It’s summer in Rotterdam! And we love those beautiful summer days in the Netherlands, when the temperature rises, the birds chirp, you regret that you had not bought that fan earlier, and when staying indoors is a great sin.
Gather your friends and go out, because with these summer activities in Rotterdam you will get the most out of this good weather!
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Summer vacation Rotterdam 2023
Are you curious when the summer holidays are in Rotterdam? Handy for booking holidays or planning fun activities in our port city. Summer school holidays are from July 8 to August 20, 2023.
Discover fun things to do in the summer below!
1. Rent a sloop on the Kralingse Plas
Surrounded by the Kralingse Bos, this lake is the place where the Rotterdammer goes during a summer day. When the sun shines it is full of people barbecuing, children playing and friends enjoying a drink.
Our tip is to rent a boat and float around on the Kralingse Plas. A quick Google search and you will find several places where you can rent a boat!
2. Go to the beach
This is a tip for which you have travel outside our city. But nowadays you can easily reach Hoek van Holland from Rotterdam by metro!
Since March this year, the metro has been running from Rotterdam to Hoek van Holland Strand station. From Schiedam Centrum, the Hoekse Lijn with metro line B runs directly to the beach.
Nice for a beach day! Bring your own picnic basket full of snacks and drinks or go to one of the beach bars to sit back and enjoy their menu.
Smaller beaches such as Monster, Nesselande and the Maasvlakte can also be reached by car. But the metro to Hoek van Holland and the train to Den Haag HS followed by the tram to Scheveningen are fine for people who prefer to travel by public transport.
3. Travel to beach club Pele Surf Shack
And if you then go to the beach of Hoek van Holland, Pele Surfshack is a good option. This is the first 100% plant-based beach bar in the Netherlands. Although it is not in the centre of our city, it is definitely worth travelling to Hoek van Holland and trying one of their plant-based dishes.
Pele Surf Shack is open all summer, seven days a week. Unfortunately they are closed during the winter, but the doors open in March.
If you plan to travel by metro, you should take into account that it is about a 20-minute walk from the Hoek van Holland Strand metro stop.
Rechtestraat 24, 3151 HN Hoek van Holland
4. Enjoy the sun at Parqiet
When the sun shines, Parqiet, located in the former coach house in the Park, is the ideal place to enjoy the sun while having breakfast.
The front yard of this beautiful building is the park next to the Euromast, where they have placed beach chairs and tables on the grass. Take off your shoes, put on sunglasses and order a nice drink and snack! It is a very nice place to start a summer day.
Discover even more breakfast spots in Rotterdam.
Baden Powellaan 20, 3016 GJ Rotterdam
5. Eat an ice cream at the best ice cream parlours
The perfect way to cool down is of course with a nice ice cream! Are you going for a classic scoop of vanilla? Or do you treat yourself to a more deluxe version?
We always find the ice cream at De IJssalon very tasty. And we are not alone, because the De IJssalon has already won several prizes with their traditional, fresh ice cream.
Are you a fan of Ben & Jerry ice cream? Then visit the Ben & Jerry Scoop Shop on the Witte de Withstraat, where you can choose from more than 15 flavours.
Read our article about the best places for a nice ice cream in Rotterdam for more inspiration!
6. Cool off with the Splash tour
If you need to cool down, a logical step is seeking water activities. As a city that has a big river, Rotterdam has plenty of fun options for that!
For example, this bus tour may seem normal, but nothing could be further from the truth. During the tour, the bus literally takes a dip in the Maas. The bus sails on and shows you the city from the water.
Buy a ticket here to join the bright yellow sailing bus.
Discover even more fun outings such as the Splashtour!
7. Have a picnic in the park
There are plenty of parks in Rotterdam! For example, choose the Vroesenpark in Blijdorp, where there is enough space for picnics, barbecues or playing around with football.
Other parks that are ideal for this are Het Park, the Kralingse Plas and -Bos and the Zuiderpark or one of these other lovely picnic spots in Rotterdam.
8. Discover the best terraces in Rotterdam
Put on your sunglasses, take off your coat and take a seat on a sunny terrace with a beer, wine or an ice-cold coke. Because luckily, Rotterdam has a lot of beautiful terraces in the center. And that’s for a good reason, because as soon as the sun shines, they are packed!
