Now that clubs, bars, restaurants, and museums are open again, and the end of the first block at uni is in sight, I thought I would give you some tips on places to go and things to see and do in Rotterdam this fall. For some of you this might be your first year in Rotterdam, for others it might be the second or even third year, but for most of us this is the first time we get the chance to fully experience everything this beautiful city has to offer! I will talk you through some of my favourite places to go to dance, eat, spend (all my) money, and to be inspired. I hope you will enjoy! (Keep in mind that for most of these restaurants, bars, and activities you need to be able to show a proof of vaccination or a negative test result!)
Bars & Clubs
Weelde’s good atmosphere and vibe make this place the perfect spot to hangout with friends. Weelde is located in the West of Rotterdam and the complex consists of several spots, each with a different purpose. Therefore, at Weelde there is something for everyone. They host temporary exhibitions, have two restaurants, KumZits and De Zure Bom, that serve seasonal and local dishes, a natural wine bar, a skating pool and the Zandbar regularly hosts parties you don’t want to miss! A place where everyone is welcome and you can do whatever you feel like! Make sure to follow them on Instagram to be updated on upcoming events, such as the vintage kilo sales they often host! https://www.weelderotterdam.nl/
In May, Bit announced that they were opening a new club in Rotterdam. On the 31st of October, the waiting is finally over, as Bit hosts its first club night. In their own words, Bit is described as an immersive platform for electronic music and its crowd. Being located in the Keile area in the West of Rotterdam, Bit is putting down its roots in a building remarkable for its characteristics and features. “In the hundred years since it was built, it originally took duty as office building, eventually turned into an erotic plaza in the times in which the Keileweg was an infamous sexworking area, and over the past few years served as restaurant and shisha lounge.” Bit wants to fill the void that their predecessors have left before them in the Rotterdam nightlife, and I’m excited to find out if they succeed! https://crowdfund.bit-ter.nl/
Another innovative space in West is STEUR Garden, where creativity, culture and ideas come together. As they say themselves: “From established local musicians to up-and-coming talent to cultural exhibits and all-out parties, STEUR Garden boasts an eclectic and exciting calendar of events and activities to enhance patrons’ dining, drinking, and collaboration experiences.” With its open-air bar, bonfire, vegetarian snack and outside parties, STEUR Garden offers a unique option for a night out. Unfortunately, STEUR’s 2021 season is coming to an end, but with their end of the season party on the 29th, you're still able to discover STEUR Garden. https://steur.site/garden/
Located in the Rotterdam Central District area and only 500m away from Central Station, you can find Rotterdam’s Biergarten. As you could have imagined, here you can find the best beers in town, they serve half litres on tap, but also a variety of bottles and canned beers from small breweries that prioritise craftsmanship, innovation and quality, something they take very seriously at Biergarten! Although some areas are covered and heated, most of the terrace is open air Therefore, I would suggest checking the weather forecast before you head there. https://en.biergartenrotterdam.nl/
At this brunch and lunch cafe in the city centre, everything is homemade and made from seasonal and local ingredients. Most products are made by professionals who work sustainable and biological! On their menu they offer a wide variety of ‘all day’ breakfast and lunch dishes. Try their scones, or if you can’t choose, you can always go for the Picknick Platter, then you get to taste a bit of everything! Coincidentally this is also the place I work at, so make sure to come by and say hi! ;) https://www.picknickrotterdam.nl/home-english#About-us
At Supermercado, which is not only a restaurant, but also a cocktail bar and club, they serve the best Latin-American dishes with a street food vibe. They offer a wide range of meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes! Some of my favourites are the tacos, ceviche, grilled corn and you should definitely try their sweet potato fries, they're so good! Their enthusiastic staff, colorful interior and delicious cocktails make this restaurant a very popular spot, so make sure to reserve a spot, to prevent standing in line! https://supermercadorotterdam.nl/?page_id=179
Fenix Food Factory
The Fenix Food Factory, located in Katendrecht, is a warehouse where you can buy your groceries from local entrepreneurs, you can learn how the products are made and you can enjoy a freshly made meal. At the factory you can find Jordy's Bakery, Booij Kaasmakers, Mini market, Kaapse Brouwers, Fruit & Veggies, Frank's Ambacht, Soda Pop Shop, Blije Wijnen and Bosch&deJong booksellers. They have a beautiful outside terrace, if the weather allows, but if not, you can comfortably sit inside as well! https://www.fenixfoodfactory.nl/
At Bas Bakt, just around the corner from Beurs and Witte de With, you can drink the best coffee and enjoy freshly baked goods. It always smells sooo good here! https://www.basbakt.com/
The Tea Lab
At the Tea Lab, situated on the Nieuwe Binnenweg, you can not only choose from a variety of teas, but their food choices are elaborate and impressive as well. They serve pancakes, avocado toast, toasties, fresh smoothies and juices and the best cakes! If you cannot choose, you can go for their high tea and try a bit of everything! https://thetealab.nl/
At Dearhunter you can find a beautiful selection of vintage pieces, ranging from very affordable, to more exclusive pieces. They sell handpicked vintage for men, women and in between. Not only do they offer clothing, they also sell jewellery, shoes, sunglasses, bags, and scarfs. If you want to be updated on their newest gems, make sure to follow them on Instagram, where they update their followers on their newest items! http://dearhunter.fresh.li/sets/dearhunter_vintage
