Longing for a day trip and looking for places near Rotterdam? As an expat in the Netherlands, my goal is to discover and enjoy the country as much as possible. Often I take small trips around the country to discover incredible places.
In this article, I share several great places near Rotterdam that are perfect and easy for a day trip.
Please note: Some of the activities below may not be possible during the current crisis. Stay indoors if you have any complaints and follow the RIVM guidelines.
I will start with the closest town from Rotterdam: Schiedam. Neighbouring city and only 30 minutes by bike from the city centre of Rotterdam, Schiedam is really worth spending a day there. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect, but I have been really surprised to see how lovely it is.
Schiedam is definitely a charming town with typical Dutch architecture, and it has the particularity of still owning several windmills in the city centre itself. The windmills will be easy to spot as they are the tallest in the world!
It is possible to visit one of the five windmills called “De Nieuwe Palmboom”, as it has been converted into a museum.
It was such a pleasure to wander along the canals that cross the city.
Located 15km from Rotterdam, Kinderdijk is a place not to be missed. This is a famous site in the Netherlands for its 19 windmills build in the 18th century. You will discover a unique, yet typical Dutch landscape. It is even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage.
Personally, I loved to cycle along the canals and between the windmills. It was a great experience and I definitely recommend you to visit this place.
Once you’re there, you can also go inside some of the windmills to learn more about the story of this unique place. It is possible to book a tour boat as well.
Luckily, it is an easy day trip from Rotterdam. A great idea is to go there by using the Waterbus from Rotterdam. This will make your trip even more special.
Since Kinderdijk is a well-known place in the Netherlands, I would advise you not to visit it during peak tourist periods in order to avoid crowds. Please note that Kinderdijk is currently closed because of the current crisis.
First reason why you should visit this beautiful city named Dordrecht? This is the oldest city of Holland. You will come across typical Dutch architecture, with beautiful old buildings.
Dordrecht has a rich history, which you will definitely notice when wandering around the city. In the historic center of Dordrecht you can find 1000 monuments. One that you can not miss is the Great Church “De Grote Kerk”. I particularly enjoyed the city harbour.
My advise would be to simply get lost in the city to discover the many charming streets that abound in the city. If you don’t want to miss any monuments and historic spots, you can take the ‘Rondje Dordt’ walk indicated by signs in the city.
As it is easy to visit from Rotterdam, only 20 minutes by train, I already planned to go back to enjoy the city as soon as stores, restaurants and cafes will reopen.
If you are lucky enough to visit it during Christmas time, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the biggest Christmas market of the region.
4. Den Haag and Scheveningen
The Hague (Den Haag in Dutch) is the third biggest city after Amsterdam and Rotterdam, as well as the administrative and royal capital of the Netherlands. That is why the parliament is located in “Het Binnenhof”, which is one of the most remarkable building to see in The Hague.
The city has many beautiful buildings for you to discover on your trip. Among them, the shopping gallery “De Passage”, strongly inspired by Parisian galleries, is a nice example with its arcades and glass domes.
Scheveningen is a district of The Hague, on the North Sea coast. It is a popular place, mostly during summer. People like to go there to enjoy the beach on sunny days, and it is also a good spot for surfers.
This is really easy to join from Rotterdam as you can take the metro (Line E) or the train until Den Haag, and then join the beach by bike or tram for instance.
Check out these things to do in The Hague on Weekends in The Hague.
Only 15 minutes by train from Rotterdam, Delft is a charming town, with an important heritage.
Delft is also famous for its history. For instance, this is where William of Orange has been assassinated. For this reason, you will find his tomb in the “Nieuwe kerk” (meaning new church). This is an impressive monument in the church to see for history and art lovers.
There are wonderful walks to be made along the canals and this is a perfect day trip for a change of scenery. And it’s only just a short trip from Rotterdam.
Located between The Hague and Amsterdam, Leiden is a charming city where it is very pleasant to wander. Especially during the summer days, where you can enjoy the terrace along the canals or simply walking along them.
The historic centre dates from the 17th century, so you will find several beautiful monumental buildings. Interesting fact: Leiden is the birthplace of Rembrandt.
From my point of view, with its warm atmosphere along the canals, Leiden has nothing to envy to Amsterdam.
What makes the city unique is the old fort in the city centre from the 11th century, located at the top of a clod. When you will arrive at the top, you will discover a beautiful view over the roofs of Leiden.
In addition, Leiden is also really dynamic, and a nice place to go out as it is a student city.
To sum up, you will find beautiful pictures to take and I’ll definitely go back to this charming city!
That were some places to give you ideas of easy day trips around Rotterdam, perfect for those of you that want to discover or rediscover its neighbouring places. Let me know in comment if you visited some of them and which one is your favourite!
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