If you’re visiting the Netherlands, you are most likely making a stop in Rotterdam. Rotterdam is the second largest city in the country, after Amsterdam, and one of the largest sea ports in the world. As one would expect, the large amount of locals and tourists causes the city to have many historic sites, restaurants and other entertainment options. However, if you are looking to remain in Rotterdam but still visit other sites in The Netherlands, you are in luck. Two of the most famous tourist destination in the Netherlands are both located within thirty minutes of Rotterdam, making both locations an easy day trip so that you can enjoy both the city of Rotterdam, and the other surrounding areas.
During our time in Rotterdam we did a little exploring further afield and realized just how much you could see in a day trip outside of the city. And as much as we loved Rotterdam, it was great to see other surrounding areas. Luckily for us, the train station was directly across from the Manhattan Hotel, the wonderful hotel we we were staying in, so it was very easy to get from point A, the hotel, to point B, everywhere else.
The Hague is located just twenty minutes from Rotterdam and is considered to be part of the same metropolitan area. The Hague is the location for all of the important government happenings in The Netherlands, as it contains the seat of the Dutch government and parliament, the Supreme Court and the Council of State. However, visitors should know that although The Hague is the capital of the province of South Holland, the constitutional capital of The Netherlands is Amsterdam.
The city is perfect for political enthusiasts, as this is where the foreign embassies are located, including the International Criminal Court, which makes The Hague one of the cities that hosts the United Nations. Therefore, while you are exploring the city and visiting its multiple historical sites, keep your eye out for royals and diplomats.
If you are visiting The Hague in the warmer months, be sure to visit Scheveningen Beach. The beach contains a pier, a lighthouse and a boardwalk, so there is plenty of things to do and see. Additionally, the beach is known for its water sports, so while you are not shopping or exploring, you can take a water adventure such as jet skiing or para-sailing.
The city of Dordrecht is also located less than thirty minutes away. Dordrecht is the oldest city in the Netherlands, and thus makes it a favorite tourist attraction for history lovers. The first people began to settle Dordrecht, known by the locals as Dordt, in 1042, meaning that there is over one thousand years of history to be explored!
The first must see tourist stop is Groothoofdspoort, the former city gate. The setting alone is beautiful, as it is located where the three rivers of the city meet. Originally, this was where all of the foreign visitors and diplomats would enter the city, and was the site of attempted invasion for centuries, as one could expect, this location has lots of stories to tell, and when you visit you should invest in a good tour guide to help bring this historical site to life.
In addition to locations, Dordrecht has events and festivals throughout the year, hosting a total of twenty, and if you are planning to visit the city, you should visit when a festival that involves something that you are interested in is taking place. For engineers, you should try to visit during the Dordt in Stoom (Dordt in Steam) festival which occurs every other year. This is the largest steam event in Europe, with steam boats, steam trains and every other steam object you could imagine.
Dordt also hosts the Wantijfestival in the second week of June. This is a large outdoor music festival and attracts tens of thousands of people each summer. So, if you love culture, music, and meeting new people, this is the festival for you!
Rotterdam, like all of The Netherlands, is beautiful. However, if you want to see more outside of the city, The Hauge and Dordrecht are definite must sees.
Any recommendations for other places to see in a Day from Rotterdam?