Where To Stay in Rotterdam, Netherlands - Guide of Best Areas and Hotels

The history of Rotterdam goes back to the 13th century, when locals built a dam on the Rotte river and started settling around it for safety. The community grew so fast, that in less than a hundred years it gained city rights. Due to its strategically important location, it is now a prosperous city and the largest port in Europe, most famous for its maritime heritage, culture, buoyant lifestyle and the Erasmus University.

Architecturally wise, Rotterdam ([‘rɔtərdæm], Dutch: [ˌrɔtərˈda:m]) displays a skyline pretty much unusual for Dutch settlements. During WWII, the city’s central area was destroyed, and now features a series of skyscrapers and modern buildings. The stark contrast between new and more typical for this area older buildings unarguably add to Rotterdam’s charm.

Regardless of your goal when visiting Rotterdam, be sure that you’ll find accommodation for every taste. Many rentals are clustered in the city centre, yet in other neighbourhoods you can get a decent place to stay in as well. Price wise, Rotterdam is considerably cheaper than other major cities, e.g. Amsterdam.

Table of Content

Part 1. A quick glance at Rotterdam’s recommended neighbourhoods

Centrum - amazingly diversified and dynamic, it is the hub for shopping, entertainment and culture offering rentals for any taste and budget

Rotterdam Noord - genuine and peaceful, a family-friendly area with older settings and lots of greenery

Kralingen-Crooswijk - upscale and youthful, is a very romantic area with a relaxed environment offering just a few accommodation options

Kop van Zuid & Katendrecht - fancy and avantgarde, offering places of interest for many travelers, but few pricey rentals

Delfshaven - historic and tranquil, it keeps a traditional feel to it welcoming you with affordable accommodation

Part 2. Recommended neighbourhoods and hotels to stay in Rotterdam


Pronounced: [‘sɪntrum]

- Overview

Choosing a rental in Centrum might end up the best way to experience Rotterdam. It combines the big city life with Dutch traditional. Staying here, you’ll always be in a few-minute walk from a metro station, a shopping street, a museum, an eatery or a bustling hotspot and you’ll never get bored. Among tourists and locals, you’ll meet plenty of businessmen, expats and students, all adding up to the lively vibe of the neighbourhood. Probably you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that most of the main attractions are here too. Within the so-called ‘city triangle’ are located plenty of LGBT-friendly cafes, bars and nightclubs. Foodies will have a lot to explore starting from fine restaurants to deli cafes to varied on-the-go food boutiques. If you are looking forward to a longer stay or prefer renting a modern apartment, better browse the alternatives you get in the region right to the south of Rotterdam Centraal train station. For a village feel serene vibe stay in Boompjes area, a quiet and residential part of the neighbourhood, mostly preferred by freelancers and other people working from home.

- Main Attractions

* Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum (must see)
* Euromast Tower (must see)
* Theater Lantaren/ Venster
* Rotterdam neo-Baroque Paradijskerk
* Pathé Schouwburgplein
* Rotterdamse Schouwburg
* City Hall
* World Trade Center
* Museum Het Schielandshuis (must see)
* Saint Laurenskerk (must see)
* Market Hall
* Binnenrotte
* Public Transport Museum
* Nederlands Architectuurinstituut (NAi) (must see)
* Chabot Museum
* Sonneveld House (must see)
* Remonstrant Church
* Roman Catholic Eendrachtskerk
* Witte de With
* Wallonian Church
* Waalse Kerk
* Scots International Church
* Cinerama
* Maritime Museum of Rotterdam (must see)
* Cubic Houses (must see)
* The Rotterdam White House (Witte Huis) (must see)
* Openlucht Binnenvaart Museum
* Noorse Kerk
* Natuurhistorisch Museum
* Kunsthal (must see)
* Greek-Orthodox Church Agios Nikolaos
* Koningin Emmaplein
* Tax and Customs Museum (must see)
* Wereldmuseum Rotterdam (must see)
* The Spido BV
* Erasmus Bridge (must see)
* De Pannenkoekenboot

- Recommended Walks

Centrum is home to most attractions, shops, clubs, eateries and more. The self-guided walking tours of Rotterdam city centre, listed below, will help you easily discover the best of Rotterdam downtown:

* City Orientation Walk
* A Cultural Walk in Rotterdam
* Museums of Rotterdam Walking Tour
* Lijnbaan, Koopgoot and Hoogstraat Shopping
* Nightlife Walking Tour In Rotterdam
* Chinatown Walk

