Rent a car Rotterdam? Rotterdam is a harbor city which is becoming an increasingly popular destination for city trips in Europe. The city was almost entirely destroyed during the second World War and has been rebuilt into a modern yet slightly gritty new town. The interesting architecture and many cultural institutions and museums all match the quirkiness of its inhabitants, making it an experience you will never forget. Since it is such a big city, there are plenty of things to do. The best way to get around is by car, even though the public transport system is very well organized. With four wheels and an engine however, you will be able to decide your own pace and easily reach the more remote sights of which there are plenty! To give you an idea what you can do in this beautiful city, we have made a long shortlist for you. Choosing a car rental from Rotterdam will be a wise decision once you find out just how much there is to see. Are you ready to rent a in Rotterdam?
Sights and activities everywhere
We can make it easy for you to hire a car in Rotterdam from home. If you have landed at the airport we have a car for you ready! Care hire Rotterdam Airport or Amsterdam Airport is easy to book from home.
In Rotterdam, there are activities everywhere. Besides the stunning architecture of the modern city, you will find people doing fun things in every part of the town, in places where you might not expect it. This shows how creative the inhabitants of this city are when it comes to using the spaces they have available. The people here are honest and kind in their own unique way and you will find that this matches the city very well. So without further ado, here is everything you can do. Starting with:
This zoo is an iconic part of Rotterdam. It was originally founded by two railroad employees to house their collection of exotic birds. The collection started out with one seagull, a few ducks and a hare. From that point on the family of animals grew and started to include species from around the world. A few years prior to World War II, the municipality decided that the zoo should be moved to the edge of the city to make room for more skyscrapers. The new location would be in the area called Blijdorp, and that is where the Zoo got its current name from. If you are a fan of animals, be sure to pay the zoo a visit!
Originally built in honor of the flower fair, the Euromast is a tower which resembles a ships mast and crows-nest. With its original 100 meter height you could see the entire city of Rotterdam and beyond from inside the crows nest. However, many other buildings were built to a greater height and the people of Rotterdam were confronted with a dent in their pride. Then, in 1970, they hit back. They placed a space tower on the top, which added another 85 meters of height to the already impressive construction. That way it became the tallest building of the city and one of the biggest of the country once again. Inside the tower there’s a beautiful view, but also the possibility to eat dinner or spend the night. The daredevils among you can even descend the tower by abseiling!
Another prime example of the stunning architectural achievements of the city is the Markthal, which translates directly into market hall. The giant structure is shaped like a horseshoe and features glass panels on both the front and back. Unique to these types of buildings is that there are apartments built into it. In the large open area, there are many different food stalls, both permanent and temporary. There you can taste different foods and beverages from around the world, while enjoying the artwork of the interior. That artwork stretches around the entire inner wall and ceiling of the Markthal. For your imagination, the size is equal to that of two football fields combined! The impressive artwork earned the Markthal its nickname of the Dutch Sixteen Chapel. If you visit the city, this is one sight you should definitely not miss.
The Oude haven
Since Rotterdam is a harbor city, you have to visit some of its waterfronts. There is no better place to do so than at the Oude haven. This iconic old port is very centrally located and features a few beautiful buildings in its direct vicinity. The name translates directly into old haven and, even though it is very old, it is actually not the oldest port of the city. That honor belongs to a different spot in town, because of a scaffolding which was there hundreds of years ago. Without dwindling though, the Oude haven is a very cozy area with lots of bars and restaurants where you can take in Rotterdam in all of its glory. Enjoy some well-earned rest after a long day of exploring and drink a hot cup of tea or coffee at one of the café’s.
Ships and harbors, water and history. You have probably guessed by now that the Dutch and the people from Rotterdam especially are very proud of their maritime history. Located at just a few minutes walking distance from the Oude haven is the Maritime Museum. This shipping- and harbor museum has fused with the nearby harbor museum and now hosts everything about the past, present and future of the Dutch maritime sector. There are over 850.000 items in the museums collection, so there’s more than enough to take in from the ever changing displays.
