Flights to Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the Netherlands’ second largest city and the largest port in Europe. For several decades it was also the world’s busiest port. Rotterdam has some excellent architecture to enjoy plus a mix of museums and other cultural attractions.
Rotterdam the Hague Airport (airport code: RTM) is the third largest airport in the Netherlands and handles more than a million passengers each year. Even so, there are only a few flights to Rotterdam when coming from Johannesburg. Egyptair has a 2-stop flight that goes through Cairo and then London, or a flight to Rotterdam with Virgin Atlantic will stop in Nairobi and then also London. In both cases, you’ll have to transfer to a different airport in London, so a better option might be to find a flight to Amsterdam and travel via car or public transport from there to Rotterdam (a distance of about 60km).
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The Tourist Attractions of Rotterdam:
Rotterdam has a very extensive collection of museums, making this a culturally rich city; add to this the monuments, historic buildings, churches, windmills, and gardens, and Rotterdam has plenty of attractions to fill a visit of a week or more.
Museums in Rotterdam
Among the museums is the Maritime Museum which is a good visit for anyone interested in the history of this port city and the harbour. Not only are there indoor exhibits but the museum also includes a restored 19th century gunboat outside which is particularly fun for children and naval enthusiasts.
Het Schielandshuis is a good visit for anyone more interested in the general history of Rotterdam, while the Museum De Dubbelde Palmboom again focuses on Rotterdam’s development into the major port it is today.
If trains and railways are more your thing Rotterdam has a couple of museums for you too. The SSN Museumstoomdepot is the city’s steam depot museum and it features old steam locomotives and often has train rides. The Railz Miniworld is another attraction that rail enthusiasts will enjoy – it’s the largest indoor model railway layout of The Netherlands.
Other museums in Rotterdam also include the World Arts Museum, the Centre for Contemporary Arts, and the Natural History Museum.
Rotterdam also has a great mix of architectural styles and buildings from different periods of the city’s history. The City Hall is one of the city’s major landmarks and it was built in 1914 in an art deco style. The building is still in use by the city today so you’re free to enter the public areas and have a look around.
Around the city Rotterdam has seven windmills, though there used to be many more than this. Only two of these are regularly open to visitors and they are De Ster and De Lelie Windmills. Historic churches include one that dates from 1417 and is called the Pilgimfathers’ Church because it was from here that pilgrims set sail for the new world.
Rotterdam Zoo is one of the city’s top tourist attractions and it’s been in operation since 1857. The natural habitats are nicely done, while the Oceanarium is a popular feature.
Arboretum Trompenburg is an attractive arboretum that dates back to 1820 and has some walking trails that take you around the trees, shrubs and plants, while Botanische Tuin Kralingen is a small but beautiful botanical garden.
When Should You Visit?:
Rotterdam has a mild climate with rainfall possible at any time of the year. Summers are cooler than some other cities at this latitude – the average high in August is only 22C, but August is one of les rainy months so a good time to visit.