Located in the south of Holland, Rotterdam is the second largest city in the country. The city is home to the largest seaport in Europe. Rotterdam hosts a very famous university, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and is well known for it’s picturesque riverside and aquatic culture and life.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 112
- Language: Dutch
- Currency: Euro
- Country Code: NL
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 651,446
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- As the second largest city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam does have some petty thieves. Always keep your personal belongings close or in view, and make sure your wallet or purse is kept safe at all times.
- Hopping on a Rotterdam harbour boat tour is a great way to view some of the action from the largest harbour in the world. You’ll see the beauty of the city skyline while also viewing the shipyards, docks, and the many giant containers.
For the Emergency services just dial 112 from any phone.
Where can I keep up with local news?
Are there any areas I should avoid?
In comparison to other large cities around the world, Rotterdam is considered to be quite safe. However, caution should be taken at night in parks, and areas such as Marconiplein and Spangen.
What are some top safety tips?
Be alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings. Take the usual safety precautions so you do not become a targets for pickpockets. Don’t put your wallet or mobile phone in your back pocket. Put any valuables items in a dark colour shopping bag when going out to avoid attention.
Car thieves normally target expensive cars but there are some exceptional situations where rental cars have been broken in to. Park the car in well lit areas and use car park with CCTV. Don’t leave valuables on your car seat as it could attract criminals, drive with the car door locked all times.
Credit card fraud, cloning cards can be an issue be careful where you use your cards. Also if you are withdrawing money from cash machines make sure you cover your pin and be discreet about the amount of cash you withdraw.
Keep an eye out for bikes when driving or walking. Bikes have priority in Holland, and usually have their own dedicated areas on the sides of roads. Sometimes, especially in the city centre, they can be found mixed with other traffic.
Every culture has its customs and traditions, they have been handed down the generations and are always held in high regards by the local residents.
Large bills usually require 5-10% tip, but don’t feel obliged to leave any extra money if the service wasn’t satisfactory. The Dutch will usually ignore percentages and leave whatever they feel like. However, it’s customary to leave 10% in taxis. Room service, porters and attendants in hotels will also expect a small tip.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Over the course of twelve days, 20 screens around Rotterdam show hundreds of films. What makes this festival unique is that filmmakers are actively encouraged to mingle with the audience, thus deepening the relationship between the two. The festival takes place in January each year.
Described as the biggest one day sporting event in the Netherlands, it attracts many of the world’s top athletes to compete and draws a crowd of 92,000.The marathon weekend also has its own festival. The event takes place in April of each year.
The 27th April is King’s Day marking the birth of King Willem-Alexander. It’s famous for its free market, where the Dutch will exchange second hand items, and also its celebration of the Dutch national colour, orange, in the Oranjegekte.
Even though it usually draws crowds of between 65-70,000 people, this festival still manages to feel intimate and welcoming. With over a thousand musicians spread over 13 venues, there’s sure to be a wide mix of music and festivities. Held in the second week of July.
Where are some of the best places to eat?
Located under the Rotterdam train line, this restaurant uses a variety of ingredients grown from the restaurant’s own garden to provide a fresh and delicious meal every time you visit.
If you want dinner with a view, look no further than the restaurant at the top of the Euromast. A truly unique dining experience, with a 360 degree view of the city to admire whilst you eat.
Located in a building that was once an old slaughterhouse, this restaurant selflessly supports local artists, and inside you can find a wide variety of art, paintings and sculptures. A very intimate atmosphere, this dining spot is the perfect location for a date, and is situated near many well-known bars, so you have plenty of options on where to head to next.
What are some great places to visit?
Boijmans was a lawyer who left his art collection to the city of Rotterdam upon his death. One of the oldest museums in the Netherlands, it houses a unique collection of everyday items, paintings and sculptures. Amazing to visit with lots of great exhibitions, a must for art lovers.
De Doelen is a concert hall known mostly for hosting classical music concerts, but also caters for jazz and world music. Built in 1934, it was destroyed by German bombs in 1940, and was impressively rebuilt in 1966.
The Euromast is an observational tower which carries the distinction of being the tallest building in Rotterdam. It offers a stunning 360° panoramic view from 100m, with guests wanting to see even more having the option to take the rotating lift another 85m. There is also a restaurant, two luxury accommodation suites, a souvenir shop, abseiling during the summer months.