- Pros of Staying Here

- Wide range of renting options both price and quality wise
- Most attractions are here
- Admirable architectural mix
- Plenty of cultural, shopping, public catering and entertainment venues
- Bank sidewalks and green areas to unwind
- Well connected to surrounding areas

- Cons of Staying Here

- Shopping spots become deserted by night
- Some areas are crowded and noisy

- Recommended Hotels

Euromast - a sightseeing rental offering suites in the Euromast Tower with gorgeous views over the harbour and over the city, absolutely romantic
Mainport Design Hotel (5*) - a truly unique hotel welcoming you with an excellent location and elegant rooms, some of which offering private saunas and many more treats adding to the value for the money: perfect for a well-deserved luxury vacation
Rooms on Water - an exclusive rental on board of a former cargo ship offering a very intimate stay, good breakfasts and pleasant light swaying at night
The James Rotterdam (3*) - an elegant hotel with clean and well-equipped rooms, comfy beds and a small but useful gym: perfect for a business stay
citizenM Rotterdam (4*) - an ergonomic design hotel with quirky decorations, modern facilities, small cube-type rooms and a lot more value to it
CityHub Rotterdam - a must-experience rental, offering ergonomic rooms, futuristic tech facilities and comfortable beds
Sparks Hostel - a very cozy hostel with a very homey feel to it, private bunk beds, quiet environment, helpful staff and great value for the money
King Kong Hostel - a well-located youthful hostel with a fun atmosphere, clean facilities, comfy beds, friendly staff and free tours of Rotterdam: good value for the prices charged

Other hotels worth mentioning: Hilton Rotterdam (5*), Rotterdam Marriott Hotel (5*), Hotel Emma (3*), Bilderberg Parkhotel Rotterdam (4*), Hotel Breitner (3*), ibis Rotterdam City Centre (3*), Hotel Santa Maria (1*)

Rotterdam Noord

Pronounced: [ˌrɔtərˈda:m ‘nɔ:rt]

- Overview

A continuously developing up-and-coming neighbourhood, Noord wonderfully combines renovation with its traditional atmosphere. It’s the perfect area to stay in if your passions are design and fashion. Here you’ll find spots to take pleasure in for vintage shopping and jazz. Foodies will be gladdened by the available choices too. Art buffs will meet many fellow connoisseurs. Mostly being home to historical buildings, townhouses, tree-lined canals and parks, Noord is perfect to rent in when travelling as a family. Being a residential area with a village feel, Noord is the perfect choice for those who would like to enjoy a quiet escape close to all the action. Price wise, rentals are quite affordable, making it also a good area to stay in when traveling on a budget. The downside is that there are not too many on offer.

- Main Attractions

* Rotterdam Zoo (must see)

- Pros of Staying Here

- Cheaper accommodation
- Quiet area close to all the action
- Parks and tree-lined canals for relaxed walks or jogging
- Designer and vintage shopping
- Not too far from the airport
- Art hub

- Cons of Staying Here

- Few rentals

- Recommended Hotels

Days Inn Rotterdam City Centre (3*) - a simple yet nicely designed hotel with clean rooms, comfortable beds and accommodating staff: good for a family stay
Bed & Breakfast Maria - a very basic yet homey b&b, welcoming you with a good and quiet location, lovely terrace, helpful host and clean light rooms
Hotel Bienvenue (2*) - a small hotel with some stairs to climb to get to it, offering basic yet comfy rooms and central location on a quiet street: good for a family stay

Other hotels worth mentioning: Van der Valk Hotel Rotterdam - Blijdorp (4*), Hotel Rotterdam (3*)


Pronounced: [‘krʌlɪngæn ‘kru:s,ve:k]

- Overview

Kralingen-Crooswijk is one of the most attractive neighbourhoods in Rotterdam, especially for students. It is located between the main Erasmus University campus and Centrum, making the perfect spot to stay for those who need to get to both. Other than students, who bring a lot of positive briskness to the area, you’ll meet many high-class residents, as Kralingen is the upscale neighbourhood of Rotterdam. Here you’ll notice the elegant lanes lined with townhouses, tasteful villas and expensive mansions. Crooswijk is not just as chic: more of a working-class district before, it is yet another up-and-coming part of Rotterdam where gentrification intercalates with still standing traditional settings. The two parts of the neighbourhood, however, share one common ‘backyard’ - the Kralingse Bos park. It is a huge green oasis to escape the city’s busyness with lots of leisure and entertainment for toddlers, teenagers and adults alike. Surprisingly, you won’t find luxury hotels in the area, and generally there are just a couple hotels here. Renting an apartment is a more common experience. There aren’t too many on offer, but be sure that you can find both fancy flats and budget-friendly rooms. Kralingen-Crooswijk is the ideal area to stay in when traveling as a family, when looking forward to a quiet stay, or when you want to be surrounded by high-class residents and tourists.

