Love & Road By Natalie and Rob is all about their passion for travel, for writing and for life. They quit their jobs and sold their stuff to pursue a dream of travelling the world. They travel the globe together finding the most romantic destinations, sports and travel activities and useful travel tips for their readers.
Traveling has never been so easy and in a matter of hours or days, you can reach any destination worldwide. Although tickets are easy to book, getting in some countries is not as smooth as flying first class. Depending on your passport you might need to apply for a tourist visa that can be just an online visa form or a tiring process that you must start within a month in advance.
People usually start planning their trip by choosing a destination, searching for things to do, transportation costs, accommodation, food, and curiosities. In general, visa comes as the last thought, especially for travelers who hold strong passports as Singaporeans, British, and Germans. They are so used to travel without worrying about visas that many get in trouble when arriving in a country where visa in advance or on arrival is mandatory. Sounds silly, but we met many travelers who flew to a place without knowing how many days they could stay in the country, which documents they need for the tourist visa on arrival, or even worst, they arrived at the country without a visa and had to go back home.
Checking the visa requirements should be the first thing you do when planning a trip abroad. Most of the US citizens know that they can go to Mexico for holidays without applying for a visa in advance, but do they know the new visa on arrival rules for Europe? European citizens can travel within the Schengen zone freely, but do they know if they need a visa to travel to Vietnam?
I wish there was an easy way to obtain a visa to travel abroad, but in reality, crossing borders is a serious affair and depending on where you are traveling to, visa bureaucracy can be overwhelming and slowly. But don’t give up, things are changing and although applying for certain visas is still a lot of paperwork, searching for information and find guidance to start the processes are becoming easier and fast.
So, how do you know if you need a visa to travel abroad?
As Brazilians, we face visa issues all the time and our friends from Thailand, Turkey, and the Philippines even more. Before planning a trip abroad we need to check if we need a visa, if it’s on arrival or if we need to apply in advance. The research would start at the embassy website of the country we want to visit, and fingers crossed to find information in English or in Portuguese. Then come the travel blogs, but not all of them are up to date, or they don’t give you the exact list of documents… Such a long road.
Thanks God this odyssey is over, we found a website that combines all information about international visas. Online Visa offers worldwide visa application guidance in only one place. Doesn’t matter where you are from, or where you are traveling to, there you can find information about visas, documents required, how to apply, fess and more.
You simply type your nationality in one box and the name of the country you want to travel on the destination box, press “Get Visa Info” and the website will do the hard work for you. The answer will have a link to the official embassy or to a website to proceed with your visa application.
Now that you know how to figure out if you need visa to travel abroad, where and how you can apply, let’s move to some practical stuff. Here are 5 important tips/documents for any traveler crossing borders, doesn’t matter if you are lucky to have visa-free or if you need to apply in advance. Read them carefully, it’s always good to be prepared.
More tips about getting a visa to travel abroad
Before applying for a visa or traveling abroad don’t forget to:
Verify if your passport is valid for at least 6 months
The embassies usually make this information very clear for those applying for tourist visas, but even a country where you can travel without visa can require it too, so check the expiry date of your passport before buying your tickets. The general rule is: your passport must be valid for at least 6 months.
Buy an onward or return ticket
Not only the immigration officer can ask for it, but many airlines are also requiring it during the check-in process. The onward or return ticket is proof that you are not overstaying or staying illegally in the country.
As a Brazilian, I can stay 90 days in Europe (Schengen zone) and my onward ticket date must be before the visa expires. My visa is on arrival and the immigration officer usually ask a lot of the documents, being the onward flight ticket always the first one.
Get all the vaccines
I know it sounds weird, but many nationalities need to take shots before traveling to certain countries. Worst than getting a jab is being deported for not having it. In many borders, before passing the immigration you need to pass by the health department so they can clear you for the costumes.
That’s what happens to us when traveling to Thailand. Brazilians must show the yellow fever vaccine international certificate before going to immigration. If you fail to have it you can pay to get the vaccine at the airport (if they provide), if you not you have to go back home.
How do you know if you need to take any vaccine? Usually, the countries would advise on their immigration website. Another option is to search on your country’s healthcare website, probably they’ll have a list of the mandatory vaccines and the ones you should take just to avoid some diseases.
Buy a travel insurance
Doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend getaway or a 6 months backpacking trip, every traveler should have a good travel insurance. First of all, it’s important to protect your health in case of accident, emergency or sickness. Second, it might help you during unexpected travel issues like delays or lost luggage. Third, it’s a requirement to get into some countries. Bottom line, before traveling abroad you should buy a travel insurance and have your policy or insurance card saved on your mobile. If the immigration officer asks for it you’ll be ready to show, and if you need to contact the insurance company you have all your details in hand.
Have your accommodation bookings and proof of funds with you
Again, not all immigration officers will ask for it, but they might do, so save time and avoid stress by having all these documents saved on your phone. Book your accommodation in advance at least for the first 2 or 3 days. That shows you have a place to stay and won’t raise suspicion. If you are applying for a tourist visa in advance or if you’re getting a visa on arrival it is a good idea to have all the accommodation booked. Someone will be hosting you? So ask them to write a letter saying they are hosting you, add on the latter their ID number, address and signature.
The proof of funds can vary a lot, basically is some sort of document that proves you have enough money to pay for your travels and get back home. If the country you are traveling to requires visa they will explain what type of documents they accept as proof of funds. If your visa is on arrival they might ask for it or not, but again it’s good to be prepared. Our suggestion is to have a bank statement showing your savings, or a travel card with money on it, or a credit card statement showing your purchase limit. Your latest wages slips proving you have a steady income also works.
Now it’s time to start planning your next trip abroad, go check your visa requirements, get your documents ready and have fun!
Northern Europe is vast and beautiful, with a rich history that can be seen anywhere the eyes rest. The British Isles, the Baltic States, Scandinavia and Russia, they are filled with astonishing sights, awe-inducing architecture, unique cultures, and amazing experiences.
For many seasoned travelers, visiting Northern Europe is a self-planned affair best managed by bucket lists, yearly budgets, and detailed plans on transportation, food, and more. However, for the traveler recently bit by the bug of exploration, a Northern Europe cruise may be a better option to consider when deciding to travel the North.
Cruises are the best and easiest way to explore Northern Europe because they free the traveler from the stress of planning. Most Northern European cruises include transportation, accommodation, and food into their prices and offer exquisite dining options that would probably cost more on an independent trip. Not to mention the tours that are part of the cruises package, some of them are unique experiences or adventures tailor-made for the passengers. A Northern Europe cruise – often facilitated by many different cruise companies – gives travelers an efficient way to see a lot of region in a few days.
Here is why you should book a cruise to Northern Europe:
1st – Stunning Bergen, Norway
Coming into the Bergen port is an experience in and of itself, as the docks of Bergen are so rich with history and a UNESCO world heritage site. Tourists can take some time to soak up in the history of Bryggen; admiring the architectural work of the colorful little homes by the water. A visit to the Bryggen museum, which hosts artifacts from the port in years past, is also a must.
Bergen offers many more sights for sore eyes. The Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene is very central and gives visitors a view of the lives and activities of the Hanseatic merchants who came to Bergen and traded there. Bergenhus Fortress was built in the mid-fourteenth century and along with Rosenkrantz tower, reflects the majesty of the Hanseatic League to this day. You can also take a ride on the popular Fløibanen funicular – a ride that takes you high above the city, to the top of Fløien Mount from which you can walk back down.
Beyond the historical activities in Bergen, Norway also provides the most amazing views that nature has to offer. Tourists that pick summer to sail through its coast have the opportunity to see the Midnight Sun on full display. While in winter, the Aurora Borealis makes a beautiful appearance for all.
2nd – Friendly Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is one of Northern Europe’s most tourist-friendly travel destinations with many sights and activities. With lakes going through it and the sea all around it, visitors in cruise ships will find their entry to Copenhagen welcoming and exciting. Right at Langelinje Pier, The Little Mermaid sculpture, which is over 100 years old and is one of Copenhagen’s most famous attractions will be waiting for you.
Past the pier and inside the city, tourists can spend their day going around Strøget – one of the largest pedestrian malls in the world. They can also spend a lot of time looking through the wealth of historical artifacts from Denmark’s past, which are on display at Copenhagen’s National Museum or Nationalmuseet.
Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park is Copenhagen’s most famous attraction with its remarkable architecture and lush gardens. It was the inspiration for Disney World. It is situated only a few minutes from the City Hall and features fun rides that are suitable for all ages.
