From £59

single car + driver

Visit Rotterdam

Take a trip to Rotterdam to explore one of Holland's most architecturally diverse and culturally eclectic cities

Simply take Stena Line's ferry via the Hook of Holland, from there Rotterdam is only 1/2 hour away.

erasmus bridge
Welcome to Rotterdam!

First settled in 1270, Rotterdam blossomed into a Golden Age beauty only for three quarters of the city to be flattened by the Luftwaffe during World War II. Adopting a typically Dutch pragmatic attitude, the Rotterdamers brushed themselves off and rebuilt their city as a hotbed of modern architecture and design.

Today, the Netherlands' second city is a veritable playground for global "starchitects": iconic structures litter the city, including Piet Blom's 1970s cube houses, Ben van Berkel's Erasmus Bridge, Renzo Piano's KPN Tower and Rem Koolhaas' De Rotterdam. As The New York Times declared, "Rotterdam is increasingly to architecture what Paris is to fashion, or Los Angeles to entertainment," making it all the more fitting that the high-rise city has gained the nickname "Manhattan on the Maas [river]".

Nonetheless, Rotterdam remains very much a working city, retaining its long-held role as a major international commercial centre and Europe's largest port. It's also rich in cultural attractions, from outstanding museums to a renowned clubbing scene.

Book Rotterdam
Book your trip to Rotterdam now

To enjoy Rotterdam's cosmopolitan arts scene, its historic wonders and its active nightlife, take a ferry to Holland with Stena Line today and you'll be free to explore Rotterdam.

You're sure to have a fabulous cultural experience, and enjoy the some of the best nightlife in Holland at the same time.

explore rotterdam
The Architecture

Rotterdam's exceptional architecture ranges from the medieval Laurenskerk church and 1930s Sonneveld House to cutting-edge structures like the Erasmus Bridge and World Trade Centre.

Shopping Rotterdam
The shops

Rotterdam is home to numerous avant-garde Dutch designers, from the lingerie specialist Marlies Dekkers to cutting-edge women's wear designer Wendela van Dijk.

There are also antique shops in the old parts of Rotterdam and a collection of sustainable shops in 'The Green Passage' (De Groene Passage).

coffee break
Make like a local

Walk the Lijnbaan and Koopgoot (Shopping Gutter) looking for bargains before heading east to Meent for more trendy boutiques and some appeltaart (apple cake) at Café Dudock.

Then hop on a bike to pedal around Oude Haven (Old Harbour), across the Erasmus Bridge and to the tip of the Wilhelmina pier for a drink at the New York Hotel.

Five things you might not know about Rotterdam

1. Rotterdam's port, Europoort, was the world's busiest port from 1962 to 2004, when it was superseded by Shanghai. It remains Europe's largest port.

2. Rotterdam is home to Europe's first pedestrian shopping zone, the Lijnbaan, which opened in 1953 and was subsequently copied across the Continent.

3. There are only seven original windmills left in Rotterdam, of which only two (De Ster and De Lelie, the Star and Lily) are regularly open to visitors.

4. The Maeslant storm surge barrier protects Rotterdam's harbour and surrounding towns from flooding by the North Sea. The pioneering barrier is one of the largest moving objects on the planet, comprising two 22 metre high and 210 metre long steel gates powered by two 237 metre-long trusses.

5. The name Rotterdam dates to around 900, when early settlers camped by a stream they called the Rotta, reflecting its muddiness. When a dam was built on the river in the 1260s, it became known as Rotterdam.

Five top spots for taking Rotterdam photographs

1. Seek inspiration from the Netherlands Photography Museum before shooting your own masterpieces: the sole remaining 1950s building in the harbour, the Las Palmas building offers fantastic views of Erasmus Bridge.

2. Pay a visit to the barbershop in the basement of the New York Hotel, the former HQ of the Holland-America Line. Have your picture taken as you enjoy a haircut or shave and a cup of coffee in an original 1930s barber chair.

3. It's hard to miss the horseshoe arch above Markthal, Rotterdam's indoor market. Inspired by Valencia's Mercado Central, it makes a striking spot for a photograph.

4. The best panoramic views of Rotterdam are snapped from the viewing platform on the Euromast. For more unusual night-time shots, book one of the two suites at the top of the mast.

5. The old passenger terminal that now houses Café Rotterdam provides great photography opportunities, as does its terrace with views across the water and Rotterdam skyline.