Want to plan a visit with kids and looking for a new destination? Born and raised in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, I can highly recommend this upcoming city. After a visit last week, I really need to inform you about my love for this city. You think it’s only fun for a romantic weekend or a getaway with friends? No way! Rotterdam has a lot of options if you want to have a short family trip. Here are some ideas that will get you mostly on and off the beaten track:
Day 1: Iconic eye catchers of Rotterdam
Start the day with the fantastic Hotel New York (HNY) for breakfast or brunch. This used to be the former office building of the Holland America Lines and has been national heritage site since 2000. Here you already have a beautiful view of the Erasmus bridge, locally know as ‘the Swan’, and the skyline of Rotterdam.
To experience the largest port of Europe, hop on the watertaxi from HNY to the Oude Haven. At your arrival you can see where the first high-rise building of Europe was built in 1898. From there take a five minute walk to see a unique peace of architect at the ‘Cube houses‘ and visit Rotterdams’ newest tourist and local highlight; the Markthal.
On the second part of the day hop op the watertaxi again to the Euromast. Here you’ll get a great look of Rotterdam from above. From there, walk to the nice citypark and get a tea/coffee at the kids-friendly Parqiet .
Ready for dinner? A few minutes away you will find the departure point for a pancake cruise. This will show you the grand tour along the skyline and port of Rotterdam with a kids friendly meal.
DAY 2: Relax and Enjoy!
After all the sightseeing of the first day, you’re probably planning a more relaxed day. Let me take you to my home neighbourhood, ‘ Kralingen’, it is absolutely my favourite.
Start with some breakfast at the coolest high quality kids cafe you have ever seen. Since February 2017 ‘Juffrouw van Zanten’ is the new hot spot which combines kids friendliness with a delicious menu for everyone. These places are very rare, I promiss you. Another option is the cafe ‘ Thuisch’ in Kralingen. Also a very nice cafe with a massive playroom inside and outside playground.
After that take a look at a kids store Dattie & Die, and move on to relax at the ‘Kralingse bos’. You will enter a huge recreational park, where you can easily spend a whole day. Take some picnic gear with you or have a lunch or coffee at one of the cafe’s. Cafe ‘de Tuin’ has an outside playground. If you want to do something with the kids besides walking along the lake, don’t miss out on the other fun things to do. Here are some options:
- Beach at the lake
- Toddler pool (is fantastic on hot summer days!)
- Kids farm
- Climbing-Fun Parc
DAY 3: Can’t choose. Both are great!
Want to spend your final day at one place? Here are two options that are equally worth a visit.
Visit the recreational park of Plaswijck on a good or a bad weather day. The park currently consists of Speelwijck (play area), Dierenwijck (animal area) and Wandelwijck (walking area). In the event of bad weather, enjoy the House on the Hill, a giant playhouse where kids can jump on a trampoline beds in the bedroom, squirt bubble bath in the bathroom and crawl and climb through the secret tunnels and passageways. Animals from around the globe live in Dierenwijck, including monkeys, owls, lynxes and goats. Wandelwijck offers various places to relax, including the English Garden and the Picnic Meadow. Plaswijck Park also has a restaurant with a terrace where drinks and (healthy) snacks are served.
This is by far one of Europe’s most beautiful zoos. While wandering through different parts of the world, you will discover and encounter the most amazing and countless animals. Take a look at the amazon where crocodiles swim, see the elephants and visit the one cave where you can see polar bears. Furthermore there is a gorilla island and savanna. But one of the most iconic features of the parc is ‘Oceanium’. You will meet many marine and coastal animals as sharks, turtles and king penguins in a 22 meters long tunnel.
Still not convinced or some time left? In the near area of Rotterdam there are also places worth a visit. The beach is just 20-30 minutes away by car or train and ‘Kinderdijk‘ is world famous for its windmills.
Can’t wait to see your feedback about this and above all, enjoy!! ❤