3rd – Cultural Stockholm, Sweden
When the cruise docks at Stockholm port, travelers can discover why it is fondly referred to as “the Venice of the North”. This coastal city has views on land and on the sea for true explorers, and as the capital of Sweden, it merges the urban with the medieval, ensuring unique experiences for each visitor.
Regardless of where the cruise ship docks and how long you will be in Stockholm, do not miss out on the nearly 30,000 islands, islets, and rocks that make up Stockholm’s archipelago. A beauty worth seeing and exploring alone or with family by boat, bus, or train.
If the tourist in you likes land adventures, ensure you visit the Nationalmuseum, Sweden’s national museum of art and design with beautiful views on the inside and even more enchanting scenery from the inside looking out. An impressive performance you do not want to miss is the 40-minute Changing of the Guard at the Royal Palace, especially in the summer. The guards in their blue and white uniforms march from downtown Stockholm, accompanied by a full military band from the Swedish Armed Forces Music Centre, before the ceremony in the main courtyard of the palace.
This Scottish archipelago boasts of more than a hundred islands with dramatic landscapes and artistic scenery that displays proof of prehistoric settlements and views that will inspire the wildest stories in your mind. Let your Northern European Cruise take you to this landscape of contrasts: an ancient oceanic crust, an extinct volcano, shifting sands, sea inlets, stunning sandy or shingle beaches, bars and tombolos. All of which make the Shetland Islands a UNESCO Global Geopark.
Experience extraordinary seafood delicacies and other specialties the islands have to offer, such as Reestit Mutton and a special type of spiced sausage meat called Sassermaet. Ensure you do not miss out on the best light show in town, the Aurora Borealis! Make it a romantic experience by setting up camp under the canopy of stars and watch!
5th – Diverse London, UK
Diversity. History. Culture. Searching for a destination that has all these experiences and more? London is definitely a perfect stop on any Northern Europe cruise. North, East, West, South, or the busy Central London? Wherever you choose, you will find the world’s best entertainment, shopping, and dining.
Even if you arrive via on a Northern Europe cruise, do not miss out on a cruise along the Thames to see the Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye (a giant Ferris wheel offering gorgeous views across the city). Every tourist can inspire their inner detective with a visit to Baker Street, where Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes lived on and also visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum. If you want to meet your favorite celebrities, make sure you visit Madame Tussaud’s.
Whatever you are searching for, London is the perfect place to find it. Ensure your cruise has shore excursions to help you discover this breathtaking city!
With so many cities to see and experiences to be had, it is often difficult to decide where to go first, or how to start out. A Northern Europe cruise provides large groups of travelers with a chance to visit the major cities in the North and to get a quick but tantalizing taste of the beauty, fine art, culture, and history each one offers in seven to fourteen days.
So what are you waiting, book a Northern Europe Cruise today and start planning this dream trip?
If you’re the type of traveler that saves up your leave from work and goes on a 10-day vacation once a year, then regular, short term travel insurance will cover you just fine. However, if you’re like us and traveling forms a significant part of your lifestyle, or you’re planning an extended holiday soon, I strongly recommend getting long term travel insurance.
For those who are location independent, it’s easy to get left behind without proper access to public safety nets or regular insurance. This can create a large and worrisome burden for many permanent travelers.
Fortunately, like-minded nomads and entrepreneurs have set out to solve this very problem, by creating long term travel insurance. In this post, we’ll discuss and compare our two favorite long-holiday insurance providers, SafetyWing and World Nomads, ensuring that you’re confident enough to make the right decision. I hope this offers some guidance while you plan your trip.
What is long term travel insurance?
It’s fairly simple really: long term travel insurance is insurance for long term travel. It’s designed for location independent nomads, as well as those who plan on spending a significant period of time abroad, and those who travel almost constantly as part of their lifestyle.
I think these providers offer the best travel insurance for long trips and nomadic travelers.
What You Should Know Before Buying Travel Insurance
Understand the different types of coverage (medical, evacuation, cancellation, flight, baggage, etc).
Know what you want to be covered for, and find a policy that reflects it.
Find the cover that is right for the type of trip you’re taking and the destinations you’ll be visiting.
Be sure to read the entire policy before purchasing any travel insurance, it’s important that you understand the perks and limitations of your cover.
Travel insurance should not be considered a substitute for comprehensive medical insurance. Generally speaking, the treatment of pre-existing conditions is not covered by travel insurance. Be sure to read and understand what medical treatment is covered and how that may affect you.
If anything about a policy is unclear or confusing, be sure to contact the insurance provider to ask questions and establish a strong understanding of your cover.
Long trip travel insurance can cover all of the usual stuff: medical emergencies, cancellation, luggage loss. I think that medical emergency cover is the most important. Not only can emergency medical cover be debilitatingly expensive, but without it, your health and life could be at stake.
Whilst I know how much you treasure your MacBook, and how having it lost or stolen would affect your online business activities, keeping yourself alive and your health intact should be your primary concern.
How Long Term Travel Insurance Works
Long term travel insurance works fairly similarly to short term travel insurance. The main difference, aside from the length of coverage, is that you can usually purchase long stay insurance from outside your own country, once your trip has already begun. It’s also generally possible to renew or extend while you’re abroad, which allows for more freedom and flexibility.
Generally, you can purchase long stay travel insurance for a specific set of dates, but some providers, such as SafetyWing, offer subscription models as well. The price can vary greatly depending on the type and extent of cover you want during your travels. Long term travel insurance generally offers similar coverage to regular travel insurance.
Travel Insurance Comparison
We’ve tried and tested several long term travel insurance providers over our several years as digital nomads. For us, SafetyWing and World Nomads have proven to be the best providers for our lifestyle, and we feel they offer the best travel insurance for digital nomads.
I’m going to break it down into a comparison, in order to help you choose the best long stay travel insurance for you!
Started by three Norwegian digital nomads, SafetyWing offers an affordable long term travel medical insurance that’s flexible and easy to set up. It’s designed specifically to offer a safety net for digital nomads and other remote workers.
It works on a subscription model, that continues to renew every 28 days until you decide to cancel it. So whether you’re looking for 6-month travel insurance, 3-month travel insurance, year-long travel insurance, or anything in between, SafetyWing is a great option.
There’s also an option to cover a one-off trip over a specific set of dates, so if you’re traveling for a specified amount of time, SafetyWing travel medical insurance has still got you covered.
SafetyWing is often considered the best travel insurance for long term travelers.
World Nomads provides long term travel insurance that offers high-value coverage for a higher price tag that SafetyWing. World Nomads offers 24-hour assistance 365 days a year to all of their long-term travel insurance clients.
Travel Insurance Coverage
SafetyWing and World Nomads offer fairly similar cover. The higher price of World Nomads, however, allows for coverage of lost/stolen tech items (laptop, phone, computer), and trip cancellation.
The medical coverage is similar, but varies for World Nomads, depending on your home country. There is a higher medical payout limit for SafetyWing if you’re an American citizen, but World Nomads offers a much higher limit if you’re from the UK or Australia.
If you fall ill or injure yourself while traveling, these providers will “fix” you up and if needed send you back home. Check all the coverage details below.
Note: You must be over 18 years old to purchase SafetyWing cover.
What does SafetyWing cover?
I’ll briefly discuss some of the basics that are included and excluded from SafetyWing cover. For a more comprehensive overview, click here or here.
Unexpected illness or injury (up to $250 000)
Hospital, intensive care, ambulance, and urgent care
Physical therapy and chiropractic care ordered by a physician (up to $50 per day)
Emergency dental (up to $1 000)
All other eligible medical expenses
Injuries occurring during many different sporting and adventure activities (full list here)
Trip interruption (up to $5 000)
Travel delay (up to $100 a day after 12-hour delay requiring an overnight stay – 2-day maximum)
Lost checked luggage (up to $3 000 per certificate period) (electronics not included)
Natural disaster (5 days, up to $100 per day)
Political evacuation (up to $10 000)
Emergency medical evacuation (up to $100 000)
Funeral expenses overseas or repatriation of remains
For every 90 days, SafetyWing will cover a visit to your home country of up to 30 days (15 days for the US). This is really helpful for nomads who only return home periodically and don’t want to invest in medical insurance in their home country.
SafetyWing also covers one child between the ages of 14 days and 10 years for FREE per adult on the policy, with a maximum of two kids per family (without additional cost). This is a real bonus, as other insurers often charge full price to insure a child.
