Rainy day in Rotterdam? We've got you covered! Since this isn’t such a rare phenomenon in the Netherlands; the city is fully equipped with plenty of things to do to including cool sights, cultural activities and cosy places to eat and drink. You can even check out the Euromast and iconic Cube Houses inside and stay dry! Here are our top tips for exploring Rotterdam on a rainy day, grab your umbrella and let’s go!
This is obvious, but take advantage of inclement weather and check out Rotterdam’s cultural activities inside! There are world-class museums and galleries in Rotterdam including the awesome Nederlands Fotomuseum, and the Kunsthal Rotterdam which regularly has a whole host of exciting art and installation shows. Also worth checking out if you’re into museums is the Wereldmuseum which is focused on ethnography and has a large permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions.
If you want to up the pace then check out the Dutch Pinball Museum for an adventure with a difference!
You can visit the famous Euromast and Cube Houses without getting wet! Despite these buildings being internationally renowned for their exterior architecture, they also are to be seen from the inside. Building the iconic Euromast finished in 1960 and the architecture mimicked the mast and crow’s nest of a ship, to compliment the famous ships docked here and Rotterdam’s fame as a port city. Originally 112 meters, it has since grown to keep its reputation as the highest building in Rotterdam, and now stands at 185 meters tall. You can experience the panoramic views from the top of this cool Rotterdam highlight and grab a great coffee while you’re here. There are plenty of restaurants also, and it’s a great view point even on a rainy day!
The Cube Houses (Kijk-Kubus) have also become a famous architectural landmark in Rotterdam and their tilted yellow facades appear on plenty of postcards. Luckily you can also enjoy the interior to these cubes from architect Piet Blom as one is a Museum-House on the inside. As the houses are at 45 degrees they have an unusual structure and layout and the asymmetric design is inspired by abstract art, but built with a purpose as urban planning in the 1970s looked to maximising space in the city. The Kijk-Kubus Museum-house is open every day from 10am to 6pm and worth checking out.
Enjoy the epic food paradise that is the iconic Markthal (or Market Hall). Not only is this newcomer on the scene a great slice of Rotterdam’s architectural pie, there are also 90 stalls and over 20 restaurants to enjoy local and international cuisine. Enjoy your tasty treats at the colourful food stalls, sample a few local specialities, and it's a great Instagram spot for all you food lovers! Also a top tip from our team is to check out the pofferjes (mini kind of pancakes) at Poffertjessalon Seth next to the Markthal (it’s the best in town).
If you want to get cosy and stay inside there are plenty of great cafes and places to eat in Rotterdam. Try Koekela for the best cookies in town; they also have brownies, cakes, pies, muffins – you name it! There’s a cute sunny terrace also but it’s perfect for sitting inside when the weather is bad outside. The best for apple pie try cakey favourite Dudok in Het Park, it’s a brasserie located in a 1750s monument and a great spot for breakfast or coffee (closed Mondays). For some tropical vibes in an unusual setting grab a bar stool at Aloha Bar (in a former swimming pool). They also have a cool terrace but you can still enjoy your cocktail with a different umbrella on a rainy day! If you’re into theme bars then check out hotspot Wes Eettentje, a Wes Anderson themed diner bar which is straight out of his movies. Afternoon tea? Then check out the teas and sweet stuff at Lof der Zoetheid. For a snug café bar with a nice atmosphere try Bar Labru.
Even on a really rainy day you can also still enjoy the food and setting at Fenix Food Factory, which is in a former warehouse on the waterfront in Katendrecht area. You may not be able to enjoy the terrace but there is some great artisanal food from local entrepreneurs here including the Kaapse Brouwers beer brewery and Booij Kassmakers cheese. Yum!
We still recommend taking a spin on the river, even if it’s a grey day. The Spido is the most fun you can have in 75 minutes on a boat, and it’s a bargain at only 13.95 euros for adults. Take in all the main river sights and go for a fast paced ride on the Maas – pure fun, rain or shine! Check the timetable here, times change during festivals. If you fancy a dip then there are also plenty of swimming pools – try one of these for an indoor swim: van Maanen Bad, Oostervant zwembad, Oosterlijk zwembad.
Yes it’s cultural! Check out the tallest windmills in the world just a short metro ride from the city at charming Schiedam. Although a large part of trip here is the waterways and historic warehouses, there are plenty of indoors activities in the Jenever and gin capital – namely, the National Jenever Museum Schiedam, where you can find out about the 300 year old history of the distillery. And of course, there are tastings on offer! What’s not to love?? Another great place to seek out here is the 325 year old Nolet Distillery with an impressive 43m tower and the home of Ketel One vodka. Proost!
Everyone loves the cinema so why not check out the screenings on a rainy evening? There are plenty of movies with original language and also the Rotterdam Film Festival runs from 24th -26th May. Check out our favourite cinemas at Kino and Lantarenvenster for your cinematic moment in Rotterdam!
There is plenty of indoor shopping in Rotterdam so you can bargain hunt or find your inner fashionista without getting wet. Try Lijnbaan and Koopgoot or one of the shopping malls like Zuidplein.
You see, there is plenty to do in Rotterdam, even if it’s raining!