The 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Rotterdam Ahoy from May 12th to May 16th 2021. So exciting! To make the most out of the Song Contest in Rotterdam, we’ve put together everything you need to know for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam in this guide. From useful information such as where to get the Eurovision Song Contest tickets and finding your way with the public transport in Rotterdam, to fun things to do and where to eat in the city. In this article you can find it all!
Be sure to also check these FAQ for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. For more information please check our Disclosure page.
Download the Eurovision Song Contest Guide 2021
We’re currently working on an e-magazine for the Song Contest in Rotterdam. This e-magazine will be free to download and contains a lot fun and practical information for your time in our city. Expect tips for the best restaurants, fun things to do and more. Once the e-magazine is published at the beginning of May 2021, you can download it here and it’ll be your ultimate guide during your time in Rotterdam!
Useful and practical information for Eurovision 2021
Ticket sale Eurovision 2021
The first and second wave of the Eurovision Rotterdam tickets are completely sold out. The tickets for the Eurovision Song Contest Rotterdam will go on sale for a third time via Eurovision.tv on March the 26th at 20:00.
Visitors will be able to buy tickets for the Eurovision Live Shows and the Jury and Family Shows (rehearsals).
Eurovision Shows 2021
In total there will be tickets available for nine Eurovision shows. These include:
- The First Semi-Final including the Jury Show, the Family Show and the Live Show
- The Second Semi-Final including the Jury Show, the Family Show and the Live Show
- And the Grand Final including the Jury Show, Family Show and the Live Show.
Ticket prices Eurovision 2021
The ticket prices range from €18,50 for a Family Show during the Semi-Finals to €248,50 for a Live Show during the Grand Final. Visitors can purchase standing places on the arena floor, two types of seated seats, ‘limited view’ seats and accessible seats.
For more information such as exact dates and tickets prices go to Eurovision.tv.
Location Eurovision 2021: Rotterdam Ahoy
On 30 August 2019 it was revealed that in 2021 the Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Rotterdam. The Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam will be held in Rotterdam Ahoy, which was also the location for the Junior Eurovision 2007. This venue consists of three halls that in total have a capacity of 25000 people.
How to get to Rotterdam Ahoy
Rotterdam Ahoy is easily accessible by car, public transport and bike. The venue is located just off the motorway, close to the Zuidplein metro and busstop.
Getting to Ahoy by car
Rotterdam Ahoy is located just off the motorway. The venue has 2000 parking spaces. If you want to be sure to have a spot, you can already book it in advance. You can choose the precise date you want to get a parking spot and book it for €18. Click here to get your parking spot in Ahoy.
Getting to Ahoy by public transport
Eurovision Song Contest theme
The theme of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 is ‘Open Up’. This is a reflection on our diverse city that strives to be tolerant. Rotterdam is third on the list of most LGBTQI-friendly cities in the world!
Eurovision Village, the EuroClub and the EuroCafe
Even if you’re not visiting one of the Eurovision 2021 shows, it’s still possible to join the festivities that take place throughout Rotterdam. From 8 to 16 May there will be club nights, concerts, exhibitions and sing-along parties all over the city.
The Eurovision Village is the official festival area during the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. In this appointed area you can see live performances by artists, DJs, special events and public viewing of the shows broadcast from the Arena. The Eurovision Village is completely free to enter.
Next to the Eurovision Village, the Maassilo venue will be transformed into the Euroclub where the official afterparties of the Song Contest will take place.
The EuroCafe is the spot for Eurovision fans to meet up for parties and events during the Eurovision week in Rotterdam. This is organized by OGAE fan clubs.
Location of the Eurovision Village
The location of the Eurovision Village Rotterdam will be the Binnenrotte. A super central location in Rotterdam between the Markthal, library and the Laurenskerk. It is expected that this official festival site will attract around 10,000 song festival fans every day.
A part of the market, which takes place every Tuesday and Saturday on the Binnenrotte, will be moved to the Hoogstraat, the Groterkerplein and the Meent, in order to make room for the Eurovision Village.
Keep an eye on our events calendar for all the fun events during the Song Contest in Rotterdam.