What does World Nomads cover? (Standard Plan)
World Nomads cover varies depending on your home country, so be sure to visit their website to check what you’re covered for.
For example, residents of the UK and Australia are covered for medical expenses up to $5 000 000. The following is true for US residents.
For a more detailed breakdown of the coverage, click here.
Medical emergency expenses while abroad (up to $100 000)
Theft or accidental damage to baggage or personal items (up to $1000)
Baggage delay longer than 12 hours
Funeral expenses overseas or repatriation of remains
What doesn’t SafetyWing cover?
Routine checkups or preventative care
Treatment of pre-existing medical conditions
Sexually transmitted diseases
Substance abuse, addiction, self-inflicted injury
Injuries resulting from intoxication
Injury resulting from professional or organized sporting activities
Injury resulting from certain high-risk sporting activities
Loss or theft of electronics (laptops, phones, cameras, etc)
SafetyWing has an age limit of 69 years old.
What doesn’t World Nomads cover?
Certain extreme sports
Anything illegal (including drugs)
Sexually transmitted diseases
Non-emergency treatment that can be left for when you return home
If you’ve taken drugs or ingested alcohol
Ongoing treatment at home
Long Term Travel Insurance Policy
Whilst World Nomads offers a bit more customizability, it is more complicated and less flexible than SafetyWing.
SafetyWing only offers one policy, with a maximum cover of $250 000 in payout per coverage period (four weeks). SafetyWing covers individuals from every home country in the world except Iran, North Korea, and Cuba.
You can also travel anywhere in the world outside of your home country with the exception of Iran, North Korea, and Cuba. Cover in the USA (for non-US citizens) comes at an additional fee, about $30 from travelers between 18 to 39 year olds.
World Nomads Policy
World Nomads offers two main policies: the Standard Plan and the Explorer Plan (the latter being the more advanced and comprehensive – and expensive).
Though World Nomads offers cover in most countries, you have to specify which countries you’ll be traveling to before purchasing the insurance. This can limit your freedom while you’re on the road, and put a dampener on spontaneity.
World Nomads also only covers individuals from 140 countries, so be sure to check their website to see whether or not you’re eligible.
Travel Insurance Price
While World Nomads offers a reasonable price for the cover they provide, SafetyWing cover is far more affordable. They also offer incredible cover and unparalleled value for money.
World Nomads may be more cost-effective for travelers over 60 years old, depending on which country you’re from, so get a quote from both providers.
SafetyWing works off a monthly subscription cost that varies depending on your age. It’s extremely affordable when compared to other long stay travel insurance providers.
As with SafetyWing, the price of World Nomads cover is dependent on your age (though it doesn’t vary as greatly). For a 20-year-old American traveler, four weeks worth of cover will cost around $110 for the Standard plan or $200 for the Explorer Plan.
These prices are dependent on your home country and the countries you’ll be traveling to, so be sure to check out their website for more specific information.
Travel Insurance Claims Procedure
While both providers have a fairly straightforward claims procedure, the World Nomads procedure is a bit more streamlined.
The procedure for making a claim with SafetyWing is pretty simple. Just shoot an email (or regular mail) with the original itemized bill and payment receipts for your treatment, alongside a completed Claimant’s Statement form.
World Nomads Claims
Submitting a claim to World Nomads is even easier. All you have to do is sign into your account and attach your supporting documents. The exception to this is if you’re a Brazillian traveler, in which case the process involves filling out forms as well.
Travel Insurance Renew Procedures
SafetyWing offers far greater flexibility when it comes to renewing your policy.
SafetyWing renew procedure
Unlike regular short term travel insurance, with SafetyWing you can extend or buy more cover once you’re already on the road. This is ideal for travelers who head out abroad without a concrete plan or a date set for returning home.
SafetyWing grants long term travelers a kind of freedom with security. It allows you to know that you’ll be covered no matter how long you’re away from home. The name really symbolizes what this provider offers: security with freedom, safety with wings.
World Nomads Renew Procedure
World Nomads doesn’t allow you to adjust your policy once you’ve purchased it, so you either have to wait until it’s finished, or purchase additional insurance.
Long Stay Travel Insurance With Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
You may be looking to purchase long stay travel insurance, but you have a pre-existing medical condition and want to know how this will affect your insurance. The good news is that both SafetyWing and World Nomads will accept you as a client if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Unfortunately, however, World Nomads won’t cover you for treatment related to your pre-existing conditions or ongoing medical care.
SafetyWing, on the other hand, offers limited coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions (providing it occurs after the effective start date of cover), but not for chronic or congenital conditions.
It’s important to remember these companies provide travel insurance designed for travel emergencies, they are not a proper medical insurance. Although, SafetyWing is planning to expand their product to a..
Backpacks, luggages, packing, carrying things around, unpacking, this is our life and after 5 years of being full-time travelers, we mastered the craft of choosing luggages and backpacks. When it comes to choosing the perfect travel daypack we are very picky, for us a good daypack needs to be comfortable, stylish, safe, spacious, durable and it must fit our laptop and camera. After trying a couple of brands and models we finally found the best daypack for travel and Rob is in love with it.
Do you wanna win the best day backpack for travel and work? (YES!!!!) So keep reading, at the end of the post we have a giveaway. OR CLICK HERE!
At the beginning of the year we put our hands on the Daily Backpack from Standard Luggage, a bag that aims to be the best daypack for travel, work and fun. So we decided to test it and add it on our daily routine, from urban trips to beach getaways. Rob has been wearing it for the past two months and we need to say that it is as good as promised, and we are thinking of buying a second one for myself.
What makes this small travel backpack so good? The answer is easy, it’s versatile! it’s the perfect daypack for travelers, from international trips to daily work commuting or weekend getaways. The combination of features, the design and quality of materials make it one of the best travel daypack in the market, perfect for people who need to carry a laptop and a camera to work or travel. So check out our Standard Luggage daypack review and get one for yourself.
10 Features of the best daypack for travel1st – Ergonomic, comfortable and with a modern design
When we talk about the best backpack for travel and work we need to think about how comfortably it’s gonna sit on your shoulders, if you can wear it for long periods of time, if the straps have nice padding and if there is good ventilation between your back and the bag. This small travel daypack delivers all these with a modern and stylish look. It can be used by women or men, from casual to smart looking.
Another cool feature of this daypack is that you can wear it in 3 different ways. As a backpack, as a messenger bag or as a briefcase. The backpack straps can be hidden in the back pocket and a shoulder strap can be clipped onto the side of the bag giving you the option of carrying it as a messenger bag. If you wish, you can also hide all of the big straps and carry it by the side handle, as a briefcase. This comfortable and convertible design is a Standard Luggage trademark, we have been wearing their 3 in 1 carry-on backpack for 5 years now and we love it.
I know some people love tons of pockets and compartments. We don’t! For us, the best urban daypack must have smart pockets and a lot of space so we can organize our stuff according to the trip or the situation. The Daily Backpack delivers what we need, the travel daypack is divided into two main compartments, the big one is where you can place your electronics, clothes, toiletries, or any other bigger thing you need to carry. The other compartment is smaller and it’s perfect to organize wires, documents, and little things you need to keep safe.
The size of this travel daypack is:
– Dimensions: 44.5 x 33 x 15.2 cm
– Volume: 18 liters capacity
– Weight: 1 kg
The clamshell opening [zipper all around the backpack] allows you to have complete access to the backpack, so you can really organize it, using all the corners of it. For travelers that carry photography equipment, this opening system allows for organizing everything in an easy and safe way.
3rd – Practical and useful pockets
Let’s start with the inside pockets. In the biggest compartment there is one zipper mesh pocket for adapters, snacks, make-up, etc, and two smaller padded pockets that are perfect for cameras [it fits a small DSLR or mirrorless plus lens, or a GoPro – check out the cameras we use here] or for anything that deserves a little extra protection. In the smaller front compartment, there are two zipper mesh pockets, one big flat pocket that can be used for carrying documents, notebooks or even a tablet, plus two other small pockets for power banks, pens, and tiny stuff.
Outside the daypack the pockets are strategically placed. On the top there is a small pocket that is perfect for things you need to reach quickly, like keys, public transportation cards or even your phone. On the front of this travel daypack there is another small pocket that we use for Rob’s wallet and our passports, this pocket is super handy, when we are traveling we keep our travel documents, passports, and tickets in it.
