Gay Rotterdam • Essential Guide

First time in Rotterdam? Then our essential guide for gay travellers is for you.

Rotterdam tourist info featured


The “World Port World City” Rotterdam is a renowned for its port – one of the largest in the world. But the city’s appeal extends well beyond the ships and quays.

This is a young, dynamic city and the second largest in the Netherlands. The cultural melting pot of Rotterdam’s 173 different nationalities contribute to a cosmopolitan, liberal atmosphere.

The city’s rapid pace of growth has seen the skyline transformed in recent years. Spectacular skyscrapers now sit alongside historic port buildings, famous museums and world class shopping districts.

There is an almost endless choice of restaurants, cafés and pubs along with a friendly gay scene.


Gay Rights in The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a world leader in terms of liberal policies towards and public acceptance of the LGBT community.  For more information click here.


Getting to Rotterdam

Rotterdam is served by two airports – Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport and Rotterdam The Hague Airport.

Amsterdam Schipol is the country’s major international hub. The airport has a direct rail connection to Rotterdam city center. The journey time is just 27 minutes. There is also excellent road connections between the airport and city.

Rotterdam The Hague Airport is just a 15 minute car or taxi ride from Rotterdam city center, or 20 to 25 minutes by public transport.

Rotterdam also has excellent sea connections with the UK. Stena Line run services from Harwich in Essex to Hook of Holland, just 30 minutes by car from Rotterdam

High-speed rail services connect Rotterdam with Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels and Paris.


Getting around Rotterdam

Public Transport

The city has an extensive public transport network comprising of metro, tram and bus lines all operated by RET.  You will need a pre-paid OV-Chipkaart (“Public Transport chip card”) for your travels.


Rotterdam is extremely bicycle-friendly and it is usually the fastest way to get around the city. Bicycle lanes have been added to most major streets along with separate traffic lights for bicyclists. Most hotels will be able to help you with renting a bicycle for your stay.


Rotterdam Welcome Card

Worth considering is the Rotterdam Welcome Card. The card is also a OV-Chipkaart  valid for 1, 2 or 3 days of unlimited travel on all metro, tram and bus lines in the RET public network .

You also get a helpful 25% discount or more at 50 attractions, museums and restaurants.


Where to Stay

For our list of recommended hotels for gay tourists, visit the Gay Rotterdam Hotels page.


Things to See & Do

Feyenoord Statium – home to football club Feyenoord.  Check out the silverware and take a trip through the history of the club and this famous stadium.

Diegraarde Blijdorp – one of Europe’s most breathtaking zoos home to sharks, king penguins, turtles, elephants, gorilla’s, snakes and more. Open seven days a week.

Markthal – a brand new, stunning covered market full of shops, restaurants & cafés. The internal arch features one of the largest artworks in Europe.

Euromast – for a great view of the city ride up 185 metres to the top of the Euromast. Open daily

Maritiem Museum – world-class museum showcasing Rotterdam’s maritime history.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen – Bosch, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Dali and more – a journey through art history.

Splashtours – Jump on a bus. It takes a wrong turn and you end up in the river.  Actually, the bus is a seaworthy vessel and the trip will take along the spectacular Maas River.

SS Rottterdam – Explore the biggest ocean steamer every built in the Netherlands.

Chabot Museum – home to one of the most important collections of Dutch expressionist painters, Henk Chabot.

Het Nieuwe Instituut – architecture, design and e-culture collection of drawing, models and an “ultra-modern” home designed in 1933.



Unlike many other cities in the Netherlands, most of the shops in downtown Rotterdam are open seven days a week. Most shops open at 10am, except on Sundays and Mondays when they open at midday. Most close at 6pm (Friday 9pm)



Netherlands is part of the Euro zone. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted.


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