How to travel around in Rotterdam during the Eurovision Song Contest
First time in Rotterdam and not sure how to travel around? Luckily, our city has a great public transportation system which will make it so much easier for you to get from A to B. Besides public transportation, it’s also possible to get a taxi, rent a car or rent a bike.
OV-chipcard in Rotterdam
Chances are that you’re going to use public transportation in Rotterdam. In order to travel with the bus, metro, tram, train and even with the waterbus, you’ll need to have an ov-chipcard. With this card you can travel with every transportation type and easily switch between them.
There are different kind of OV-chipcards in Rotterdam:
- Anonymous ov-chip card
- Personal ov-chip card
- Ov-chipcard with a subscription
- RET day ticket
- Hour cards
Read more on how to use the ov-chipcard in Rotterdam.
The different kinds of transportation in Rotterdam
Using the public transport in Rotterdam is an easy and efficient way to travel around the city. The bus, tram and metro in Rotterdam connects all the parts and the outskirts of the city. Click here for more information about the public transport in Rotterdam.
Tip: use 9292 to plan your trips with the bus, metro or tram.
Bus in Rotterdam
The city center, the outskirts and surrounding towns can be reached by bus. There are three different buses in Rotterdam: the RET, the BOB BUS and Arriva or Connexxion.
The buses in Rotterdam run from 05.30 untill 00.30. On weekends and public holidays, buses often travel according to another schedule. Do you want to travel by bus on Friday- or Saturday night? Then it’s possible to use the BOB bus, which runs every Friday night and Saturday night from 01:00 to 05:00.
Metro in Rotterdam
It’s easy to travel with the metro in Rotterdam, there is a good network and almost everything in the city can be reached. In addition, it’s also fast, safe and comfortable. At most stations a metro leaves every 4 minutes during rush hour. Next to traveling in the center of Rotterdam, it is also easy to get to the outskirts by metro, such as Capelle aan den IJssel, Hoogvliet, Poortugaal, Rhoon, Schiedam and more. You can even travel to The Hague with the metro line E, also known as the Randstalrail.
The metro in Rotterdam runs from 05.30 until 00.30. On weekends and public holidays, the metro often travel according to another schedule. On Friday- and Saturday nights the metro runs longer than the rest of the week; at the most central stations, it runs until approximately 1:30 AM. Keep in mind that the weekend metro does not travel to all stations and often runs according to a different schedule. The same goes for the metro during the holidays. Therefore always plan your trip well in advance via the trip planner or 9292.
The most central stations in Rotterdam are Beurs, Blaak and Rotterdam Centraal. From these stations you are right in the middle of the city and you can easily get other means of transport such as the bus, train or tram. Click here for the map and of the metro in Rotterdam.
Tram in Rotterdam
The tram network in Rotterdam is well-connected and an easy and fast way to travel around Rotterdam. The city center, outskirts and surrounding towns can be reached by tram. All the tram lines come together at Rotterdam Central Station. Tramlines 4, 7, 8, 20, 21, 23, 24 and 25 drive through the center of Rotterdam, but there are more tram lines that go to the suburbs and outskirts of Rotterdam. The schedule of the tram is from Monday to Saturday at 5 am (Sunday 7 am) and ends at 12.30 am.
If you’re looking for a way to combine a tram ride with all the highlights of Rotterdam, go on a tour with the historic tramline 10!
Taxi in Rotterdam
Instead of using public transportation or bicycles, of course it’s also possible to get a taxi in Rotterdam. This is certainly not the cheapest way of getting around, but it’s comfortable and quick. Ideal for a night out when there is no public transportation, or if some drinks are involved.
There are quite some options for taxis in Rotterdam, including small and big taxi companies. The biggest and most known taxi company is Rotterdamse Taxi Centrale RTC. RTC has been active in Rotterdam and surrounding for over 45 years and has over 700 vehicles. Here is a list of taxi companies in Rotterdam, including their phone numbers:
- Rotterdamse Taxi Centrale RTC
010-462 60 60
- Schiedam Taxi Centrale
010-410 20 30
- St Job Taxi
010- 425 70 00
- Stadstaxi Rotterdam
010-818 28 23
By car in Rotterdam
Are you visiting Rotterdam by car? Then it might be useful to know where to park. Rotterdam offers parking garages, P+R areas and parking spaces on the streets. Click here to find basic information about parking in Rotterdam, such as what every parking possibility entails, where you can find them and how much it costs.