- Main Attractions

* Tropicana
* Arboretum Trompenburg (must see)
* Molen De Ster
* Molen De Lelie

- Pros of Staying Here

- Upscale neighbourhood
- A lot of greenery and park for all kinds of leisure and fun
- Quiet environment
- Youthful and lively
- Well connected to public transport and highway system

- Cons of Staying Here

- Few rentals
- No luxury hotels
- Not much in terms of nightlife
- Few eateries and pubs

- Recommended Hotels

Novotel Rotterdam Brainpark (4*) - a ‘Novotel’-style hotel, featuring well-appointed rooms with large windows and proficient staff: good for a business stay
The Student Hotel Rotterdam (3*) - a youthful hotel with a pleasant atmosphere, study spaces, nice rooms with spacious bathrooms, and accommodating staff

Kop van Zuid & Katendrecht

Pronounced: [‘kɔp ‘fɔn ‘zautʃ], [‘ka:tændræht]

- Overview

Kop van Zuid & Katendrecht form another high-class district of Rotterdam. Kop van Zuid can be literally translated as ‘head of the north’, and is deservedly considered the chicest area of Rotterdam’s southern part. Katendrecht, once famous by sailors for its entertainment, today is a very developed, hip and trendy area, still keeping its rougher edges. Although it might seem a bit remote, you should know that the trip to city centre by metro should take about 10 minutes. It is a true haven for foodies. You’ll be surrounded with eateries serving so much international cuisine, flavours alluring from everywhere, that you might hate yourself later for eating that much. Architecture buffs would have a lot to discuss after exploring local settings. Aesthetic pleasure seekers will need time to browse millions of pictures at the Nederlands Fotomuseum, and to visit the art galleries. There are not many rentals on offer, the ones available being mostly upscale at higher prices. If you are traveling on a budget, better consider other neighbourhoods.

- Main Attractions

* World Port Center
* Nederlands Fotomuseum (must see)
* Wilhelminakade (Tower of Numbers)
* KPN Telecom Building
* Nieuwe Luxor Theater

- Recommended Walks

Follow these self-guided walking tours to discover some of the most mesmerizing architectural masterpieces in Rotterdam:

* Kop van Zuid Walk
* Modern Architecture Walking Tour

- Pros of Staying Here

- Mostly high-end rentals
- Plenty of sightseeing
- Lounges, restaurants and bars galore
- Small park and plenty of river sidewalks to unwind

- Cons of Staying Here

- Somewhat remote
- Pricier accommodation
- No nightlife whatsoever

- Recommended Hotels

Suitehotel Pincoffs (4*) - very homey hotel welcoming you with elegant decor, well-designed and equipped spacious rooms and proficient staff: great value for the money
Hotel New York (4*) - a city attraction itself, the hotel features individually decorated rooms, pleasant ambiance and professional staff
Room Mate Bruno (4*) - a new hotel welcoming you with a fun design setting you in the mood right away, spacious rooms, nice views, pleasant atmosphere and a small modern gym: good for a family stay

Other hotels worth mentioning: nhow Rotterdam (4*), Unitas (boat)


Pronounced: [dælfʃ’ha:væn]

- Overview

Yet another district that was not destroyed during the war, Delfshaven kept its authenticity and today is a quiet and romantic residential part of Rotterdam. A scenic yacht marina, it was historically populated by fishermen, and you can still see fishing enthusiasts bunch up by the pier. Being also the place where Rotterdam’s gin was made, Delfshaven still boasts plenty of gin bars which can be found among many bakeries, shops, cafes, international eateries and antiques stores. Here you can also explore some architectural sites, art galleries and museums, thus getting everything you might need for a pleasant stay. Docklands and canals sidewalks are perfect for a relaxing stroll. Those traveling with children should visit Delfshaven’s Dakpark, built on top of a shopping mall, being a nice place to spend some quality time and enjoy its playgrounds. With not too much on tap in terms of nightlife, Delfshaven is right next to Centrum, so if you are up for partying the night away, just head to the neighbouring district. Accomodation wise, you’ll find here many pretty affordable apartments or rooms for rent, but only a few yet still relatively cheap hotels.

