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Winter in Rotterdam (this page is not up to date, soon it will be updated)

Winter is the most wonderful time of the year! Let this page filled with many dazzling events inspire you. There are plenty of fun things to do in Rotterdam before, during and after the festive season. The shops are open longer so that you can buy presents for ‘Pakjesavond’ on 5 December (a Dutch traditional celebration involving ‘Sinterklaas’ or Saint Nicholas), or do your Christmas shopping. The National New Year’s Eve Fireworks are also in Rotterdam, don’t miss the magic.

17 November

Sinterklaas arrives in Rotterdam

Sinterklaas and his ‘Pieten’ (helpers) arrive by boat at the Willemsplein again on Saturday, 16 November at 12:30. They then walk in procession via the Schiedamsedijk, Coolsingel, Meent and Hoogstraat to the Grotekerkplein. The final show on the square starts at 14:45. All kinds of activities are organised in Rotterdam from the arrival of Sinterklaas. On the 6 December, you can wave goodbye as he departs from Hoek van Holland on his steamboat.

27 November to 1 December

REC. Festival / Sneakerness / The Hoodie

With the start of the winter, Rotterdam is full of events with an urban twist. You can enjoy rappers and DJs on multiple stages around the Schieblock at REC. Festival. You can buy cool shoes for this party at Sneakerness. Your urban outfit is complete with a hoodie, and don’t miss the new exhibition about this fashion garment at the Nieuwe Instituut.

29 November

CHANGEZ XL – Black Friday Festival

At BlueCity, on Friday 29 November, you can visit the Black Friday circular counterpart: CHANGEZ XL. With a clothing, toy and things exchange and cool circular entrepreneurs. The former swimming pool will be open to the public for the first time. If you don’t manage to find anything nice to trade, the shops in the centre are open until 23:00 during Black Friday or shop on one of the other (extra) shopping evenings for the holidays.

7 december

Benny Rodrigues

You don’t get more Rotterdam than Benny Rodrigues who will DJ all night at RTM in Transit. You can dance until New Year’s Day at this temporary club, after which the house and techno cellars will be locked again. If you miss out on a ticket, you can also party at the Rotterdam Rave Indoor ‘Winter Special’ on 20 December.

11 December

Sean McLoughlin

Sean McLoughlin is an acclaimed stand-up comedian and writer based in London, described as “The best comedian you haven’t heard of” by Time Out and “an impassioned and uniquely brilliant talent” by The List. He has performed on several U.K. tours and provided tour support for Ricky Gervais on his international ‘Humanity’ and recent ‘Supernature’ tour. Now you can see him at Comedy Club Haug.

13 December

Festival Stille Nacht

In the dark days before Christmas, this festival with indie pop, Americana, folk and electronica has become a tradition. Enjoy singer-songwriters and bands who will play the best music for you and bring you in a Christmas atmosphere, like Sam Calver, Jasper Steverlinck, Robin Kester, Amber Run, Andrew Combs, Ciao Lucifer, I Am Oak, Sugar Candy Mountain en Tessa Dixson.

21 to 30 December

Christmas Circus Ahoy

Due to the unique and ever-changing composition of artists, the Christmas Circus Ahoy manages to surprise every year. You can enjoy a crazy Austrian clown, a double ‘Wheel of Death’ that has never been shown in the Netherlands, a beautiful freedom dressage with a various collection of horses, a handsome act with talented dog and many more.

24 to 29 December

Dave’s Winter Variety Show

Dave van der Wal puts an end to all Christmas stress with his magical variety show. He offers a full evening programme of comedy, circus and music.

31 December

National Fireworks

The National Fireworks this year will be more spectacular than ever! On 31 December, the largest fireworks show in the Netherlands will take place on the Erasmus Bridge for the thirteenth year in a row. And for the first time, there are also fireworks shows in Nesselande and Hoek van Holland! For the little ones who also want to see fireworks, there are the National Children’s Fireworks at 19:00. After the fireworks, there are countless parties in Rotterdam to celebrate the new year. On New Year’s Day, you can wash away your hangover at one of the New Year’s dives.

🍾 2020 🎉


22 January to 2 February

IFFR | International Film Festival Rotterdam

The IFFR is one of the largest cultural events in the Netherlands and one of the largest public film festivals in the world. The film festival takes place this year from Wednesday, 22 January until Sunday, 2 February 2020.

5 to 9 February

Art Rotterdam Week

Art lovers will have the opportunity to visit numerous art and design fairs, unique exhibitions, site fairs, open studios and pop-up shows during Art Rotterdam Week.

7 March


If you want to visit multiple museums and exhibition spaces in one night, you should come to Museumnacht010. In addition to the regular exhibitions, come and see the unique collections, crazy projects and bizarre performances that are presented by the more than 40 locations participating in this Museum Night in Rotterdam.

Also interesting

Citytrip Rotterdam this winter?

Citytrip Rotterdam this winter?

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Highlights 2020

Highlights 2020

New festivals, location & more