Deemed by Time Out magazine as one of the best city breaks in Europe, Rotterdam is a beautiful city to explore anytime of the year. Being big fans of the city ourselves, we want to make sure visitors take advantage of all the great things Rotterdam has to offer. Because everyone is different and with varying tastes, a general list of spots to visit would just not do! We want to craft the perfect day for you, and so here are three completely different days for you to experience depending on your interests.
Source: ‘Dutch Support: Erasmus Bridge’, DutchReview, 2022
For the Cultural Explorer
To understand the essence of a city, you really have to explore all the cultural and popular spots. This is usually what tourists love to do but locals can also benefit from a day like this, after all, most of us don’t fully explore our own hometowns.
The best way to start is to just walk through the city with a list of spots you want to pass. In Rotterdam you have the beautiful Erasmusbrug which connects the northern and southern parts of the city. You can also walk by the Euromast which offers a great view of the city and a possibility to dine at their restaurant as well. Of course you can’t miss the famous cube houses which have given Rotterdam its title as an architectural city.
Source: Jarostaw Szafran, 'Cube House', 2020
Once you’re tired out from all the walking and the sights, you can visit long established and popular cafes for a true local lunch experience. Cafes like Café Stobbe and Melief Bender are historical sights in and of themselves. Both offer a wide selection of beers and wines, and dishes that please any and all crowds.
Source: Jan Kok, ‘Melief Bender, het oudste café van Rotterdam’, PZC.nl, 2021
Half the day has passed but there is still so much more to see. A classic yet never disappointing activity is a trip to a museum. There are several museums worth visiting in Rotterdam, like De Kunsthal for art lovers, the Wereldmuseum for the culturally curious, or the Maritime Museum for those wanting to learn about naval history. It’s all up to personal preference, and there are so many others that we cannot possibly name all of them. Whatever you choose will be worth it, and once you’ve done your share of learning, you can end your day walking through one or more of Rotterdam’s popular squares. Stadhuisplein, Oude Haven, and the Keile District are often buzzing with people sitting in restaurants and enjoying drinks. Any one of these squares would be the perfect ending to the perfect day.
Source: ‘Oude Haven', mustsee.today
For the Party Lover
The day time is certainly not everyone’s favourite part of the weekend. While Rotterdam has a unique charm during the mornings it is an entirely different experience during the evenings, particularly if you’re known to be a party animal.
There are many popular nightclubs in Rotterdam where people can let loose; the first one we recommend is Bird. With a garden, restaurant, café, and a stage/club, Bird has something for everyone. Besides their great parties, they have also hosted amazing performers such as Robert Glasper, Janelle Monáe, and Lianne La Havas.
Another great nightclub located in the heart of Rotterdam is Superdisco. There you will hear anything from your favorite pop hits, smooth R&B, hip-hop, or a variety of guilty pleasures. It is located in the basement of Supermercado, a Latin-American restaurant, so you can also enjoy some great street-food before your wild night out.
Source: Xiang Ye Yeung, ‘Bird Party’, bird-rotterdam.nl, 2016 Source: ‘Maassilo Rotterdam’, tiktakkingsnight.nl. .
Finally, and perhaps the biggest Rotterdam nightclub of all, is Maassilo. The venue hosts parties and festivals with a wide range of music from rave to urban. Within Maassilo is the Now&Wow Club at the height of 40 meters. This means you can view the Rotterdam skyline as you party the night away.
If you want a change from the typical nightclub you can always pop into Fame, a popular karaoke bar in the city. Here you can really let loose no matter how bad your singing abilities are. In addition to singing, you can order hearty snacks to make the night complete.
Source: ‘Bart Hoogveld, 'Kareoke Bar Fame', ad.nl
Whether you want to go clubbing, or head to a karaoke bar, the next morning might be a difficult one. Lilith is a great spot to cure your hangover. Open every day of the week, Lilith serves all-day breakfast centered around vegetarian and vegan dishes. They have a variety of dishes that are fatty, fresh, or just plain delicious, all of which will satisfy and cure you from the night before.
For the Foodie
Many of the best memories involve food. Whether you’ve tried a delicious new dish or someone surprised you with a homemade treat, no great day is complete without great food experiences. Most intense foodies move from one restaurant to the next, and we fully support this. Here’s a day all about food.
De Markthal in Rotterdam is a must visit for any foodie. It is the first indoor market in the Netherlands, one which combines fresh food and stunning architecture. Here you can try delicacies, shop for fresh ingredients, or sit in one of the many restaurants and cafes in the building. Is it sunny during your visit? Then why not organize a picnic? Take your food or ingredients from Markthal and head on over to Kralingse Bos or Vroesenpark.
Source: 'Markthal Rotterdam', dagjeuitpagina.nl
If you prefer to experience the relaxing ambiance of a restaurant rather than the buzz of a market, then there are many other options for you. You can start off your day at Baker & Moore, a calming café that serves all day breakfast and classic brunch dishes. They also have their very own healthy high tea complete with luxury sandwiches, delicious pastries, home-made juices and more.
Source: ‘Dodo Café Rotterdam’, New York Ceiling
After walking around the city center, it is time for lunch. We recommend Dodo Cafe, a space with multiple different rooms and therefore different experiences. The café also focuses on worldly cuisine, providing the flavours of the Mediterranean coast, the Middle East, and Asia. Not only does Dodo Café have great food and drinks, it has also recently won an Entrée award for the Best New All Day Concept.
Source: bakerandmoore.nl Source: ‘Dodo Café Rotterdam’, New York Ceiling
Finally, the time has come to end the night with a comforting dinner. Little V is a Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of the city which shares the culture and history of the nation through its food. An established name in Vietnamese cuisine, Little V offers complex dishes that can be shared among the table. If you care to end your day with something more refined, then Just is the best option. An eclectic and worldly restaurant inspired heavily by Caribbean cuisine, Just not only delivers on flavor but also creativity, giving you what they call “Soulfood with finesse.”
We hope you have the opportunity to explore even one of these places, they’ll surely be worth your time. Of course there are many more spots to discover and you can easily do that with the Nocto app. Once downloaded, the Nocto app can help you find the best bar or restaurant for you. You can even discover events happening around you, check out the deals available from Nocto partners, or even order an Uber with ease. If you post photos/videos on the app you can earn digital tokens that can be spent at Nocto partners for free drinks, queue skips, and entrance tickets. It’s truly a win-win situation, especially for a first-timer in Rotterdam.
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