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17 Best Tours in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Are you visiting or planning to visit Rotterdam? Which are the best places to visit while there? Go through our Rotterdam tours guide and find out which are the best tours in the city.

This city is known to be the second most vibrant city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam. Talk of innovative museums and galleries, burgeoning food scenes, audacious architecture with beautiful buildings, and the home to Europe’s largest port.

There is no reason why Rotterdam shouldn’t be your next stop. Come on! all these features are too good to be in one city. If you are traveling to Amsterdam, it makes for a great weekend trip.

But before that, we would like to give you a picture of what you will expect. Tours are a great way to see more for less. By combining 1-2 tours you’ll be sure you won’t miss anything in Rotterdam. We have compiled the best Rotterdam tours that will make your visit even more memorable.

Best Tours in Rotterdam, Netherlands

These are the best Rotterdam tours to take to maximize your sightseeing experience in this amazing city. You’ll see the city efficiently and save some money along the way.

Rotterdam Harbor Tour

Rotterdam Harbor Tour and Cruise

Rotterdam harbor is the loading and offloading center for all ships to Europe from all over the world. It is the largest port on the continent and was recorded as the busiest port between 1963 and 1968.

This tour will take you to experience the most innovative port that covers an outstandingly massive area of 10,500 ha. The industrial area takes 5300 ha while the water and infrastructure areas cover the other half.

What will catch your eye is the design and construction of the port. The only ports that can reach this level of expertise and beauty are the ports of Singapore and Jebel Ali in Dubai. Plus, the view of the skyline of the city and the giant buildings from the port is breathtaking.

You will visit the docks, hypermodern, shipping, and shipyards and see the thousands of containers ready to be transported across the continent. The tour ends with a trip to the steamship “Rotterdam” the luxurious cruise ship from Holland America Shipping Company. 

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Euromast Lookout Tower

Euromast and Rotterdam Skyline
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The tour takes you to one of the tallest buildings in Rotterdam. You get an outstanding 360-degree view of the whole city at a height of 185 meters.

The history of Euromast dates back to 1960 when it was completed using a design by architect Maaskant. Since then, millions of tourists have converged here to get a spectacular view of Rotterdam.

What can you see from this point? Well, you can have a view of the Belgian city of Antwerp which is 80 kilometers away on a clear day. The tour has a ticket to the restaurant 100 meters high, where you can have a lovely brunch or an evening “high tea.” If you have kids around, there are lots of fun activities to do. The kids can go for a space adventure tour and Euromast kids club on Sundays at the restaurant on the ground floor.

What’s more? You can cable glide or abseil from the top of the tower. If you are daring enough, abseiling is ideal for you. You “walk down” the tower in a vertical line but with a safe climbing harness. The “cowards” might cable glide, but you will have to face the 100km/hour speed down. 

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Rotterdam Bike Tour

Rotterdam Guided Bike Tour

By now, you should have known that the Dutch like riding bicycles. So it might be a requirement that you have good bike riding skills before you book a trip with the Rotterdam bike tour.

The riding tour allows you to see the town in its fullness. You will discover fantastic architecture and historical icons. These are the most bicycle-friendly street monuments from the olden days like kop van Zuid and Markthal. The next ride leads you to the wooden pedestrian bridge – the Luchtsingel.

The tour has a short break in the artisan market where you can buy a few artifacts as souvenirs from the city. If possible, the guide can take you to explore the hidden streets and markets – the famous food market. All these can be done in under 3 hours since you get a skilled guide, who understands the city well. 

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Rotterdam Zoo Diergaarde Blijdorp Direct Entrance

Polar Bear in Rotterdam Zoo

This is the oldest zoo in Europe and has existed for over 160 years. It’s one place you should visit with your family if you want to see wild animals in their near-natural habitat.

The ticket allows you to enter directly without having to wait for long entrance queues. And trust me, the lines can be very long. So if you can take the ticket, do it early by booking online.