Read our article with the sunniest terraces in Rotterdam, such as Aloha or the Gele Kanarie.
9. Visit the creatieve hotspot Weelde
On the outskirts of the city you will find a beautiful city farm. A creative, utopian free state: Weelde.
Enjoy delicious food from the Club Sandwich canteen, sip refreshing cocktails, beer or wine. And be sure to admire the splendor of their green, lush grounds, to complete the experience.
Don’t wait too long to visit us, because this is Weelde’s last year.
Looking for more special locations in our city? Check out these unique hotspots in Rotterdam!
Marconistraat 39, 3029 AG Rotterdam
10. Don’t skip Keilecafé
Keilecafe is located near Weelde, in the M4H area in Rotterdam West. A great place to chill with friends and enjoy drinks, wood oven pizzas and music. There is always a casual atmosphere, which makes you forget that you are in busy Rotterdam.
Keilecafe rightly calls itself a permanent festival where you can celebrate life; a place where you dance the day and night away.
Vierhavensstraat 46, 3029 BG Rotterdam
11. Have a lovely dinner at A La Plancha
Do you love seafood? Then you HAVE to visit pop-up restaurant A La Plancha on Noordereiland this summer. Here it always feels as if you’re on a tropical holiday.
Enjoy the view of the Maas, the amazing dishes and refreshing drinks.
This year A La Plancha is working with several local entrepreneurs who are struggling because of the current measures. In addition to culinary products, this also includes local cultural initiatives, so that visitors to A La Plancha & Amigos are with art, culture and music whilst enjoying a delicious meal.
Maaskade 74, 3071 NC Rotterdam
12. Get a breath of fresh air on the Euromast
Enjoying the view on the Euromast’s terrace is a great way to spend your summer day. Because of the clear sky, you’ll be able to see for miles in the distance!
We recommend going during sunset to see how the golden rays of sunlight illuminate the city. Also: don’t forget to bring your camera!
TIP: Buy your ticket for the Euromast here.
13. Float around in a HotTug
We already talked about renting a boat on the Kralingse Plas, but this is also a great idea for a warm summer day. A HotTug is an electrically powered sailing hot tub that takes you through the canals of Rotterdam. Put on your swimsuit, have a drink, put on some music and enjoy!
For even more activities to cool off, read our article with the best water activities in Rotterdam!
14. Explore the Maas with the water taxi
There are a lot of fun ways to explore the Maas. For instance, you can go for a ride on the watertaxi. Book a ride on the website or order a taxi by phone and get dropped off at one of the 50 locations in the city.
A nice way to see Rotterdam from the water and also an adventure, because the taxis can ride over the waves pretty quickly.
In addition to the practical function of the water taxi, you can also book it in combination with a tour (for example here!). On this walking tour you first get an extensive explanation from an architect guide before the tour with the water taxi starts.
15. Get on board for a cruise in Rotterdam
The best way to experience Rotterdam is of course by taking a boat trip. Sail under the Erasmus Bridge and the Willems Bridge, view the various ports, see where the Holland-America Line once left and experience Rotterdam’s unique character.
We recommend this tour for a quiet one hour cruise, which covers all the highlights of Rotterdam. On the boat you can sit on deck, but you can also sit inside if it rains.
16. Go for a walk in Rotterdam
Put on your walking shoes and explore Rotterdam on foot! Especially fun during a sunny day (when it is not too hot) and who knows, you might discover places in the city that you did not know before.
There are plenty of great places to go for a walk in Rotterdam, such as the Maasboulevard where you have a beautiful view of the Rotterdam skyline.
In addition, there are plenty of beautiful lush green parks, hidden places and cool street art to explore!
TIP: Would you like to go for a walk and discover the highlights of Rotterdam? Then check out this walking tour with a guide. During this tour you visit the Markthal, Cube houses, Rotterdam city hall and more!
17. Follow a street art route in Rotterdam
In recent years, more and more street art can be found in Rotterdam. The great thing is that the municipality of Rotterdam gives artists the space to create something cool.
