Spring is the time when the city of Rotterdam wakes up from its winter sleep: the trees and flowers are crisp green and blossoming, there’s more daylight to enjoy in the evenings and its slowly getting warmer, so you can enjoy the first rays of sun on your face.

It should be no surprise that during spring there’s plenty to do in Rotterdam. You can discover lush green parks and have a picnic with local snacks, stroll around the markets as well as the vibrant city centre or take cover from a spring shower in one of Rotterdam’s many museums. These are some of our favourite things to do in Rotterdam in spring.

Marvel at flowers in bloom

The famous Keukenhof gardens are 1.5 hours away from Rotterdam by public transport. If that is too far for you, there’s plenty of opportunities in the harbour city to see the famous Dutch tulips as well as other beautiful flower arrangements. The Trompenburg Botanical Garden is a hidden gem for plant lovers just outside the city centre of Rotterdam in Kralingen.

The beautifully designed garden spans over 8 hectares and is home to a large collection of perennials, bulbs, trees, shrubs and tubers. First established in 1820, the garden nowadays has many different areas such as the Botanical Cacti House full of succulents, a collection of more than 700 different types of Rhododendrons, and an English-style landscape garden. You can also sit down to enjoy a cup of tea and warm sunshine in the Teahouse ‘De Uithoek.’

Cruise around the harbour

A river cruise is always a great option to explore a port city, as it will show you the city's highlights from a different perspective. This one hour cruise takes you right through Rotterdam’s centre along the Nieuwe Maas. This route gives you the best view of some of the city’s iconic architectural monuments.

Accompanied by a live guide, you’ll learn all about the famous SS Rotterdam that lies in the harbour, the Erasmus Bridge, the Witte Huis as well as the dark red Willems Bridge. All while sitting back and relaxing, giving your feet a break from a long day of sightseeing.

Relax on the local terraces

The city truly comes to life as soon as the sun comes out and evenings become longer. In Rotterdam you will find inviting terraces all over the city, be it right in the heart of the city, on top of the futuristic skyscrapers or hidden away in some of the historical streets.

An example of a fun place to visit on a nice spring day is the Bierkaai, a pub from brewery Vet & Lazy. There are picnic tables outside, and comfortable chairs and sofas inside, as well as 15 different beers on tap. Another bonus is that the pub is conveniently located on the waterfront of the Nieuwe Maas, guaranteeing you the best view over the water on a bright spring day.

Another great option to enjoy your drinks and food with a view is travelling up to the top of the Euromast. Not only will you have the most spectacular view over Rotterdam, you can also dine, have lunch or high tea or wine at ‘De Brasserie’ at a height of 112 meters and with a 360 degrees panorama view.

Explore Blijdorp Zoo

Diergaarde Blijdorp provides the perfect opportunity on a sunny spring day to take a trip around the world in just a few hours. Discover extraordinary and exotic animals from Asia, Africa and North America while discovering the natural beauty of the different continents. See giraffes and zebras roam the plains, marvel at impressive tigers and take a walk through the Netherlands’ largest aquarium, the Oceanium, with its many different species such as sea turtles, penguin and sharks.

The Zoo is also involved in a number of conservation projects in the wild and contributes to breeding programs for endangered species. It is one of the most involved zoos worldwide in this field, and focuses on rare animals such a black rhinos, Komodo dragons, Egyptian tortoises and red pandas.

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Take a Walking Tour

A walking tour is the ideal occasion to explore the city and enjoy spring. With tours from (almost) Free Walking Tour Rotterdam you get to see the city through the eyes of a local and experience it in a unique way through the combination of history and modern architecture. The tour is tip-based, so you can pay your guide whatever the tour was worth to you.

The walking tour covers everything you need to know about Rotterdam. From when it was founded as a small fisherman’s village 800 years ago to the devastating impact the city suffered through bombardments during World War II to how Rotterdam became the largest harbour in Europe and how the city’s modern and futuristic skyline was created.

Explore Rotterdam’s parks

As soon as the sun comes out, Rotterdammers are very likely to be found at one of the city’s many parks. Despite the modern architecture of the city, it is surprisingly green – around 20% of the city surface are green areas. Here you cannot only exercise, take walks and relax but also enjoy a picnic or barbeque.

One of the most popular parks in Rotterdam is Het Park. Conveniently located at the Euromast, this English landscape style-inspired park is the ideal location for a picnic on a sunny day. For a fascinating view over the city you can also go to Dakpark. This park is located at a height of 9 meters, so you will have a spectacular view over the harbours and futuristic architecture of Rotterdam.

Discover Rotterdam in spring

Seek shelter in museums

Rotterdam’s many museums are the perfect way to escape a rainy and gloomy spring day. Whether you’re interested in history, modern art or Rotterdam’s maritime history, the city’s cultural scene is large and caters to every taste. Here you can read all about our favourite museums in the city.

Explore different cultures and take a fascinating trip around the world at the Wereldmuseum, marvel at various changing exhibitions at the Kunsthal Rotterdam or discover hundreds of objects telling the story of how Rotterdam became one of the biggest port cities in the world and all about its connection to the sea at the Maritime Museum.