Parking in Ahoy Rotterdam
Ahoy has 2000 parking spaces. If you want to be sure to have a spot, you can already get your parking spot. You can click the precise date you want to get a parking spot and order the spot for €18.
By bike in Rotterdam
In order to arrive at your destination fast and cheap, renting a bike in Rotterdam is a great solution. Throughout the entire city you will find many lanes on which you can safely ride your bike. Especially in the spring and summer months it’s the ideal solution to experience the city! There are two ways in which you can rent a bike during your stay:
1. OV-bike/public transport bike
Spread throughout the city, many bus-, tram-, metro- or train stations have a rental point where you can pick up a bike. This will cost you €3,85 for 24 hours. After 72 hours, you have to pay an additional fee of €5,00. After you finished riding the bike, you are expected to return the bike to the same pick-up-point you initially got it from.
In order to rent an OV-bike you have to own a personal ov-card. Thanks to the chip located in the card, your card will be identified when choosing the bike.
2. Other renting companies
Don’t own a personal OV card? No problem! Renting a bike is the perfect alternative then! There are different renting companies in Rotterdam. Options are the BimBimBikes, the Obike, or with apps such as Uber JUMP and Donkey Republic.
Here you can find more information about renting a bike in Rotterdam.
Fun things to do in Rotterdam
Of course if you’re visiting Rotterdam for the first time for the Eurovision Song Contest, then it’s the perfect time to visit some of Rotterdam’s highlights. Rotterdam is a completely different city than Amsterdam and most cities in the Netherlands. Did you know that Rotterdam was bombed during the Second World War? Because of this, Rotterdam has a lot of unique, modern architecture to admire.
Below you can find the five biggest highlights of Rotterdam. Check out our article with things to do in Rotterdam for more inspiration for your time in our city, such as street art, museums, art galeries, hotspots, fun events and more.
If you’re a first-time visitor to Rotterdam, a visit to the Euromast is definitely a must-do! The Euromast, with its 185 meters, is the highest building of the Netherlands. On top of the Euromast you get a panoramic view of the city. It’s actually part of the World Federations of Great Towers (WFGT): the 37 most beautiful and highest towers of the world, such as the Burj Khalifa, the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building. Here you can already buy your ticket to go on top of the Euromast!
Not only can you enjoy the beautiful view over Rotterdam, it’s also possible to book a table and have a delicious dinner or just get some drinks. Including the beautiful view of course!
The Cube Houses
You just can’t skip the iconic Cube Houses during a visit to Rotterdam! These houses are all built at 45 degrees, which definitely makes you wonder how anyone can live in such a place.
If you’re really curious what it’s like to live in one of the Cube Houses, you can pay a visit to the Kijk-Kubus, which is basically a show room of one of the houses. Or to really have the full experience, you can also decide to stay at Stayokay Rotterdam Cube Hostel, which is a hostel in one of the cubes.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Rotterdam is definitely the iconic Markthal, which can be found across from the Cube Houses. This unique architectural structure serves as both an office building, housing and a marketplace. With over 40 food vendors that sell all sorts of international food and drinks, it’s definitely one of the highlights for most tourists.
Tip: During the construction of the Markthal, many historical items were found in the ground of the site during the excavation. It’s possible to admire those items at the escalators in the middle of the Markthal, and it’s called De Tijdtrap – which literally means the Time Stairs.
Rotterdam Central Station
Another perfect example of how unique the architecture is in Rotterdam is our central station. This relatively new building, which opened up in 2014, has a unique triangular shape that points toward the sky. Locals also playfully call Rotterdam Central Station ‘Kapsalon’, naming it after one of the local fast food dishes that comes in a aluminium box.
There’s a big chance that you’ll visit Rotterdam Central Station, as this station connects to many destinations in the Netherlands and international destinations as well. If you’re not planning on traveling to Rotterdam with the train, then we definitely still recommend a visit and check out the commute at this unique location.