For example, in our city you can find the interactive Make It Happen artworks and there are often initiatives by Pow Wow Rotterdam and Rewriters010 (among others). They brighten up boring walls with high-quality street art!
Download the Rewriters app to follow a street art route in Rotterdam. This app takes you to the most beautiful street art in Rotterdam and gives you background information about the artwork and the artist. The routes are updated several times a year, so there is always something new to discover.
18. Walk across the Erasmus Bridge and view the sunset
A classic in Rotterdam, but for a good reason! The bridge is beautiful from whichever side you look at it. Walk along the river towards the bridge, cross it and walk to the Kop van Zuid. That way you can see the bridge from all sides, you can see the Maaskade, Wilhelminakade, the skyline of Rotterdam and the Kop van Zuid. Beautiful with sunset!
Curious about the other gems in the city where you can watch the sunset? Read the article with beautiful sunset spots in Rotterdam.
19. Spend a night at the unique Culture Campsite
Camping in your own city? That’s definitely possible in Rotterdam! At the Culture Campsite in Delfshaven, you sleep in art objects made from already existing material. The 12 objects can accommodate 24 guests who are looking for a unique experience. Just like the ‘rooms’, you will find the toilet and shower in a sustainable art object.
The Campsite also offers a hot tub and a place for food: a nice terrace and a place where guests can cook. A truly unique experience, in which visitors, art, architecture and sustainability come together.
Schiehavenweg 12, 3024 ED Rotterdam
20. Spend the night on the water
Rotterdam is internationally known as a port city where dozens of ships enter every day. So sleeping on a boat should be on this summer list!
For instance, you can stay on the steamship ss Rotterdam. Here you can stay in one of the 254 rooms with a choice of six different room types. If you want something a little cozier, we recommend the Wikkelboat (pictured above): a multifunctional, sustainable and super tiny place to stay on the water.
Be sure to read about more unique hotels in Rotterdam in this article.
21. Visit the botanical garden Trompenburg
This hidden gem in Rotterdam is a botanical garden located in Kralingen. It is beautifully landscaped and filled with trees, shrubs and the most unique flowers.
Whether you like flora or just want some peace and quiet, you are welcome to drop by and walk alone or with a guide. You can simply buy a ticket at the entrance.
Tip: from 10 to 27 August you can visit Trompenburg for a very special dinner: De Maaltuin. Through a delicious dinner, dishes with a story and live music you will experience and discover the special story of Trompenburg & Arboretum.
Honingerdijk 86, 3062 NX
22. Enjoy the view on the Rotterdam DakAkker
There are a number of beautiful hidden roof terraces in Rotterdam. One of these is the DakAkker. It looks like a green courtyard, but located 20 meters up in the air. It is also the first green roof in the Netherlands where fruit and vegetables are grown and honey bees are kept.
Enjoy a drink, a snack and the view while you visit the brunch spot next to it called Teds All Day Brunch.
Schiekade 189, 3013 BR Rotterdam
23. Discover hidden green spots
Our city has an infinite number of sights and tourist attractions, such as the Erasmus Bridge, the Markthal and the Euromast, but the city offers so much more! There are also a lot of beautiful, green spots to discover.
For example, visit Historische Tuin Schoonoord, which can be found near the Euromast Park. Despite its central location, it is a quiet oasis where you will not meet many other people. A nice place to walk around and enjoy all the greenery.
Other hidden green spots include the inner garden of the City Hall, Ons Park on the Noordereiland and the Heemtuin in the Kralingse Bos.
Here you will discover even more hidden places in Rotterdam!
24. Open air cinema Roffa Mon Amour in Rotterdam
This year we will again enjoy the most beautiful films during the 11th edition of Roffa Mon Amour. Watching movies is always a good date anyway. You can snuggle up against each other and let yourself be carried away by a movie. You also have enough to talk about afterwards. It is even more fun when you can watch a movie in a special place.
From 16 to 27 August, take a seat at Brutus in Rotterdam West for Roffa Mon Amour. This edition is about encounters and connection.
Prior to the film festival in August, they organize special film events in unexpected locations together with partners. On June 10, attend another film screening at the Oasis, during the film El Houb.
