How to spend 12 hours in Rotterdam

Whether you’re on a cruise with a stop in Rotterdam or bouncing around the Netherlands, Rotterdam is a great place to spend the day!

On a recent 3-night cruise from Southampton, our itinerary included a stop in Rotterdam. While we originally planned to hang out on the ship, the weather so was nice we just had to go explore in the sunshine!

Here are the things we did to spend the day!

If you’re on a cruise, you’ll need to either take the ship’s shuttle to central Rotterdam (at a cost) or use the city’s public transportation to get there. If you prefer to do things the “local” way (like we do), the public transportation stop is pretty simple to find. Simple look for the large yellow “M” Indicating a Metro stop- Metro stop Wilhelminaplein, to be exact. We were surprised that many people were walking right past this stop, crossing the bridge and making the treck into town. We decided to go for it, as our directions proved this was the stop to take.
Sure enough, it’s the stop!
You’ll want to take this metro to Beurs, where you can connect to another metro or jump off to explore this area.

For our day, we chose to connect onto the east-bound metro, taking us over to the Blaak stop.

At this location are the coolest parts of Rotterdam!

The Yellow Cube Houses- yes people live here!

And the Markthal food hall- so cool and so many delicious options!
We stopped here for lunch and one of the famous stroopwafles, essentially a thinly sliced warm waffle with a thin layer of caramel in the middle.

After checking out the Cube House museum and exploring the fun shops of this area, we walked back to the metro station and got on the metro headed east- to the Delfshaven stop.

At this stop is Historic Delfshaven- the site of where the Pilgrims had their last religious service before heading to the New World. It’s along a charming canal lined with wooden boats- a wonderful sight on a sunny day.

If you have time, stop for a drink at one of the bars.

From here, we headed back to the ship for a few hours of relaxing in the solarium while we had the boat mostly to ourselves. There are lots of fabulous day-trips from Rotterdam but a little adventure on our own is just our style and we found interesting things to fill our day.

The best part- the metro is “contactless” meaning you can simply use your Apple/Google pay on your device to pay for your transportation fare!

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