In 2000 Susan Bijl created the first design and prototype for The New Shopping Bag, after studying at the Willem de Kooning Academy. She wanted to reduce the waste involved with the production of plastic bags and make a minimalist design for a shopping bag. You can spot Susan Bijl’s bags everywhere in Rotterdam, and actually, you’ll only be considered a true Rotterdammer if you own one of her bags! ;) jk jk but make sure to visit one of her shops in Rotterdam! https://www.susanbijl.nl/
The ReShare Store is a second-hand clothing store run by the Salvation Army. Their mission is to motivate people to ‘reshare’, which entails donating clothing that someone else can wear again, and also buying second hand clothing instead of new clothing, as this benefits the environment! Their store is located in the city centre and is light, tidy, affordable and overall, a very comfortable store for second hand shopping! https://www.resharestore.nl/winkels/reshare-store-rotterdam
Another second hand shop I frequently visit is Sweet Rebels, situated near Witte de With and next to Supermercado. In this shop you can find a wide selection of regularly renewed vintage items, as well as a selection of curated designer items. All of their clothing is selected on style, quality and comfort, which does mean that their items are a bit pricey sometimes. However, if you are looking for unique vintage clothing and accessories, this is a good place to go to! https://www.sweet-rebels.com/
At Donner you can find a broad selection of new, discounted and second hand books, magazines, cooking books, art books, and you can even have a cup of coffee and some snacks in their cafe while reading the book you have just bought. https://www.donner.nl/donner-nl-online-shopping-at-boekhandel-donner-boekhandel
Dille & Kamille
In the city centre, you can find Dille & Kamille, a store where you can buy beautiful kitchen supplies, plants, dishes, candles, soaps, towels, teapots, and much more. The perfect store to buy gifts that are not only very aesthetically pleasing but that are also actually useful! Or treat yourself and buy some cups, wooden cutting boards or dried flowers! https://www.dille-kamille.nl/winkels/rotterdam/?gclid=CjwKCAjwn8SLBhAyEiwAHNTJbaWOzlQMikewKlnXK3StQERRS2f0zF_RtjwmMkp3TjcJQ52FVmZhRRoCymUQAvD_BwE
Depot Boijmans van Beuningen
On the 6th of November the Boijmans van Beuningen Depot will finally open its doors for visitors. In the Depot, the museum’s entire art collection will be displayed. Further, the Depot will offer visitors a behind the scenes view of how a museum works. “Fourteen compartments are fitted with shelves, racks and cabinets for all different kinds of artworks. There are compartments for paintings, metal objects, organic and non-organic materials, and black-and-white and colour photography.” From the stairs, lift and the circulation route, visitors can see the art works from a variety of angels, and when accompanied by a guide, visitors can also enter a storage compartment. https://www.boijmans.nl/en
Sonneveld House is one of the best-preserved houses in the Nieuwe Bouwen, or Dutch Functionalist style. The villa was designed in 1933 for Albertus Sonneveld, a director of the Van Nelle Factory (another Functionalist icon). In this villa, architecture, interior and furnishing are perfectly coordinated. The architecture, light, interior choices and atmosphere make this villa a must visit for anyone who likes design and good aesthetics! https://www.sonneveldhouse.com/tour
With its regularly changing exhibitions, the Kunsthal is able to offer crossovers between various art disciplines. At the Kunsthal you can currently visit these three exhibitions:
- DEEP IN VOGUE- CELEBRATING BALLROOM CULTURE
- DRUMMIES- ALICE MANN
- MAGNETIC NORTH - IMAGINING CANADA IN PAINTING 1910-1940
The Nederlands Fotomuseum wants to exhibit photography that reflects the world we live in and share it with society, to enrich people’s lives with visual stories that matter. They want to “bring the photography of the past to the present, in order to understand the present and conquer the future.” I would recommend visiting the EREGALERIJ, in 99 photos this gallery tells the story of photography in the Netherlands from 1842 to the present day. https://www.nederlandsfotomuseum.nl/en/
Kino is my favourite cinema in Rotterdam, it screens a nice selection of both arthouse movies and blockbusters, and its cafe is the perfect spot to meet your friend for a drink before the movie, or after, or even both! On the 21st of October the newest Wes Anderson, The French Dispatch, starring Timothee Chalamet, premiered at Kino. if you’re an Anderson fan, go check this one out!
The Erasmus Sustainability Hub offers weekly vegan cooking workshops and gardening sessions, and regularly hosts clothing swaps. A good way to meet some new people, gain some new skills and to be active! Check out their Instagram to be updated on upcoming events and activities. https://www.eshub.nl/
Poing Arcade and Karaoke
At Poing you can travel back to the past for a classic games night out. It's the perfect spot to hang out with a group who loves to play arcade games such as Pandora’s Box, Pacman, Time Crisis, Sega Racer, Dance Dance Revolution, Pong, Catch the light, Airhockey, video arcade games and many more! Not only can you play games together, you can also rent their karaoke room and release your inner Britney Spears, ABBA or Beyonce! And after singing and playing games, you can grab a bite at their vegan sushi restaurant! https://poing-arcade.nl/
Unfortunately, I was unable to elaborate on all of my favourite spots and activities in this article, therefore I will include a few more spots, which you can discover yourself!
Bars/Clubs: MONO, Bird, Worm, Annabel, Perron & Concerts (Roodkapje, Rotown, Bird, Annabel, Popronde Rotterdam).
Food: Poing, Ijswinkel, KumZits, Holy Ravioli, Old Scuolav & Little V.
(Sustainable) Shopping: Episode, Cheap Fashion, Het Goed, Swap Shop, WAAR & Market at Binnenrotte & Noord.
Activities: art or music course as SKVR, Workout classes EUR & Pingpong at Laurenskerk or Industriegebous (if you want to play, dm me @stellaoort) :)