On the side, there is a collapsible water bottle pocket. We love it because when we are not using it the pocket can be closed keeping this travel daypack looking neat and sleek. We tested it with different sizes of bottles and it works very well with small reusable bottles, with small umbrellas, and even for carrying our small tripod.
The last pocket is the cleverest one. On the bottom of the backpack, there is a secret pocket, to keep your valuables or some extra cash. The zipper is located between the back padding and the bottom of the bag, so when you carrying it no one can see or reach it. No doubt this secret pocket is one of the top features that made this bag the best daypack for travel.
4th – It’s a daypack for laptop and tablet
The ultimate daypack for travel and work must have a place for our laptops. When I say laptops, it means that sometimes we carry both our computers in one backpack, and usually small travel daypacks or urban backpacks have only one laptop pocket. Guess what? In this practical day backpack there are three big pockets that you can use for computers and tablets, of course, it all depends on the size of your computer. Rob has a 13-inch MacBook Air and I have an 11-inch MacBook Air, both fit perfectly on the computer and tablet pockets of the bag. Here are the computer compartment dimensions:
Laptop pocket: 35.5 x 26 x 2.5 cm – it fits a 15-inch laptop or a 15-inch MacBook Pro
Tablet pocket: 10-inch tablet
5th – Strong and lockable zippers
Safety is one of our biggest concerns when we are traveling, especially because we have our computers and camera with us all the time. Thank God, nothing has ever happened to us, but we don’t take the risk, we always keep our bags locked all the time. Many urban daypacks or small travel backpacks are stylish and nice but lack some important safety features like strong and lockable zippers. Both compartments of this backpack can be locked with a padlock so you can be sure your stuff is safe when you leave your backpack at the hotel or hostel room when flying or even walking around a not so safe place.
Do you wanna win the best daypack for travel? Keep reading, at the end of the post we have a giveaway for you!
6th – RFID blocking pocket
Ok, not many travelers take this into consideration and to be honest we’ve never thought about it that much, but this daily travel backpack has the RFID blocking pocket for your safety. But what does that mean? Well, it has a technology that protects your personal information from being stolen by an RFID reader… Say what?? Yes, it’s a bit confusing, but I’ll try to make it simple: in case you have a credit card that allows you to make payments through RFID [simply by touching it on the machine, without the need of swiping or inserting it into the terminal] you can have your data stolen by a hacker carrying an RFID reader next to you in order to clone your card. It sounds bad, although it’s not a very common crime. If you want to play on the safe side, it is good to know that with this travel daypack you are protected.
7th – Power bank connection
Carrying a power bank in your pocket is something from the past. This modern daypack has a USB port on the outside which is connected to your power bank inside of it. This way you can plug your phone in easily and keep your pockets free for what is important to carry.
8th – Strong and water-resistant material
Another thing we love about this urban travel daypack is its material and the fact it looks brand new even after months of use. The external material is polyurethane sealed nylon which makes it water resistant, it’s easy to clean and very durable. The zippers and buckles are strong and you can feel the backpack was made to last longer. Not to mention that the Standard Luggage Daily Backpack has a lifetime warranty.
9th – Rain Cover
The backpack material is water resistant, but if you’re gonna use it as your daypack for travel it needs some extra protection. The rain cover is super practical and it really works, we tested it during Songkran in Bangkok, the biggest water festival in the world that happens every year in Thailand.
10th – It fits on your luggage
The best travel daypack needs to work as carry-on luggage as well, and that’s why the Daily Backpack has a back strap that fits perfectly on the handle of a suitcase. You just need to slide the trolley handle inside the strap and you are ready to roll. The best part is that the backpack dimensions are perfect for the carry-on bag so you don’t need to stress about its size or weight. I personally think it is too small if you are traveling with carry-on only, but it’s perfect to go along with your checked luggage.
Where to buy the best daypack for travel and work?
Putting your hands on this awesome backpack is easy, go to Standard Luggage website and order it. You can only buy it online, and the good news is that it can be shipped for free worldwide, how cool is that? The delivery time will vary for each country, we have already had Standard Luggage backpacks delivered to us in Brazil and in Thailand, and both times it went smooth. Just keep in mind that in some countries you might need to pay import fees or taxes.
Before buying your new travel daypack scroll down and take part on our giveaway. You might be the lucky reader to win this cool daypack for travel.
It’s time to put your hands on the perfect daypack for travel! Follow the 4 steps on the widget below and good luck!
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The lucky winner will be announced on May 17th, 2019.
Switzerland is one of those travel destinations that people often dream about, but never visit because it is just too expensive. And having lived here for over 15 years, I must say I can’t blame people. It has one of the highest costs of living in Europe and the world, and of course, the cost to travel to Switzerland is higher too.
However, there are still lots of ways to travel in Switzerland on a budget or without breaking the bank. In this post, I am not only going to tell you the prices of accommodation, attractions, and transportation but how to how to save money in Switzerland. From saving on those ever-punctual Swiss trains to finding the best located and cheapest places to stay in Switzerland. If you ever wanted to visit the Alpine Jewels but were not sure about how much does it cost to travel to Switzerland, or how to afford it, this is the guide for you.
How much is the cost of transportation in Switzerland?
In this chapter I will break down average transportation costs in Switzerland into sections, so you can see what options you have and some approximate prices.
– Price of flights to Switzerland:
Switzerland is not the cheapest destination in Europe, so it is perhaps no surprise that there are not as many options as say…Spain. Companies like RyanAir and EasyJet do fly here, but often they only land in the further flung airports like Basel, instead of Zurich. Or at least, they have more flights there than to the main hubs.
There are also cheaper airlines that fly here, depending on where you are coming from. For example, in Germany, there is the local budget airline Eurowings that might help to keep your Switzerland trip costs down.
In terms of exact cost to travel to Switzerland, I have found you can get around Europe for anywhere from $50-300 one way. However, the further you go, and the less choice you have, the more expensive it often is.
– Public Transportation and the cost of trains in Switzerland
This is where all the action is in Switzerland. Why? Because Switzerland has one of the best, most densely covered and efficient public transport systems in the world. And as a visitor to Switzerland, you should take advantage of this network. And when I say network, keep in mind that means train, bus, boat, and even some gondolas. The only challenge is, like with everything here, the prices.
The best way to save money in Switzerland while using trains is to have what is called a Swiss Travel Pass. It comes in two main flavors: the standard, which gives you so many consecutive days travel (3, 4, 8 or 15) and the Swiss Travel Pass Flex. The second one I recommend to most people, especially if you stop off in a particular destination for a few days. The Swiss Travel Pass Flex gives you the same number of days, but you only use them when you need them, within one month. That way, you use the pass when you go long distances, and pay per ticket for local transport instead.
There are other benefits to these passes as well that might help you keep your Switzerland travel cost down, such as: free admission to over 500 museums and discounts on a whole range of otherwise expensive special attractions in Switzerland like the Jungfraujoch . Current prices for the Swiss Travel Pass Flex are: 3 days – 267 Swiss Francs, 4 days – 323 Swiss Francs, 8 days – 514 Swiss Francs, and 8 days – 563 Swiss Francs.
Another option to save on your Switzerland holiday is to buy your tickets ahead, especially long distance. The Swiss Rail website has discounted prices (called Super Saver), especially off-peak, which are way better the more in advance you go. However, you can benefit from them even on the day you travel. So, if you want to buy tickets as you go and still save – always check out the website.
Honestly, with such an awesome public transport system I rarely use either. Especially from the airport, where trains are a no-brainer. They go from right inside the airport and take you into town in minutes (in Zurich, and Geneva).
Unless you are out late at night, when even the trains run on weekends, there is little to no reason to use this very expensive form of transport. However, if you do have the need, go for Uber over Taxis because in my experience it is almost always cheaper. Examples of fairs in Zurich would be: $15 for a short ride within Zurich downtown. $35 to the airport from downtown.
– Costs to travel in Switzerland by road
Personally, I would not recommend hiring a car in Switzerland for a number of reasons.
First, renting a car in Switzerland is expensive and will rarely compare to the cost of the Swiss Travel Pass. Exceptions might be where there are 4 adults, but for most of you, this is unlikely. If you want to investigate this as an option, I can recommend Holiday Auto as a good site that compiles offers from most car rental companies. It seems that two weeks from Zurich will cost you at least 500 francs. And then there is insurance, fuel, etc.
Second, driving into cities in Switzerland, like most countries, is a right pain! Parking is difficult and expensive, with almost no street parking in most cities. Traffic can be crazy during peak times, and it’s super easy to get lost. When compared to the train, which arrives smack bang in the center of a town or city, it is a no-brainer to not drive.