Check Roffa Mon Amour‘s website and socials for the rest of the film selection and information about the film festival in August.Address
Plantagelaan 2, 2063 NG Rotterdam
25. Play Minigolf in the park
A fun activity with the family when the sun is shining? Or looking for a fun activity with a large group of friends? Then mini golf is a good choice! In the Euromastpark you will find the outdoor mini golf park with 18 holes. A fun activity for all ages, with special golf sticks for toddlers.
After a round of mini golf, linger for something to eat and drink on the terrace.
Book a round of mini golf in Rotterdam here!
26. Take your kids to Plaswijckpark
Looking for summer activities for kids? Plaswijckpark is fun for the whole family! It consists of Speelwijck, Dierenwijck and Wandelwijck.
You can find all kinds of playgrounds in Speelwijck. In the Verkeerstuin or Traffic Garden you can drive a car, in the Apenspeeltuin or Monkey Playground you can lie around on the ropes. Is it raining? Then go play inside the Huis in de Heuvel or House in the Hill.
Do you love animals? Then visit the Dierenwijck and meet the different animals that live there.
De Wandelwijck is where you, but especially your parents, can relax for a bit. There is a Picnic Pasture, a Rosarium with 40 varieties of roses and an English garden with several fountains.
27. Explore the Kids Marina
Kids Marina is a super fun water attraction in Rotterdam. Children can feel like a captain as soon as they get on one of the children’s boats. The great thing is that at Kidsmarina they immediately gain insight into the port and its functions and vehicles. So it’s an educational and fun day out in Rotterdam!
The kids can easily sail the model boats themselves and the boats are powered by electric motors. A boat trip takes 15 minutes from sailing to mooring.
28. Go for a day trip to Kinderdijk from Rotterdam
Do you have a whole day? Then visit Kinderdijk. It may not be in Rotterdam, but it is easy to visit from our city.
Did you know that you can take the Waterbus from Rotterdam to Kinderdijk? It only takes 30 minutes.
Kinderdijk, with its 19 windmills, has been a world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. Tourists from all over the world come here to admire the beautiful windmills. The ingenious system of mill and ground has kept the grounds of Kinderdijk dry for centuries.
TIP: Already buy yourself the Kinderdijk ticket, which includes entrance to two Dutch mills and a boat tour through the village.
Do you need to escape Rotterdam? Then take a look at these nice places near Rotterdam!
29. Visit a festival in Rotterdam
Kim tips it off in her article with unique summer tips in Rotterdam: grab a festival!
“During the day, in the sun, on the grass, dance the day away. Many a Rotterdammer blocks the agenda far in advance to do this all summer long. Because the Dutch in general are known to love festivals, more than any other people on the planet.
From Bevrijdingsfestival, Blijdorp Festival and North Sea Jazz to I Love Urban Outdoor and Crazy Sexy Cool, you will find all the festivals in a row in the agenda of Festival Fans, Uitagenda and Follow The Beat.”
30. Visit the van Maanenbad
There are several nice swimming pools in Rotterdam, but a favourite is the Van Maanenbad in Blijdorp!
The swimming pool has both an indoor pool (with steam sauna) and an outdoor pool. After swimming you enjoy the sun on the lawn. Add fries and you have a nice afternoon.
31. Visit a fun flea market
Also fun when the sun is shining: spend a day browsing the flea market. Every week there is a nice market somewhere with knick-knacks, vintage or antiques. On Meukisleuk you will find a full agenda with markets to visit, for example on the Heemraadsplein in Rotterdam, but also in Vlaardingen, Rijswijk and Delft.
Do you prefer it if the items are nicely displayed? There are also great curated markets, such as the Swan Market and Vintage aan de Maas, which take place (partly) outside.
We are excited for summer! Will we see you at one of the options above? Share your summer experiences with us by tagging us in your photos with #WeekendsinRotterdam!
4 replies on “31 Activities for a summer day in Rotterdam”
Wow that’s a wonderful list.i would love to take Segway tour and visit Botanical garden
This is Beautiful ! so many good recommendations!
rotterdam looks like a stunning city with lots to discover! I am excited to visit and use your tips for what to do ?
Thanks Madi! Hope you can visit Rotterdam soon 🙂