With a contemporary art scene, fantastic food and pulsating nightlife, Rotterdam has it all.
The Netherlands' second city it may be, but Rotterdam's contemporary art scene, fantastic food and pulsating nightlife mean it makes a strong case for the title of coolest. With The Hague and Gouda just a stone’s throw away, there’s plenty to do in the surrounding area too.
Arriving at Rotterdam The Hague Airport
Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM) is around 3.5 miles (6km) northwest of central Rotterdam. The airport’s location means it’s easy to get into the city centre by bus. Directly outside the arrivals hall you’ll find a bus stop, where the number 33 bus will pick you up and take you to Rotterdam Central Station in the city centre – a journey of around 20 minutes. Buses run from 0600 to 0016 and depart every 15 minutes or so; a single journey costs €3.
You can also get from the airport into the city centre using the metro. Meijersplein metro station is a short distance from the airport; you can either walk from the airport, which takes around 20 minutes, or get the number 33 bus, which is much quicker. Line E from Meijersplein takes you to Rotterdam Central Station in around seven minutes.
There's also a taxi stand right in front of the terminal – a ride into Rotterdam should cost around €20 to €25.
Rotterdam is a youthful city bursting with creativity and life, and has just the kind of nightlife scene that you'd expect. While Amsterdam is hard to beat as a party destination, Rotterdam runs it pretty close, with an impressive range of nightspots to suit all tastes.
A good place to start is Witte de Withstraat. By day the city’s artistic hub, by night this area comes alive with tourists and locals alike thronging its bars and clubs. For something a little different, head to Worm; an avant-garde art space during the day, it hosts similarly experimental music at night. For a few relaxed drinks start in the Old Harbour area, where there’s a large concentration of charming cafés and restaurants overlooking the water.
For a big night out, head to the Hofplein area near Rotterdam Central train station. This increasingly gentrified area is home to repurposed tower blocks and warehouses; it's where serious clubbers go in Rotterdam. Maassilo – a huge former grain silo in the Maashaven district – is also a renowned dance music venue, with a varied line-up from techno to industrial; it also hosts live bands.