Winter programme

Warm welcome in wintry Rotterdam!

Winters rotterdam banner mobile
Lisanne van Beurden profiel Rotterdam Centrum
Written by Lisanne van Beurden
January 24, 2024

It is almost time for winter in Rotterdam. Time to prepare, because we need to buy gifts and make beautiful memories. In this handy guide you will find the winter programme of Rotterdam Centre.

This winter there is an amazing atmosphere in the city centre. You can expect awesome performances, a winter square, illuminated letters, fun on the ice rink and extra long opening hours. Read all about it below. We wish you a warm welcome to wintry Rotterdam!

Long opening hours Rotterdam Cente

With the Christmas shopping just around the corner, extra shopping evenings in Rotterdam Centre are more than welcome! To give you some space in your agenda, the shops are open extra long around Christmas. Below we share the extra and regular shopping evenings around Christmas:

  • Thursday, December 21, 2023: stores open until 9:00 PM
  • Friday, December 22, 2023: stores open until 9:00 PM
  • Saturday December 23, 2023: shops open until 9:00 PM
  • Sunday December 24, 2023: shops open until 6:00 PM (Christmas Eve)
  • Tuesday, December 26, 2023: stores open until 6:00 PM
  • Sunday December 31, 2023: shops open until 6:00 PM (New Year's Day)

Please note that the shops are closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Koopgoot kerstverlichting Guido Pijper
De Bijenkorf kerstverlichting Guido Pijper

Winter square in Rotterdam Centre

This winter it will be extra cosy in Rotterdam Center! Get into the winter vibes in Rotterdam Centre and visit the Winterplein. From December 15 to 24, Beursplein will transform into a lively winter paradise with great food trucks, live music and entertainment.

Order heart-warming winter delicacies, such as a bowl of steaming soup or a well-filled sandwich, and don't miss the chocolate milk stall. Let yourself be carried away by the enchanting sounds of Christmas choirs as you enjoy this atmospheric experience.

Will we see you there?

Kerstboom op de Lijnbaan
Have you already taken a photo with the Christmas tree on the Lijnbaan?
Kerstboom in Central Plaza
Central Plaza is completely ready for Christmas!

Great performances in Rotterdam Centre

It is winter and that means that Rotterdam is very atmospheric on all weekends in December and the first week of January. The city is full of Pieten bands, winter jazz, Christmas choirs, gospel choirs, Santa Claus bands and more! The bands spread through the centre and walk from one location to another location.

Where? Among others in Central Plaza, on the Kruiskade, Lijnbaan, Binnenwegplein, Coolsingel, Koopgoot and Beursplein.


Closer to Jazz provides swinging jazz music in Rotterdam Centre. In the middle of the street and in the shops, shoppers are treated to jazz concerts. At selected times, three mini concerts by the top of the new generation of young Dutch jazz talent will take place.

A cappella (Christmas) choirs

Enjoy the a cappella (Christmas) choirs that delight shoppers with their angelic singing.

House of Urban Dance

On Friday evenings and extra shopping evenings, you will be surprised by the pop-up performances of House of Urban Dance in the centre!

Closer to Jazz

Experience the magic of lights in Rotterdam Centre

As soon as the sun sets, it becomes even more pleasant in Rotterdam Centre. Then you can admire all the Christmas lights, Christmas trees and illuminated letters. Take a beautiful evening walk, take advantage of the extra shopping hours and be amazed by the atmospheric lighting.

Discover several impressive Christmas trees in Rotterdam Centre. One is on the Lijnbaan, near Burger King, where many passers-by pause to take a photo. The huge Christmas tree on the Coolsingel, at Lunchroom Raoul, is unmissable due to its size! Don't forget to admire the beautiful Christmas tree in Central Plaza. This entire shopping centre is beautifully decorated and immediately brings a Christmas vibe!

In Rotterdam Centre you can not only enjoy Christmas lights and trees, but also light letters! These add extra atmosphere in the dark months. You can see the illuminated letters at three different iconic places in the centre, namely the Binnenwegplein, Central Plaza and the Lijnbaan. It is also great fun in Rotterdam Centre during the late hours! Have you spotted the light letters yet?

Lichtletters Central Plaza
Rotterdam Centrum lichtletters Binnenwegplein

Shopping for Christmas gifts in Rotterdam Centre

A gift voucher or a pair of socks can make someone very happy, but it is even more fun to really surprise the person in question. Fortunately, there are enough shops in Rotterdam Center to find something that really suits the recipient!

For example, walk into the Bijenkorf. You may be mistaken about how many nice products De Bijenkorf has. For example, take a look at the care department. Here they sell super fine products for the necessary self care. Do you have some money left? Then walk past the department with all the sweet. Because an exclusive Tony's Chocolonely or tasty whipped cream truffles really complete the gift.

Or visit KKEC, a typical store where you want to look at, touch or read everything you see. At KKEC they sell the nicest gifts, which don't have to be too expensive either. Think of crazy mugs, fun fill-in booklets or planners, funny games (for example about the Friends series), posters and much more.

And have you already visited the largest ZARA in the world? This is located in Rotterdam Centre!

Bijenkorf Kerstverlichting etalage Rotterdam Centrum Jan Kok
KKEC Rotterdam producten

Delicious oliebollen in Rotterdam

In the mood for something sweet? Since it's almost time for the holidays again, that means: feast on delicious oliebollen (deep fried doughnut balls)! Discover where in Rotterdam Centre you can score these delicious treats with icing sugar.

For instance, visit Oliebollenkraam Goudseplein for a lot of delicacies and the famous oliebollen. This stall is in a convenient location, right next to the Albert Heijn. So you can take a few of the deep fried delicacies with you right after grocery shopping!

Nice to know: the oliebollen stall has been here for almost 30 years. In the past, the great-grandparents of the current owners stood for years on the Noordplein with their oliebollen stall. A real family business!

Oliebollenkraam Goudseplein Rotterdam
Al 30 jaar oliebollen kraam

Ice skating in the city

The Rotterdam Skating Rink has opened its doors for the 11th time this year! When you think of winter, you think of ice. And luckily we have a new year full of ice fun and skating under the rainbow. Get your skates out and experience the fun of Schaatsbaan Rotterdam for the next three months.

The events calendar is packed again this season. Curious about what awaits you? Below we share an overview:

    • Grand Opening on November 25
    • Heineken Afterwork on December 7
    • Junior Club on December 13
    • Santa Skate on December 22
    • Cold & New on January 1

This is just the tip of the iceberg, all other events can be found on the Schaatsbaan Rotterdam website. The skating rink is open this year until February 24, 2024. Will we see you on the ice?

Schaatsbaan Rotterdam

Watch this magical video!

Sparkling lights, enchanting shop windows, swinging winter jazz and Christmas songs. Hot chocolate or mulled wine in cosy restaurants. You can discover all this in Rotterdam Centre. Check out the enchanting ones below and get into the Christmas spirit!

Kerstcadeaus koopgoot versiering Rotterdam Centrum Jan Kok
Lisanne van Beurden profiel Rotterdam Centrum
Written by Lisanne van Beurden
January 24, 2024