How to get around Rotterdam: info, costs and tips

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Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, is a wonderful destination, ready to fascinate anyone who decides to visit it. However, it is a very large city and, especially if you have little time available, it is important to better organize the itinerary and all the movements. Moving only on foot is not recommended, you can rely on a excellent public transport system, and perhaps you will be interested to know that the most popular means of transport, especially by locals, is the bicycle! This is indeed a bike friendly city!

So let's find out together how to get around Rotterdam: info, costs and advice!



Index

  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Rotterdam
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. Con i mezzi pubblici
  5. By car
  6. User questions and comments

Useful Tips

The best way to get around Rotterdam is there bicycle, thanks to the presence of lanes entirely dedicated to cyclists and excellent prices! It is also the most popular medium for locals. Tram and metro are also recommended, as are water buses. I am instead cars, taxis and buses not recommended, especially for traffic!

To use the means of transport it is recommended to purchase the OV-chipkaart, a rechargeable card that will give you access to privileged and discounted rates (cost € 7,50, available online). The purchase of the Rotterdam Welcome Card, which in addition to discounts on attractions and affiliated activities (bars, restaurants, shops), allows you to use the public transport service for free for its entire duration.
If you visit the city for just 1 day, take advantage of the RET public transport ticket to move freely by bus, tram and metro.



  • Recommended solutions and means: bicycle, metro, tram, night bus
  • Solutions and means not recommended: car, taxi, bus
  • City cards and season tickets recommended: Rotterdam Welcome Card (from € 12,50 -), OV-chipkaart (from € 7,50), Tourist Day Ticket (from € 14,50), RET 1 Day (from € 8,50)

How to get from the airport to the center of Rotterdam

The city has been served since Rotterdam The Hague Airport, the third largest airport in the Netherlands by number of passengers. It is connected to Italy by direct flights, mainly from Rome Fiumicino, and is well connected to all European airports (flights from € 140,00). The airport is not too big, so it is easy to find your way around and check-in and baggage are quite fast.

It is about 7 km from the historic center of Rotterdam and to reach the center you have different options. You can choose between the RandstadRail train line (15 min to central station) or the 33 bus line 33 (30 min, departures every 10 min). Outside the Arrivals Terminal there are obviously numerous taxis, which will take you to your hotel in about 15-20 minutes (depending on its location) at an average cost of € 25,00 per trip.

About 53km from the city is theAmsterdam Schiphol Airport, with direct flights from Italy offered by low cost airlines such as Vueling and Easy-Jet (flights from € 41,00). The airport is well connected by Flixbus buses which take 1h and 15 min, from € 7,00 and direct trains to Rotterdam central station which take around 26 min, € 14,20.



Rotterdam The Hague Airport

  • Distance from the center: 7 km / travel time: 15 min
  • By train: RandstadRail line / ticket cost: € 2,50
  • By taxi: average cost € 25,00 / travel time: 15 min
  • By bus: average cost € 2,00 / line 33

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

  • Distance from the center: 53 km / travel time: 42 min
  • By train: ticket cost € 14,20 / travel time: 26 min
  • By taxi: average cost € 90,00 / travel time: 42 min
  • By bus: Flixbus average cost € 7,00 / travel time: 1h and 15 min

How to get around on foot

The city is very extensive and its attractions they are not all close between them, so getting around completely on foot is a bit difficult, especially if you have little time available!

You can then easily discover i individual neighborhoods by walking, also taking advantage of the numerous walking tours of the city, while to move from one point of the city to another you can rely on theexcellent transport system.

Con i mezzi pubblici

Rotterdam has a really public transport system very efficient and well organized, which covers the entire city in a capillary way and will allow you to reach any neighborhood and attraction. You can choose between metro, tram, bus and ferry, the latter are real water buses, called waterbuses.

To move with the means it becomes essential to purchase the OV-chipkaart, or a rechargeable card that will give you access to privileged and discounted rates, which can also be purchased online! The purchase is € 7,50, but then you can travel for only € 0,98 each way, to which you add € 0,15 for each km traveled. It applies to all means, then tram, bus, metro and waterbus. If you are not interested in purchasing the OV-chipkaart, you can purchase day passes.



Bike (Bike Sharing)

One of the best ways to get around is definitely there bicycle! It is the most popular means of transport for locals, who also use it to go to work, and it is absolutely not dangerous: all the main streets of the city have a special lane for bicycles. In addition, there are also many bike tours that you can take to explore Rotterdam!

A service is available in the city bike sharing very affordable provided by OV-FIETS. Just register for free on the official website and buy the OV-Chipkaart, the card to use public transport in Rotterdam. The daily cost (24h) is € 3,85, after 72h € 5,00. There are over 300 points scattered throughout the Netherlands, so you can also use them if you visit other cities. You can also return the bicycle in a different city, paying a supplement of € 10,00. For more info visit this site.