The Erasmus bridge
The Erasmus bridge is yet another iconic structure in Rotterdam. It’s just not possible to skip it, and there’s a high chance you’ll run into it whether you’re planning on checking it out or not.
The bridge connects the Kop van Zuid with the center of the city. This beautiful bridge, nicknamed the Swan due to its large mast that resembles the neck of a swan, is ever so photogenic. So be sure to take lots of photos!
Another great idea is to have a walk over the bridge to the Kop van Zuid to explore this beautiful area.
Where to stay in Rotterdam during Eurovision 2021
Find the right place to stay during the Eurovision Song Contest 2021! Be sure to book your accommodation in time, since a lot of hotels and hostels will be full in no time.
Below are three great hotels and three great hostels that are perfect for your stay in Rotterdam during the Rotterdam Song Contest. If you want more options, be sure to check out these articles.
Another great option for accommodation during Eurovision 2021 is staying at an Airbnb! Never used Airbnb before? Use this code for a discount!
Unique hotels to stay in during Eurovision 2021
Do you want to wake up with the best view of perhaps the whole country? Then definitely spend a night at Nhow. With a view of the Erasmus Bridge and the Skyline of Rotterdam you not only get to see a beautiful sunset, you will see Rotterdam getting up in the early morning. Besides the beautiful rooms – think of a lot of windows, even the walls of the bathroom! – and the beautiful view, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner or a drink at the bar with an equally beautiful view.
Wondering how people in the 1950s sailed to New York on a huge cruise ship? Then board the 4-star hotel on the water, also called the ss Rotterdam. In this former flagship of the Holland-America Line you can stay in one of the 254 rooms with a choice of six different room types.
In terms of food you are also in the right place. In the Club Room diner you will be served delicious courses and there is plenty of choice in wine.
Furthermore, there is no need to get bored during your stay. With an Ocean Bar, an Escape Room and a beautiful terrace on the deck, you don’t even have to leave the ship if you don’t want to!
Hotel New York
A hotel with history! The building of Hotel New York has been there since 1901 and is the former head office of the Holland America Line. Nowadays, it has been a hotel for quite some years and with its beautiful location, it is the ideal place to enjoy Rotterdam. Hotel New York offers 72 unique rooms and for a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner you do not have to go far as the restaurant is also very popular among locals. Next to Restaurant Hotel New York, you can also find Restaurant NY Basement in the same building; a trendy place where you can drink delicious cocktails.
Great hostels to stay in during Eurovision 2021
Stayokay Rotterdam Cube Hostel
Want to get the full Rotterdam experience? The Cube Houses in Rotterdam are a real icon of our city, and Stayokay opened a hostel in one of the cubes! Next to the interesting architecture of the hostel, it’s a great starting point for you to explore the city. One step out of the hostel and you are standing in front of the Markthal, the Laurenskerk (church), the market that you can visit on Tuesdays and Saturdays and many, many shops and restaurants.
Stayokay Rotterdam Cube Hostel offers private rooms for up to 6 people, as well as mixed, male and female people dorms.
It’s called CityHub for a reason: in this hostel you sleep in your own, private pod! And not an average pod. No. At CityHub Rotterdam you have your own double bed, with Wi-Fi, app-controlled lighting and a personal audio streaming system. That is what we call a futuristic backpacking experience!
Just like King Kong Hostel, Cityhub Rotterdam is located in one of the most convenient places in the city: the Witte de Withstraat. Because of the luxurious cabins, the price per night is a bit higher than other hostels. But if that’s not a problem for you, it’s definitely worth the experience!
King Kong Hostel
If you’re looking for a hostel in the midst of the most buzzing part of Rotterdam, King Kong Hostel is a great pick. Located in the Witte de Withstraat, you are surrounded by numerous trendy shops, bars and restaurants. Big shopping streets, Rotterdam’s best museums, public transport as well as some great sightseeing spots are all in walking distance from the hostel.
The hostel offers three private rooms as well as dorms of 4, 6 and 8 beds. Also worth mentioning: the design of the hostel is pretty amazing!
