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Free things to do in Rotterdam

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Photo by Steshka Willems from Pexels

Holiday’s are expensive, so finding free things to do is a great way to save money. Luckily, Rotterdam is brimming with fun, free, things to do, see, and explore. 

  • Stroll along the harbour
  • Explore the Markthal
  • Wander the markets
  • Sail on the SS Rotterdam
  • Learn about Rotterdam on a walking tour 
  • Visit De Ster
  • Take in the views at Lührs viewpoint
  • Enjoy the peace and quiet of Eiland van Brienenoord
  • Cycle the city 
  • Visit Rotterdams iconic structures 

Stroll along the harbour

Rotterdam is home to the largest harbour in Europe. As you journey along the harbour, you will come across some of Rotterdam’s most famous landmarks, including the Erasmus bridge, Hotel New York, and the SS Rotterdam. If you find yourself stuck for something to do on a clear, dry, day in Rotterdam, a stroll along the harbour is the perfect solution. 

Photo by László Hegedűs from Pexels

Explore the Markthal

In the heart of Rotterdam you will find the Markthal, a quirky take on the classic market square. A large arch of 228 apartments covers a central market hall of 96 food stands where you will sample some of the best food you will find in Rotterdam. From classic cuisine to exotic eats, the Markthal is a culinary lovers dream. Whilst sampling Rotterdam’s finest foods, look around at the mural painted on the arch covering the square. “Cornucopia” shows enlarged food items alongside flowers and insects in reference to Dutch paintings from the 17th century. The masterpiece was created by artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam, and provides a glorious view to enjoy with your food. 

Image by Paul Arps

Wander the markets 

The Markthal is not the only market in Rotterdam. There are an array of street markets running 6 days a week, selling all manner of fresh produce, trinkets, and flowers. The biggest market in Rotterdam is at Binnenrotte near the Rotterdam Blaak train station. Here you will find more than 250 stalls selling everything including fresh fruit, fish, cheese, flowers, vintage goods, and even furniture. If you are visiting the city during the Christmas season, there are plenty of Christmas markets selling perfect stocking filler gifts and traditional Danish food and drink. 

Sail on the SS Rotterdam

The SS Rotterdam is iconic. Launched back in 1953, the ship sailed for 41 years, ferrying passengers from Rotterdam to New York. In 2000, the SS Rotterdam was returned to the city, where the ship has since been turned into a hotel, restaurant, event space, and tourist attraction. You can explore the ship for free, learning about it’s rich history and tales of it’s transatlantic voyages. If you are willing to splash out on dinner on the boat, there are plenty of options for you to indulge in. Whether you fancy a relaxing afternoon tea, suave fine dining experience, or simply some greasy finger food, there is something to satisfy everyone’s tastes on the SS Rotterdam. 

Image by Frans Berkelaar

Learn about Rotterdam on a walking tour  

The best way to get to know a new city is by exploring it with the locals. Free Walking Tour Rotterdam is run and conducted by volunteers who live in Rotterdam and truly love their city. The tour begins at the Markthal and takes you to some of the most iconic areas of the city where you will learn about the history of Rotterdam. The tour runs every day from 1:30pm and there is an additional morning tour on a Saturday beginning at 10:30am. 

Image by Zairon

Visit De Ster

Did you really go the the Netherlands if you didn’t visit a windmill? The Kralingse Bos forest is a beautiful recreational area, perfect for running, cycling, or simply taking a stroll. The forest encases Kralingse Plas lake, along which you can find windmill De Ster (the star). Dating back to 1866, windmill De Ster is a fully functional windmill which is still used to grind tobacco leaves to create snuff. Guided tours of the windmill are available every second Saturday of the month between 10am to 4pm. Entrance to the windmill is free, however any generous donations made do go towards maintaining the windmill. 

Image by Jchmrt

Take in the views at Lührs viewpoint

Lührs viewpoint is a Rotterdam hidden gem. After hiking up a 40 meter hill you will be rewarded with a stunning view of the Rotterdam skyline and, on a clear day, The Hague. It is the perfect place to escape the city, enjoy nature, and unwind with a beautiful view. 

Image by Kristoffer Trolle

Enjoy the peace and quiet of Eiland van Brienenoord

Under the Van Brienenoord Bridge in Rotterdam you will find a slice of peace and tranquillity- Eiland van Brienenoord. Grassy plains, open waters, and a forest make up the island, giving a home to a multitude of plants, birds, and animals. The island was created in the 19th century when silt plates formed in the Nieuwe Maas and became overgrown. Whether you are looking to do some bird watching, enjoy a gentle jog, or simply stroll around the island, Eiland van Brienenoord is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

Photo by Annelies Brouw from Pexels

Cycle the city 

There are many ways that you can enjoy the city of Rotterdam, but none are as fun as cycling. You can spend hours cycling across the city, from the city centre to Delfshaven, exploring the hidden gems that the city has to offer. There are cycling routes that you can take, or you can make your own route, following the harbour and simply seeing where you end up. 

Photo by TRAVELBLOG from Pexels

Visit Rotterdams iconic structures 

Rotterdam is renowned for its quirky architecture and iconic structures. Spend a day charting the structures of the city, roaming from one icon to the next. From the Cube Houses to Hotel New York, the Witte Huis to the Euromast, create yourself a route to all of the famous landmarks in Rotterdam and spend the day exploring. 

Photo by Claudia Schmalz from Pexels

There are so many fun, free, things to do and see in Rotterdam that you won’t have time to do your laundry. Luckily, Laundryheap are here to help. Book your Laundryheap service today and have your laundry picked-up, laundered, and redelivered to you within 24 hours. To book your Laundryheap order today head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.

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