When to fly
In order to really enjoy the waterfront it’s best to book flights to Rotterdam in the summer time, when the warm days and cool evenings are perfect for outdoor strolls.
By far, the most pleasant time of year to plan Rotterdam flights is during the summer time. Restaurants open patios for al fresco dining, and you can walk along the pier to see just how impressive the ports in this town truly are. June is a great time to visit as this is when the Rotterdam Unlimited Festival blesses the city’s streets with a 6 day multicultural festival of poetry, live music and a great street carnival. The festival can be enjoyed by travellers on a budget as it is free to enter.
While winter in Rotterdam can be nasty with lots of cold wind and rain, many international travellers book flights to Rotterdam in January to see the acclaimed Rotterdam International Film Festival. The Festival has been entertaining an audience of over 285,000 for 44 spectacular years and is one of the largest public film events in the world. The Film Festival is spread out over 12 days which allows hundreds of film makers and other artists to showcase a high class line-up of documentary feature films, short films and media art.
Before World War II, Rotterdam existed as a rather dreary industrial town, but when bombs dropped in the 1940s the city’s physical history was changed forever.
What is left of the city now only developed within the last 70 years. The entire city, along with its two-dimensional reputation, disappeared and new, modern architecture sprung up in every corner of the city, from apartment buildings to courthouses, to business parks, museums, restaurants, and even tourist areas. Sleek, straight lines, bold colours, and inventive new angles became the new face of the city.
Today, travellers flock from every corner of the globe to see the new and improved metropolis. Gone are the winding little Dutch streets, quaint villages, and small-town structures. Now, efficiency and modernity have replaced the city with a clean slate, a new personality, and a fresh new outlook.
The cold sweeps in harshly in the wintertime, when the months between December and March bring wind, rain, and snow to the Netherlands. If you’re booking cheap Rotterdam flights during this time, then be sure to pack warm clothing because temperatures drop to around 0 degrees and stay there. Once spring hits, April, May, and June warm up to around the teens, with more sunny days and outdoor opportunities. Summer lasts through July and August, when the heat kicks in and you can really enjoy Rotterdam’s waterfront locale.
Getting around Rotterdam
Rotterdam is a fairly easy city to get around. The RET metro system covers most of the city centre with buses, trams and Metro. Buy your tickets on board and pay based on how far you’ll be traveling. Most of Rotterdam’s sights are within walking distance anyway, so you may find you don’t need public transportation. If you do set out on foot, watch out for bikes, cars and above-ground metros. Biking is very popular and there are separate lanes and stop lights allocated for bikers. If you’re headed farther out of the city, buses run towards its outskirts and taxis can take you just about anywhere.
Getting downtown from the airport
Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM) is easily accessible by train or shuttle bus. Taxis and car rental companies are also represented at the airport.
Rotterdam insider information
Walk of Fame: One of the fastest growing attractions in Rotterdam, the Walk of Fame entices people to book flights to see international and national celebrities’ hand and footprints in the sidewalk. You’ll see many tourists posing for pictures by big names, and matching their fingertips to the concrete version of the celebrity of interest. A-listers like Cliff Richard, John Denver, Carlos Santana, Shirley Bassey, Everly Brothers, Dionne Warwick, Carl Lewis, Tina Turner, Gloria Estefan, Toto and Johnny Cash have all made their mark – quite literally – on this memorable sidewalk.
Oude Kerk: Once you’ve spent a few days in Rotterdam, it’s plainly obvious how modern and new the whole city is compared to its existence before the Second World War. For history buffs in search of its courageous past, look no further than Oude Kerk – one of the only districts to survive the war. As you wander through it, you’ll notice the 18th century windmill that overlooks the water. This is the spot where Dutch pilgrims left Holland for America on July 22, 1620. Their boat, however, malfunctioned and they had to stop in England to join some other outbound travellers on the Mayflower. The rest is history.
Modern Architecture: As soon you step off your flight, you’ll be enthralled by the newness of all the architecture. Even just outside of Central Station, you can see Gebouw Delftse Poort (also known as Nationale Nederlanden), and Down Coolsingel, the city’s World Trade Center. A little beyond, is a funny-looking cube-shaped building known as the Overblaak, and even further are the two ultra-chic (but not identical) bridges that cross the Nieuw Maas River. In the middle of the city centre square, enormous steel structures that look like jointed red desk lamps move around on their own, and add a little fun to night-time lighting.