There is a big chance that you will experience at least one rainy day in Rotterdam. Unfortunately the weather in The Netherlands can be quite unpredictable and we often have four seasons in a day. Most Dutch people are used to the weather and are equipped with a good umbrella and rain coat. You’ll be surprised to still see many locals riding their bikes outside on the worst rainy day you have ever witnessed.
Don’t feel like getting wet? We understand. But, don’t let a very rainy day hold you back from doing anything fun. In this article we list 20 things to do on a rainy day in Rotterdam.
Be sure to also read this post with more fun things to do in Rotterdam!
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1. Visit a museum for a cultural experience
This first tip is quite obvious. But, there is no better time to visit a museum in Rotterdam than on a rainy day. Luckily, Rotterdam has lots of cool museums. We recommend a visit to the Kunsthal or Museum Rotterdam to see one of their current exhibitions or explore their permanent collection.
Museum Rotterdam’s main location is in the Timmerhuis, right in the center. The name says it all, but Museum Rotterdam is the museum of our city. In this museum you can admire historical pieces that together with new works tell the story of our city and its inhabitants, from the settlement on the Rotte to a modern metropolis.
Of course there are much more museums to visit in our city! For instance, check out these museums in Rotterdam for a day full of arts and culture.
2. Visit the Maritime Museum
A fun museum to visit is the Maritime Museum Rotterdam. This museum is located in one of the largest and oldest museum ports in the Netherlands and here you can learn more about the past and present of the port of Rotterdam. With exhibitions, activities and a collection of historic ships and cranes, you’ll be here for a while.
Ideal for a rainy day and/or when you are visiting with children. Here you can easily buy a ticket online for the Maritime Museum Rotterdam.
3. Have a peek inside the Kijk-Kubus
A visit to the Kijk-Kubus is a great thing to do on a rainy day in Rotterdam. In the Kijk-Kubus you get a glimpse what a Cube House looks like from the inside.
Rotterdam is known worldwide for its architecture. This is partly due to the iconic Cube Houses. So rain or shine, you must visit the Cube Houses!
TIP: To really have the full experience of living in a Cube house, you can also decide to stay at Stayokay Rotterdam Cube Hostel, which is a hostel in one of the cubes. Stayokay Rotterdam Cube Hostel offers private rooms for up to 6 people, as well as mixed, male and female dorms.
4. Go to the Markthal for fresh and varied food
Raining or not, if you’re a tourist in Rotterdam you should visit the iconic Markthal. Luckily, the Markthal in Rotterdam is the first covered market in the Netherlands, so an excellent place to hide from the rain!
At the Markthal you will find fresh and varied food. In total there are around 90 stalls, 20 shops and restaurants. If you aren’t looking for anything to eat, drink or buy, we still recommend you to visit this already iconic place. The Markthal is a pretty cool building; from both the outside and inside.
5. Visit the Foodhallen on Kop van Zuid
The Foodhallen is located in the beautiful monumental Pakhuismeesteren on the Kop van Zuid in Rotterdam. Here you can get food at 15 different food stands.
In addition to local food, there is also a central bar that serves Rotterdam drinks, such as Kaapse Brouwers and Bobby’s Gin from Schiedam. Ideal for a snack and a drink!
Regularly there are fun events organized in the Foodhallen. Check our calendar for fun events in Rotterdam!
6. Have a cup of coffee at one of the cosy hotspots in Rotterdam
Nothing better than reading a book and drinking some tea or coffee during a rainy day in Rotterdam. There are plenty of cozy places in Rotterdam that you can choose from! Wes Eettentje is a great option.
WES is named after director Wes Anderson and that is reflected in their interior in three different themes. The first area has a cafeteria-like appearance with a display case and signboard based on The Grand Budapest Hotel. Further on in the restaurant you can picture yourself in the train compartment of The Darjeeling Limited and in between you can relax at The Royal Tennebaums.
A great place to spend a rainy day in Rotterdam. Be sure to also check out these great coffee places in Rotterdam.
7. Enjoy a cosy high tea, high wine or beer tasting
Tasting delicious tea, wine or beer in combination with tasty bites. No need for beautiful weather to enjoy good food and drinks! A high tea is perfect for a rainy day in Rotterdam. Or what did you think about a wine- or beer tasting!
Are you going for a tasty high tea with unlimited cups of tea and sweet treats such as scones, pies and chocolate? Or for a high wine with tasty savory snacks and delicious wines?
Another possibility is a beer tasting in Rotterdam. Something different than a simple beer in the local pub. During a beer tasting you can taste special beers and enjoy snacks.
All three are perfect ways to spend a rainy day in the city!
8. Go shopping and stay dry
In Rotterdam we are quite prepared for the rain. For instance, at the Lijnbaan and Koopgoot you can shop without having to walk in the rain, because there is a roofed area next to the shops.
If you want to stay completely dry, we recommend to shop at one of the shopping malls such as Alexandrium or Zuidplein.
Rotterdam is an excellent city for vintage shopping as well. And be sure to check out Olivia’s article about gift shops in Rotterdam.
