City Guide: Rotterdam

Modern and diverse: Rotterdam is the most contemporary out of all Dutch cities. Take a ride on the oldest metro system in the Netherlands, see the state-of-the-art architecture, have dinner in the incredible Markthal and visit one of the hundreds of exhibitions and shows Rotterdam has to offer. In this city guide you will find some facts about the city, advice on where to go and what to see, as well as some practical information.


Rotterdam is a Dutch city with a rich history, as it’s always been an important port for Dutch trade. The city was founded in the 13th century and got it’s start as a humble fishing village, but it didn’t take long before the first harbor was built. The city is located in the delta that brings together the Maas and the Rijn river. The port (long the largest in the world, and still the largest in Europe) spans 40 kilometers and ends in the North Sea.

Rotterdam is special, because of the past, but also because of the present. Due to the Dutch neutrality, its location and resources Rotterdam became home to the largest spy-network during WWI. Rotterdam was incredibly important. The Germans bombed the city in WWII and it had to be rebuilt from zero after the war. This resilience and ability to adapt is what makes Rotterdam unique in the Netherlands today. Rotterdam’s flexibility, creativity and innovation attracts a lot of diverse people: 174 nationalities are represented in Rotterdam. Need some tips on must sees in this grand and modern city? Keep reading!


Rotterdam city guide


  • (Public) Transportation, how to navigate (to) Maastricht by car, bus, train and bike.
  • An overview of public holidays (not everything will be closed on these holidays but be aware that a lot of establishments will take these days off).
  • For any emergency call 112. The operator will ask you whether you need the police, fire department, or an ambulance.
  • Because the city is so modern, a lot of disabled people find Rotterdam more accessible than other Dutch cities (not as many cobblestones!) You can find information about travelling around Rotterdam with a disability here (accessible travel NL).



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