"Rotterdam, the most vibrant Dutch city !" Top 5 Page for this destination Rotterdam by ATLC

Rotterdam Travel Guide: 1,424 reviews and 3,807 photos

The return of the cruise ships.

This is my favourite Dutch city. This is purely personal. It isn't the most beautiful but it is vibrant, down-to-earth, and I have worked here since 1990.

On July 21st 2004, the Queen Mary 2 docked for one day in the harbour in central Rotterdam. Which attraced thousands of spectators and threw city traffic into chaos!
Hotel New York (the low, old building on the right) used to be the headquarters of the Holland-America Line. The highrise next to it wasn't even there 10 years ago.
Compared to these buildings you can truly appreciate the size of the ship.
Have a look at my Travelogue return of the cruise ships with photos of some special moments...

Rotterdam holds something special for me. Not only have I worked there since 1990, but I also left Rotterdam on a world trip to New Zealand by boat. But that was about 35 years ago and our actual cruiseship was waiting for us in Southampton (UK). I still remember though, the smell and busy atmosphere of people leaving and saying goodbye. In those days one did rarely return if one emigrated to far away!

My special tours of Rotterdam

For architecture lovers, I've added 24 tips under Off The Beaten Path about the Sonneveld house, built between 1929-1933 which will amaze you with its modern 21st century style. The tour starts here

Newsflash, Sept. 2010 the Reuters website publishes an article: Sonneveld house named no. 3 on top-10 list of World Sexiest Buildings! You can read more about it on the VT forum

New I went on a discovery tour in one of the downtown Rotterdam areas called Afrikaanderwijk. A multicultural area, partly renovated, partly old. It was a free audiotour and you learn a lot about urban living, many cultures, typical inner city problems and some nice surprises. The tour (22 tips/about 100 photos) starts here.


More Festivals in Rotterdam can be found in my Nightlife tips.
Some tips still need updating but as the dates for 2013 become known, I'll add the info. In the meantime keep yourself updated on Rotterdam Festivals in English.

A spectacular Chinese light park with daily shows under the Euromast. I bet it's a must see and I'll be going too! Check for more info and an advance glimmer:
China Light

40th Rotterdam Film Festival 2013
For information click here.

Flying Grass Carpet until 15 September 2008. A temporary city park on the Schouwburgplein. Go picnic, sunbath, frisbee. Enjoy activities every weekend such as street theatre, face painting, circus demonstrations. More info here . Location: Schouwburgplein. How to get there: walk 5 minutes south from Central Station.

Open air classic concert. Weekend of 31/31 August 2012.
The Rotterdam Philharmonic plays on Saturday and the Junior Rotterdam Philharmonic on Sunday. Enjoy it at the most pittoresque harbour in Rotterdam, the Veerhaven And its free! More info. How to get there: Tram: 7, stop Westplein; 8 en 20, stop Vasteland and 23 en 25, stop Leuvehaven. Have fun!


To be honest, I do not even like football. But it is a big thing in our country. So I am also a Feyenoord fan when I have to be. Or Sparta. Both Rotterdam football clubs.

In my Sports travel tip, you'll find the full season of Feyenoord 2007-2008.

PHOTOS: Edgar Davids, Dutch star football player on the building of the Nationale Nederlanden (insurance company world wide) during EURO 2000.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Vibrant, hardworking, down-to-earth, spectacular
  • Cons:not as quaint as Amsterdam (this is not a con at all!)
  • In a nutshell:The best city in The Netherlands
  • Last visit to Rotterdam: Sep 2010
  • Intro Updated Dec 21, 2012
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Reviews (159)

Comments (92)

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    Great page with fabulous info! I was hoping to visit Rotterdam this year and take a cruise from there to Norway, but the cost of plane fare is in the stratosphere!! I'd really like to visit the SS Rotterdam and stay at Hotel New York!

    • ATLC's Profile Photo
      Feb 3, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      WHen you're ready to visit Rotterdam, give me a shout :-)

    • starship's Profile Photo
      Feb 4, 2013 at 5:36 AM

      Thanks very much! If we are able to visit at another time, I'll definitely get in touch wiht you!

  • adema29's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2011 at 7:32 AM

    An impressive guide of Rotterdam! And great photos!

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2009 at 10:42 PM

    I see I've been here before Anke....but enjoyed the read again :o) There's so much to do here! Think I might add it to my list of places to see when we come to Europe in 2011. Still love those cube houses :o) Cheers, Ann.

  • roamer61's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2009 at 7:49 AM

    Hi Anke. Nice page on Rotterdam. I could have gone there but didn't as there is not much of personal interest to me there.

  • HooptheWorld's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2008 at 2:00 PM

    Now you have me seriously thinking about a day or two trip to Rotterdam! Excellent tips and photos. Thanks!

  • catnl's Profile Photo
    Sep 14, 2008 at 11:54 AM

    hmmmmmmmmmmm reading the new shopping tips about food....getting hungry again:-)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Aug 28, 2008 at 1:12 PM

    Hi A-T, good night for now that i have some architecture to think about while im sleepinf!thanks for your interesting tips!Hi back agian to see yr new tips - interesting look into local multicultural life!

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo
    Mar 10, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    I've never been to Rotterdam so I enjoyed this little virtual tour. It looks like an interesting and vibrant city and I would really enjoy spending some time browsing at Donner. Liked the crawling babies too :))

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jan 13, 2008 at 2:52 AM

    Hello, Anke-Thea! Your pages are superb, as always! Thanx!

  • Valeggua's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2007 at 9:08 AM

    Rotterdam is my favourite dutch city too! Nice tips and photographs!

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