9. Play all kinds of games at POING
A real arcade hall with classic pinball machines, karaoke and a classic dance machine! At POING you can play all kinds of fun games, but also have a drink and order something tasty from their Asian kitchen. It’s a great hotspot where you can catch up with friends and have a fun time together.
During a rainy day in Rotterdam, POING is an ideal place to hide from the bad weather and play fun games until late at night.
10. Play a game of lawn bowling at Mooie Boules
Beautiful Boules is an indoor food hall. Ideal for hiding from the rain! It is also a unique hotspot, because it is the very first Rotterdam food hall where you can also play a game of lawn bowling.
You can find Mooie Boules in a characteristic metal factory in the emerging ZOHO area. The factory has been completely transformed into a French village square. Local restaurants serve signature dishes and the bar serves a wide range of wine, specialty and local beer. Mooie Boules is a perfect spot for fun with friends!
11. Enjoy a movie at a local cinema
The perfect time to visit one of the local cinemas in Rotterdam! We have some cool smaller cinema houses, such as Cinema, Lantaren Venster and KINO. At KINO you can also hang out at the bar and grab a bite to eat.
Of course there is also the option to go to Pathé and watch one of the current blockbusters. But the local cinemas just have a bit more character.
12. Have a swim at a pool
Luckily Rotterdam has a wide variety of indoor pools! Having a swim indoor is a great way to stay active when it’s cold and rainy outside. There are swimming pools with fun recreational sections for children, but also pools that include saunas and steam cabins.
You can find a list of all the pools here (only in Dutch).
13. Enjoy the view from the Euromast
The Euromast is an absolute must visit in Rotterdam. With 185 meters it’s the highest building of the Netherlands. There are plenty of reasons to go to the Euromast on a rainy day.
For instance, you can enjoy the view from the inside while enjoying (hot) drinks and good food. At 112 meters high you can enjoy a panoramic view, but unfortunately it’s not a covered area. Luckily, if you brave the rain with an umbrella you can quickly go to the Euroscoop. With the Euroscoop you can go to the highest point of the Euromast in a nice and dry rotating cabin.
14. Explore the waters with the watertaxi
It may sound strange to go on the water on a rainy day in Rotterdam, but during the watertaxi ride you’re actually indoors!
The watertaxi is a form of public transport, but a hundred times more fun! 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. With this Rotterdam tour Rotterdamse tour you visit De Rotterdam, the Cube Houses, the Markthal and you get to ride the watertaxi!
15. Join the Splash tour
It may look like a normal bus tour, that will take you to the most special places in Rotterdam. But that is not the only thing! During the tour, the bus literally takes a dip in the Maas. The bus sails further and shows you the city from the water.
Buy a ticket here to hop on this bright yellow sailing bus.
16. Get on board for a boat trip in Rotterdam
The best way to experience Rotterdam is of course by taking a boat trip. Because believe us: from the water, Rotterdam looks very different! 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 1-hour cruise, which covers all the highlights of Rotterdam. It’s possible to sit on top of the deck, but you can also sit indoors to take shelter from the rain.
17. Exciting times at one of the Escape Rooms in Rotterdam
Do you and your friends love adventure? Then a visit to one of the Escape Rooms in Rotterdam is a great idea. For instance, you can visit Live Escape. Here you have three rooms: The Safe House, Lab13 and The Boiler Room.
At The Safe House, you and your friends unexpectedly witnessed a murder in the Rotterdam Underworld. In anticipation of the court case, in which you are the most important witnesses, you will be placed in a Safe House. But is it really safe?
In LAB13, horrible experiments were done by Russians. According to local residents, the lab is still being used. You must do the first exploration…
In The Boilerroom, your group enters a largely burned-down apartment to find Sophie. Once inside you will find out what has happened in the apartment and that Sophie is not the only one who has disappeared without a trace. Will you be able to find Sophie before you get caught?
18. Enjoy a day of beauty & wellness in Rotterdam
Being completely pampered is of course the best way to spend a rainy day in Rotterdam. Book a relaxing massage at one of these massage spots in Rotterdam (like Weleda City Spa), let your nails shine again at one of these nail salons in Rotterdam or go to a spa for a day.
Another way to pamper yourself is to make an appointment at The Glambar in Rotterdam Noord. Here they will make your hair and face beautiful. And all while enjoying a drink and a cake.
19. Go on the Rotterdam hop on, hop off bus
Are you in Rotterdam for the first time and do you want to see as much as possible? Then a hop-on hop-off is more convenient than you think. With a 24- or 28-hour ticket you can get in and out wherever and whenever you want.
Of course it is best to discover Rotterdam on foot or by bike, but during a rainy day it is nice that you can hide from the rain in a bus and warm up. Then to brave the rain again with your umbrella and still admire all the sights of Rotterdam!
20. Ice-skating at the Rotterdam ice rink
In December, January and February you can visit the Rotterdam Schaatsbaan (ice rink) in Kralingen. Chocolate milk, mulled wine, a Unox sandwich and wrapped in a thick coat. That is the real winter feeling! A super fun (winter or rainy day) outing in Rotterdam with your friends.
And that are the 20 things to do on a rainy day in Rotterdam. Again, don’t let rain ruin your fun in our city and make the most out of it. 🙂