and is representative of both ancient and modern artists. Close to the museum is a statue of the statesman Gysbert Karel van Hogendorp (1762-1834), a native of the city. Among the remaining buildings must be mentioned the town hall (17th century; restored 1823), the court-house, the concert-hall of the "Harmonic" club, the record office (1900), the leeskabuiet, or subscription library and reading-rooms, and the ten-storeyed Witte Huis (1897), which is used for offices and is one of the highest private buildings on the Continent.

The industries comprise the manufacture of tobacco, cigars, margarine, rope, leather, &c., and there are breweries, distilleries and sugar refineries. The gas, electricity (1894) and waterworks (1870) are under municipal control. Shipbuilding yards extend above and below the city, one of the earliest being that of the Netherlands Steamboat Company (1825). It is, however, as a commercial rather than as a manufacturing city that Rotterdam is distinguished, its progress in this respect having been very striking. Between 1850 and 1902 the area of canals and docks in use on both sides of the river increased from 96 to over 300 acres, about £2,000,000 having been spent on the building of docks in the last quarter of the 17th century. Besides its maritime trade Rotterdam has an extensive river traffic, not only with Holland, but also with Belgium and Germany. Its overseas trade is principally with the Dutch colonies, New York, La Plata and the east and west coasts of Africa. The great harbour works on the south side of the river required to accommodate this growing trade were planned by the engineer Stieltjes (d. 1878), who has a monument on the North Island. Besides being easily accessible from the river and connected with the railways, the docks are provided with every facility for coaling and loading or discharging cargoes. The larger passenger steamers of the Rotterdamsche Lloyd to Netherlands India and of the Holland-American Steamship Company (the two principal passenger and cargo steamship companies at Rotterdam) have their berths on the south side of the river. In the centre of the river there is accommodation for over thirty vessels at the mooring buoys. The increase in the importance of Rotterdam as a port, apart from the development of the trade of the Netherlands generally, is shown by the fact that whereas in 1846 only 31% of the total trade of the country passed through the port, in 1883 the proportion was 50%; in the same year 43-75% of the total number of vessels engaged in Dutch trade used the port of Rotterdam, whereas in 1850 the proportion was only 35.77%. The average number of all vessels using the port annually during the decade1897-1906was 7228 of 11,163,624 tons, but a steady increase was recorded during this period, from 6212 ships of 8,434,032 tons in 1897 to 8570 ships of 14,572,246 tons in 1906.

Rotterdam probably owes its existence to two castles, which existed in feudal times. In 1299 John I., count of Holland, granted to the people of Rotterdam the same rights as were enjoyed by the burghers of Beverwijk, which were identical with those of Haarlem (K. Hegel, Stddte and Gilden, 1891, Bd. ii.). This privilege marks the origin of the town. In 1489 it was surprised by Francis van Brederode, and in 1572 it was plundered by the Spaniards, who were in possession for four months. It continued to increase in size, various extensions of its boundaries being made, and its trading importance is to a large extent the result of its commercial intercourse with England.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Rotterdam "Line of Fire" memorial


River name Rotte + dam.

Proper noun


  1. A city and port in the Netherlands.

External links


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

Rotterdam is a city and municipality in South Holland, and one of the largest harbours in the world.

This article uses material from the "Rotterdam" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Nickname(s): R'dam, Manhattan on the Maas
Coordinates: 51°55′51″N 4°28′45″E / 51.93083°N 4.47917°E / 51.93083; 4.47917
 - Type Municipality
 - Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb
 - Aldermen Lucas Bolsius
Leonard Geluk
Rik Grashoff
Hamit Karakus
Jantine Kriens
Peter Lamers
Dominic Schrijer
Hans Vervat
Area [1]
 - City 319 km2 (123.2 sq mi)
 - Land 206 km2 (79.5 sq mi)
 - Water 113 km2 (43.6 sq mi)
Population [1][2]
 Density 2,850/km2 (7,381.5/sq mi)
 Urban 2.100.000
 Metro 6.659.300
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Area code(s) 010

Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands. About 603,000 people live there.[3] In the urban area, there are about 1.1 million people. Rotterdam also has one of the biggest, and busiest ports in the world. It is the biggest port in Europe. The city lies on several rivers, most notably the Maas.



