Rotterdam may be the Netherlands’ “second city,” but it exudes the confidence of a capital. Home to the world’s largest port, some of the best architecture in Europe, and first-rate art and food scenes, it is well worth making the quick trip from Amsterdam. Here’s how to spend one day in Rotterdam.
Rotterdam is a pleasantly walkable city, so get a feel for the local atmosphere by taking a walking tour. You’ll find many different private and group tours from which to choose, from architecture-themed tours that take you to see Piet Blom’s Cube Houses, among other highlights; to history- and culture-focused tours that provide insight into Rotterdam’s post-World War II recovery and how the city center was rebuilt after being flattened by bombing. Another option is to zip around the city by bike. You’ll also see the top sights but cover more ground in less time.
Indulge your interests a little deeper by embarking on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour. Sitting on the upper deck of a double-decker bus offers views of the cityscape, and you can either stay aboard as the bus makes its full loop around the city or hop on and off when you wish. Tours typically include stops at attractions such as Erasmus Bridge and Museumpark and, for the duration of their tickets’ validity, passengers are permitted to get off the bus to explore, then get back on and continue to another attraction.
Round out your day in Rotterdam by discovering the delights of Dutch cuisine on a private walking tour tailor-made for foodies. Food-themed tours typically visit the Kruiskade and Chinatown neighborhoods, taking in the sights and atmosphere, and provide insight into Rotterdam’s restaurants, street food, and culinary scene. Sample a variety of local delicacies such as herring, Stroopwafel, and krokets before ending the night at Market Hall to browse the many stalls and where, if you are still hungry, you can sit down for dinner and a drink.