What to see in Rotterdam in less than 24 hours and on a budget!

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What to see in Rotterdam in less than 24 hours and on a budget!

Rotterdam is quite different from the rest of the Netherlands It is the second largest city in the Netherlands. Since I already visited Utrecht and Amsterdam I decided to meet with my friend Chris, who I met in Cuba. He was a wonderful guide of Rotterdam, one of the most modern cities in Europe. Moreover, Rotterdam lonely planet was chosen number 5 in the top 10 cities by Lonely Planet this year.


Rotterdam was heavily damaged during Second World War, since its port is the largest in the Netherlands. For this reason, it is a city full of very contemporary architecture, and will fascinate you if you are into architecture and design. In addition, the city is full of graffiti and amazing street art.


Here are my recommendations to enjoy the best of Rotterdam on a budget. You can enjoy this city in just one day if you skip the museums, we didn’t have the possibility to visit the museum, since we were visiting on a Monday and all museums are closed on that day. I recommend spending at least one night there because at night has a very different atmosphere.

Getting to Rotterdam:

Dutch trains are fast, effective and have a high frequency. Utrecht – Rotterdam costs about 11 euros and takes 40 minutes. However, I recommend using Blablacar, since the price can be reduced to only 3 or 4 euros.

Places to visit in Rotterdam

  1. The Port.

This area was mostly preserved despite the bombings, even retaining some of its buildings.

  1. The new food market, Market Hall.

This horseshoe shaped building is very recent and inside there is a large food market with food stalls food stalls selling a wide variety of products, such as: cheeses, meats, nuts, sandwiches and baked goods… Jaime Oliver just opened a restaurant inside.

  1. The statue of the dwarf.

Really weird and cool statue, prove of the interesting street art you can find in Rotterdam. Do you know what he has in his hand? There are different opinions about it…

  • The Cubic houses (Kubuswoningen)

These houses in bright yellow make you feel as you are in a futuristic universe.

The Cubic houses in Rotterdam are located on Overblaak Street, right above the Blaak Subway Station. It was designed by Piet Blom, based on the concept of “living as an urban roof”: high density housing with sufficient space on the ground level. The houses were first constructed in 1977. You can visit them for 3 euros, we didn’t, but we enjoyed a spectacular view of Rotterdam from there. 

Where to eat in Rotterdam:

The Netherlands is not known for its local cuisine, but the Dutch have adopted many dishes from their colonies, for example, Indonesia and Suriname. I encourage you to try this type of cuisine in the many options that you will find in the city. As to the typical Dutch food you can try the croquettes, cheese or pea soup. I enjoyed croissant with cheese for breakfast. Delicious!

We had dinner in a lovely restaurant, Hotel Bazar. It’s very busy so booking is a good idea. Booking is done at the hotel lobby next door from the restaurant. Food is nice and simple but tasty, with dishes from different Middle Eastern countries.

The decoration is like in the Middle East with large ornate hanging lights along with a chandelier. Parts of the walls were tiled and persian rugs lined the floor. Looking at price & quality, this is a perfect place to visit for a nice and affordable lunch or dinner. The tajine was amazing and the lamb too!

Where to stay in Rotterdam:

Hostels, normally my favorite choice, are expensive in the Netherlands. In my opinion Airbnb is the way to go! I recommend the apartment we stayed at, it was simply spectacular. It is the home of a couple of artists, they themselves have built everything! Even the toilet was designed by artists. The price is around 45 euros for two people per night. We liked it a lot, if you enjoy good design, you will fall in love! The hosts are lovely!

Best museums in town (for my next time):

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen : Here you can see some of the great works of the masters, like Rembrandt, Degas, van Gogh and Monet, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali.

How to move around Rotterdam:

We walked everywhere because the apartment was just outside of the city center. Another choice is renting a bike, the Dutch way for exploring the city. You can rent a bike for as little as 6,5 euros a day.

The main transport provider Rotterdam is the RET, who run the RET buses, trams and metros. Probably the best thing if you are visiting Rotterdam and intending to do much traveling in the city is to take the unlimited travel option. You can get all of your travel for one day for 7 euros.

Another great way are the water taxis.

Hope you will enjoy as much as we did! I wanna thank Chris for being a wonderful guide, showing me around and proofreading this article 🙂


  • olivier

    Thanks for the article!

    30/10/2015 at 4:40 pm