Rotterdam in 10 Hours – A Day Trip City Guide

If you want to explore a modern city that has chilled vibes and some pretty amazing architecture, then Rotterdam is the city for you!



We honestly had no idea what to expect. With a week to go before Christmas, we anticipated busy streets and tourists everywhere, but we were so, so wrong. In actual fact, what we got surprised us in the most delightful way possible. Not only did we get to see some fantastic sights, drink incredible beer and eat some pretty tasty street food, but we also got a city that anyone could settle down in – no problem. All we’d need to do is learn how to use the cycling roads!

Here’s a rundown of how we spent our day, with some tips on where to go and what to eat and drink!

10:30am – Arrived at Centraal Station

We used FlixBus to cheaply get from Brussels to Rotterdam, which I thoroughly recommend for any traveller wanting a cheap and stress-free way to travel around Europe. The drive itself was peaceful and easy – just straight up the highway. We passed some gorgeous early morning rural sights along the way too!

RotterdamWe arrived at Centraal Station, and took a walk south towards the Cool District, which mainly had high street stores and the odd café. Stopping for breakfast at HEMA, we got a cheap, but filling start to the day. The café part of the store is located on the top floor, which looked out onto the insanely quiet streets.

11:00am – A slow stroll to Markthal

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Quickly picking up some souvenirs (my standard postcard haul) we took a steady walk towards Markthal – Trip Advisors’ top attraction for the city. This indoor market boasts a wide variety of street food vendors, from brightly glazed American donuts to Korean sushi burritos (and of course you can get fresh and gooey Dutch waffles). If you love food, then this is the ultimate attraction.

Just around the corner from the market is Laurenskerk, the last remaining medieval church in the city. Unfortunately for us it wasn’t open on the day we went, but even still, the outside of the church is a beautiful sight.



 14:00pm – Beer on a boat at Vessel 11




On the way we walked past the maritime museum. Perhaps with more time, we would have given it a visit, but we wanted a pint, so of to Vessel 11 we went.

Probably the coolest pub we’ve ever been to! Again, the chilled nature of Rotterdam followed us here, as we drank pint after pint in this classic British boat turned pub/restaurant. You can also rent the HotTug, a wood-fired hot tub that lets you cruise the evening away in relaxing style! Unfortunately again, one forgot to include a swimming costume on a trip to Northern Europe in December, so we missed out on that!




16:00pm – Another walk towards Erasmus Bridge (Erasmusbrug)

Nicknamed the Swan, the bridge and its surroundings was a breath-taking sight for a high-rise lover like myself. We watched it from late afternoon to early evening (sipping on Heineken in the pub/grill Brutus Beer over the road) as the modern city lit up to reveal yet an even more modern ambience.


19:00pm – Back to Martkhal for dinner



Even though we spent a good hour inside the market during the afternoon, we decided to come back for some Chinese street food at Let’s Wok! Freshly woked in front of us, we chose the sauce and vegetables ourselves and then topped it with some tofu. A perfect veggie meal!

Although at first glance Rotterdam does not seem like the ultimate tourist attraction, we assure you that you’ll have a great time soaking up the atmosphere of this chilled out city. The relaxing vibe was contagious, to say the least. Next time, we’ll visit for longer than 10 hours!

20:30pm – Back to Centraal Station

On the way, we just HAD to stop at McDonalds to try the infamous Stroopwaffel McFlurry!



Posted in Destinations, Europe, Food, Reviews, Travel, Travel Tips.


  1. I have never really thought of Rotterdam as a destination – but it sounds so interesting, – and especially the markthall sounds like it’s worth a visit!

    • Same here – I was just in the area so I decided to go! It’s definitely worth a visit. Thanks for stopping by.

    • It’s really beautiful. A mix of tradition with modernity. Absolutely loved it there. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Oooooh, that sushi burrito looks awesome! I live in South Korea and we call it kimbab, it’s standard picnic food here and I love it (although it looks nowhere near as awesome as the one you saw!) That McFlurry looks amazing. I was recently in Japan and they have strawberry chocolate pies in McDonalds- it’s like an apple pie but it’s filled with strawberry flavoured chocolate. Ohmygod, I want to eat it everyday!

    • I love all the regional stuff they have in McDonalds – it’s fun to go in and see what they have to offer! Awesome that you live in South Korea – I’d love to live there. 😀

    • That is the perfect way to describe it. I had no idea how modern the city was before visiting. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  3. We used Rotterdam as a base to explore Kinderjyck, Haarlem and Amsterdam a few summers ago. It really is such an underrated city. Great food, easy to explore, and perfect for those looking for a great base to explore other cities without the hefty price tags! Thanks for sharing!

    • That’s awesome – it’s a great place to use as a base for sure. Wish I had more time to explore the country, but I’ll definitely be back! Thanks for commenting.

    • We wanted to move to Rotterdam after visiting. Vessel 11 is awesome, we stayed for quite a few drinks. 😀 Thanks for commenting.

  4. Sounds like you had fun! It’s always nice to see people writing about parts of the Netherlands other than Amsterdam. I like the energy of Rotterdam — it feels more mixed and authentic, less pretentious than other cities in the Netherlands.

    • I totally agree! Rotterdam is beautiful and it’s not too far from Amsterdam so people should make the trip down to see it. Personally, I haven’t even been to Amsterdam, although I wouldn’t mind going at some point. Rotterdam is the type of city you can live in very happily.

  5. I’ve been to some cities in Netherlands but not Rotterdam. After reading this post, I think I will stop by if I go to Netherlands again 🙂 Thanks for sharing lots of pictures! You surely had great time there.

  6. I expected Rotterdam to be eye-rolling boring, then I read this post. I could see myself spending a day or two here, but maybe skip the Flurry. It looks dangerous lol

  7. Definitely adding Rotterdam to my bucket list! It’s very close to where I live in Germany but I’ve never been! I loved Antwerpes though, such a pretty city!

  8. Ohhh thank you for sharing your trip! rotterdam sounds nice and chill place to go to. There are quite a few interesting places to see as well. Will definitely put this on the list. Im planning a trip to brussels soon and will try to have a side trip to Rotterdam.

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