While Amsterdam is the main star of Netherlands tourism, and probably always will be, the port city of Rotterdam is well worth a visit. For one thing, it’s Europe’s largest port city, so there’s a lot of commerce and history. Rotterdam is undergoing a Renaissance to give Amsterdam a run for its money, and many will say it’s a better place to experience true Netherlands’ culture without the hefty crowds of Amsterdam.
Once you’ve decided to give Rotterdam a visit, we’ve got a guide to the best neighborhoods in Rotterdam and hotels in Rotterdam for every budget and travel style.
We will cover off all types of Rotterdam accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Rotterdam hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Rotterdam, the best Rotterdam hotels, best places in Rotterdam to visit, the best places to stay in Rotterdam, hotels near Rotterdam attractions, Rotterdam neighborhood guide and many more.
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Rotterdam City Center – Where to stay in Rotterdam for tourists
The Rotterdam City Centre, also known as Centrum, has the highest concentration of Rotterdam hotels and tourist attractions. The Centraal station is right in Rotterdam City Center, making arrivals, departures and day trips from Rotterdam a breeze.
Centrum is the best area for tourists visiting for a short time, especially first-time visitors to Rotterdam. Unlike in many city centers of Europe, budget friendly travelers will have no trouble finding a Rotterdam hostel in the center of town. This area is filled with nightlife, cafes and shopping, so there’s never a dull moment for adventurous travellers.
Best places to stay in Rotterdam City Center
Oude Noorden – Where to stay in Rotterdam for first timers
The “Old North” area of the city, just north of Rotterdam City Center, is a popular area to stay due to proximity to Centrum. Uniquely, this neighborhood escaped much of the damage from WWI and WWII, so it’s a great place to explore pre-war architecture in Rotterdam.
It was once a working-class neighborhood, now becoming an artists’ destination, with boutique designers, jazz clubs and coffee shops moving in. You’ll find a melting pot of cultures in Oude Noorden, and diverse cuisines to boot. A stay in Oude Noorden is perfect for hip travellers looking for a local experience.
Best places to stay in Oude Noorden
Delfshaven – Where to stay in Rotterdam for history buffs
Just west of the city centre is the marina area of Delfshaven. There is a lot of history in the area, which used to be home to several gin distilleries. You can still see evidence of this in the many gin bars that dot the area. Historic buildings are now filled with unique shops, and there’s even an 18th century windmill still in operation here.
Delfshaven is perhaps most famous as the launching point of the Pilgrim Fathers, and you can still visit the church where they met in 1620 before setting sail for America. Delfshaven is about a 30 minute walk to the city center, or 15 minutes by tram.
Best places to stay in Delfshaven
de Stadsdriehoek – Where to stay in Rotterdam on a budget
You’ve likely seen photos of de Stadsdriehoek without even realizing it. de Stadsdriehoek means “City Triangle” and is comprises the area just northeast of the city centre. It was heavily bombed during WWII and as a result, is now home to modern architecture, including the often photographed Cube House Complex.
Although the Cube House is largely private residences, there is a hostel and an architecture museum in two of the units. Foodies will love the Markthal food hall, with gourmet wine and food vendors. Other attractions in this area include the Maritime Museum, Mariniers Museum and vintage barges at Oude Haven.
Best places to stay in de Stadsdriehoek
Blijdorp – Where to stay in Rotterdam with family
For travellers seeking a family friendly neighborhood of Rotterdam that is outside of the city centre chaos, Blijdorp is the perfect place to stay in Rotterdam. The neighborhood center is Diergaarde Blijdorp, the Rotterdam Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the Netherlands.
Nearby Vroesenpark is where locals go when the weather is nice; nothing fancy, just a lovely park where you can relax and let the kids run wild. This area is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the former Van Nelle tobacco factory is noted for constructivist architecture style. Guided tours are available.
Best places to stay in Blijdorp
Kralingen – Where to stay in Rotterdam for outdoor lovers
This former suburb west of Rotterdam City Centre was annexed into Rotterdam in the late 1800’s. The area is home to elegant villas and Erasmus University, so it’s a melting pot of residents and students. Rotterdam’s largest park, Kralingse Bos, is the central feature of Kralingen, with a huge lake for outdoor recreation. The Arboretum Trompenburg is also worth a visit, with botanical gardens and a teahouse. This family friendly neighborhood is on the pricier side, but you’ll love the abundance of nature within city limits.
Best places to stay in Kralingen
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Kralingen
Family Friendly Hotels in Kralingen
Affordable Luxury Hotels in Kralingen
Suite Hotel Pincoffs
Dijkzigt – Where to stay in Rotterdam for museum visits
Once a former country estate of the Hoboken family who lived in Villa Dijkzigt, this Rotterdam neighborhood sits at the eastern edge of Centrum. It is home to Museumpark, a large urban park surrounded by museums. This area includes a sculpture garden, art museum, natural history museum, and much more. Dijkzigt is also home to the Netherlands’ largest hospital, the Erasmus University Medical Center. If you plan to visit many museums during your visit to Rotterdam, then this is a great neighborhood to stay.
Best places to stay in Dijkzigt
Kop Van Zuid – Where to stay in Rotterdam for culture
Across the Erasmus Bridge from Rotterdam City Centre is the area known as Kop Van Zuid. This is a cultural hub of Rotterdam, with many attractions in a very small area. The Nederlands Fotomuseum has over five million photos on display, while the nearby Villa Zebra offers art exhibitions for children ages four to 12.
If you are arriving to Rotterdam by cruise ship, this is where the cruise ship terminal is located. This may sway your decision to stay here, pending your penchant for, or aversion to, cruise ships crowds.
Best places to stay in Kop Van Zuid
Feijenoord – Where to stay in Rotterdam for backpackers
The entire area surrounding Kop Van Zuid is known as Feijenoord, a large neighborhood south of the city center. This includes the hip area known as Katendrecht, which is the “Old Town” area of Rotterdam. Sports fans may recognize this as the home of Feyenoord Stadium, home of the football club, and also where major rock concerts are held.
Feijenoord is quite large, and feels like a city of it’s own, with a charming city square at Deliplein, and a weekly market. You can also visit the SS Rotterdam, which is now a hotel and promenade open to visitors.
Best places to stay in Feijenoord
Affordable Luxury Hotels in Feijenoord
Suite Hotel Pincoffs