Rotterdam is a unique city and differentiates itself from other cities in the Netherlands. The contemporary architecture, vibrant entertainment scene and dynamic vibe are just a few of the reasons why Rotterdam is a fantastic city to visit during your trip to the 2023 UEFA Nations League final. Here is our summary of the top things to do to get the most of your visit.
Right in the heart of the city centre, near tram stop Blaak, you’ll find an iconic building in the city – Markhal. Once inside you’ll quickly see the artsy interior and bustling food stalls. Grab a bite to eat or drink and explore the assortment of foods and flavours.
A staple architectural must-see in the city, the yellow and white cube picturesque houses are easily recognised when walking through the city centre. Try counting the houses and see if you get the correct number. For a small fee, you can go inside and see the layout of actual residents who live in the cubes.
One of the liveliest streets in the city, the Witte de Withstraat is lined with cultural institutions, art galleries, restaurants, hip cafes and terrasses. At night, this street is the place to be in the city – check out De Witte Aap, ‘the White Ape’, a longstanding favourite and the most famous bar in the city.
The Erasmus Bridge is undoubtedly one of the most iconic sights in the city. A popular spot for photos, you may even spot a cruise ship in the harbour. Across the bridge sits the Fenix Food Factory – the perfect casual spot for local beers and bites among small local food vendors.
Standing at 185m above the city, this is Rotterdam's highest building and you can a ride up to the top of the tower to enjoy the daytime landscape or sunset views. Fun fact - on a clear day you'll even be able to see Antwerp, in Belgium, which is about 80km away!
After a day full of exploring, be sure to stop by the Old Harbour, a popular spot to unwind. Here you’ll find plenty of bars along the water with views overlooking the boats and some of Rotterdam’s modern architecture.
Did you know? 💡
Rotterdam has a beautiful skyline and is home to about 350 high-rise buildings. Many are located along the river Maas, giving it the nickname Manhattan on the Maas. 🌇
As a very progressive and modern city with a vibrant mix of students, young professionals and families, there is certainly accommodation to suit every budget from hostels to economy hotels, mid-range, and luxury offerings. Here is a breakdown of our recommended neighbourhoods to consider:
You can’t go wrong with staying in the heart of the city centre. Whether you’re looking to explore some of the top landmarks, restaurants, cafes, shopping or stay close to the nightlife , you have it all here. Several metro and tram stations are nearby so you are well-connected to the stadium and have a wide variety of hotel options to choose from.
Located right across the Erasmusbrug, stay in the heart of the Rotterdam skyline in this refurbished shipping area which is now a hip and trendy living area. Here you can find the famous Hotel New York and the SS Rotterdam - a historic and majestic ship that is not only a chic hotel but also offers excellent tours, dining and drinks with a view! In this area, you are also just a tram ride away from the stadium.
Quiet, surrounded by a big park, lush greenery and traditional houses, this neighbourhood is popular among young adults and students due to its proximity to the university and the city centre. Most notably, it is the home of Kralingse Bos – a lovely park where locals come to swim, stroll or picnic, with great views of the city. There are few rental options here so book early for the best options.
If you want to stay a bit further out from the city centre, but close to the main station in very traditional Rotterdam neighbourhoods with tree-lined canals and quaint parks, then the northern side is a great option. Also perfect for a quieter stay, away from the action of the city. You can find several budget-friendly options, but they will go quickly so again be sure to book early.
This district maintains its historic authenticity with beautiful churches, scenic yacht marina and charming streets perfect for strolling. You won’t find much nightlife here and it is a little getaway outside the city centre but still well-connected to the rest of the city and the stadium. There are mid-range and budget-friendly hotel options available.
The Rotterdam restaurant scene is a foodie’s delight! There are so many diverse places across the city featuring worldly cuisine and of course, Dutch treats.
Make sure you taste some of these local delicacies in one – or both! – of the host cities😊:
Breaded and fried meatballs with a soft beef or veal ragout on the inside.
Breaded and fried log-shaped rolls with a crunchy coating and warm cheese or meat ragout on the inside.
Coin-sized mini pancakes served with butter or icing sugar.
Traditional Dutch thin and round waffle cookies with caramel on the inside – a real crowd pleaser. Be sure to pick up a pack to bring home!
Local emergency services
Sometimes unforeseen accidents happen. We want you to stay safe in the Netherlands so if you find yourself in an emergency of any kind, immediately contact 112 and you will be connected with an operator who will dispatch the appropriate fire, ambulance or police services.
With so many things to do and sights to explore in our host cities, be sure to follow their official social media accounts, @rotterdam_info for regular updates and inspiration for your trip.