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen
Hosting interesting collections of many different artforms both current and historical, the Boijmans van Beuningen museum is renowned for its variety and quality in art. From the old Dutch masters like Bosch, Rembrandt and Van Eyck to one of the largest collections of surrealism in Europe, including Dalí and Magritte. But they didn’t stop there. Impressionism is represented by the likes of Monet, Cézanne and Degas with touches of Van Gogh and Breitner and expressionism by artists such as Munch and Kokoschka. This might not say much to some of you, but art lovers will find their hearts beating faster after reading the aforementioned names.
Don’t worry, this is not necessarily a museum for snooty and knowledgeable art people. With interesting themes and interactive pieces by many different artists, the museum appeals to everyone. Prepare to be overwhelmed by amazement and you will surely have a good time here.
The Central Station
Yet another architectural highlight is the Central Station. More than a hundred thousand passengers come through it every day to use the public transport facilities. Since it is generally the easiest way to travel in from Amsterdam or Rotterdam Airport by train, people have started to call the station the international access gate of the city. After years of construction, during which commuters had to navigate through the building pit that was to become the new station, it was finally finished in 2014 and opened by the Dutch king Willem Alexander. The front entrance features an enormous cap that points to the center of the city. People who see this for the first time will generally produce a few ooh’s and ah’s, so chances are you will do the same.
In the middle of the city are a few strange structures to be found. They are houses, shaped like tilted cubes. When viewing these from the outside, one would question the possibility of people living in one of these. While most of them are indeed inhabited, there is one that is used for short tours during which you can actually enter the cube house yourself! These cube houses were one of the big selling points for Rotterdam as an architectural city and have been iconic ever since they were completed in 1984. The architect who designed these houses was Piet Blom, a famous structuralist who designed many buildings in the Netherlands.
The nightlife in Rotterdam hosts a wild variety of different clubs and venues. In the middle of the city, you will find exquisite clubs where you can order bottles of champagne and celebrate as you would in New York or Paris. Venues like NORA and the Thalia Lounge require you to look sharp but repay you in full when you experience the well crafted parties.
In the so called Schieblok, near the central station, you will find a few different clubs and during summertime even a biergarten where you can bask in the sun. This area represents more of a niche clubbing scene which many of the people from Rotterdam thoroughly enjoy. The block was designated for demolition by the municipality, but since there haven’t been any concrete plans for the site yet it remains a haven for creatives and clubbing fans alike.
Witte de With street
Just outside of the inner city center there is the Witte de With street. After visiting the maritime museum you can cross the street and enjoy lunch or dinner in this cultural hub. It features many different cafés, art galleries and shops which are just a tad bit different than the average ones. The King Kong Hostel and Café de Witte Aap come to mind as spots which are definitely worth a visit. During the annual Museumnacht010 this street shines at its brightest. There are art shows and venues open until early in the morning. This is surely worth your time when you’re in town during the event.
A tour around the harbor
Some say that you can’t be from Rotterdam if you haven’t been aboard the Spido for a tour across the waters of Rotterdam and Europe’s largest harbor. The same goes for your visit to the city. Witness the impressive skyline from the water, tour past the immensely large container storage area and finish up by passing the SS Rotterdam. That’s an old steam ship that used to sail from the Netherlands to America and back again. As one of the most famous post-war Dutch passenger ships it was used for over fifty years. Currently it is in use as floating recreation area including a restaurant and guided tours.
Rent a car in Rotterdam
So, are you ready to explore the most beautiful city of the Netherlands? You might not be able to wait any longer, but bear with us. When traveling here you might pay a lot of extra money for a rental car if you haven’t rented one in advance. Therefore we strongly advise you to look into this matter before traveling to Rotterdam. Prices at the airport as well as in the city may vary by large degrees, so you may end up paying a lot more money than necessary if you’re unlucky. With our tool, you can look up the cheapest rental option for your wishes. There’s the possibility to hire big or small cars with manual or automatic gear shifts and many, many other options. We hope that you will take this advice to heart and that you will thoroughly enjoy your stay in Rotterdam. Have you already seen Rotterdam? Why not visit The Hague or Amsterdam?