Bus is an option for long distances if you want to save on train fares, but it is not super-common in Switzerland. However, recently, a company called Flix Bus from Germany I believe have been shaking up the market with cheaper prices. Give them a shot if you want to travel in Switzerland on a budget.
Another option to cut your travel cost in Switzerland is to use ride-sharing apps sites like Bla Bla Car, which can be a very cheap way to move from city to city. It can cost as little as $20 from Zurich to Geneva (4 hours). This normally costs $80 or more.
How much does accommodation cost in Switzerland?
Yes, the high prices continue, Switzerland is expensive especially in accommodation. But there are some ways to save and make your money last longer.
– Costs of hotel and apartments in Switzerland
Looking for cheap places to stay in Switzerland? Booking a hotel that is outside of town, or at least a distance outside of downtown, is the way to go. And with the amazing public transport on offer here, it is not really a problem to catch a train or tram for 15 minutes to get into town.
In some places, like Geneva, there is also the option of staying in another, cheaper city not too far away too. Lausanne is a great option, as is Montreux or Vevey.
Here is a list of places to stay in Switzerland, from budget accommodation to luxury hotels. You pick the one that fits better on your travel plans and wallet.
Need more tips to keep your Switzerland trip costs down? So think about sharing apartments and cooking for yourself, this is another great way to save. In general though, I would not expect to find something reasonable in a city under $150 a night. And from what I have seen in places like Geneva, accommodation cost can be even higher downtown. The average in places like Zurich tends to go even higher, like $200 or more, which is why you should take a peak on sites like Airbnb.
– Cost of Airbnb in Switzerland:
People in Switzerland were a little late to the game, but now you can find some really affordable places on Airbnb. Even places that are in decent locations, close to downtown. I have seen some really nice studio apartments, one train stop from downtown for about 70 Swiss Francs a night. Which is very reasonable, especially for two people.
Of course, if you are really traveling in Switzerland on a budget, you will have to head to a hostel and share a room with other people.
– Cost of hostels in Switzerland:
Even hostels in Switzerland are expensive, which is why Airbnb is such a great deal. Unless you are traveling solo. Then, you might want something even cheaper, or just meet other travelers who are in the area.
From what I have seen around Switzerland, shared rooms in a dorm tend to cost between 30-45 Swiss Francs a night. They also tend to have some decent private rooms for about double that, so it’s also a budget accommodation option for couples as well.
Of course, given you can find competitive rates on Airbnbs for under 100 Francs, I think you might often go for Airbnb instead. Here are some great Airbnb options I found in Zurich, which might come in handy.
– Cost of mountain huts in Switzerland:
This is just a quick mention, but if you are a big hiker and like doing overnight hikes – Switzerland is paradise! There are huts everywhere, seriously. And they give you a bed and food. So take advantage of it. It costs about 80-90 Francs a night including dinner and breakfast, and the locations are stunning. Just look at that image above!
How much is the cost of tourist attractions in Switzerland?
The most expensive attractions in Switzerland usually involve mountains and adventure activities. Heading up the Jungfraujoch for instance, an absolute must do in my opinion, it can cost around 190 Swiss Francs. Bear in mind the Swiss Travel Pass can get you a decent discount on this, bringing the price down to about 133 Francs.
Another trip I would recommend in Lucerne is the Pilatus Golden Round Trip. A stunning boat ride then a steep train to the top of Pilatus. A return via gondola is a great end to the trip. This costs approximately 103 Swiss Francs.
Other simple gondola rides like First in Grindelwald (worth it for the view of the Eiger) can cost 60 Swiss Francs return. And something like a trip up to the Kleine Matterhorn in Zermatt, at a breathtaking 3883m, will also cost over 80 return. Whereas a quick jaunt up to the view from the Schwarzsee will only set you back 32 return. You can find some other great ideas here.
Keep in mind that there are many free things to do in Switzerland, many of which are as stunning as those above. You can hike almost anywhere in the country and the mountains, for free. Including up to many of the views you pay dearly for via gondola. Of course, hiking to that altitude requires fitness, so is not for everyone. But you can do these rides one way (up) and then hike down. This saves you half the cost, making the price of traveling in Switzerland less scary.
Swimming in the lakes around the country is also free unless you use one of the public baths, which is not mandatory. And then there are the historic city centers. You can spend days exploring these, without stepping into a museum, adding to your Switzerland travel cost only transportation, accommodation, and food bills.
How much does nightlife cost in Switzerland?
If you want to enjoy a little nightlife while in Switzerland the best thing to do is just head to the local bars. Keep in mind that the Swiss are not the most open to foreigners when compared to many of their southern neighbors. Having said that, a little alcohol loosens up most people.
Beer can cost you almost the same as coke or water, so this is usually the best way to save on a night out in Switzerland. Especially on tap local beers – in the German part called a “stanger”, are the cheapest way to go, usually between 5-8 Francs. Another option is to buy cold beers from the local shop and drink them by the lake or river. The Swiss are very loose and open about alcohol, so there are no laws against it.
If you prefer cocktails, like me, you will be in for a bit of a shock. They often cost anywhere between 10 and 20 Francs a pop, on the higher end in cities, and more classy bars. And wine is equally expensive, with the only cheap places I have found a glass being deep in some forgotten valleys of the South like Binntal. But I am sure you won’t be going there. In general though, it is around 7-12 francs a glass. If you want to keep your Switzerland trip costs under control, perhaps leave wine and cocktails to your next trip to Spain or Italy.
Nightclubs are a little like London in many ways. Entry costs around 20 Francs and the clubs only tend to get going, or even open from 10 or 12pm.
Switzerland trip costs roundup
Is Switzerland expensive? Yes, it bound to be one of the more expensive destinations on your bucket list, but there are lots of ways to save costs. From using Bla Bla Car to get a ride between cities to staying in mountain huts instead of in the main tourist locations, you just have to be a little creative and flexible.
Planning is also the key, remember to book your accommodation and buy your Swiss Pass in advance. Research about the places you want to visit and find free things to do in Switzerland. The costs to travel in Switzerland can vary a lot if you manage to save on attractions and entrance, find a good deal on Airbnb and cook for yourself.
Another way to lower the cost to travel to Switzerland is to plan your holiday during the shoulder season. The cost of a trip to Switzerland during Summer or Autumn is way different from the Winter when it’s high season. A good example is the trip Love and Road did to Arosa in Summer (read all the tips here), such a great destination that becomes less crowded and cheaper when the temperatures are higher.
But in the end, don’t forget it’s a vacation and you also have to enjoy yourself, so spend money on the things that are most important to you!
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Author: Anna Timbrook
Anna was born to travel the world having studied languages all her life. Although she has traveled the world, she now calls Switzerland home and spends her time writing about her experiences on her travel blog with her husband. Follow her adventure on Twitter and Pinterest.
The cold wind blowing against our faces and the sound of crackling ice under our feet were surreal. We were crossing a freaking frozen river and we were thrilled! We explored just a tiny portion of the vastly and beautiful Siberia, but those 4 days visiting the Altai Mountains were more than enough to teach us some important lessons about Siberia, its people and why we should travel to lesser-known destinations in Russia.
We visited Altai Krai, a Russian region known by its mountains, lakes, winter sports and stunning nature. It’s the perfect holiday destination for locals and travelers that are up to explore hidden gems. Looking at Russia’s map you’re gonna find Altai region making borders with Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China.
During our trip to Siberia we stayed at Belokurikha, a charming town that is the perfect starting point for any winter adventure in the Altai Mountains. And it was in this tiny city that we discovered some crucial things about Siberia, and we bring it all to you as special travel hints that you won’t find in any guide book. That being said, let me tell you why we loved our first time in Siberia and why you should pack your bags and travel to Altai Mountains.
10 reasons why you’ll love to travel to Altai Mountains in Siberia
1 – Siberia is vast, much vaster than you expect
Siberia is the largest region of Russian territory, covering an area of 13.1 million square kilometers. But you can only actually understand the wilderness of Siberia when you get there, when you feel the wind blowing, when you see the neverending roads and contemplate the frozen horizon stretching to infinity. It’s beautiful, vast and raw.
2 – Nature is the invitation, but it is the people who make you wanna stay in Siberia
I know it sounds cliche to say that traveling is not only about places, but also about people. To be really honest, I’ve never expected that we would connect with Siberian people, and that they would become such an important part of the trip. Trust me, get through that serious Russian face and give Altai people a chance to connect, greet them with a smile and your open heart and you’ll understand what I’m saying. Yes, Nature is Siberia’s biggest asset, but it is the people who will help you enjoy it to the fullest!