Where to eat and drink in Rotterdam
Great places for breakfast in Rotterdam
There plenty of great breakfast spots in Rotterdam. Below you can find three of our favorite spots, but be sure to also read our article with the best breakfast spots in Rotterdam for more inspiration! Croissants, omelettes, pancakes, scones, sandwiches, yoghurt, acai bowls, smoothies… you name it, Rotterdam has it!
More useful articles:
Whether you feel like eating healthy or craving a guilty pleasure, Yoghurt Barn has it all. The interior is very cosy with a lot of different seating options. It’s a hotspot where you can totally relax, whether it’s alone, with friends or family.
Yogurt is the passion and specialty of Yoghurt Barn. They serve a lot of delicious specials, such as the Crazy Cookie, Energy Explosion and more! If you’re not in the mood for a yogurt treat, you can order some of their delicious toasts or wraps.
Oude Binnenweg 117 – 119, 3012 JC Rotterdam
At Backyard they believe in a sustainable future in which plant-based food plays the leading role. At this hotspot you can enjoy a delicious breakfast until 16:00 with locally roasted coffee, overnight oats, green smoothie bowls, acai bowls, avocado toast and many more delicious options.
Or go for the Breakfast for Champs between 9 and 11:30 am with avocado toast, mini granola yogurt and fruit, banana bread, fresh orange juice and a cappuccino or tea.
Korte Hoogstraat 14, 3011 GL Rotterdam
Mr. NonNo is a laid-back food and coffee bar and a great option if you’re looking for a vegan friendly breakfast spot in Rotterdam. On their menu you can find delicious pancakes, vegan breakfast bowls and (vegan) toast! They also offer egg muffins, delicious (melted) toasts and more!
Middellandplein 18A, 3021 BT Rotterdam
Great places for lunch in Rotterdam
There are so many hotspots for a delicious lunch in Rotterdam, but sometimes you just need some help to pick the right spot. The three spots below are excellent lunch options in our city. Read this article with great lunch spots in Rotterdam for more options.
Guliano is a favorite lunch spot for many people in Rotterdam. That’s why you often have to stand in line to get a table, especially at lunchtime. But it’s definitely worth it!
At Guliano’s in Rotterdam you can eat the tastiest Italian sandwiches, made in a New York style. On their menu you’ll find, among other things, the delicious truffle egg salad sandwich or the sandwich special Nero Malto with buffalo mozzarella, parmesan cheese, arugula, sun-dried tomato and pesto. Check out these other great places for sandwiches in Rotterdam.
Not in the mood for a sandwich? Guliano’s might still be a good fit for you, because they also serve salads, soups and antipasti. In addition to their famous location on the Meent, they now also have a location next to the Erasmus bridge!
Meent 31A, 3011 JC Rotterdam
Zalmstraat 9, 3016 DS Rotterdam
It’s always time for pizza! If you’re currently craving pizza, Sugo is a good lunch spot for you. At Sugo you can order pizza per slice. For lunch they recommend ordering 1.5 to 2 slices!
Which delicious pizza toppings do they have at Sugo? There are meat and fish options, but also plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, such as the classic Margherita, Quattro Formaggi or the Arrabiata. In addition to pizza slices, they also have various salads, entrees and desserts here.
It is also possible to order a pizza platter with different pizza toppings. Perfect to share with a larger group.
Westblaak 87, 3012 KG Rotterdam
Aert van Nesstraat 20, 3012 CA Rotterdam
Bertmans is the ideal hotspot for brunch or lunch. Do you fancy a breakfast dish in the afternoon? From 11:30 you can join Bertmans for the all day brunch, with delicious options such as French toast, goat cheese toast and egg and avocado toast. Or order a delicious soup, salad or burger. There are also a lot of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options.
Karel Doormanstraat 292, 3012 GP Rotterdam
Great places for dinner in Rotterdam
Choosing a restaurant for dinner can sometimes be difficult, after all there are so many options in Rotterdam. Below we share three of our favorite options, but be sure to also check out this list with amazing restaurants in Rotterdam.
