No winter sleep but plenty of winter atmosphere in Rotterdam
Ernst Wagensveld

No winter sleep but plenty of winter atmosphere in Rotterdam

The trees are bare and the city birds have taken shelter, but Rotterdam itself never sleeps. Where many go into an energy-saving mode in the winter, Rotterdam entrepreneurs and institutions seem to go into overdrive: running to keep warm and keeping the wheels turning. The growth of Rotterdam does not depend on the seasons but the doers in the city! Residents and visitors then get to enjoy the fantastic benefits, even in the winter. By sleeping ‘on the water’ and then walking around the Kralingse Lake with a coffee and a view of the Rotterdam skyline. Or by ice-skating until your legs can’t go any more and then warming your hands with a glass of mulled wine. Here are four tips for a warm winter weekend in the city on the Maas! 

Ice-skating, pea soup and ‘Koek en Zuipie’ 

Although we prefer ice-skating on natural ice in Rotterdam, the Skating Rink always guarantees ice-cold fun. This is the place where the ice never has to be broken and where an extra round costs nothing. When your legs are warm and your hands cold from the ice-skating, head to the Rumah hotel for a mulled wine or cocktail. While you’re there, make it a pub crawl and visit the timeless pub StallesMelief Bender (from 1876!), Belgian beer Café Boudewijn or Café Steijn. Finish with a cup of pea soup (known as ‘snert’ in Dutch) from cafe Bakeliet. If you’re still feeling energetic, discover the treasures of ZOHO and taste the home-brewed beers of brewpub Reijngoud. It’s the perfect end to a lovely winter day in Rotterdam. 

From skyline to Schoonoord: the city’s free treasures  

‘The best things in life are free’ is a statement that also applies to Rotterdam, especially when it comes to enjoying the city itself. Rotterdammers like to visit the Kralingse Forest and Lake at the weekend, and for good reason. Surrounded by trees and water, you can gaze at Rotterdam’s skyline, a view that makes many people sigh in appreciation. A little closer, you can experience the skyline on the Maasboulevard right next to the Nieuwe Maas River. Or at the Rijnhaven. Combine different views of the Rotterdam skyline in one of the walks from Rotterdam routes! Do not forget to visit the Rotterdam parks. Besides the well-known parks (Het Park, Vroesenpark, Zuiderpark), you should not miss the historic Schoonoord Garden and Trompenburg Gardens & Arboretum. Here, you can forget that you are in the middle of a dynamic metropolis for a moment. 

Culture, art and comedy 

There is plenty of culture to keep you warm in a cold Rotterdam. During the renovation, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen can only be seen from the outside, but luckily Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is only a few metres away! This is the very first publicly accessible art storage building. It may not be a museum, but both architecture and art lovers will find what they are looking for here. The beautiful Wereldmuseum, the Nederlands Fotomuseum and the Kunsthal are also worth a visit. Just like the nearby Chabot MuseumHet Nieuwe Instituut and Huis Sonneveld. For some audiovisual indulgence, go to LantarenVenster or Cinerama, for a good laugh, to Club Haug. The cultural climate in Rotterdam is also very pleasant outside the festival season. 

Staycation: try other neighbourhoods and beds 

You don’t have to be a tourist to experience Rotterdam differentlyFor those already familiar with the city, take different routes, visit unknown neighbourhoods, get your coffee from somewhere new and walk through that park you’ve never visited. You can also go a step further and book a bed in your own city! Sleep like a tourist during a staycation at Hotel âme (with a modern simplicity inspired by Japan and Scandinavia), Hotel not Hotel (colourful, eccentric and artistic), Hotel Supernova (experience Rotterdam design and excellent cuisine), The Slaak (boutique hotel in a national monument and former home of the newspaper Het Vrije Volk) or on a Wikkelboat (floating on the water of the Wijnhaven or Rijnhaven).