Rotterdam in 36 hours: the highlights and hotspots

36 hours in rotterdam

Rotterdam is getting more and more popular for a city trip. I totally understand why. Rotterdam has the biggest harbor of Europe, has an actual skyline and offers historical canals. Besides that, Rotterdam is a multicultural city in the Netherlands, hosting inhabitants of over 160 different nationalities. In this blog, we’ll share our tips to explore Rotterdam within one or two days.

It’s all about food

Different nationalities and cultures come together in Rotterdam. Plenty of choices to try and enjoy different food. A famous place in Rotterdam is the Market Hall, a covered food market with many restaurants and market stalls under the most beautiful ceiling in the city. Another nice restaurant is NY basement, a trendy restaurant and cocktail bar in the basement of a nostalgic and characteristic building at the head of the Wilhelminapier. Nhow Rotterdam is famous for its bar, restaurant and rooftop terrace overlooking the skyline of the city.

If you want to grab a pasta, Pasta Kantine is the place to be. Here you can get some affordable and nice pasta’s. For a quick lunch or a delicious coffee you can go to Hopper or Lebkov en Sons, near to the central station of Rotterdam.

Another place that you don’t want to miss is Fenix Food Factory. Entrepreneurs offer a culinary spot where you can shop products, learn how products are made and or course taste everything. And also the location is worth seeing, Fenix Food Factory is located in an old harbor shed.

The places to be for culture & shopping

A must-see for those who visit Rotterdam and one of my favorite streets: Witte de With. In this street with many art galleries, cafes, restaurants and unique shops. In spring and summer, you can also grab a drink on one of the terraces. When you are looking for inspiration for your interior you should definitely visit Groos Rotterdam or Wattnou. If you’re an art lover, you can wander around in the art hall. Rotterdam is the perfect place for second-hand and vintage clothing. My favorite vintages stores are Ruby Lee and the vintage factory, Dearhunter Vintage and Tonys Garage Sale. At Sluyter & Meijer you will find the nicest second-hand and new clothing, gadgets and gifts. Every two months they offer room for up-and-coming talent to show their exhibition.

A must-visit is COLLECTIV. by Swan. This concept store is filled, styled and staffed by approximately 30 cooperating small entrepreneurs. Get inspired by their fashion, jewelry, bags, prints, art, vintage, furniture, pillows, lamps, and more…

Not ‘so secret’ but nice to visit spots in Rotterdam

When you visit Rotterdam, a visit to the Cube Houses cannot be missed. In addition, it is nice to just walk over the Erasmus bridge and take a look at the town hall. Stroll through the old harbor and settle down for a cold drink.

Travel through Rotterdam like a local

You can explore Rotterdam by foot or use public transport. Within the center, you can take buses, trams, metros and trains. Or you can rent an electric scooter to discover the city. Download the felyx app, verify your driver’s license and you can easily rent a scooter for 0,30 euro cents per minute. The scooters are parked throughout the whole city which means that you can easily rent and park a scooter nearby. Another way to move you around the city is to take the water taxi. There are 45 pick-up points where you can reserve a taxi by phone which is hanging at the pick-up point.

Sleeping in Rotterdam

Spent your night in Mainport hotel. This hotel is perfectly located in the harbor of Rotterdam, has excellent breakfast and most of the rooms have a private sauna and bath. The best way to end your city trip is to bring a visit to the wellness & spa. As a guest of the hotel, you have free entrance.


Hi! My name is Manon, an Amsterdam based travel junkie who wants to explore at least three new destinations each year. Follow my personal Instagram: @manonheitkamp

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