Rotterdam is divided into 14 stadsdelen (boroughs) and towns, each with their own history, culture and atmosphere. Some of the more popular neighbourhoods in Rotterdam are:
This is the absolute city center, where you will find most of the hotels. It’s also the area that was heavily bombed during the Nazi air raid of 1940, so do not expect a lot of historical buildings from the Dutch golden ages. Some top tourist attractions that can be found in the Stadsdriehoek are the Markthal, the cube houses and the Maritime Museum.
The Oude Westen (Old West) is one of the most diverse neighbourhoods of Rotterdam and has several unique districts on it’s own. Two main cultural arteries run through the neigborhood, the West-Kruiskade and the Nieuwe Binnenweg. The West-Kruiskade, close to the Central Station, is famous for it’s multicultural vibe. When you enter the street you’ll notice a lot of Chinese owned businesses, which makes the street also the center of Rotterdam’s Chinatown.
Delfshaven is one of the oldest parts of Rotterdam. That’s basically because Delfshaven used to be a town on it’s own and grew around the port of the city of Delft. That city itself was not located on a major river, so in 1389 a harbour was created about 10 kilometres due south of the city, to be able to receive seafaring vessels. This settlement was named Delfshaven (“Port of Delft”).
Kralingen is probably one of the most popular neighbourhoods of Rotterdam. It’s also one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods of Rotterdam, at least, the eastern part is. Basically you can divide Kralingen into three parts. East for the well-to-do, center for the students and west for the working class. Eventhough there is ofcourse the inevitable gentrification going on and housing prices are on the rise.
Not really a neigbourhood, but a sort of small peninsula, the Wilhelminapier is a highrise hotspot. It’s basically just a small piece of land with two main streets and 4 alleys between them. Doesn’t sound too fancy, but believe us, it’s an interesting place to stay. The Wilhelminakade, the northern quay, used to be the place where large ocean liners would leave for the United States and became the country’s symbol of emigration. The quay is also the location of Rotterdam’s cruise terminal.
For more info on these neighbourhoods, visit our neighbourhoods page.