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Rotterdam: Day trips and leisure tips for students

30. July 2021, TIPS, EXPLORE, INFO

Modern architecture, the unique harbor flair and a bustling business world with all kinds of art and culture: that is Rotterdam. In addition to an incredibly wide range of study opportunities, students can look forward to many leisure activities and, of course, one thing: the pleasant warmth and openness of the Dutch people. In our Rotterdam City Guide you can find out what there is to see and do in the city. But if you’re studying in Rotterdam, of course you shouldn’t miss out on the diversity of the Netherlands. We give you an overview of possible day trips and tips for your free time in your university life.

8 day trips from Rotterdam

One thing’s for sure: you won’t be bored if you end up in Rotterdam for your studies. The Netherlands is home to approximately 18 million people in an area that is about 11 percent the size of Germany. The distances are therefore manageable. On the other hand, the population density is relatively high. That’s why you can get to know many places and sights from Rotterdam and don’t even have to spend the night somewhere else. These are the day trips you should definitely put on your bucket list.

1. Delft

Right between Rotterdam and The Hague lies the small city of Delft. But you should definitely not underestimate it because of its size. It is world famous for a typical Dutch product: Delft ceramics or Delft Blue. The white porcelain with floral patterns and classic Dutch depictions in the typical blue can be found here on every corner. In the many ceramic manufactories you can admire this unique handicraft in all forms: stylish vases, pretty wall decor or ornate tableware. The most famous is the Royal Delft, which now functions as a museum. Here you’ll learn about the world of porcelain and a part of Dutch culture with guided tours and audio tours.

In addition, you should definitely pay a visit to the Nieuwe Kerk. From the tower, which is over 85 meters high, you have a phenomenal view over the entire area. In good weather, you can even see all the way to the coast and admire the city of The Hague.

Distance: about 15 kilometers

Province: South Holland

How to get there: Bicycle, public transport or car

2. The Hague / The Hague

If you continue west from Delft, you’ll end up in The Hague. The city is located directly on the North Sea coast and even has its own beach – but more about that later. In general, The Hague is associated with one topic in particular: politics. You’ve probably heard of the United Nations International Court of Justice, located in “Het Vredespaleis” in the city center. You should also visit the seat of the Dutch government, the so-called “Het Binnenhof” in The Hague. If you want to discover the small version of the Netherlands, you can do so in the miniature park Madurodam. You can also take a canal cruise and enjoy the atmosphere of the city from the water. On the Plein and in the area around the Grote Markt you will find a wide variety of restaurants and cafés that invite you to linger. In The Hague you can spend the whole day. A visit is therefore an absolute must if you are studying in the Netherlands.

Distance: about 25 kilometers

Province: South Holland

How to get there: public transport or car

3. Scheveningen

If you live in Rotterdam, you won’t be able to avoid Scheveningen. Because this part of The Hague inspires on warm as well as on cold days. The almost 5 kilometer long beach can be reached from the center of The Hague in only 20 minutes by streetcar. However, you won’t feel the hustle and bustle of the city here. As soon as you arrive, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation – that’s a promise! Swimming in the sea, extensive sunbathing and leisurely walks on the beach are all possible in Scheveningen. On the fine sandy beach you can really enjoy yourself. But also for the physical well-being is provided. On the promenade, one restaurant is lined up next to the other.

You can end the day here, enjoying freshly caught fish or a glass of wine in the evening sun. Not to forget: a ride on the Ferris wheel at “De Pier” with a direct view of the sea is also a must. But Scheveningen also has enough to offer in bad weather. For example, Sea Life Scheveningen invites you to visit it, especially on rainy days.

Distance: about 30 kilometers

Province: South Holland

How to get there: public transport or car

4. Leiden

A visit to the picturesque city of Leiden could feel like a trip back in time. Because the several centuries of history can be sensed at almost every corner. That’s why Leiden is an absolute must-see, especially for architecture fans. Highlights include Renaissance masterpieces such as the city hall and the country’s oldest university. Others come to Leiden to visit Rembrandt’s birthplace or one of the many museums, such as the Rijksmuseum Boerhaave or the Volkenkunde Museum. However, the city center is a museum in itself. Our tip: Leiden is a manageable student city. But you should still take enough time. Stroll through the charming old streets and let the overall picture take effect on you. In between, you can enjoy a meal in a café or restaurant – at student-friendly prices, of course.

Distance: about 35 kilometers

Province: South Holland

How to get there: public transport or car

5. Amsterdam

No question about it! The capital of the Netherlands definitely stands out. It is much more colorful than any other Dutch city. In addition to art and culture, you’ll find a particularly exciting nightlife here – and, of course, plenty of history. Even though Amsterdam is one of the most important economic centers of the country, the cityscape is still characterized by its history dating back to the 13th century. You can get all the important facts about history at the Amsterdam Museum. Another tourist magnet is the national museum called Rijksmuseum, which is not only recommended for art fans. Some special works are exhibited here, such as Rembrandt’s Night Watch. Right next to it is the Museumsplein with the Stedelijk Museum and the Van Gogh Museum. But instead of going on a museum marathon, you might as well go on a casual exploration. The best way to get to know the city is on foot, by bike or on a boat trip. You can admire the many narrow gabled houses and let your eyes wander over the water canals on one of the bridges. A canal trip is of course part of the program in Amsterdam! And if you are already excited, we must add: That is by far not all. That’s why you can plan several days for Amsterdam. If you don’t want to stay overnight, just make several day trips. Because from Rotterdam you need only 45 minutes by train to Amsterdam.

Distance: about 80 kilometers

Province: North Holland

How to get there: public transport

6. Dordrecht

For a nice day trip away from mass tourism we can highly recommend Dordrecht. The city’s history begins as early as the 13th century and you can still see that in Dordrecht today. If you are already there, you should definitely climb the Dordrecht Minster and admire the area from above. Also worth seeing is the Villa Augustus. The old water tower now houses a restaurant and hotel. Also, plan a ride on the famous whisper boat and explore the city by water. From Rotterdam, the water bus takes you directly to Dordrecht.

Distance: about 25 kilometers

Province: South Holland

How to get there: public transport, water bus or car

7. Gouda

If you’re thinking about cheese, you’re right. Because cheese actually originates in the city of Gouda. Accordingly, Gouda is all about milk and dairy products: various cheese tastings, a cheese market, a historic cheese scale and a museum. In addition, the cute old town has a special atmosphere to offer. Gouda is simply an absolute insider tip for relaxing days. If you like it more sporty, you can visit the city by bike.

Distance: about 22 kilometers

Province: South Holland

How to get there: public transport, bicycle or car.

8. Kinderdijk Windmills

When you think of the Netherlands, you think of tulip fields, cheese wheels and one more thing: windmills! The Kinderdijk Windmills are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making them one of the most famous in the country. Not for nothing do they adorn the motif of countless postcards. If you want to experience and visit the Kinderdijk Windmills for yourself, all you have to do is hop on a bike or hop on a boat. You can’t get more Dutch tradition in just one day!

Distance: about 15 kilometers

Province: South Holland

How to get there: public transport or car

As you can see, studying in Rotterdam is not only the perfect foundation for your professional future, but also has a high recreational value. But there are even more reasons to study in Rotterdam.