Watertaxi 2 taxi s 2019 ️ Iris van den Broek
Lisanne van Beurden profiel Rotterdam Centrum
Written by Lisanne van Beurden
July 2, 2023

Imagine: you have 24 hours to explore Rotterdam. Although we hope that you can make more time for our beautiful port city, there is already a lot to discover and experience in one day.

An unforgettable day needs a perfect mix of the well-known attractions and hidden gems. That is exactly what you can expect in this article.

The route below leads you from modern iconic buildings to historic places and green oases. This route is easy to do on foot, although we occasionally take the metro and of course a number of times the water taxi. Because that's something you need to experience!

Spend the night in Rotterdam

Before we set off, it is of course useful to decide where you want to start or end your day in Rotterdam. A hotel should be a convenient base, especially if you only have 24 hours. It is therefore advisable to stay as central as possible.

A perfect choice is the NH Atlanta Hotel, which is literally located in the heart of the city. Located on the bustling Coolsingel, with the Bijenkorf, the Lijnbaan, the Meent and the Koopgoot next door. Another good option is Motel One, just a stone's throw from the imposing Laurenskerk and the bustling Markthal.

And at the foot of the Erasmus Bridge stands the four-star Inntel Hotel Rotterdam Centre. It is clear that this is a great location. You will find yourself on the trendy Witte de Withstraat in no time, while the Coolsingel starts right around the corner from the hotel. And also not unimportant: the hotel looks out over the Maas.

NH Atlanta Rotterdam
NH Atlanta Hotel.
Inntel Rotterdam Waterfront double kamer overzicht
Inntel Hotel Rotterdam Centre.

Blaak: the Cube Houses, the Markthal and the Binnenrotte market

The day starts at a central location in our city. Whether you come by tram, metro, train, bicycle or even on foot, it's all possible. You can walk straight out of the station or park your bicycle in the public (free) bicycle shed.

At Blaak, your eye immediately falls on a number of real eyecatchers, such as the Markthal and Cube Houses. If you're hungry, you can find delicious treats in the Markthal. Here are two supermarkets (Wah Nam Hong and Albert Heijn) and several food stalls.

On Tuesdays and Saturdays you can visit the market on the Binnenrotte, which is definitely worth it. You will find vegetables, fruit, fish, flowers and even second-hand clothes and stuff. So if you happen to need something or just love to browse, be sure to grab it here!

Breakfast tips

Would you like to have breakfast outside and would you like an option other than the Markthal? In the vicinity of Blaak you will find plenty of cosy breakfast spots, including Bagels & Beans and Nine Bar. A little further down the Mariniersweg you will find a lot of hotspots, such as Mr. NonNo and Soufflé Café. Here you can enjoy a tasty breakfast, complete with delicious pancakes!

Grotekerkplein, Laurenskerk and De Koopgoot

Seen everything at Blaak? Then walk from the Markthal onto the Hoogstraat. On the way you slip into the Wijde Kerkstraat to admire the Grotekerkplein and Laurenskerk. If you have extra time, have a drink in the beautiful bar of Motel One, with a breathtaking view of the Laurenskerk. Then follow the route again via the Hoogstraat to end up at the Koopgoot.

There are eighty shops in the Koopgoot in Rotterdam with more than 60,000 square meters of shopping pleasure. In addition to the world-famous chains, there are cool pop-up stores and nice gift shops.

Don't miss the Urban Outfitters, H&M, Zara or the Cotton Club if you're looking for a new outfit. The Lush is also hard to skip, because this wonderfully smelling store draws you in right away! Are you looking for an original gift? Then you should definitely not miss KKEC. In this unique gift shop you will find everything in the field of art, cards and gifts.

Koopgoot bovenaanzicht 2 Koopgoot bovenaanzicht Guido Pijper
Motel One Bar
De bar van Motel One

WTC Rotterdam, Coolsingel and City Hall

Climb the famous stairs again or take the escalator up for convenience and visit the WTC Rotterdam. This national monument is located at the top of the Koopgoot, along the Coolsingel. You will immediately recognize it by the impressive entrance, with the wide stairs.

The WTC is a bustling place where the (inter)national business community comes together and where you will find various shops, eateries and other nice places. So be sure to take the time to discover some of these hotspots.

Do you fancy a (coffee) break? Then visit Brasserie Jules, a trendy hotspot with a French flair and a beautiful terrace. For a good dose of art and culture, you should definitely visit the Art Gallery. This place offers contemporary art and modern design, and is free to enter. You will find the gallery in the WTC Rotterdam itself.

‘A real hidden green oasis in the city, where beautiful flowers and plants cover the facades.’

And then the Coolsingel. Not to be missed during a visit to Rotterdam! The biggest eye-catcher of the Coolsingel is the City Hall of Rotterdam. A historic Rotterdam building where many Rotterdammers say yes, where Feyenoord is honoured at the championship and where the mayor works on the city every day.

Both outside and inside the Town Hall is decorated with sculptures and hidden symbols. But did you also know that if you walk through, you will end up in the inner garden of the City Hall. A real hidden green oasis in the city, where beautiful flowers and plants cover the facades.

Brasserie Jules WTC Rotterdam
Brasserie Jules.


After you're done shopping and soaking up culture, take the metro from Beurs and get off at Leuvehaven.

An absolutely iconic element of the Rotterdam skyline is the Erasmus Bridge. With its elegant, graceful shape, this bridge resembles a swan, hence the nickname "The Swan".

