Navigating Rotterdam: Practical Tips and Tricks for Your Trip

Are you looking to explore the largest city in the southern Netherlands? Rotterdam is an exciting destination with a vibrant art scene, modern architecture, and various cultural events. But how do you get around and experience everything the city offers? Look no further than this ultimate guide to Rotterdam, filled with practical tips on how to get to the city and navigate it like a local.

Practical tips on how to get to Rotterdam

The closes airport, Rotterdam-The Hague Airport, is only about 5 km southwest of the city centre, but unfortunately, not many airlines fly there.

Schiphol is the largest airport in the Netherlands and is located about 60 kilometres from Rotterdam. There are four main ways to get from Schiphol Airport to Rotterdam: by train, taxi, bus, or car.

  • Train: This is the easiest and fastest way to get to Rotterdam. The train station is located directly at the airport, and trains depart every 20 minutes. The journey takes approximately 25 minutes, and one-way ticket prices are around 17€. The last direct train from Schiphol is around 10 pm. Later, it would be best to transfer to the train station in The Hague.
    Several applications, such as NS or Citymapper, show the optimal routes and timetables for how to get to Rotterdam.
Rotterdam Central Station
Rotterdam Central Station
  • Bus:Bus companies like Flixbus and Eurolines offer direct transfers between Schiphol airport and Rotterdam. You can buy online on their websites. The price for a one-way ticket ranges from €5 to €15, depending on the travel time and how far in advance the ticket was purchased. The journey takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • Taxi: You can book a cab through services like Uber or Bolt. The journey from the airport to Rotterdam takes about 45 minutes and costs around €100. Besides these two companies, many taxi companies offer transfers from Schiphol Airport to Rotterdam. The prices for transportation may vary depending on the vehicle size, the number of passengers, and the travel time. I recommend checking the prices and comparing different taxi companies before the trip.
  • Car: The journey by car takes about 45 minutes. Parking in the city centre is difficult, and parking can be expensive. However, by car, you can visit various places around Rotterdam, such as Kinderdijk, where trains don’t run.

Getting around Rotterdam

Rotterdam has excellent public transportation, which includes buses, trams, metros, and trains. The leading transport company in the city is RET, which operates trams, buses, and metro lines. My favourite way to explore Rotterdam is by walking or cycling. In this article are some ideas on what to see in Rotterdam in one day.

Information about OV-chipkaart

OV-chipkaart is a smart card you can use to pay for train, metro, tram, or bus travel in the Netherlands. This card replaces paper tickets and is more convenient for travellers because one card is valid for various types of transport in all Dutch cities. It also reduces the amount of waste from paper tickets. You can purchase the card on the OV-chipkaart website or from ticket machines at any train or metro station.

In addition to OV-chipkaart, you can purchase other types of tickets, such as single-use tickets (enkele reis) or day tickets (dagkaart). Each machine has detailed ticket information (price, duration) in various languages.

It is important to note that OV-chipkaart is not mandatory, but travelling without it can be more expensive and complicated. Therefore, I recommend purchasing this useful card, as it makes travelling around Rotterdam and the entire Netherlands easier.

Tram and buses

The tram and bus network in Rotterdam is extensive and convenient. RET operates trams and buses and covers almost every part of the city. The trams and buses run from early morning until midnight, and some lines operate until early morning. The frequency of the trams and buses depends on the line, but generally, they run every few minutes. The routes and schedules are marked at each stop or in the 9292 or Citymapper app.


Rotterdam has five metro lines that connect the city centre with the surrounding areas. The metro stations are well-marked and easy to navigate. The metro lines run from early morning until midnight, and some lines operate until the early morning hours. The frequency of the trains depends on the line, but generally, they run every few minutes.


Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in Rotterdam. The city has many cycling paths that are well-marked and safe. There are many places to rent bicycles in Rotterdam, and it is important to compare prices. The prices vary depending on the type of bicycle, the duration of the rental, and the location of the rental. The rental fees range from approximately €10 per day. Some of the popular bicycle rental places are:

  • Rotterdam Bikes: Rotterdam Bikes offers rental bikes in various sizes and types for adults and children.
  • Bike Rental Rotterdam: Bike Rental Rotterdam offers rental bikes, including electric bikes, tandems, and children’s bikes.
  • Yellow Bike: Yellow Bike offers various types of bikes for rent, including touring bikes, tandems, and electric bikes.
  • BimBimBikes: BimBimBikes is an online platform allowing you to rent a bike from different rental companies in Rotterdam. The price varies depending on the bike type and the rental location.


Rotterdam is an ideal city for walking, as it is relatively compact and many tourist attractions are within walking distance of each other. Walking is my favourite mode of transportation as it allows me to observe people on bicycles while discovering the city’s architecture. I have often found beautiful buildings or restaurants offering local specialities while walking around the city. In this article, you can read more about traditional Dutch food you should try during your visit.

Rotterdam is a fascinating modern city with many attractions and exciting places to explore. The city is well-connected by public transportation, making it an easy and accessible destination. I hope the information in this article will help you plan and navigate your Rotterdam visit easier.

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