There's much more to the Netherlands then windmills and tulips, as you'll find out if you decide to take a holiday in Rotterdam. This wonderful city is home to many cultural museums – find out about Rotterdam's history in the Het Schielandshuis. A visit to the observation area of the Euromast is a must – you'll be awestruck by the beautiful views of the whole city. Football fans will go mad for a stadium tour around De Kuip – it's the home of the national team and Feyenoord. If you fancy a bite to eat, head towards Chinatown for a delicious meal.
You can purchase direct flights to Rotterdam via Air France and KLM and you'll fly out from London City. If you're willing to pay extra for indirect flights then you'll have a choice of many more UK airports and airlines – keep in mind that it's considerably more and therefore not suitable if you're on a tight budget. If you decide to take a holiday in Rotterdam you'll fly into Rotterdam The Hague Airport which is situated around five kilometres from the centre of the city.
You'll have plenty of options available to you when you want to make your way to your accommodation from the airport. RandstadRail is a high-speed train that goes straight into Rotterdam Central Station. Alternatively you can take the slower, national NS train service into the city and surrounding areas. In order to travel on public transport, it's essential that you purchase an OV-Chipkaart. Tourists can buy an anonymous OV-Chipkaart for €7.50 from ticket machines in all metro and train stations. Alternatively you can catch the bus into the city centre – just make sure you check the timetables.
Luckily there's no shortage of cheap hotels in Rotterdam on offer – you just have to make sure you book well in advance to ensure you get the best deal. Early April to mid-may are extremely popular months to visit as tourists are eager to see the tulip season in full bloom. If you're not too fussed try to avoid this time if you're on a budget – prices can be steeper than usual.
Eating out is the highlight of any trip away and a holiday in Rotterdam is no different. The city's full of amazing restaurants but unfortunately some of them come at a price. If you're sticking to a tight budget try to stay away from restaurants specifically aimed at tourists. Instead venture off down the side streets to where the locals enjoy their evening meal – you'll be amazed at the money you can save. Cheese lovers should be sure to sample Dutch cheese especially edam and gouda.
One of the nicest and quickest way to travel around during your holiday in Rotterdam is by hiring a bike. The city is very cycle-friendly and there's even separate traffic lights for cyclists – just make sure you avoid the tram lines and don't get your wheels stuck! If cycling isn’t your thing, you can stick with the reliable public transport. Planning on seeing lots of sights during your trip? It's worth investing in a 'Rotterdam Welcome Card'. The card entitles you to free unlimited transport as well as discounts at more than 50 attractions.
Updated 23rd July 2014
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