Rotterdam with Erasmus Bridge in the distance

How To Spend One Epic Day in Rotterdam

Planning your one-day trip to Rotterdam can be overwhelming, considering the amount of must-see sites and unique things to do.

There are so many sights worth seeing, that it won’t be possible to discover everything that this city offers in just one day. However, it will be possible to have an epic day in Rotterdam.

As I visit this city every two months, I know where to wander. This article provides an itinerary curated just for you, ensuring you don’t miss out on any highlights while making the most of your limited time.

Ready to explore all that this unique Dutch city has to offer?

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

Erasmustoren in the distance at Erasmuspark
people sitting in Erasmuspark
Erasmuspark, Rotterdam

How to get around Rotterdam?

Exploring Rotterdam is a breeze with several transport options. You’ll probably arrive by train at Rotterdam Central Station. From here, hop on a bike for a local experience, walk your way around the city or take advantage of the efficient tram and metro system.

rotterdam central
With a new statue on the right

Top things to do in Rotterdam in one day

For an epic day in Rotterdam, you should pick four of the following activities that catch your eye.

Visit Delfshaven

Head over to Delfshaven for a fun time in Rotterdam. This spot is full of old, pretty buildings and water canals. Especially history fans will love this charming place.

You can take your own time here as well as it’s near other top sights to see in the city.

Delfshaven in Rotterdam

Go up the Euromast

Going up the Euromast is one of the must-do things here. Buy tickets in the foyer. From there, you have a great view of Rotterdam. This is one of the best things to do in the city. The tower lets you see all of Rotterdam’s interesting designs and shapes.

Have lunch at De Markthal

Be sure to have lunch at De Markthal. It’s a hot spot in Rotterdam and great for food lovers. This place is colorful, full of tasty smells and has many kinds of foods to pick from.

Markthal Rotterdam

Take photos on the Erasmus Bridge

You should not miss the Erasmus Bridge on your trip. It’s a famous place in Rotterdam. A lot of people go there to take pictures. The amazing views make it even more exciting.

The bridge has a sleek design that draws you in. You can reach the bridge by walking for 10 minutes from the Maritime Museum. This gives you another great chance to see and enjoy Rotterdam too.

So, make sure to stop at this modern design wonder and capture some cool photos!

Room view over the river and Erasmusbrug
Erasmusbrug in Rotterdam: views from Maashotel

Admire the Cube Houses

An example of interesting architecture in Rotterdam are the Cube Houses. They look like big Rubik’s cubes. The houses sit at a tilt and seem very different. You can find these houses at Kijk-Kubus. It’s open every day from 11am to 5pm.

To get in, you pay €3. This place is worth a visit for its fun style.

cube houses in rotterdam

See SS Rotterdam

Go to the SS Rotterdam, near to the Erasmus Bridge. You can see it if you take a tour of the harbor. The ship has many spots for fun and facts. There are tours that tell about the ship’s past.

You can also eat or have a drink there. It’s a beloved spot in Rotterdam.

SS Rotterdam
SS Rotterdam

Visit the Maritime Museum

Walk to the Maritime Museum. It’s near Markthal, only a short trip away. Look at old model ships here. You can also try out running an oil and gas rig! This place is great for all ages.

Kids will love playing with the fun exhibits that teach them new things!

Sit on a terrace at Witte de With Street

Witte de With Street is a hot spot in Rotterdam. The street is alive with food places, bars and art spots. Take a seat on one of the open-air terraces. You will enjoy food and drinks outside in the fresh air.

The busy life of Witte de With Street brings joy to many people, so expect it to be crowded. It doesn’t get as crowded as Amsterdam though, which is one of the nice differences between Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

When the weather is good, you can see lots of people sitting outside here. Join them and feel the energy this colorful street gives off!

Witte de Withstraat Rotterdam
Witte de With

Visit Depot Boijmans van Beuningen

Definitely go to Depot Boijmans van Beuningen if you’re an art lover. It has a huge art collection. There are more than 154,000 art pieces here. These have been collected over 174 years! This depot is special because it’s the first one that people can visit freely in the whole world.

Depot Boijmans in Rotterdam

You can pick from two types of tours – one where you walk alone or one with a guide who tells you about everything. A ticket will cost around 20 euros per adult.

Near to the Depot you’ll find Museumpark, a beautiful small park filled with greenery. I highly recommend going for a walk in this park after wandering around the Depot.

You can for instance visit the Depot first and then walk through the Museumpark to get to the lovely Erasmuspark, another, larger park nearby.

Museumpark views
Views from Museumpark
Flower field at Museumpark
Beautiful Museumpark

Explore Chinatown

Make sure to set foot in Chinatown, the biggest one in the Netherlands. It’s not far from Central Station and easy to find. There are many stores, supermarkets and places to eat here. Enjoy a walk on your own and see all that it has to offer.

You will feel like you are in a new world with its vibrant activity and unique culture. So go ahead, dive into Chinatown’s rich history, try some tasty food or pick up unique items from local shops!

Picnic in Erasmuspark

Plan a picnic in Erasmuspark. This park is part of the Erasmus University campus. It’s a green place where you can relax.

Besides having a picnic, there are other things to do at the park too. You can take a walk, go for a run or ride bikes here.

A day spent in this pretty park is sure to be memorable!

Erasmuspark filled with greenery and trees
Erasmuspark in Rotterdam, also known as ”Het Park”

Where to stay in Rotterdam?

Some of the best places to stay in Rotterdam include the following:

Maashotel Rotterdam

One of the best places to stay in Rotterdam is Maashotel Rotterdam Centre. It’s located in the centre of Rotterdam and has amazing views of the Erasmus Bridge. It’s also a great hotel to spend your New Year’s Eve at.

Views from room at Maashotel Rotterdam Centre
Views from our room at Maashotel Rotterdam

Boutique Hotel Ame

Boutique Hotel Ame is a beautiful place to stay. It sits right in the city center of Rotterdam and although it’s only small, it feels very luxurious.

This hotel will make your trip to the city extra special and charming. There’s also a cute cafe inside. Here you can see whether there’s still availability for your stay.

Ame Boutique Hotel
Boutique Hotel Ame

The Bellhop Hotel Rotterdam

For a more affordable stay in Rotterdam, book a room at Bellhop Hotel Rotterdam. The hotel is small, yet located in the city centre, so you can easily go and explore from here. It’s one of the best value for money places in Rotterdam.

Click here to view its rates and availability.

Bellhop Hotel Rotterdam

In conclusion

In one day in Rotterdam you can explore lots of its great sights. The city is full of fun things to do, so you won’t be able to see everything that it has to offer. However, you will be able to have an epic day in this special place. Just follow the tips above and get ready for a great time!

FAQ:

Here you’ll find your most frequently asked questions answered.

Can I see or do all the activities in a single day in Rotterdam?

No, it won’t be possible to do all of them because each activity is unique and deserves time to enjoy fully.

How many activities can I choose for my itinerary?

You’re advised to pick only four of the above list of best experiences in Rotterdam for your one-day tour. It’s important not to rush things and really soak up each experience since you won’t be able to see or do everything on offer.

Away with Danae

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