3 – Altai Mountain is a land of powerful women
Meet Anna Beletskaya, the only blacksmith women in Siberia. This beautiful and strong lady works hard to build her reputation as an international master of blacksmithing, making not only Altai Mountains folk but the whole Siberia and Russia proud of her.
We also had the pleasure to meet and sing with Aychus, a woman whose mission is to keep the Altai ancient traditions alive. For the first time in my life, I listened to and played a jew’s harp, a mouth instrument made of metal that produces a hypnotizing trance sound. It is definitely not easy to play, but it is an important piece of the local culture and history that must be learned through generations, together with traditional dance, clothing, and food.
4 – Altai Mountains is a winter sport wonderland
Altai Mountains is a winter wonderland! Put your snowshoes on and go for a morning trekking in the forest or a snowmobile ride. If you prefer skiing or snowboarding you can literally do it from your hotel door. In Belokurikha, it took us less than 5 minutes to walk from the hotel to the ski facilities, plus 10 minutes to rent the equipment and then we were on the slopes.
Are you keen for something more adventurous? Something that will make your trip to Siberia a memorable one? So go on a guided tour to the Blue Lakes and be mesmerized by the Altai Mountains untouched beauty. Add to your itinerary a walk through the frozen Katun River, one of the biggest rivers in Altai region. Katun River is famous for its rapids, but during the winter it becomes a frozen white track surrounded by snow-capped trees and rocky cliffs.
Here is a side note: only walk over a frozen river with a local guide as it can be super dangerous. The frozen water has many cracks and holes, a wrong step can turn your adventure into an icy incident.
And also, don’t forget to go to Chemal village to visit the Patmos island, a small river island that hides a tiny and pretty Orthodox church. At this area, the Katun River is surrounded by cliffs. Just follow the path along the river and admire the stunning nature. We were so lucky to be there just before sunset and the light was amazing. No doubt Chemal is one of my favorite places in the Altai Mountains.
5- Altai is also a place of unique culture
The Altai people have a very distinct way of living, from how they build their houses to the shamanism religion. You can witness a bit of their culture at the restaurants that serve traditional food, the shops that sell arts and crafts, and also visiting sacred places in the mountains.
A visit to Tserkovka Mountain is a must, the mountain is famous for the views to Belokurikha town and also for the rock formations that tell the story of Altai people’s religion. The cable car ride to the top of Tserkovka Mountain is a beautiful and cold experience. The hotel staff gave us blankets for the ride, but even being completely wrapped from head to toe I was freezing all the way up and down.
6 – You won’t see bears everywhere
You might be disappointed but you won’t see bears in the Altai Mountains. I know this incredible animal is a symbol of Siberia, but the region is not as wild as you imagine and you will be safe walking down the forest.
7 – The language barrier is a real struggle
You don’t need to be worried about bears, but be prepared to face a hard time with the language barrier. If you can learn a few Russian words it will be very helpful, at least to break the ice and put a smile on their faces, and from that on mimics and Google translator are the best tools you can have.
But don’t panic, most hotels and tour companies have someone who speaks English in their staff to help you. The real struggle is if you venture yourself on going to small restaurants, local shops and taking the public transportation. But, you know, it can be hard but it can also be a great adventure.
We love to learn a few words before traveling to a destination where English is not so widely spoken. If you like doing the same, you can study Russian or any other language by yourself. Just follow our tips to learn a new language to travel here.
8 – Food is delicious, beer is good and you don’t need to drink vodka [if you don’t want to]
From the delicious pelmeni to local cheese, salted fish and honey beer, the food in Altai Mountain deserves a special chapter in this post. To be honest, I was expecting a heavy and boring cuisine, but it turned out the food in Siberia is delicious, packed with flavors that came in shapes of soups, fish with vegetables, cheese, and cold cuts, and honey biscuits.
Russia is famous worldwide because of its vodka. However, it’s definitely not the only local drink that you need to taste. Siberia has good beers, and you can try local craft beer at Bratchina brewery in Belokurikha. To tell you the truth, we didn’t drink a single drop of vodka in this Siberian adventure; we kept our body and soul warm with homemade honey beer brought by the video crew that was traveling with us. Spasiba, thank you guys, our Siberian drinking experience couldn’t be more local and stronger!
9 – Siberia is freezing but it’s also super hot.
There is nothing new here: Siberia is freaking cold, but it can be super hot too. If you go on a winter adventure you will be exposed to negative temperatures only when you are outside, and you can fight the cold weather with some winter gear. We are from Brazil and we are not ‘built’ for weather below 10ºC, so we packed a good pair of winter boots, woolen socks, thermal underwear, and rented a proper snow jacket and pants at the hotel.
Inside hotels and restaurants, the temperatures are super warm, not to mention the traditional Siberian Banya. If you feel like you need to relax your muscles, go for a Banya session. At this Russian sauna, the temperatures can go as high as 50ºC. You will sweat, the Banya guy will hit you with some medicinal branches and leaves, and after all that you’ll run outside and jump in the snow. Who said the cold weather was too bad?
And don’t forget the summer! During the hottest months, Altai Mountains is the place to be if you like rafting, trekking, and fishing. This part of Siberia changes completely during all four seasons, giving you the chance to explore incredible nature and do different activities throughout the year.
10 – You will need to go back for more
Altai Mountains is just a tiny part of Siberia and the perfect place for first a first Siberia trip. But I have no doubt that after a day or two exploring Belokurikha, the mountains and villages, you won’t want to leave this place, or you will be planning your next trip back. That is exactly what happened to us: we can’t wait to discover more of Siberia and the Altai region.
Rotterdam is one of those European cities that leaves you with a lasting impression. It has beautiful art, majestic architecture, and rich culture in pretty much every corner. If you are looking for the best hotels in Rotterdam and where to stay, you probably already know that this city is packed with things to do and places to visit. So let’s not waste any time here and get directly to the point: where to stay in Rotterdam, the best areas and best hotels for all types of travelers and budgets.
There is no single best area to stay in Rotterdam, each has its own distinct charm. The Erasmus and Willemsbrug Bridges for instance, the irreplaceable Witte Huis, or the less touristy districts that encompass a more local feel. To help you choose the perfect room in Rotterdam, we have listed some of the most popular areas of the city with the top hotels and hostels in each one. In our guide on where to stay in Rotterdam you’re gonna find options ranging from luxury hotels to budget friendly accommodation, giving you the opportunity to pick your favorite, book your trip, and start exploring this incredible city.
Rotterdam city center has an impeccable energy, so if you book your room here you’re gonna be right in the middle of the action. This is a large area, and is divided into small districts, each one with its own peculiarities. The Cool District is where the busy Witte de Withstraat Street can be found, with its bars, restaurants, galleries, and boutiques, there’s certainly enough to keep you entertained. Here you can find some of the coolest hostels, boutique hotels and international hotels in Rotterdam.
Another good place to stay in Rotterdam is the Triangle area, located near Blaak Square and the Market Hall. This district is known for its amazing architecture and prime location. From here you can visit almost all of Rotterdam’s attractions on foot or by public transportation.
Traveling to Rotterdam for shopping? You might want to book a hotel near Beurstraverse Street, the heart of the shopping district. Oude Haven (old port) is another popular spot where you can find plenty of cafes and restaurants, hotels, floating hotels, and floating houses. The Oude Haven is close to the Maritime Museum, Mass River and Willemsbrug, an alluring place full of history and Dutch culture.
If you want to see Rotterdam ’s multicultural side, book a hotel in the Oude Western district. Still considered city center but on the western side of the Central Station. Here you will find the city’s Chinatown, some cheap accommodation and Airbnb rentals, a good option for travelers visiting Rotterdam on a budget.
Best hotels in Rotterdam City Center
– Hilton Rotterdam
A luxury hotel in Rotterdam close to central station. Hilton is an elegant property; the building interior features some incredible artwork, making it a national monument. We visited the Presidential suite and it is absolutely fantastic.
Marriott Hotel is considered to be one of the most high-end hotels in the city and it’s definitely one in the best hotels near Rotterdam Central Station. In fact, the rooms at the Marriott Hotel have the best views of the station and city, so if you want to admire the city’s urban skyline, this is the place to stay. The rooms are immaculate, and the service, spotless.