Did you take pictures from every possible angle? If you have some energy left, take a walk across the bridge. Enjoy the breathtaking view over the Maas while you are on your way to your next destination: the Kop van Zuid.

If you prefer to save your energy, we have a perhaps even more fun way to get to the next location: board a water taxi!

Erasmusbrug onderaanzicht 2014 ️ Claire Droppert

Take the water taxi to Hotel New York

Next to the iconic Erasmus Bridge is a striking yellow jetty, and you will find more of that around the Maas. Here you board a water taxi, an adventure in itself! Arranging is easy via the water taxi website. On the day itself it is possible to book this four hours in advance. You can pay with a debit card, credit card or cash and a ride costs approximately €4.50.

From the jetty location next to the Erasmus Bridge we go to the jetty at the Wilhelminapier. This place breathes history, because Hotel New York has been here since 1901. It was once home to the Holland America Line.

This is a legendary place: since 1901 the imposing Hotel New York has stood on the Kop van Zuid. The Holland America Line used to be housed here.

Hotel New York has a large café-restaurant with an extensive à la carte menu. It is the ideal place to relax and enjoy a delicious lunch or relaxing drink. Here you can recharge your batteries, so that you are ready to discover more of beautiful Rotterdam!

Watertaxi skyline 2019 ️ Iris van den Broek
With the water taxi you can sail at high speed over the Maas.

Discover the Kop van Zuid

After having a bite to eat at Hotel New York, it's time to explore the Kop van Zuid further. Some striking eye-catchers await you here, such as the architectural masterpiece De Rotterdam and the stately Cruise Terminal.

If you have enough time, walk straight across the Rijnhavenbrug (better known as the Hoerenloper) to the Fenix ​​Food Factory. This is a culinary Valhalla with traditional food and drinks (to eat there or to take away).

Kop van Zuid luchtbeeld 2018 ️ Iris van den Broek

Water taxi to The Park

From the Fenix ​​Food Factory you again have the chance to take the water taxi to whiz across the water. This time we slid to the jetty at the Parkkade. The next destination of the day is Het Park, a green oasis in the busy city.

The Park, also known as the Euromast Park, is located on the edge of the centre in the shadow of the Euromast. Beautiful large old trees, winding water features and large lawns smile at you. Do you spot some special birds?

If you are better at spotting nice restaurants, you are also in the right place here, because there are a number of hotspots: Parqiet, Dudok in the Park and the star restaurant Parkheuvel. If you haven't had anything at Hotel New York yet, there are still plenty of options in Het Park to satisfy your hunger.

Surprisingly enough, it is often a lot quieter in this urban park than in other well-known green parks such as the Kralingse Plas or Vroesenpark.

Historic Garden Schoonoord

But if you really want to relax completely, this hidden gem of our city is worth a visit: the Historical Garden Schoonoord.

Schoonoord has a rich history that goes back 350 years. Originally this garden was called 'Rust en Lust'. It was not named Schoonoord until 1816 and in 1860 the current design for the garden was made and laid out in English landscape style.

Today we can still see the pond, Lebanon cedars and beeches in the garden, choices that were made long ago. It has been a protected national monument since 2000.

As soon as you enter the 18th century entrance gate of this garden, you set foot on a piece of oasis with a rich collection of flora and fauna. Walk around and enjoy the greenery, take a seat on a bench by the pond and read a book. This way you can really relax.

The park is open every day between 08:30 and 16:30.

‘But if you really want to relax completely, this hidden gem of our city is worth a visit.’

Enjoy the view from De Euromast

To top it all off, we recommend a visit to the Euromast. This is located a few hundred meters from the park. Of course you have heard of this famous watchtower, because from here you have the best view of Rotterdam!

End your day of exploring here with a relaxing high wine or dinner. While enjoying a culinary experience, you can admire the skyline of Rotterdam from the high windows.

Whether you ultimately decide to eat in the Euromast or not, buy a ticket to the top anyway. After you have walked a full circle on the viewing platform at a height of 100 and 112 meters, you can take a seat in the rotating Euroscope that takes you to a height of 185 meters. You don't have a higher vantage point in our city.

To make it completely unforgettable, it is possible to abseil from the Euromast. Please note that this is only possible on weekends and you must book in advance.

Euromast gebouw bovenkant ️ Iris van den Broek
Euromast uitzicht ️ Iris van den Broek
There is no higher vantage point in the Netherlands than the Euromast!

Even more restaurant inspiration

Making a restaurant choice can be difficult, especially if you only have one day in Rotterdam. That's why we have some great options for you, all centrally located in the city.

For example, on the bustling Coolsingel you will find AJISAN Authentic Tokyo Ramen, perfect for ramen lovers. In addition to the delicious food, the interior is also absolutely Instagram worthy.

A little further on is another Japanese restaurant owned by the same owners. SHIN is located on the Rodezand and is a Japanese tapas bar and matcha café. Here you can enjoy the authentic Japanese izakaya style, with delicious dishes such as crispy chicken and perfect wagyu steak, as well as delicious cocktails.

Do you really want a luxurious experience? Then go for the star restaurant The Millèn. From this restaurant you have a view of Rotterdam Central Station, one of the many iconic buildings in our city.

SHIN Rotterdam Japanese Udon Noodle
Japanese Udon Noodles at SHIN.
The Millen Rotterdam Emma Groenenboom
View at The Millen.

Be sure to take a look at our website for even more inspiration for your 24 hours in Rotterdam!

Lisanne van Beurden profiel Rotterdam Centrum
Written by Lisanne van Beurden
July 2, 2023