Rotterdam is home to some of the most amazing architecture and street art in the Netherlands. It’s one of the most liveable and child-friendly Dutch cities, as well. Recently I’ve spent a weekend there with my son, and we have discovered some great things to do in Rotterdam with kids.
Rotterdam with kids
You can visit Rotterdam on a day trip from Amsterdam or some other Dutch city. But, to get its great vibe (which is one of my favourite parts of Rotterdam), I would recommend you to spend the whole weekend there. There are so many fun things to do in Rotterdam with kids, you’ll have plenty to choose from.
Where to stay in Rotterdam with kids
But, first things first, let’s talk about where to stay in Rotterdam with kids. I’ve visited this city many times and have stayed in different hotels. However, the most child-friendly hotel in Rotterdam was absolutely a hotel-ship SS Rotterdam. I’ve stayed there with my son, and we just loved it. Not only it was our hotel, but we also explored it on tour and learned more about the way ships were navigated. We also enjoyed playing in its Playmobile room.
What & where to eat in Rotterdam with kids
Rotterdam has a great foodie scene, and many of its restaurants are child-friendly. I love the Market Hall, a large closed market located right in the city centre. Many stalls are selling all kind of street food, fruit, vegetables, typical Dutch products and sweets. When I was there the last time we’ve tried some Italian pastries at ‘Arjaa’s’ stall, and they were delicious.
You can find there some typical Dutch cheese and try many different varieties of it. Probably the most famous Dutch cookies are the stroopwafels, and there is a stall only dedicated to them at the Market Hall.
The restaurant we’re usually going to is Jamie’s Italian. Besides great food, kids always get something to play with, and a selection of children meals is excellent.
Pancakes are really popular in the Netherlands, as well. There are many restaurants only selling pancakes in Rotterdam, so visit to one of them could be a great thing to do in Rotterdam with kids. However, if you would like to have an exceptional experience while there, then going on a Pancake Boat could be something to do (you can read more about it on a link here).
*TIP: If you would like to explore the Dutch food more during your time in Rotterdam, join some of the food tours organised there. Take a look on a link here for more info.
Things to do in Rotterdam with kids
# – Miniworld Rotterdam
Located only five minutes walk away from Rotterdam Central Station, this is a place where kids will feel like the giants wandering through Rotterdam. They can explore the miniature world of Rotterdam and see its architecture, fast trains and its busy port on a smaller scale. Since it’s an indoor activity, it could be a great thing to do during the bad weather (that’s unfortunately common in Rotterdam).
*Online ticket: click here / Opening hours: Wed – Fri: 12 PM – 5 PM, Sat – Sun: 10 AM – 5 PM / Address: Weena 745, 3013 AL Rotterdam
*TIP: Get Rotterdam Welcome Card! During our weekend in Rotterdam, we got the Welcome Cards that provided us with free public transport and discounts at many sights, activities and restaurants. I’m definitely recommending them during your visit to Rotterdam with kids. Click here for more info!
# – Rotterdam Zoo
If your kids love animals, then visiting Rotterdam Zoo could be a great thing to do. It is probably the best zoo in the Netherlands, and among some of the most beautiful ones in Europe. My favourite part of it is an aquarium, where you’re walking through the glass tunnel and are surrounded by fish swimming around you.
*Online ticket: click here / Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 9 AM – 6 PM / Address: Blijdorplaan 8, 3041 JG Rotterdam
# – Cube Houses
The Cube Houses in Rotterdam are among some of the most famous buildings in the Netherlands. Bright yellow houses were built in the shape of a cube and tilled over by 45 degrees. One of them is turned into a museum, so you can visit it and see how living in one of those tilled houses looks like. It was one of the highlights of our trip to Rotterdam.
*Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 9 AM – 6 PM / Address: Overblaak 70, 3011 MH Rotterdam
# – Splashtour
If you would like to explore the city of Rotterdam in a fun way, then joining one of the Splashtours is a must. You will start your tour on a bus, riding around Rotterdam. But, then at one point, the bus is going to enter the water (with a loud splash), and it’s going to continue as a sea vessel. A tour on this amphibian bus is a unique way to explore Rotterdam with kids.
*Online ticket: click here / Operating hours: Tue – Sun: 9 AM – 5:15 PM/ Address: Parkhaven 9, 3016 GM Rotterdam
# – Rotterdam harbour cruise
However, if you would like to explore the biggest port of Europe more, then Spido boat tours could be a great thing to do. Each cruise lasts for approximately 75 minutes. You’re going to hear about its maritime history and see some important historic ships, as well. Often you’ll also see cargo being unloaded from some of the huge ships that just arrived at the port.
I went on this Rotterdam harbour cruise a few times already. And each time it feels like I sailed right to the Discovery Channel’s documentary.
*TIP: If you would like to get a great view on Rotterdam’s harbour, and the city in general climb the Euromast Tower.
# – Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum is one of my favourite places in Rotterdam. It has an indoor exhibition area with many interesting exhibits. But, you’ll also find many old vessels, port cranes and light trains outside of it, in an old harbour of Rotterdam. The whole museum is child-friendly and interactive. It’s a must place to visit during your trip to Rotterdam with kids.
*Online ticket: click here / Opening hours: Tue – Sat: 10 AM – 5 PM, Sun: 11 AM – 5 PM / Address: Leuvehaven 1, 3011 EA Rotterdam
# – Kids Marina
Since Rotterdam is a city on water, naturally there are many activities organised on it. However, the one that’s probably the most exciting to children is Kids Marina. They can choose the boat they like and navigate it themselves then. Check out their website for more info.
*Opening hours: Sat: 11 AM – 3 PM / Address: Leuvehaven 1A
# – Explore some street art
Famous for its street and public art, exploring some of it in Rotterdam could be a great thing to do with kids. You’re going to find street art all over the city, but there are certain areas where the majority of murals and statues are. Exploring some of them will make your walk around Rotterdam even more interesting.
*Free activity / For locations, check out the Rewriters App.
A day trip from Rotterdam with kids
Would you like to prolong your stay and go on a day trip from Rotterdam with kids during it? I have a recommendation for it, as well! Kinderdijk is a Dutch village famous for its beautiful historic 18th-century windmills. You can visit it on a round trip by boat from Rotterdam (more info here), or hop on a train and organise your visit yourself. Here is their official website where you can learn more about it.
With so many exciting things to do, Rotterdam is such a great city to visit with kids. From delicious food to try, exciting tours and some unusual architecture to explore, it’s definitely one of my favourite Dutch cities. Have you been to Rotterdam? Would you add any places to visit in Rotterdam with kids to this list? Let me know in the comments below!
*We were provided with free Rotterdam Welcome Cards by Rotterdam Partners during our stay. However, I’m genuinely recommending getting them during your time in Rotterdam.
*This post contains some affiliate links.