The Holiday Inn Express is a middle range option, and is another good hotel near Rotterdam Central Station. The rooms are comfy and clean. The breakfast included in the room rate is basic but delicious.
This modern hotel has great views and is located in the Oude Haven. CitzenM Rotterdam is the best hotel for those who want to be close to the Market Hall, Cube Houses, and Mass River. The rooms are small, but the lounge area, bar, and restaurant are beautifully decorated, perfect for travelers who want to meet friends and socialize.
Inntel Hotel Rotterdam Center has one of the best views of the city. Located just beside the Leuvehaven metro station and in front of Erasmus Bridge; this hotel has the best location in Rotterdam to easily explore the city by foot or public transportation. We stayed in the Panorama Top room and loved it! The breakfast here is delicious, and the fitness center and pool area are a huge plus.
This hotel also has an incredible location, situated on the Oude Haven, practically everything is within walking distance. It’s a great option for any traveler seeking quality service and comfort without spending too much.
If hostels are more your thing, or you are looking to save money on accommodation, here is our list of the best hostels in Rotterdam city center. Some of these hostels have private and shared rooms you can choose between. All of the suggested hostels offer tours, guides and tons of activities in the hostel and around the city. For solo travelers, hostels are the best way to meet people to explore the city with. If you are traveling in Rotterdam on a budget and are looking for cheap accommodation these hostels might be a good fit for you.
– Hostel Stayokay – Cube House
Yes, at this hostel you can sleep in a Cube House, one of Rotterdam most famous attractions. The innovative architectural project by Piet Blom is visited by hundreds of tourists every day, but only a few can actually sleep in one of the cubes.
Here location is everything and you can’t find a place in Rotterdam more central than this. King Kong Hostel is located on Witte de Withstraat Street, perfect for any traveler who wants to enjoy the nightlife while being on the doorstep of the shopping area.
A super cute hostel near to the Rotterdam Central Station. The house is in a quiet street close to Chinatown. However, the best part of it is the owners of the hostel, two amazing women and their gorgeous cat!
Located close to Erasmus Bridge and Maritime district, Hostel Room Rotterdam offers private and shared rooms, tons of tours, activities and a busy bar. We took the Street Art tour with this hostel and enjoyed it a lot.
Kop van Zuid is arguably the most futuristic part of the city and is where some of the best and most luxurious hotels are located. The district is filled with tall towers and skyscrapers on almost every corner. Some of the most popular architects in the world have constructed buildings here, such as Rem Koolhaas, Alvaro Siza, Francine Houben, and Norman Foster. Besides futurism, history has deep roots here. Kop van Zuid was the location from which countless people embarked on transatlantic voyages, boarding steamboats heading towards America. We stayed here on our last trip, and it is for sure one of our favorite areas to stay in Rotterdam.
Best hotels in Kop van Zuid – Hotel New York Rotterdam
Hotel New York is one of Rotterdam’s most luxurious hotels. It’s a charming hotel with spacious rooms and excellent service. The hotel is located in a historical building, the former Holland America Line head office and even has direct access to a water taxi. When searching for where to stay in Rotterdam you ’ll see that Hotel New York is always among the top options in the city.
A fabulous location with the best views in the city, Nhow Hotel is one of the top places to stay in Rotterdam. Located at the De Rotterdam, an iconic three-tower building designed by Rem Koolhaas, the hotel offers luxury service, modern decor, and views that are to die for. We spent three nights at the Nhow Premium room with skyline view and loved every second. Don’t forget to order your breakfast in bed and in the evening, watch the sunset from the comfort of your own room.
With an excellent location, Room Mate Bruno mixes cool design, comfort, and a prime location just beside the Netherlands Photo Museum. It’s a new boutique hotel in Rotterdam and there are plenty of attractions within walking distance. The price is quite good considering the location and design.
B&B Unitas is a very unique accommodation in Rotterdam, this boat hotel offers a warm welcoming atmosphere and good service. If you have never stayed in a boathouse or boat hotel this is a good place for your first experience.
Delfshaven is one of the few districts in Rotterdam that survived the bombings during World War II. Therefore it still retains the essence of the city’s glory days. Since it’s a historic port area of the city, you can find one of the most popular ship replicas in the world – De Delft. Beer tasting is one of the best things to do at the waterfront, as well as checking out the historic spot where pilgrims gathered before sailing away on the high seas.
Delfshaven is close to Rotterdam city center and you can get around using public transportation or taxi. If you are looking for a place to stay in Rotterdam that is packed with history, this is the perfect address for you.
Best hotels in Delfshaven– Stroom Rotterdam Hotel
Stroom is an urban boutique hotel in Rotterdam located quite near the historic harbor, this is a neat hotel with nice eating options. The hotel is in a former electricity factory, so expect modern and out of the ordinary decor. The hotel is close to Het Park, only a 15 minutes walk, and close to tram and Water Taxi stations.
This is another good option for boutique hotels in Rotterdam. It’s modern and it has one of the best locations in Delfshaven as it’s near several museums and galleries. It’s a great choice for those who want to be close to city center, but not in a really busy area.
Simple yet comfortable, this is a mid-range hotel in Delfshaven. Hotel Orion has a great location for exploring the city, it’s relatively close to downtown, and only a 15 minute walk to Euromast and a 10-minute walk to Museumpark.
This district is one of the calmest and most peaceful in all of Rotterdam. However, it’s a significant tourist destination because of the exceptional Rotterdam Zoo. This is one of the oldest zoos in the Netherlands and is considered one of the top zoos in Europe. The Vroesenpark is a popular park with locals and tourists alike. If you want to stay close to the zoo and green areas, Blijdorp is the best option. If you are traveling with family and kids, this also might be a good place to stay in Rotterdam.
Best hotels in Blijdorp– Hotel Van der Valk
Known for its great service, Van der Valk Hotel is located very close to the zoo. Right next door there is a fitness center which hotel guests can use for a reduced fee. This hotel is located a very short drive away from the airport, too.
Rotterdam is a surprising city. In fact, many travelers go there for a day and discover that they need to come back for more. The list of what to see in Rotterdam is long, and to choose what to do in just 24 hours can be an overwhelming task. To help you make the most of your one day in Rotterdam, we created a killer one-day itinerary that combines art, food, and fun.
So you can make the most of your one day in Rotterdam, our first recommendation is to arrive early. Getting there is easy. You can fly to Rotterdam-The Hague International Airport, or arrive in the city on a cruise ship, by train, or by bus. When traveling in the Netherlands, the easiest way to get to Rotterdam is by train. Traveling from London? Check out the Eurostar train — it’s fast, comfy, and if you buy the Eurostar ticket in advance it’s quite cheap, too.
Our guide of what to see in Rotterdam in one day will take you to top attractions, iconic buildings, and a throw-in few stops for food as well. If the weather is good you can follow our tips and explore the city on foot or by bicycle, or if you prefer you can jump on a tram. Planning to visit some museums and use public transportation? Before going out and about stop at Rotterdam Tourist Information Office at the Central Station and buy a Rotterdam Welcome Card. A Rotterdam day pass only costs €12 and gives you 25% discount to 50 attractions plus free access to public transportation for one day.
Now it’s time to download Rotterdam’s map to your phone and follow our tips for the best things to do in Rotterdam in one day.
What to see in Rotterdam in one day
1º – Rotterdam Central Station
Our Rotterdam one day itinerary must start at the Central Station. This is not only a transportation hub, it’s one of the coolest stations in Europe and it’ll set the artistic mood for your day in Rotterdam. Take some time to admire the beautiful architecture and even grab a coffee. With the station at your back walk to your left, following Weena Avenue. On the next roundabout turn left again, and you are about to explore one of the coolest spots in Rotterdam.
2º – Cross Luchtsingel pedestrian bridge
You’re gonna spot a yellow pedestrian bridge, climb the steps, and discover this new world. Luchtsingel is an urban project, a wooden pedestrian bridge that not only connects two sides of the city but also offers art, music, and good food. At both ends of the bridge you’re going to find nice restaurants and shops. At Schieblock, an old building at the end of Luchtsingel bridge, there is rooftop restaurant and a cool beer garden on the ground floor.
3º – Stop at Coolsingel St. for historical buildings and cool souvenirs
After exploring the Luchtsingel pedestrian bridge, go back to the roundabout and follow Coolsingel Street south. You are in the heart of Cool District and there you can find some of Rotterdam’s historical buildings like the City Hall, the former Post Office and the Timmerhuis, a beautifully renovated building that houses the Rotterdam Museum. For artistic and unique souvenirs, stop at the Rotterdam Tourism Office at Coolsingel Street and grab a special gift to take home. Everything there is made by Rotterdam designers.
