A rainy day in Rotterdam: Things to do

15 June 2016 by

It’s raining cats & dogs in Rotterdam. Okay, not really what you’ve hoped for on your weekend trip here, but nothing you can do about it anymore, but make the best of it. Let me share with you my favourite things to do on a rainy day in Rotterdam. No need to get bored or annoyed. There’s so much to do in this great city. These ‘dry’ tips will definitely lighten up your grey day in Rotterdam!

Check the weather

Buienradar and Buienalarm are two weather-apps the Dutch can’t live without. These apps will give you a reliable short-term rain forecast. They predict when the showers will hit Rotterdam, how long the rain will last and how heavy it will be. Good to check these apps in the morning when planning your day.

Art or escape

Indulge in some culture. The Boijmans Van Beuningen museum and the Kunsthal are fine arts museums with impressive collections of art and design. The Boijmans I particularly like for its permanent collection including famous works of Dutch and international painters like van Gogh, Mondriaan and Dalí. The Kunsthal is very well known for their fascinating temporary exhibitions. If you’re travelling with kids the Maritime Museum is terrific. It’s full of entertainment for kids, such as a separate indoor play area and historical boats to explore from the inside.

Are you more into games? Real life games? Challenge yourself and get locked up in a room and try to escape it. ExitGame in Rotterdam hosts an exciting escape room from 2 to 5 persons.

Guided tours without getting wet

Don’t be discouraged, sightseeing can still be done without getting wet. The Spido harbour tour takes you in 75 minutes through the harbour in a covered boat. Or why not explore the city in a culinary way on a Food tour. Take your umbrella and try signature local foods on a tasty Food tour of Inside Rotterdam.

Insider tip: Sit down in tram 8 and be guided around the city from the North to the West and back.

Good food, coffee and books

The best excuse for relaxing and doing nothing is the weather, so unpack that book you’ve brought, and sit down in one of the excellent cafés in Rotterdam. Order yourself a Cappuccino and relax.
The little boutique café Zeeuwse Meisjes on Katendrecht is cute, has a great atmosphere and also sells local Rotterdam designer products. Try the sweet delicacy ‘Bolus’ from southern province Zeeland, it’s very yum! On the other side of town in Rotterdam West you find the Urban Espresso West. It’s a bit off track but it is situated on the trendy and multiculti Nieuwe Binnenweg and in a very interesting side of town. They serve fantastic coffee, juices and lunch. A place you can’t miss on your visit to Rotterdam is the Fenix Food Factory, an alternative indoor food market on Katendrecht, with lots of great local cheese and home brew beer.

Shop till you drop

Nice alternative shopping streets are the Zwaanshals in Rotterdam North and the Nieuwe Binnenweg in Rotterdam Centre/West. These two streets house a diverse mix of boutiques, vintage stores and cosy cafés. Perfect for shopping and drinking coffee in rainy weather.
In the city centre departments stores HEMA and the Bijenkorf are also nice for shopping. If you like mainstream and don’t want to be outside at all, shopping mall Alexandrium, is the place to be. It has many shops, including loads of interior design stores, and it’s all indoor.

Insider tip: Go all Dutch and come to the top floor of the HEMA in the city centre at 16h00 and get a coffee and little cake for only €1,-

Watch & dance

Go to Lantaren Venster, KINO or Cinerama to watch an art-house movie in a great ambiance. Afterwards you can enjoy a drink in their nice Jazzy bars. The big blockbusters you can see in the Pathé cinema on Schouwburgplein.

My favourite places for a night out are BIRD or Rotown.  They have a friendly atmosphere, nice music and attract a diverse mix of people. Besides club nights they also host concerts. Check their websites for their agenda.

About the blogger

Blogger Ariane Nooteboom is owner of Inside Rotterdam. Would you like to experience Rotterdam as a local on a dry day? Travel with Inside Rotterdam then, on foot or by bike, downtown or off the beaten track.