Rotterdam is a cosmopolitan, charming city located in the province of South Holland and is the country's second largest urban area after the capital, Amsterdam. Trains to Rotterdam arrive at the modern main station, Rotterdam Centraal, which is also the point at which you can travel to other destinations in the Netherlands. Thanks to Trainline, getting to and from Rotterdam has never been easier.
Most trains to Rotterdam from around Europe arrive at the city's ultra-modern Rotterdam Central station. From here, you can head out to explore an array of attractions. The city boasts the largest port in Europe as well as a range of fantastic museums, hip bars and clubs, and a wealth of interesting architecture. Don't miss the majestic city hall or the iconic Erasmus Bridge, named after the Dutch Renaissance scientist and philosopher. Rotterdam is well-connected to domestic destinations such as Amsterdam and The Hague, and also enjoys direct services to international cities including Brussels, Antwerp, Paris, and London. Train journeys from London to Rotterdam take roughly three hours when travelling with Eurostar. Alternatively, spend some time meandering the boulevards of Paris or medieval squares of Brussels before taking one of the many trains to Rotterdam.
1. Markthal: This modern market hall is open every day of the week and sells fresh food, deli items, and plenty more. It's an excellent example of modern Dutch engineering and is a favourite place for both locals and visitors, particularly on weekends.
2. Nederlands Fotomuseum: Located near the Wilhelminaplein metro station, this national photo museum exhibits many types of photography, from the purely artistic to social commentary and photo-journalism.
3. Windmills: Windmills are one of the icons of the Netherlands, and Rotterdam has plenty of them. A couple of the best are De Ster and De Lelie, which are open on the second Saturday of every month.
4. Maritime Museum: Rotterdam is famous for its port. The Maritime Museum documents both the local and national importance of the country's seafaring history. There is also an outdoor area which you can enjoy on a sunny Dutch afternoon.
5. Centraal Station Rotterdam: Thanks to a full recent renovation, the station is one of the city's most interesting architectural designs. Besides solar panels and preserved historical elements, you can also enjoy plenty of stores, spots to eat or, you could just admire the building itself.
Trains from London to Rotterdam are numerous and convenient. Eurostar now operates a direct service between London St Pancras International and Rotterdam Central Station. The service leaves London bound for Amsterdam, with Rotterdam as one of the latter stops along the way. The train also calls at Lille, Brussels, and Antwerp before arriving in Rotterdam. Eurostar services offer customers a comfortable journey with wide seats and plenty of leg room, plus an onboard cafe where you can purchase snacks or beverages. As direct train services are limited, it's also possible to travel to Rotterdam with a change in Brussels. You can take the Eurostar to Brussels and then change to either an InterCity Express (ICE) train service or a French-operated Thalys service from Brussels-Midi station. If you do opt for the service with a change, the total journey time between the two cities is 3h 31 min. If you wanted to include a brief or extended stop in Paris, it's possible to take a Eurostar service to the French capital and then continue your journey north with a high-speed Thalys train.
Rotterdam is served by one major railway station known as Rotterdam Centraal or Rotterdam Central Station. Historically, Rotterdam had 4 small stations instead of one large hub. However, after the Second World War a unified station was built and the current incarnation, which was opened in 2014, still stands on the same site today. The station was also home to the first metro line in the country. The line, known as line D, is still in operation and connects the station with the south of Rotterdam. Rotterdam is one of The Netherlands' four biggest stations and handles a significant amount of traffic—over 110,00 passengers pass through the station each day. Rotterdam Centraal is connected to all major Dutch cities including Amsterdam, The Hague, Eindhoven, Leiden, and Utrecht. Over 14 trains a day also connect Rotterdam with international destinations to the south such as Antwerp, Brussels, and Paris. There is also a direct service which operates between London and Rotterdam. However, there are no direct services in the opposite direction (trains from Rotterdam-London) and passengers must transfer in Amsterdam or Brussels for the return leg.