Water, Port and Harbours

Water, Port and Harbours

As a port city, Rotterdam has unbreakable ties to the Maas River. There are all sorts of ways to explore and experience the river and the port. The waterfront is a beautiful spot for a stroll.

The liveliness of the port

Willemskade, Maaskade, the Willemsbrug, Noordereiland, Wilhelminapier and the Erasmus Bridge offer an uninterrupted view of the ships passing by and the city’s characteristic skyline. You’ll come across lots of locations along the way where you can sit down, rest and take in the gorgeous view. The elevated panoramic terrace at Café Rotterdam or the terrace of the café and restaurant at hotel nhow (on the seventh floor of the De Rotterdam complex) are ideal. Impressive cruise ships often glide by these spots, especially in summer.

Visitors who want a more in-depth experience of the port can explore by bike, or take a guided tour with an expert who knows all the ins and outs of Rotterdam’s port. The port is a palpable influence throughout the city as well. Various inner harbours in Rotterdam have become the backdrop for lively nightlife districts. Scheepvaartkwartier, the Oude Haven, Historic Delfshaven and the Katendrecht peninsula are excellent examples. The perfect time to experience the Maas River and the port at full intensity is during the World Port Days in September. Excursions, demonstrations, sailing trips and cultural entertainment on the water and along the waterfront fill an entire weekend.

On the water…

Experiencing the river by taking a boat trip is even more fun, obviously. Take a water taxi from the picturesque Veerhaven harbour to historic Hotel New York or go on a sailing tour of the port with the Spido boats. Take an Aqualiner to Heijplaat, the penisula that once housed the RDM Rotterdam drydocks and is now all about Research, Design & Manufacturing, or visit M4H, an untamed area currently being developed as a testing grounds for artists, designers and other visionaries. The area also includes Uit Je Eigen Stad, an authentic urban farm which has its own nice restaurant.

Also fun: a day’s outing to Maasvlakte or Hook of Holland. This expansive stretch of seashore is also part of Rotterdam!