The zoo is not only meant for land wild – animals. It also hosts a wide array of sea animals in the largest aquarium in the Netherlands. Not to mention the tropical rainforest, the indoor butterfly haven with numerous types of butterflies, and a playground for the kids. 

Rotterdam Tours: The Whole City in Half a Day Private Tour

Rotterdam Sunset Scenery

Make your time here count! Your private tour guide is conversant with Rotterdam and promises to take you around the most iconic and popular places in not more than 5 hours. His way of recounting the stories of his experience as a private tour guide just brings the whole experience to life. You don’t want to miss this.

Some of the famous places you’ll visit are Delftse port (the old city entrance to Rotterdam), Het Park, Euromast, Market Hall, and Luchtsingel. You can take beautiful photos here. The guide also knows the perfect place to have a bite of the Netherlands’ cookie – stroopwafels. Trust me; these cookies are so good that they will not satisfy you.

The tour package includes a public transportation ticket to all the places you will be visiting, an entrance ticket to the cube house, and Laurence Church. You also get lunch which is the local street food, coffee or tea, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages.

Your guide is reliable enough to pick you up from your hotel room at the speculated time. And guess what? You can bring your dog with you.

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Cultural Walking Rotterdam Tours

Downtown Rotterdam

If you’re seeking culture in Rotterdam, there are numerous places you can visit. However, they are way too many that you need someone to show you around. And that person would be Tania, a private tour guide. This walking tour will make you see how the city of Rotterdam has a deep culture and how it has mingled with modern technology.

As a private guide, she has a lot of insights into the city’s architectural history which is to your advantage as you get to learn from a native. As an art Historian, Lina knows the perfect places to visit that are rich with Holland’s culture. These would be the Rotterdam Central station and the most prominent national monumental area – the Lijnbaan.

She will take you to the city’s landmarks, including the famous Erasmus bridge and Timmerhuis. The last point is the local market where you can taste the sweet snacks from the food stalls. 

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Rotterdam, Delft, and The Hague

Rotterdam Aerial Scenery

The tour takes you to the Netherlands’ oldest city Delft, and the world’s center of Justice The Hague, by train. What catches your attention in Royal Delft is the last remaining manufacturer of Delftware. You will get a glimpse of the ancient life of Holland by traveling in the old canals, and visiting courts of law, and churches.

Besides, there are many museums to visit with historical artifacts. The Hague is the center of Government offices in the country. If possible, the tour will have a stop here for you to walk into the ICC and get to enjoy the feeling of justice.

What’s more, Delft is the best place for a romantic hideaway or to get a boutique hotel. The hotels are not that expensive also; they are flexible depending on your pockets. The service you get in return is incomparable to the amount you have paid. 

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Rotterdam Tours: 1-Hour Sightseeing Splash Tour

Splash tours are one of the unique tours in Rotterdam, and you will love the one-hour experience. Your ride is the unique amphibious bus that hovers above the water and has tires to ride on roads.

This means that you get two sightseeing on one tour. Why? You will first see Rotterdam’s top sights in the urban city as you’re driven around the town. You’ll then head on to the water to cruise on the Maas River. Here you will get a spectacular sight of the city’s skyline.

A few things you should know before you book a tour with splash tours include;

  • The buses are not accessible to wheelchairs
  • There is also no space for storing baby strollers
  • It’s not suitable for pregnant women
  • There’s an English and Dutch guide with a multilingual audio guide

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Trip to Keukenhof Garden and Flower Fields from Rotterdam

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The tulip is the national symbol of Holland. It’s, therefore, a good idea to stop by the famous Tulip Park in the Netherlands. This tour is ready to do just that.

It’s a full-day trip from Rotterdam where you will see the vast carpets of tulip flowers surrounding Lake Lisse. When done, you will visit Keukenhof, which is one of the most extensive flower gardens in the country and is well worth a day trip from Rotterdam. A private tour like this is a great option since the tulip garden is only open during the spring and gets extremely busy in the peak season.

