Hot Day in Rotterdam? Here's What to Do

June 26, 2023

Rotterdam is a city of contrasts, with modern skyscrapers and historic buildings, bustling streets and peaceful parks, and plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to suit any taste. However, on a hot day, visitors may find themselves seeking ways to beat the heat and enjoy the city without getting overheated. Luckily, Rotterdam has plenty of options for staying cool and having fun.

Understanding Rotterdam's weather is key to planning a successful day out. The city has a temperate maritime climate, with mild winters and cool summers. However, occasional heat waves can push temperatures up into the high 80s and even low 90s Fahrenheit. Visitors should be prepared for both sunny and cloudy weather, and bring sunscreen, hats, and plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Beating the heat: water-based activities are a great way to stay cool and have fun on a hot day in Rotterdam. From swimming in the outdoor pools of the Van Maanenbad to kayaking on the canals, there are plenty of options for getting wet and enjoying the city's waterways. Visitors can also take a boat tour of the harbor or rent a pedal boat for a leisurely ride through the canals. For those who prefer to stay on land, exploring Rotterdam's parks or visiting air-conditioned museums are also great options.

Beating the Heat: Water-Based Activities

On a hot day in Rotterdam, there's nothing better than cooling off in the water. Whether you're looking for a relaxing day at the beach or an exciting boat tour, Rotterdam has plenty of water-based activities to offer.

Rotterdam's Beaches

Rotterdam may not be known for its beaches, but there are a few options for those looking to soak up the sun and take a dip in the water. One popular choice is the Kralingse Plas, a large lake located in the Kralingen neighborhood. The lake has several beaches, some of which are designated for swimming, and there are also plenty of opportunities for water sports like sailing and windsurfing.

Another option is the Hoek van Holland beach, located about 30 minutes from Rotterdam by train. This wide, sandy beach stretches for miles and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball.

Boat Tours

If you're looking for a more active way to cool off, consider taking a boat tour of Rotterdam's waterways. There are several companies that offer guided tours, ranging from leisurely canal cruises to high-speed adventures.

One popular option is the Spido tour, which takes you on a one-hour cruise through Rotterdam's busy port. You'll see massive container ships, cranes, and other industrial sights, as well as some of the city's famous landmarks like the Erasmus Bridge and the Euromast tower.

For a more relaxing experience, consider a dinner cruise with Pannenkoekenboot. This two-hour tour takes you through the harbor while you enjoy unlimited Dutch pancakes and other treats.

No matter what kind of water-based activity you're looking for, Rotterdam has plenty of options to help you beat the heat on a hot day.

Exploring Rotterdam's Parks

Rotterdam is home to many beautiful parks that are perfect for exploring on a hot day. Here are two of the best parks to visit:

Euromast Park

Euromast Park is located in the heart of Rotterdam and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The park is named after the Euromast tower, which offers stunning views of the city. Visitors can take a ride to the top of the tower for a panoramic view of Rotterdam and the surrounding area.

In addition to the tower, the park features a beautiful rose garden, a playground for children, and several walking paths. Visitors can also enjoy a picnic in the park or relax on one of the many benches located throughout the area.

Kralingse Bos

Kralingse Bos is a large park located in the eastern part of Rotterdam. The park features a large lake, which is perfect for swimming, boating, or fishing. Visitors can also enjoy a walk or bike ride around the lake on one of the many trails.

In addition to the lake, Kralingse Bos also features several picnic areas, a playground for children, and a petting zoo. Visitors can also rent a boat or canoe to explore the lake or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants located in the park.

Overall, Rotterdam's parks offer a great way to spend a hot day in the city. Whether you're looking for a relaxing picnic or an active day of swimming and hiking, there's something for everyone in these beautiful outdoor spaces.

Air-Conditioned Museums

Rotterdam can get quite hot during the summer months, but there are plenty of air-conditioned museums to escape the heat. Here are some of the best options:

Boijmans Van Beuningen

The Boijmans Van Beuningen museum is one of the most famous museums in Rotterdam. Unfortunately, it is currently closed for major renovations and is not expected to reopen until 2026.

Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum is a great option for anyone interested in Rotterdam's history as a port city. The museum has a large collection of ships, boats, and other maritime artifacts, as well as interactive exhibits that are fun for all ages.

Dutch Pinball Museum

The Dutch Pinball Museum is a unique museum that is sure to be a hit with anyone who loves pinball. The museum has a large collection of vintage pinball machines that visitors can play, as well as exhibits that explore the history of pinball.

Kunsthal Rotterdam

Kunsthal Rotterdam is a contemporary art museum that has a rotating collection of exhibitions. The museum has a wide range of art on display, from paintings and sculptures to video installations and performance art.

Overall, Rotterdam has a great selection of air-conditioned museums that are perfect for escaping the heat. Whether you're interested in art, history, or just want to have some fun playing pinball, there's something for everyone.

Refreshing Local Cuisine

Rotterdam is a city known for its fresh and delicious cuisine, perfect for a hot summer day. Here are some of the best places to enjoy local cuisine and beat the heat.

Ice Cream Parlors

Rotterdam has a number of amazing ice cream parlors, perfect for cooling down on a hot day. One of the most popular is De IJssalon, which has been serving up delicious ice cream since 1975. Their flavors range from traditional vanilla and chocolate to more unique options like stroopwafel and speculaas.

Another great option is Monte Pelmo, a gelato parlor that offers a range of flavors made with fresh, natural ingredients. Their pistachio and hazelnut flavors are particularly popular.

Seafood Restaurants

With its location on the water, Rotterdam is known for its fresh seafood. One of the best places to enjoy it is at Zeezout, a seafood restaurant that offers a range of dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Their seafood platter, which includes oysters, lobster, and shrimp, is a must-try.