Nieuw Rotterdams Café
You can visit Nieuw Rotterdams Café (NRC) for drinks, bar bites, lunch and dinner. There’s a good atmosphere, the food (and drinks) is delicious and the service is great. There are also a lot of vegan options at NRC! The location on the Witte de Withstraat is also ideal of course.
Witte de Withstraat 63, 3012 BN Rotterdam
Dumbo shows that vegan food is anything but boring. In this super trendy restaurant they serve dishes such as mac and cheese, dumplings, saté, noodles… but all without any animal products! The interior is colorful and the cocktails look the way they taste: delicious!
Are you vegan? Then you should definitely check out these vegan restaurants in Rotterdam!
Hoogstraat 44a, 3011 PS Rotterdam
The Bazar on Witte de Withstraat is a true household name in Rotterdam and ideal for an evening of eating and chatting with friends, family or a date. Most dishes come from the Middle East and North Africa and you already enjoy a delicious starter around €5 and a main course around €9. Also perfect to share some dishes, such as Irfan’s starter, Sigara Böregi and a large soup.
Witte de Withstraat 16, 3012 BP Rotterdam
Are you on a bit of a budget? Then these affordable restaurants are a good option for you!
Great places for cocktails in Rotterdam
Time for some refreshing cocktails! But where to go? Below are three of our favorite cocktail spots in Rotterdam. And for more options, you can check out these 11 best places to drink a cocktail in Rotterdam and these 14 great spots for drinks in Rotterdam.
Kite is a very unique restaurant. Their food is Afghan, the interior is very trendy and the cocktails are absolutely delicious. How great is it to not order fried bitterballen for a change, but have tasty pies or naan bread with dip sauces with your drink! Also make sure to try their mocktails, like the High as a Kite, which tastes surprisingly good!
Westblaak 160, 3012 KM Rotterdam
Calaboose, located in Kralingen, is a great place for cocktails. Especially on beautiful sunny days it’s a top choice, because of the spacious terrace where there’s enough seating for large groups. In addition to a cocktail, try one of the Indonesian dishes from the menu, such as the saté or gado gado. A fun night is guaranteed!
Oudedijk 273, 3061 AK Rotterdam
Using Ayla’s special infusions, the bartender creates deliciously tasting cocktails. This means that the basis of the cocktail – such as gin, vodka and gin – is made with delicious herbs and spices. Think of flavors such as Concord grape, grapefruit, rose leaf, rosemary, fennel, basil and chili. All cocktails go well with the dishes, but are also certainly worth a try during an evening at the bar.
Kruisplein 153, 3014 DD Rotterdam
Great places for coffee in Rotterdam
There are plenty of places in Rotterdam where you can go for a nice cup of coffee. Check out these three fantastic places that serve excellent cups of coffee. Our article with the 14 best coffee places in Rotterdam might also come in handy!
Hopper’s award winning coffee is worth a try for sure. There are so many different ways of drinking your coffee here, and they are all made from ‘honest’ beans. And the delicious smell of the freshly baked Hopper bread can not be resisted either… Enjoy a nice sandwich with your coffee or take something home – anything is possible here.
Schiedamse Vest 146, 3011 BG Rotterdam
Joy Espresso and More
At Joy Espresso and More, a cozy coffee bar in the center of Rotterdam, they obviously serve good quality coffee. But, as the name suggests, they do not serve only coffee and espresso. They also serve breakfast, lunch, sweets and also just other drinks! A cute little hotspot in the city that is definitely worth a visit.
Groenendaal 493, 3011 ZW Rotterdam
Harvest Coffee Brewers
The owners of Harvest Coffee Brewers used to work in Melbourne, where making coffee is considered a true art. With their obtained experience and skills, they returned to Rotterdam to set up a coffee bar as they know them in Melbourne: with delicious food and the perfect cup of coffee. In our opinion, their mission has certainly been successful. At Harvest Coffee Brewers you enjoy sitting by the water, drinking a really good cup of coffee and eating delicious avocado toast, eggs benedict or – our favorite – french toast.
Glashaven 107, 3011 XG Rotterdam
We wish you the best time in Rotterdam during the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. Don’t forget to download our amazing e-magazine, so you have all the information you need during the Song Contest right on your phone!