The departure points for this tour are Spido BV, Willemsplein 85, 3016 DR Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Conradstraat, 3013 AP Rotterdam. The travel is by air-conditioned and comfortable coaches.

You are treated to live commentary of the tulip growing region on the bus while enjoying the panoramic view of the surrounding. Here are some of the other best tulip fields in the Netherlands.

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Skip the Line Tour Aboard SS ‘Rotterdam’

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If you are a sea person and love huge passenger cruises, this tour got you covered. What would it feel like to step aboard one of the Netherlands’ greatest cruise ships from the olden days?

Imagine stepping into the Captain’s cabin. You get the feel of sailing through the Atlantic Ocean with thousands of passengers that want to reach home safely. It’s a feeling of honor that comes with tremendous responsibility on your shoulder.

You will descend to the belly of the ship, and have a look at the crew areas and the gigantic machines that propelled this great liner in the bygone days. What’s more? There is a panoramic view of Rotterdam city from the stern decks.

Nothing is exciting like getting the firsthand experience of life onboard the greatest ship from the past.

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City Sightseeing Rotterdam Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

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Apart from bike riding, the other way of getting a perfect view of the Netherlands‘ second-largest city is by sightseeing with a hop-on hop-off double-decker bus tour.

This tour is valid for 24-48 hours, depending on the places you want to visit. What’s included in the tour is free Wi-Fi to browse when on the bus, an onboard audio commentary, and free headphones. The coaches are well-fitted with heating and air conditioning, all of which are meant to give you complete comfort.

However, the tours do not provide food and drinks or hotel pickups. That’s why they have several stops at restaurants and eateries before you continue with the journey.

Some of the tour stops include Euromast, Erasmus bridge, Markthall, and Central station. These are the main destinations that represent Rotterdam as a whole.

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1-hour Rotterdam River cruise

Rotterdam Cruise

Duration: 1 hour

Looking for a unique way to see Rotterdam? Then jump onboard the Rotterdam River cruise and sail along the Maas river for 1 hour to see all the highlights of Rotterdam. During your cruise, you will experience the beautiful views of the city’s impressive skyline and see the various ports.

An enthusiastic guide will tell you about all the ins and outs of the sailing route during your trip, as you sail past the famous ss Rotterdam, Kop van Zuid, Hotel New York, the White House, the Willems Bridge, the Euromast, and more.

Find a place inside the cozy salon or sit on the sun deck. Onboard there is a bar where drinks and snacks are available. Book your Rotterdam River cruise to see the city the right way.

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Family walking tour in Rotterdam with a guide

Rotterdam Architecture

Duration: 2 hours

Experience the most rewarding adventure with your family on this exclusive family-friendly walking tour in Rotterdam. Your family-friendly local professional guide will make sure the kids have as much fun sightseeing as the adults.

The tour has an easy pace and includes a stroll around the city center, highlighting the famous cultural and architectural sites. You and the whole family will have fun learning about Rotterdam’s fascinating sites and facts such as Euromast tower got its name because it is located in the center of the European market area and near the Europoort harbor.

The stories shared by the guide are guaranteed to provide a few giggles as you wind down the off-beaten paths of the city. Rotterdam is called such because it has a river called the Rotte and many years ago the inhabitants, placed a dam on it. Book this tour to get to know more facts and have fun doing it.

Feyenoord Stadium Tour

Feyenoord Stadium Aerial View
uslatar – stock.adobe.com

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Take a 90-minute tour around the home stadium of one of Europe’s most celebrated clubs! Learn the club’s history at the Feyenoord Museum, sit in the head coach’s seat, walk through the De Kuip tunnel onto the pitch,

Feyenoord Stadium is located in close proximity to downtown Rotterdam, situated just a few minutes away from the city center. The stadium is easily accessible via public transportation, with many buses and trams passing by the area on a regular basis.