Metro

It is a great way to get around the city and to reach the surrounding areas too! It consists of 5 different lines: green A, yellow B, red C, blue D, blue E. Lines A, B and C cover the whole city, while line D connects Rotterdam to Spijkenisse and E to The Hague. The service is active from 5:30 to 00:30, with possible small variations depending on the line.

On this medium worth the OV-chipkaart, very convenient for single trips, alternatively you can choose between various passes, such as the RET 2 Hours (valid for a round trip) for € 4,00, the RET 1 Day for travel on metro, tram and bus from € 8,50, and finally the Tourist Day Ticket for all means at € 14,50.

  • Map: official site
  • by 5: 30 00 to: 30
  • Ticket / single ride cost: with OV-chipkaar € 0,98 each way + € 0,15 each km traveled
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: RET 2 hours € 4,00, RET 1 Day € 8,50, Tourist Day Ticket € 14,50

Tram

The tram is great for getting around the surface and admiring the city from the windows. It consists of 8 city lines: lines 8, 7, 21, 23, 21, 23, 24 and 25 run through the center and all pass through the central station! The service is active from 5:30 to 00:30, with possible small variations depending on the line.

On this medium worth the OV-chipkaart, very convenient for single trips, alternatively you can choose between various passes, such as the RET 2 Hours (valid for a round trip) for € 4,00, the RET 1 Day for travel on metro, tram and bus for € 8,50, and finally the Tourist Day Ticket for all means at € 14,50.

  • Map: official site
  • by 5: 30 00 to: 30
  • Ticket / single ride cost: with OV-chipkaar € 0,98 each way + € 0,15 each km traveled
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: RET 2 hours € 4,00, RET 1 Day € 8,50, Tourist Day Ticket € 14,50

bus

The bus network covers the entire city, with numerous lines and a great night service called BOB Bus, you can in fact recognize the lines by the letter B preceding the number. We therefore recommend this vehicle especially if you have to move at night, when the tram and metro are closed.

On this medium worth the OV-chipkaart, very convenient for single trips, alternatively you can choose between various passes, such as the RET 2 Hours (valid for a round trip) for € 4,00, the RET 1 Day for travel on metro, tram and bus for € 8,50, and finally the Tourist Day Ticket for all means at € 14,50. The BOB Bus has its own fare system: with the OV-chipkaar a single ride costs € 5,50, without € 6,00

  • Map: official site
  • 24 hours a day thanks to the night service
  • Ticket / single ride cost: with OV-chipkaar € 0,98 each way + € 0,15 each km traveled; BOB Bus with OV-chipkaar € 5,50, without € 6,00
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: RET 2 hours € 4,00, RET 1 Day € 8,50, Tourist Day Ticket € 14,50

Waterbus

The ferry to Rotterdam can be considered a real transport system, called the waterbus. In fact, they allow you to move between the various points of the city port and its canals, quickly reaching attractions and neighborhoods on the opposite shore. It consists of 12 lines

Even on ferries worth the OV-chipkaar, which therefore allows you to travel at discounted prices. Fares vary according to the route traveled, starting from € 2,00 up to € 9,97 depending on the route. You can check all the prices and also buy tickets directly online on the official website, or buy the ticket on board directly from the operator, indicating the stop where you will get off. The day ticket costs € 13,00.

  • Map: official site
  • by 8: 30 17 to: 30
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from € 2,00 to € 9,97 depending on the route
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: daily € 13,00

By car

It absolutely is not recommended to move by car in Rotterdam. The main reasons are the following: there are all public transport available at excellent prices to move around the city, the purchase of a season ticket will be cheaper than car rental; it's a big city, very busy, with a large port area and wide lanes, venturing by car may not be simple and, above all, intuitive; parking is expensive and it is not always easy to find a place in the center.

So renting a car to get around the city can become expensive and not very productive, also wasting time between one move and another. Furthermore, Rotterdam is a SEZ, i.e. a Low Emission Zone, which is not granted access to all vehicles.

Low Emission Zone

Rotterdam is one Low Emission Zone (in English LEZ, Low Emission Zone; in the local language it is indicated as Milieuzone), i.e. an area with limited access for pollution control. Currently it is still active, although in the next few years it could be eliminated thanks to the great improvement of the air due to the various restrictions (you can check all the updates on the LEZ directly on the official website of the city of Rotterdam).

I requirements to be respected they are the following: Zero 4 Diesel truck, Zero 3 Diesel Autodiesel and Vans; access to diesel cars registered before 2001 was again granted from 1 January 2020.

Stops and parking

If you arrive in Rotterdam by car, the best solution is to stay in a hotel that offers its guests the parking service, so you can leave it in a guarded parking lot and move easily by public transport.

Alternatively, the best solution is to park in free parking P + R, which are located on the outskirts and are marked by blue signs with white writing. From there you can then take public transport and reach the center (on average 20 min). The largest are the P + R Alexander, P + R Caperlseburg, P + R Hoogvliet, P + R Kralingse Zoom and P + R Slinge. It is also possible to leave the car in the center, in the various car parks underground for a fee, with an average cost of € 5,00 / hour.


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