What to Do and What to Eat: A Weekend in Rotterdam

Considering taking a weekend trip to Rotterdam? This guide will cover must do and must see things in Rotterdam, as well as hotspots to eat. We kept the most delicious part at the end. We created this guide according to how we spent a Weekend in Rotterdam; you can jump over to whatever part you like by clicking on the sections below. Enjoy the ride!

Table of Contents
-What to see
1. Stare at Rotterdam Central Station
2. Feed your Instagram Soul at Luchtsingel Bridge
3. Get confused with Cube Houses
4. Forgot to eat under the beauty of Markthal
5. Pass the “Landmark” by cycle Erasmusbrug
6. Take a Hip Walk in Witte de Withstraat
7. Take The Street Art Route
– What to Eat
9. Eat the Best Ramen of the City at Hinoki Noodle Soups
10. Try experimental 72 hours yeasted pizzas at Sugo
11. Go full Chinese “x” and never turn back at ….
12. Try out famous Pancettas of Panzero (Ideally more than 1)
-Time and Money Saving Tips

Must See Places

1. Luchtsingel Bridge

If you search “#rotterdam” on Instagram, there is no chance not to see this beautiful yellow bridge. Most likely you will see just one or two sites that people are posing. However, this bridge is bigger than you think! I suggest you to spend some time to explore and create your own bounty Instagram shot. The shadow and light plays are crucial for Luchtsingel Bridge, so make sure to plan your visit in the daylight.

Luchtsingel means “Air Canal,” and it’s the world’s first crowdfunded public infrastructure project. You will see the names that are engraved all over the yellow planks. Around 8000 people donated 25€ each to have their names on the wooden boards while helping the build costs of the bridge. Isn’t it amazing?

Luchtsingel Bridge G
Luchtsingel Bridge

2. Kubuswoningen

I think Rotterdam’s unique Kubuswoningen (aka Cube Houses) takes all the attention of the visitors among the other attractions. And it 100% deserves it! When I first saw the mindbending cube houses I was amazed and couldn’t help myself to ask “Do people really live here?” “Is that even possible?”. Believe it or not, they do 🙂 These houses play with your mind, it’s crazy to see someone washing his dishes standing almost horizontally. Thanks to the Dutch architect Piet Blom! You can also check inside one of the houses –which is turned into a museum, for 3€. We spend around 2 hours in this neighborhood admiring and gazing at the architecture.

Besides being interesting in shape, Kubuswoningen is also known as “Het Blaakse Bos” which means “The Black Forest”. But why forest? Because, Piet Blom wanted to symbolize an abstract forest, according to him, the top of each individual house is supposed to represent an abstract tree. Now from the forest, we are going to walk to Markthal. Well, it’s only 100 meters away!

Rotterdam Cube Houses Shot 2
Kubuswoningen
Rotterdam Cube Houses Shot
Rotterdam Cube Houses Shot

3. Markthal

This is the most beautiful market hall I have ever been. Looking at the ceiling full of big fruits, vegetables, seeds, fishes, flowers, and insects got me dizzy. I felt so small and so good. Markthal was bigger than I thought. You could find any delicious food here; tapas, cheese, burgers, salamis, doner kebab, charcuterie, vegan and so on… Undoubtedly, there is a place that would make your tummy satisfied.

The only con about Markthal would be the fantastic architecture that is covered by the art piece of Arno Coenen (Called Horn of Plenty, 11.000m2); which makes you forget about your hunger 🙂 By the way, Markthal is a residential and office building, thinking somebody is living on these walls is pretty impressive.

The only con about Markthal would be the fantastic architecture that is covered by the art piece of Arno Coenen (Called Horn of Plenty, 11.000m2); which makes you forget about your hunger 🙂 Besides everything, Markthal is a residential and office building, thinking somebody is living on these walls is pretty impressive.

Markthal Wide
Markthal

3. Erasmusbrug

Erasmurbrug (Erasmus Bridge) is the landmark of Rotterdam. While being the second largest bridge in the Netherlands, it connects the north and south parts of the city. The bridge named after Desiderius Erasmus a renaissance humanist who is known as Erasmus of Rotterdam.

If you don’t like walking, consider taking a bike. Because it’s a long-ass bridge 🙂 You can also prefer to walk or cycle to Willemsbrug and De Brug from here, I chose to walk and it took nearly one and a half hour with photo breaks.

Erasmus Bridge
Erasmus Bridge

4. Rotterdam Centraal

Rotterdam Centraal (the central station) will be your first welcomer, probably. This modern Dutch city wants to surprise you from the first step you take into the city. Go ahead and take a photo in front of the station, if you can take your eyes off of the building.

The current station was opened in 2014. There are an average of 93,000 passengers coming and going on a daily basis. Pretty busy! Rotterdam Centraal might be the newest and modern train station you will ever be.

Rotterdam Central Station G
Rotterdam Central Station

5. Get Jealous of Witte de Withstraat

Witte de Withstraat is the naughty and cool boy of Rotterdam with cafes, restaurants, art galleries and various shops. Since it is the Netherlands and Witte de Withstaraat is one of the coolest streets, you have the option to get high. But personally, I would not like to leave my excited traveler mood. I have to admit that I’m kinda jealous of Witte de Withstraat; I found myself several times saying “I wish we would have this street in Antwerp”. If you want to chill, relax, eat or hang out this is the place.

Witte Night
Witte Night

Everything you will see is absolute eye-candy. Cafe interiors and illuminations are otherworldly. Take your time, explore little side streets, because you will find some street art or a little detail makes you smile on almost every step you take. Try to explore as many shops as you can and don’t forget to feed your Instagram soul. If you have enough time, consider visiting Witte De Withstraat both at day and night time.