- Main Attractions

* Roman Catholic St. Willibrordus
* The H. H. Laurentius en Elisabeth
* Molen de Distilleerketel (must see)
* Pilgrim Fathers Church

- Recommended Walks

Discover the most authentic spots of the neighbourhood and its hottest shopping spots with these walking tours:

* Delfshaven Walk
* Oude and Nieuwe Binnenweg Shopping

- Pros of Staying Here

- Residential district with varied rentals on offer
- Family-friendly pleasant and quiet area
- A big market and several groceries
- Many options for eating out, having a more or less traditional drink and entertainment
- Home to some of the most exotic streets in Rotterdam
- Canal sidewalks for relaxing strolls

- Cons of Staying Here

- Fewer hotels to choose from
- Not too much in terms of nightlife

- Recommended Hotels

Alberti - Bed & Bike - the only bed&bike in Rotterdam, located in a quiet residential area, featuring beautiful rooms, comfy beds and a charming host: good value for the money
Hotel Light (3*) - a very basic yet neat hotel with comfortable rooms and bathrooms, good location, no elevator, and helpful staff

Other hotels worth mentioning: Hotel Orion, Stroom (4*), Hotel Port (3*), Hotel Amar (2*)

Part 3. Getting from the airport to your hotel

Serving both the Hague and Rotterdam, Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM) is the third busiest airport in the Netherlands. Handling more than 1.7 millions passengers in 2017 only, it is still a relatively small airport located just 3.5 miles away from Rotterdam. Here are some tips on how to get from the Airport to city centre.

The easiest way to get to downtown is by taking the bus line 33. After exiting the Airport, turn left and in not more than two minutes you’ll get to the bus station. It is well signed, so it’s hard to miss. Take the bus heading to Rotterdam Centraal, and in up to 20-30 minutes (subject to traffic) you’ll be at the central station. You can pay cash to the driver on board, and the trip will cost €3 (~ US $3.5).

Another way to get to the city centre is by taking both the bus and metro. Yet again, you’d need to take the bus line 33, but you’ll head to the opposite direction and your target will be Meijersplein Station. Change to the metro line E, direction Slinge. This metro line passes and stops in Rotterdam Noord, Centrum and Kop van Zuid & Katendrecht. To take this trip, the most efficient option might be to get a 2-hour ticket for €3.5 (~US $4.1).

If you choose to take a cab, the trip will last 10-15 minutes. For your own approximate estimate, note, that the trip from the Airport to Rotterdam Centraal costs €25 (~ US $29.25). At the terminal, you can also see several car rental companies. If you’d expect to get a deal or are arriving late and do not wish to stay in a queue, better pre-book a car online.

If you arrive before afternoon, are not carrying luggage and would like to start your Rotterdam experience right away, just walk to the city centre! The route is pretty easy, you can effortlessly find the instructions online.

Part 4. A Few Tips to Choose the Right Neighbourhood for You

Even though Rotterdam is not a huge city, it has a lot to offer to every traveler. If some quick tips for choosing the best neighbourhood to stay in is what you need, follow along to get help to make a choice.

If you are a solo traveler, better opt for Centrum. Here you’ll always find things to do, be close to all the action and will be surrounded by many other travelers like you. When traveling with your soulmate, Rotterdam Noord, Kralingen-Crooswijk and Delfshaven will give you the most romantic surroundings.

For those traveling as a family, Rotterdam Noord, Kralingen-Crooswijk and Delfshaven will be the best neighbourhoods to choose from.

If your visit is short, stay in Centrum or Rotterdam Noord, while for a longer stay Rotterdam Noord and Delfshaven will be a better fit.

When traveling on a budget, look for rentals in Centrum, Delfshaven and Rotterdam Noord. For an upscale experience, don’t hesitate to choose between Kralingen-Crooswijk and Kop van Zuid & Katendrecht.

The most of Rotterdam’s nightlife is clustered in Centrum, so if partying is your game, stay here to be close to all the action. For a quiet stay, choose Rotterdam Noord, Delfshaven or Kralingen-Crooswijk. To experience the most authentic Rotterdam, stay in Delfshaven or Rotterdam Noord.

For some of the most stunning architecture, choose Centrum or Kop van Zuid & Katendrecht. Art buffs will find a lot to soak in when staying in Centrum, Rotterdam Noord and Kop van Zuid & Katendrecht. If avantgarde is what you are looking for, stay in Centrum or Kop van Zuid & Katendrecht.

Foodies will be gladdened by any of the recommended neighbourhoods, but even the most picky ones will be surprised by the choices in Kop van Zuid & Katendrecht and Rotterdam Noord.