Private Markthal tour and Het Witte Huis rooftop visit

Markthal, Rotterdam Aerial View

Duration: 1 hour

Take a private 1-hour tour to Markthal that’s fun for both the young and older. Along the way, you’ll also see the Old Harbor, Cube Houses, and end at Het Witte Huis.

Walk through the Old Harbour, see the famous Cube Houses and enjoy views over the Maasbridges and Binnenrotte. Later, enjoy a tasting with your enthusiastic guide who will show you ‘off-limits’ places and tell you everything about Rotterdam’s most prominent food hall. You will see, smell and taste the Market Hall at its best. The tour includes a ‘Meet & Taste’ with an entrepreneur on the market floor.

Finally, follow your guide to the roof of Het Witte Huis, the oldest skyscraper in Europe, where you will have a phenomenal view of the city. Listen to your guide explain each building you are looking at on the horizon and get tips on where to take the best pictures of your family!

Private Rotterdam architecture tour

Rotterdam Architecture and Skyline

Duration: 2.5 hours

Explore the architectural icons of Rotterdam on a 2.5-hour walking tour. This private Rotterdam tour will include stops at many impressive buildings including, Markthal, Erasmus Bridge, the Cube Houses, and many other highlights with your city tour guide.

Hear surprising facts and stories about Rotterdam’s architecture with your local guide, including the creations and influence of architect Rem Koolhaas.

Learn about the multifunctional Market Hall, admire the unique skyline of Rotterdam from the Erasmus Bridge, and discover future buildings such as POST Rotterdam and the Zalmhaven Tower.

Highlights of Rotterdam private bicycle tour

Private Highlight 
 Rotterdam Bike Tour
image by Viator

Duration: 3 hours

Discover Rotterdam in your private group! During this relaxed bike tour, you will see all the sights that Rotterdam has to offer including the hidden places of the city.

You will be amazed at the skyscrapers, the nicknames of statues and buildings, the architecture, and also the history and contemporary developments of this non-stop innovative metropolis. Get useful tips about good restaurants, trendy nightlife, and trendy shopping streets for the rest of your stay in Rotterdam or to come back again.

After this tour, you’ll have all the information you need to explore it yourself.

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Art and culture of Rotterdam with a Local

Rotterdam, Netherlands Architecture Scenery

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

A local provides this experience so you can get to know all about the different cultural aspects and artistic endeavors that make this city special. You will also love the vibrant community atmosphere when you stroll around town. This experience is perfect for anyone visiting Rotterdam, whether it’s your first time or if you’re a returning tourist who wants to explore more deeply.

While walking the streets of Rotterdam and looking at the amazing, unique street art, or getting to know more about the city’s galleries and museums, you will hear about street-art artists as well as contemporary artists and their close connection to Rotterdam.

The local guide will share with you the art and cultural world of my city, where you will see, hear, and experience how colorful and multifaceted Rotterdam is.

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Conclusion

Rotterdam is an exciting place to visit. There are so many activities to do in the city. You might even end up not tackling half of them. But with a good tour concierge, you may be surprised at how much you can accomplish.

While there is a big challenge in getting tour guides in Rotterdam, we have eased the search for you. I hope that this Rotterdam tour guide makes your visit to this beautiful city worth your while.

FAQs

What is there to do in Rotterdam?

Rotterdam is full of activities to participate in! You may visit the remarkable cube houses, enjoy views of the Maasbridges and Binnenrotte, sample delicacies at the Market Hall, and explore Rotterdam’s architectural icons.

What are the best Rotterdam tours for sightseeing?

There are a lot of great Rotterdam tours for sightseeing. The best city tours typically include visits to the famous cube houses, views over the Maasbridges and Binnenrotte, and tastings at the Market Hall. You can also explore Rotterdam’s architecture on a private walking or bike tour with a local guide.

What are the best full-day tours in Rotterdam?

There are many great full-day tours in Rotterdam, but some of our favorites include the Rotterdam City Tour, the Delfshaven tour, and the Kinderdijk windmills tour. These tours offer a great overview of the city and its history, as well as some beautiful sights to see.

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