Another great option is Kaapse Brouwers, a brewery and restaurant that offers a range of seafood dishes as well as craft beer. Their mussels, which are cooked in beer, are a popular choice.

Whether you're in the mood for something sweet or savory, Rotterdam has plenty of options to satisfy your cravings on a hot day.

Shopping in Rotterdam

Rotterdam is a shopper's paradise, filled with a wide variety of stores ranging from high-end boutiques to trendy street vendors. Whether you're looking for designer clothes, unique souvenirs, or delicious local delicacies, Rotterdam has something for everyone. Here are two shopping destinations that are worth a visit on a hot day.

Alexandrium Shopping Center

Alexandrium Shopping Center is one of the largest indoor shopping centers in the Netherlands. It has over 140 stores, including popular brands like H&M, Zara, and Mango. The shopping center also features a cinema, a food court, and a children's play area.

One of the highlights of Alexandrium is its rooftop garden, which offers stunning views of the city. Visitors can relax on the terrace and enjoy a refreshing drink while taking in the scenery. Alexandrium is easily accessible by public transportation, with a metro station located directly beneath the shopping center.


Beurstraverse, also known as the "Koopgoot," is a pedestrian shopping street located in the heart of Rotterdam. The street is lined with over 40 shops, ranging from well-known brands like Apple and The Body Shop to local boutiques selling unique clothing and accessories.

Beurstraverse is known for its striking architecture, with a glass roof that lets in plenty of natural light. The street is also home to several cafes and restaurants, making it a great place to take a break from shopping and enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee.

Overall, Rotterdam offers a wide range of shopping options that are perfect for a hot day. Whether you prefer indoor shopping centers or outdoor pedestrian streets, there's something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Evening Entertainment

Rotterdam offers a plethora of evening entertainment options, perfect for those hot summer nights. From open-air cinemas to night markets, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Open-Air Cinemas

One of the best ways to spend a summer evening in Rotterdam is by watching a movie under the stars. There are several open-air cinemas in the city, such as Pleinbioscoop and Roffa Mon Amour, that offer a unique cinematic experience. Grab a blanket and some snacks, and settle in for a night of entertainment.

Night Markets

Rotterdam's night markets are a must-visit for foodies and bargain hunters alike. The Night Market at the Swan Market is a popular spot, featuring a variety of food trucks, live music, and local vendors selling handmade goods. Another great option is the Fenix Food Factory Night Market, which offers a wide selection of international cuisine and craft beers.

Overall, Rotterdam's evening entertainment scene is vibrant and diverse, offering plenty of options for those looking to enjoy a warm summer night in the city.

Understanding Rotterdam's Weather

Rotterdam's weather is classified as a maritime climate, which means it can be quite unpredictable and changeable. The city experiences mild winters and cool summers, with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing or climbing above 30°C. However, on hot days, the city can feel quite warm and humid.

It's important to note that Rotterdam is known for its wind, which can make the temperature feel cooler or warmer than it actually is. On hot days, the wind can provide some much-needed relief, but it's also important to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun.

The best time to visit Rotterdam if you're looking for warm weather is between June and September. During this time, temperatures are typically in the mid-20s°C, and there is plenty of sunshine. However, it's also the busiest time of year for tourists, so be prepared for crowds and higher prices.

On the other hand, if you're looking to avoid the crowds and save some money, consider visiting Rotterdam in the shoulder seasons of April to May or September to October. During these months, the weather is still mild, and there are fewer tourists.

Overall, when planning a trip to Rotterdam, it's important to pack for all types of weather, as the city's climate can be quite changeable. Bring layers, a rain jacket, and sunscreen, and be prepared for anything.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top outdoor activities to do in Rotterdam?

Rotterdam has many outdoor activities to enjoy on a hot day. Take a stroll in the beautiful Kralingse Bos park or rent a bike and explore the city's many bike paths. For a more adventurous experience, try kayaking or paddleboarding on the river Maas.

What are some of the best parks to visit in Rotterdam?

Rotterdam is home to many beautiful parks, including Het Park, which offers stunning views of the Erasmus Bridge, and the Arboretum Trompenburg, which is filled with exotic trees and plants. For a more family-friendly experience, visit the Plaswijckpark, which features a petting zoo and a playground.

Where can I find the best beaches near Rotterdam?

Although Rotterdam is not known for its beaches, there are several nearby options. Head to the beach at Hoek van Holland for a day of sun and sand, or take a short drive to the beach at Scheveningen, which is known for its lively boardwalk and many restaurants.

What are some interesting museums to visit in Rotterdam?

Rotterdam has many museums to explore, including the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, which houses an impressive collection of art from the Middle Ages to the present day. For a more unique experience, visit the Kunsthal Rotterdam, which features rotating exhibitions of contemporary art.

What are some unique shopping experiences in Rotterdam?

Rotterdam is home to many unique shops and boutiques. Visit the Markthal Rotterdam, which features over 100 food stalls and restaurants, or explore the many vintage and second-hand shops in the Oude Noorden neighborhood. For a more upscale experience, head to the Van Oldenbarneveltstraat, which is known for its high-end fashion boutiques.

What are some good restaurants with outdoor seating in Rotterdam?

Rotterdam has many great restaurants with outdoor seating, including the Biergarten Rotterdam, which features a large outdoor beer garden, and the Fenix Food Factory, which offers a variety of food and drink options in a relaxed outdoor setting. For a more upscale experience, visit the Restaurant Zalmhuis, which offers stunning views of the river Maas.

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Written by

Leo van den Berg
As a Dutchman I am extremely proud of the beautiful country in which I live. My goal is to convey my passion and love for the Netherlands to as many people as possible.

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