A dam was built in 1260 across the river Rotte where the Hoogstraat lies now. The name Rotterdam comes from this dam. The settlement was a regular fishing village at first, but became a thriving trading port pretty soon. The city got city rights in 1340 and city walls in 1360. Rotterdam became a important city in Holland in the middle of the 15th century when it won little wars against Delft and Gouda. From 1449 until 1525 a Gothic church (Laurenskerk) was built. The city then hold about 10,000 people. The city revolted against Spanish occupation in 1573, becoming one of the main city's of the Eighty Years' War. The port of Rotterdam grew a lot in the late 16th century and early 17th century. In the end of the 17th century the city hold almost 50,000 people. But the city had not built outside of the city walls. The city became very crowded. The port of Rotterdam became bigger and bigger in the 19th century when several new canals were digged. These were: Nieuwe Waterweg (lit: New Waterway), and Voornse Kanaal. The city is growing very fast due the enormous amount of work in the port. The city grows from 160,000 people in 1880 to 315,000 in 1900. Various new districts were build, including Cool, Crooswerk, and Nieuwe Westen. Neighbouring places also became part of Rotterdam. In 1920, the city held more than 500,000 people for the first time in its history

Second world war

[[File:|left|thumb|Rotterdam after the bombardment around the Laurenskerk]] [[File:||left|thumb|Project Brandgrens (fire-border) in the night of May 15th 2007]] When Nazi Germany attacked the Netherlands in May 1940 heavy fighting occurred in Rotterdam. When the Dutch were holding the city, the Germans bombarded Rotterdam on May 14th, 1940. The damage was huge; 24,000 buildings were destroyed in only 15 minutes, and there was virtually nothing left of the old centre of Rotterdam. 800 people died instantly, and 80,000 were homeless. The bombardment also destroyed the Willemsbrigde, one of the two brigdes across the Maas at that time. The Germans repaired the bridge quickly, as it was of vital importance for the city. During the German occupation, the neighbouring places of Hillegersberg, Schiebroek, Overschie, Kralingseveer and Ijsselmonde are annexed (put by) by Rotterdam. On November 11th, 1944, a large razzia took place. About 50,000 men from 17-40 years old from Rotterdam were deported into working camps. The city also lost many people in the famine of 1944 (hongerwinter (lit: Winter of hunger)).

After the war

File:Rotterdam Erasmusbrug bij avond vanaf hoek
Erasmusbrigde as seen from the old harbor

Rotterdam was quickly rebuild after the war, but modernization led to the fact that many old buildings were not repaired, but replaced by totally new ones. The has led to the fact that the centre of Rotterdam is composed of new buildings, a thing not common in European city's. The ports of Rotterdam grow even more during the latter part of the 20th century. New area's, build right in the sea are Botlek, Maasvlakte, and Europoort. The Euromast (185 m high) becomes an icon of Rotterdam. De metro of Rotterdam is opened in 1968, which then is the first metro in the Netherlands. The 1990s saw an increase of skyscrapers. The Delftse Poort which was ready in 1991 was the highest skyscraper in the Netherlands, with 151 m high, until the Maastoren became the highest building in 2009 with 165 m. The new Erasmusbridge which was ready in 1996 gave Rotterdam a new symbol.


The city of Rotterdam is split up into 13 districts, each with a number of neigbhourhoods. The districts are:

  • Centrum
  • Charlois
  • Delfshaven
  • Feijenoord
  • Hillegersberg-Schiebroek
  • Hoek van Holland
  • Hoogvliet
  • IJsselmonde
  • Kralingen-Crooswijk
  • Noord
  • Overschie
  • Pernis
  • Prins Alexander

Famous People from Rotterdam


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