Witte Shop
Grafitti Witte de Witstraat

6. Take the Street Art Route

If you like murals, Rotterdam is a paradise for you. Even if you don’t follow a route, you will see tens of murals on the way. However, some pieces are hidden in the back alleys of the town. When I go to a city on my list, I like to devour it. Because of this, I followed a street art route while I was walking around the town. It is a mobile application and thank god, it works offline too. Even without a data package, you won’t have any problems. You can download and enjoy the various routes from here.

Grafitti Rotterdam 2
One of our Favourites
Grafitti Witte
Mural on Witte de Withstraat

What and Where to Eat in Rotterdam

This is why we travel, this is 80% of our existence in the world. TO EAT. We are quite picky and sensitive when the topic is food. For Rotterdam, we dug deep into google reviews and talked with locals and friends to fulfill the question “what and where to eat in Rotterdam?“.

Eat the best Ramen of the city at Hinoki Noodle Soups

Once, I cooked a ramen broth for 14 hours. Well, I hope this sentence tells something about us. We care what we eat and we looove ramen! Our friend recommended Hinoki Noodle Soup which has a variety of tonkotsu (pork) broth ramens with Shio, Shoyu and Miso. These are the flavorings of the ramen; shio is the simplest one with salt, shoyu is with soy sauce and lastly, miso is the one with fermented bean paste.

We ordered one Special Hinoki Miso Ramen, one Shoyu Ramen with soft boiled eggs and Gyoza which is Japanese chicken fried dumplings. From the first sip of the soup, we knew that we were in the right place <3 Broth was rich and balanced with flavors. They told us that they make the noodles themselves. As you may guess, the noodles were fresh and so delicious. We were almost full when we started to eat the dumplings which perfectly fried.

The place is simple and the server was so kind. The lighting inside could be cozier, but you will forget when you taste the ramen. An important point, they didn’t accept the Visa card. In total, we payed around 30€. We absolutely loved Hinoki Noodle Soups, if you are into Asian cuisines this is a must to go!

Hinoki Noodle
Hinoki Noodle Soups
Hinako Noodle
Hinako Noodle

Try first of a kind pizzas at Sugo

Guys, are you ready to hear that? Sugo is a Healthy Pizza place. Because, they use a kind of flour from wheat, spelt and soja and leaven it for 72 hours. Pizza’s are always ready so we waited around 10 minutes. We decided to have Salami, Margarita and Veggies.

The texture of the pizza is crunchy, light and almost airy with its unique recipe. It is not your average pizza and that’s why we went there; to experience something new. Moreover, we liked what we ate, it was the only pizza that I didn’t regret afterwards. You can dunk a Sugo Pizza and go to sleep. LOL.

Sugo Pizza's

Panzero’ Apulian StrEat Food

We love street food. Most delicious foods are always street foods. Panzerotto also known as plural panzerotti, is a classic from Central and Southern Italy. A panzerotto is a half-moon shaped deep-fried pocket of dough that usually filled with savory or sweet ingredients. If you want to eat the most delicious quick bite (since you don’t have enough time to do everything, otherwise of course you can sit!), this is the place. It’s only walking distance to Cube Houses.

Panzero’ Apulian StrEat Food has a warm atmosphere; you can feel the Italian spirit. Very nice people running this place; we had a small talk with the owner himself. They were friendly and welcoming.

Since we were already full of eating, we shared a panzerotto. It’s super delicious, soft, warm and bursts in your mouth. Honestly, we didn’t like to share it haha! In the menu, there is a variety of panzerotti with savory and sweet options, as well as pucce and desserts. Panzerotti prices range from 3,5€ to 8,5€.

Go full Chinese And Never Return Back

Hamburgers

There are two famous hamburger shops in Rotterdam; Ter Marsch & Co and Hamburg. Luckily, both of them are on the Witte de Withstraat. We didn’t have enough time to check them out, but they are on our list!

Grab a Salami Cone at Casa Reinders


Time, Money and Energy Saving Tips

Rent a Bicycle

Personally, I’m a walker but cycling is a part of the Rotterdam. Plus it is time and energy saving. You can get rent one 15 euro per day. Have fun but never let your guard down against the neck breaking architecture.

Get the Welcome Card 

With Rotterdam Welcome Card you can take all metro, tram and bus lines for free. Also, the card offers at least a 25% discount on top attractions around the city. You can either order the card or buy it in Rotterdam. A daily pass costs 12 euro, two days 18 and three days is 23 euro. Here is a link, you can check all discounts and advantages of the Welcome Card by clicking here.

Take the Free Walking Tour

If you want to dive deep to the history of Rotterdam you can take this free tour. Your guidance will be a local Rotterdamer on this walking tour. But keep in mind you have to book before the tour.

Bonus Suggestion – Try to Get Lost

Rotterdam is kind of small and buildings are too tall. I did a long walk tour by myself without Google Maps and I was still able to find my way quite easy by picking and walking towards familiar architectures. So, try to get lost!

Festivals to know about for visiting Rotterdam

Rotterdam in a Nutshell

I hate tall buildings and alienage cities. However, I loved Rotterdam. Rotterdam is an experimental city. Rotterdam is a huge eye-candy with a lot of fun things to do. I remember one of my friends frowned me when I said “I really liked Rotterdam” for the tenth time on our first day. But for real, you are going to love Rotterdam and admire the effort behind the city!

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