In summer, Rotterdam is buzzing with life. From inviting terraces and bars to luscious green parks and unique city tours, Rotterdam in summer has plenty of amazing activities and sights to offer. Enjoy drinks in hip bars, marvel at the city’s gleaming modern architecture as well as green parks and see Rotterdam come to life when summer starts.

Cool off with Splashtours Rotterdam

A great way to escape some of the heat on a summer's day is by boarding of this unique tour and discover Rotterdam from both the water and the land – all on the same bus! Splashtours offers a truly unique way to discover the city. The amphibian bus takes you through the second largest city in the Netherlands, passing by some of Rotterdam’s best sights. The journey is enriched by a knowledgeable guide.

On land, you will see the modern architecture of the city, the Maas Harbour and cross the Erasmus Bridge. After some sightseeing on land, you will literally splash into the Nieuwe Maas and continue your tour on the water. Witness the hustle and bustle on the water and see sights such as the SS Rotterdam, the port of Rotterdam as well as the Erasmus Bridge from up close.

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Catch a wave at RIF010

From June 2024, Rotterdam will be home to a new world-first: a surf pool in the heart of the city. If a trip on the river isn't enough to cool you off, a visit to RIF010 will certainly do the job. Here everyone is welcome, young and old, beginner and pro, and everyone in between.

What started as a dream to make surfing more accessible to school kids in Rotterdam has become reality. The wave machine can be adjusted to suit those in the water, so when there are only pros in the water the waves will be bigger. Along with surfing, RIF010 also rents out canoes and SUPs, at specific times you can even take diving lessons in the basin, and, of course, there is a Surfbar to enjoy as well.

Celebrate the vibrant and colourful Rotterdam Carnival

Rotterdam is home to some of the Netherlands’ best festivals in summer! One of the biggest street festivals happening in July is the famous Rotterdam Unlimited that is happening all over the city. It takes over the streets and allows you to enjoy creative art and dance to amazing beats as over 180 different cultures come together to celebrate.

One of the highlights is the Summer Carnival, an offshoot of the Latin-American Carnival that is crowned with a colourful parade which has more than 2500 dancers from 25 carnival groups. This is the time and place to try new cuisines, meet new friends and indulge in some serious partying.

Top things to do during summer in Rotterdam

Have a picnic in the park

While Rotterdam may be known for its modern architecture, Rotterdam is also the greenest city in the Netherlands. Sitting in one of the many green park areas and enjoying some typical Dutch delicacies like stroopwafels or traditional Dutch cheese, is a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city centre and enjoy the summer. Some of the most popular parks are Het Park, the Vroesenpark and the Kralingse Bos.

Het Park can be found directly next to the Euromast and is very well maintained. Here, you can have a picnic directly in the city centre and with a gorgeous view. Vroesenpark is very popular and always busy, so perfect if you are looking for a buzzign atmosphere! The Kralingse Bos is located a little outside of the city centre but is a peaceful place to sit by the water and the perfect spot for watching the sunset in Rotterdam.

Visit the iconic Euromast Tower

To bring your visit to the next level, discover the city from above either from the Euromast tower’s 112 meter high viewing platform or the top of the tower at 185 meters. The iconic tower is an integral part of the Rotterdam skyline and the highest building open to public in the Netherlands.

Summer is the ideal time to visit the Euromast towers’s viewing platform. Because of the clear sky you will be able to see miles into the distance to surrounding cities such as Delft and The Hague or the North Sea and even Belgium! Take the most amazing pictures of the city and enjoy a refreshing drink with a view at the tower’s restaurant.

Hop from bar to bar

Rotterdam is famous for its vibrant and multicultural food scene! One of the most famous spots for enjoying a refreshing cocktail is Witte de Withstraat where you can sit outside and try all kinds of cuisines from all over the world in countless restaurants and bars.

However, Rotterdam is also home to a variety of rooftop bars - amazing views guaranteed! Sit down at the top of the world, wind down after a long day of sightseeing and picnics and end a perfect day of summer with your favourite drinks or innovative and refreshing cocktails accompanied by a breeze of fresh air.