Rotterdam Bucket List: Top 15 Best Things to Do in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam Tourist Spots, Best Activities to do, and Places to Visit in Rotterdam

Erasmus Bridge

What are the Top Tourist Attractions to Visit in Rotterdam, Netherlands?

The wondrous city of Rotterdam is nothing short of impressive. Its seaport is the largest in Europe, making it a perfect place for water escapades. It is also the world’s gateway to Europe, making its location an ideal tourist destination. Apart from its natural ability to amaze, this city in the Netherlands has stunning skyscrapers, trendy clubs, designer shopping cities, and lots of tourist attractions fit for the whole family. Here are our favorite fun things to do in Netherland’s Rotterdam.

Experience the fun of themed cruises

Cruise Ship in Rotterdam - Best Things to do in Rotterdam
Cruise Ship in Rotterdam – Best Things to do in Rotterdam

The vast seaport of Rotterdam is home to many vessels, boats, and cruise operators. For fun on-water experiences, trying out themed cruises will prove to be unique and highly enjoyable. Themed tours are especially trendy during Valentine’s day, offering the most romantic date ever.

Many 75-minute tours begin from the Erasmus bridge to a route that visits interesting container ports and luxurious hotels. Spido is one of the most established tour operators in Rotterdam, allowing bookings of up to 200 persons. You can find them at the Maritime District at Scheepsvaartkwartier, which is close to the tram station Leuvenhaven.

Witness one of the world’s most spectacular newer bridges

Erasmus Bridge
Erasmus Bridge

If you are fond of anything extra, the Erasmus Bridge will amaze you! It is an 800-meter long suspension bridge that links the northern and southern parts of Rotterdam through the Maas River. It is often called ‘The Swan’ because it appears to be a swan floating gracefully and peacefully on the waters of Maas.

Have a merry experience riding the ferry

Futureland ferry photo via Port of Rotterdam
Futureland ferry photo via Port of Rotterdam

Apart from cruising the glistening and captivating waters of Rotterdam, you can also opt for a ferry ride. A Futureland ferry experience comes with a skilled tour guide who will show you the enormous harbor walls and the modern container terminals housing colossal cranes.

You will also see the mesmerizing buildings lining the port. Much of Rotterdam’s beauty is inaccessible by land. Riding the ferry will surely complete your trip!

Ride an amphibian bus

Waterbus in Rotterdam
Waterbus in Rotterdam

In Rotterdam, many waterbuses offer an exciting 60-minute tour. After trudging the most beautiful streets of the city, the bus will turn itself into a boat so it can glide into the River Maas, giving you the most idyllic experience. You can share this amazing moment with 41 other passengers, giving you plenty of opportunities to make friends and expand your network.

If you want to try this out, Splashtours busses, to name a few, are accessible at Parkhaven in the Scheepvaartkwartier district.

Get on a wildlife adventure

Rotterdam Zoo
Rotterdam Zoo

The Netherlands has one of the most beautiful zoos in Europe. Rotterdam Zoo, also known as Diergaarde Blijdorp, has been hailed as the best zoo three times already. Here, you can experience a glimpse of the African savanna, the Australian Great Barrier Reef, the Amazonian butterflies, and more.

The zoo proudly presents a close-to-perfect habitat that resembles the animals’ natural environment. Both adults and children will enjoy this trip, which is both adventurous yet safe.

Stand 185 meters above the ground

Euromast
Euromast

Rotterdam has one of the highest towers in Holland. Its Euromast was designed by the world-renowned Architect Maaskant, standing tall and beautiful as it amazes tourists with its stunning view of the city and its surroundings.

If you fancy the best sunset and sunrise, there are many luxury suites in Euromast, as well as fancy restaurants. Enjoy a higher and grander standard at this well-built and exquisite edifice!

Give in to abseiling

Abseiling is an activity and sport where you descend from a vertical surface using a strong-hold rope that’s professionally harnessed around your body. In your trip to Rotterdam, you’ll find out that the Euromast offers more than just a spectacular view.

If you are adventure-hungry and brave enough, you can go climb over the railing and from its 100-meter height, feel your adrenaline rushing as you dropdown. Abseiling is unlike any other adventure so make sure you give it a try!

Experience the ‘Grande Dame’

Grande Dame in Rotterdam photo by Alf van Beem via Wikipedia CC
Grande Dame in Rotterdam photo by Alf van Beem via Wikipedia CC

Rotterdam’s Grande Dame comes in the name “ss Rotterdam”. She is the biggest passenger ship ever built on Dutch soil, reflecting immense local craftmanship. She’s been sailing since 1959 until her retirement in 2000.

Today, you can enjoy a drink and enjoy the view of the city’s amazing skyline with her. Both children and adults enjoy her graceful company as she tours you to the grandest views of the city.

Tour a mini version of the world

Miniworld Rotterdam photo by Mauritsvink via Wikipedia CC
Miniworld Rotterdam photo by Door Mauritsvink – Eigen werk, Publiek domein, CC

Rotterdam’s creativity will amaze you, even more, when you visit one of its most popular kid-friendly tourist destinations. The Miniworld Rotterdam is a 535m² representation of many historical Dutch landscapes including some of the world’s most iconic tourist destinations. You will be amazed at how realistic the miniature world is.

