Between beach escapes and city breaks, the little country from the Netherlands is home to more than its fair share of stunning attractions, cities, and scenery. And when you’re searching for a place in which to base yourself for going through the wider region, the city of Rotterdam is close to all of the attractions and is much cheaper than Amsterdam. Listed here are eight epic excursions from Rotterdam worth taking!
Rotterdam to Delft is easily one of the best Rotterdam day trips. After all, if you’ve ever find out about European pottery, then no doubt you’ll know of the iconic Delftware blue, a Dutch tin-glazed earthware that originates in the city.
Other highlights of Delft incorporate a Vermeer Centre, several churches, and a stunning view from the top of the Nieuwe Kerk. If you’re short promptly, a trip to Delft and Leiden can easily be combined into a excursion thanks to both cities proximities together.
#2 The Hague
Located around twenty minutes away from Rotterdam around the train, many people make the mistake of skipping the Hague by believing that it’s ‘too boring’ or ‘simply filled with politics’. And while there are plenty of political sites to be explored within the city, The Hague is so a lot more than that!
After all, within the city centre, there’s the Mauritshuis to explore (this is where The Girl With the Pearl Earring can be admired), lots of vegan and vegetarian eats, as well as countless hofjes in which to go missing. If you’re searching for family-friendly activities, then aside from several museums, Madurodam is the miniature Netherlands and is among the oldest amusement parks in the country!
Though technically a district from the Hague, because of its unique seaside vibe and relaxed atmosphere, Scheveningen is a beach district home to an impressive stretch of sand, several historic hotels, and plenty of board-walk eateries (specially in the summer months).
If you’re seeking to catch a bird’s eye look at the area, then a trip on the Scheveningen Ferris Wheel is an absolute must! Nearby, the previous town centre (but what is now a suburb of The Hague) is best-known for its fishing history and historic cobbled lanes complete centuries-old old churches.
The pretty university town of Leiden is definitely one of the most beautiful places within the Netherlands. And not just due to its endless canals, tree-lined walkways and 17th-century canal houses. Instead, the entire city has a charm seldom found in larger settlements. And thanks to Leiden’s location at just over half an hour around the train from Rotterdam, an excursion to Rembrandt’s birthplace couldn’t be easier!
The Dutch capital of Amsterdam can be visited as a excursion from Rotterdam because the train only takes around forty-five minutes between the two cities. Obviously, everybody knows that there are lots of secret and small museums to visit in Amsterdam, in addition to a plethora of canals to wander around.
But whatever you decide and well not know is that Amsterdam can also be home to the best eats available any place in the Netherlands in addition to some incredible green spaces. Whilst in the city, don't miss out on the Jordaan district (that is easily the prettiest area of Amsterdam) as well as numerous churches dating back to centuries.
Of all of the day trips from Rotterdam that you could possibly take, Dordrecht is among the easiest places to achieve. A bit more from the beaten tourist trail that a few of the other Dutch destinations you can visit, Dordrecht traces its roots back to at least the 13th-century, when the metropolis was granted city rights by William I, Count of Holland.
Today, Dordrecht is also known locally as Dordt. The best things you can do within the city once there include ascending the impossibly high (and incredibly leaning) Dordrecht Minster and admiring the city previously mentioned and looking at one of the numerous museums the city has to offer. While in town, I recommend grabbing a bite to consume in the vegan-friendly Coffeelicious.
You’ve probably heard about Gouda before because of the cheese of the same name that originates in the city. The place to find a historic cheese weighing house, countless cheese tasting opportunities, and a museum partially focused on the dairy stuff, Gouda also has an entire other history worth exploring too.
Things to do in Gouda include talking a self-guided walking tour around the city’s most historical features (canals, hidden churches, a still-in-operation windmill grinding its own flour) experiencing the laid-back vibe from the city. Truth be told, of all of the excursions from Rotterdam, Gouda is most likely my favourite city o them all!
#8 Kinderdijk Windmills
The world-famous Kinderdijk Windmills are available in a town of the same name, just over 10 km away from Rotterdam’s city centre. Simple to reach on either bicycle or on public transportation, the windmills have such historical importance that they’re now designated as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Tips for visiting Rotterdam
If you’re planning a trip to the second largest city in The Netherlands, then there are several things you need to know before you go. Firstly, don’t opt for any prior expectations of the items you’ll see in Rotterdam! The town is like not one other place you’re prone to see within the Netherlands.
After all, the architecture of the city will surprise you and also entice you in equal measure. Many people result in the mistake of believing that they’re venturing right into a quaint cobbled town. However, following the Blitzkrieg from the Second World War, Rotterdam rose like a phoenix in the ashes, right into a futuristic time-warp that’s a must-see on any adventure through Europe.
As such, I recommend going through the city on foot via this self-guided walking tour. While in The Netherlands, you’ll likely wish to cycle around as this is the easiest method to explore the flat country. However, honestly the bicycles might not be like what you’re accustomed to back home; there are often no handle brakes (instead a back pedal brake) and gears are hardly ever present.
Finally, while Rotterdam is definitely an avoid the hustle and bustle of the crowds of Amsterdam, the town can still get pretty busy! This is also true from the high season (summer) when events like Summer Carnival occur. Consequently, you’ll want to book your home to stay as far ahead of time as you possibly can. Check for the best Rotterdam accommodation rates.