Here, you can see Rotterdam’s enormous port and many of its villages. You will also see famous Dutch beaches, beautiful canals, windmills, and soaring buildings. This mini world is being developed continuously, with Great Britain’s grandeur being one of its most recent additions. As an adult, you will be impressed with the display of exacting craftsmanship. As a child, you will find this experience amazing, inspiring, and educational. You can even host a children’s party here! There’s so much to do and appreciate here, so make sure you visit them.

Enjoy at the forest park

Fun Forest Rotterdam photo via FB Page
Fun Forest Rotterdam photo via FB Page

If you’re between the ages of 7 and 80, who desire physical and mental challenges, the Fun Forest Park has many challenges that will excite you. One of its sets of activities will set you up on a 4 to 15-meter-high climbing challenge, complete with six varying trails and opportunities to bungee jump.

This park also has water sport activities that include paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking. Apart from challenging adults, this forest park also spells fun for children. Many kid-friendly activities are safe and fun.

After a long and challenging day, you can recharge through energizing meals and desserts that will keep you wanting more. Its kitchen has scrumptious pizzas, pancakes, fresh sandwiches, and home-made apple pies that will replenish your energy. Fun Forest Rotterdam will surely fulfill your craving for adventure and good food!

Let your kids engage in outdoor fun

Kids of today enjoy a lot of games online. When visiting Rotterdam, you can help them bask under the sun as they engage in kinesthetic fun! Locals love Plaswijck Park and your kids will surely feel the same way! If your kids are like Sheldon Cooper, they will especially appreciate the Spam train, a 100% electric train they can ride in. Riding this train, children can watch jumping kangaroos from afar and drive through the traffic garden. In this garden, children between 6 and 12 years old can go-kart, while learning essential traffic signs.

If your kids love water, they will love the Harbor playground where they can slide and swim their way through. This is a perfect activity even when it’s raining. If you fear that children and rain do not go well, the House in the Hill will keep your kids safe and jumping. Here, they can jump on the trampolines, crawl through secret corridors, and many more. They will surely go hungry but don’t worry. There’s a nearby restaurant that will fill their hunger.

Ride the tram to the Cube Houses

Cube Houses
Cube Houses

The Cube Houses, also called Kijk-Kubus, is easily accessible by train. It is a well-furnished home and museum that will show you a unique living perspective, showcasing highly creative and striking architecture.

These cube houses are designed to tilt at a 45-degree angle for space optimization. If you see traces of the treetops from the houses, you’ve got it right. The unique design is meant to resemble an asymmetrical and abstract forest. If you want to be amazed by streamlined structure and fine architecture, this is the place for you.

Go to a food-filled district

Katendrecht, ‘de Kaap’ for short, is a controversial district. Once known as a red district among sailors, this attraction is still popular today but for a different reason. Nowadays, it is dotted by cozy and dainty restaurants and cafes that will satisfy you with the freshest and tastiest cuisines.

Whether you fancy fresh seafood, premium quality meat, world-famous cuisines, or mouthwatering desserts, this food hub is all-out with options for you. Make your meals more unforgettable through this dream destination among the foodies.

Experience a fancy Dutch market

De Markthal photo via Facebook Page
De Markthal photo via Facebook Page

Rotterdam’s Market Hall, also referred to as De Markthal, is an indoor market surrounded by wealthy neighborhoods. Apart from this unique feat, this marketplace takes the shape of a horseshoe, making it one of the most interesting markets in the world. You’ll have over 100 fresh food stands to choose from and around 15 food shops and restaurants to go to.

If this is not unique enough, wait till you see the publicly displayed archeological finds from Rotterdam’s distant past. These artifacts were discovered during the market’s construction and today, there are available for all tourists and locals to see. You can also have professional tour guides tell you the fine story behind this iconic market for an hour.

Get personal with Rotterdam’s Delfshaven

Delfshaven
Delfshaven

Delfshaven is a city-port around the city of Delft and its name translates to ‘Port of Delft. It is also the birthplace of Piet Hein, a renowned naval admiral-turned hero. Apart from learning Rotterdam’s history through this previously bombed borough, you will also learn to better appreciate the shops that consider this harbor home.

You will find interesting museums, a well-established distillery, and a lot of dining options in this gorgeous part of Rotterdam. Here, you can satisfy your thirst for the city’s past and present while having a truly meaningful stay.

Rotterdam Travel and Tour Packages

To help you plan out your visit to Rotterdam, we listed places to visit and things to do for your itinerary. We also listed some of the best Rotterdam travel and tour packages, as well as excellent flight deals and accommodation.

Tripadvisor has a list of the best Rotterdam vacation packages. You may check out Airbnbs listings in Rotterdam for cheap but high-quality accommodation.

Searching for the best Rotterdam hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Rotterdam hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new tourist attractions in Rotterdam? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, and TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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