On both sides of Coolsingel Street there are cafes, restaurants, and shopping malls. Try to find Oude Binnenweg Street for cute shops, then walk towards Westersingel Street. At the corner where the two streets connect, you’re going to see Rotterdam’s famous Santa Claus. Rotterdam is packed with street art and the Santa Claus statue is a controversial one. Also known as ‘Buttplug Gnome’ it sits at the entrance of Rotterdam’s shopping district.
4º – Relax by the canal and search for more cool buildings and street art
Westersingel Street has a beautiful canal, and if the sun is shining, sit and relax. You’re gonna see tons of locals doing the same. Stroll around the canal to find some cool buildings like the Calypso and the Pauluskerk (St. Paul’s Church), statues and art installations. When you are done, walk back to toward Coolsingel Street or take a tram/metro to Blaak Station.
5º – Discover the medieval side of Rotterdam
Rotterdam was heavily bombed during World War II, and only a few buildings in the city center survived that time. The St. Laurence Church is one of them, and it’s also the only example of Gothic architecture in the city. Our one day in Rotterdam itinerary must have a visit to the church, to admire the history and see the contrast between the old and modern Rotterdam.
6º – Market Hall for food, art and architecture wonders
A couple of meters from St. Laurence Church is the Market Hall, a must-see place in Rotterdam. The building is gigantic, there you can find food stalls, restaurants, and shops, and on the top floors modern apartments. Don’t forget to look up to the ceiling and admire the stunning work of art ‘Horny of Plenty’ by Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam. As you only have one day in Rotterdam, take time to try some local specialties like Dutch cheese and stroopwafels. Then go back to Blaak Square in front of the Market Hall for an architecture feast.
7º Admire the Cube Houses, The Pencil and White House
The yellow Cube Houses are an icon of Rotterdam architecture. You can walk around them, admire the innovative thinking and even visit one of the cubes. The houses were designed in the late 70’s by Piet Blom, the same architect that created The Pencil, a tall building sitting beside the Cube Houses that looks like a pencil pointing to the sky.
After visiting the Cube Houses, stop by one of the bars at Oudhaven (old port) and admire the stunning Witte Huis, or White House. This is the first skyscraper in Europe, and one of the few buildings that survived WWII. Built in 1898 the White House is a fine example of Art Nouveau. At the background you will see an impressive red bridge, that is Willemsbrug, the second version of it, as the first one was destroyed during the war.
8º – Explore the Maritime District
Facing the White House, walk towards your right to Leuvehaven. You will see some cool buildings, old boats turned into hotels, restaurants, and houses. Follow the canals to the Maritime Museum. If you have an interest in learning about Rotterdam’s connection with sea and trading, go for a visit. We loved it.
If you still have energy cross the bridge on foot, otherwise take a tram from Leuvehaven toward Wilhelminaplein and enjoy the view. From Erasmus Bridge you can admire the Mass River and the Rotterdam skyline. The 800 meters long bridge is also called the Swan, due to its elegant shape.
10º Visit the modern Kop van Zuid area
On the other side of Erasmus Bridge you’ll find some impressive buildings like De Rotterdam designed by Rem Koolhaas, the new Luxor Theater, The Museum of Photography, a floating forest, and the charming Hotel New York, that once was the head office of Holland America Line. Just beside the Hotel New York there is a bridge connecting Kop van Zuid to Katendrecht. It’s time to cross it.
11º – Food, craft beer and pinball
By this time you are probably tired and hungry, so there’s nothing better than a food market filled up with local restaurants, Moroccan food, delicious coffee, and cold beer. After crossing the bridge you’ll see the Fenix Factory, a project that brought together food and art in a former warehouse which has one of the best views of Mass River. Grab a bite, enjoy the view, and have some fun at the Dutch Pinball Museum next door. The entrance gives you access to pinball machines from 1900 until now. You can admire and play with them.
In the same region is the famous SS Rotterdam, a steamship built in 1959, which after cruising many oceans was retired and opened to the public as a museum, restaurant, and hotel. To visit the SS Rotterdam you’ll need a couple of hours. You can choose to end your day in Rotterdam visiting the ship, or skip it and follow our suggestion of what to do in Rotterdam in one day. It’s your choice!
12º – Get a water taxi to Euromast
A water taxi ride is a must for anyone visiting Rotterdam. Doesn’t matter the weather conditions, these boat taxis are the coolest and fastest ways to get around Mass River and visit some of the best attractions in Rotterdam. From Fenix Factory get a water taxi to the pier close to Euromast to end your one day in Rotterdam with views and hopefully a beautiful sunset. Euromast is the tallest watchtower in the Netherlands, with 185 meters its revolving lift offers 360 views of the city.
13º Find your way to Witte de Withstraat Street
From Euromast you can take a taxi or a tram back to Cool District. Your day should end at Witte de Withstraat Street, the address of bars, restaurants, and galleries. There you will find a mix of locals and travelers, international cuisine, and top-notch drinks. Want to try something different and local? Order a Kapsalon, the best food to have after a few or many beers.
Do you want to see more of Rotterdam? Go for it!. The city has many museum, parks, galleries, and cute neighborhoods to be explored. It will be hard to pack everything in one day in Rotterdam so you might have to rethink your schedule and stay a bit longer. For more travel tips and a comprehensive guide of what to see in Rotterdam read our post The Best of Rotterdam.
Enjoy your one day in Rotterdam! I’m sure you gonna fall in love with the city and plan your next visit soon. Now it’s time to pack your bags and get ready to explore Rotterdam in a day.
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Rotterdam is our favorite city in the Netherlands! Yes, you got it right. As much as we love Amsterdam, our hearts belong to Rotterdam, a super cool city packed with history, art, good food and amazing architecture. Check our recommendations on what to do in Rotterdam, places to visit and delicious food to try, and we’re sure you gonna love it too.
When people talk about Rotterdam, the first two things that come to mind are the port – the largest one in Europe – and the iconic Cube Houses. But the second largest city in the Netherlands is way more than that: Rotterdam is home of many tourist attractions and also fascinating things to do and see. It took us two trips to really get to experience the city and be able to write this ultimate guide to Rotterdam.
Heads up, this post is gigantic and it goes beyond the famous tourist attractions and what to see in Rotterdam. Here you’re going to find tips to best places to stay in Rotterdam, how to get around the city saving money on transportations and attractions, plus some delicious food you must try and where to find them. Our list of things to do in Rotterdam is big, but if you plan your trip wisely you can pack most of it in 4 days or in a weekend break. Are you ready to discover the best of Rotterdam?
Best places to stay in Rotterdam
Rotterdam hotels cater for all types of travelers, from budget rooms to luxury suites. There are two things you should consider when booking your accommodation in Rotterdam: location and view!
My suggestion is to book a hotel in the city center or close to a metro/tram line so you can explore the city walking or using Rotterdam public transport. Rotterdam is all about visual experiences, the city breathes art and has some of the most interesting buildings in Europe, so your room must have a view. Nothing is better than going to bed under Rotterdam night skyline or waking up with its stunning sunrise.
If you think it’s the way to go, our recommendations to where to stay in Rotterdam are:
One of the best views of Erasmus Bridge and Mass River, Nhow Hotel combines modern decor and massive windows that make you feel like flying over the river. Sunset and sunrises are amazing from there, and if you manage to watch both of them you gonna love the city even more. The hotel is a few steps from the Netherlands Fotomuseum, the historical Hotel New York and the Fenix Factory. We stayed at the Nhow Premium room with skyline view and it was to die for. If you want an extra dose of glamour, book the Nhow Suite by Rem Koolhaas, the architect of the stunning De Rotterdam, which is where the hotel is located.
Here is where location meets great views! Inntel Hotels Rotterdam Center is located at Leuvehaven, close to Erasmus Bridge, and it is the perfect location for travelers that want to get around Rotterdam on foot or by tram. From there you can reach all the tourist attractions within minutes and still admire the astonishing Erasmus Bridge and the river. If you are traveling to Rotterdam for the World Port Days, this is the hotel to stay. You’re gonna have a privileged view of the activities happening at the river and you will be one step to where the action happens. We stayed at the Panorama Top Room and the corner window gave us unique views of the city.
Now comes the fun part: it’s time to list the top things to do in Rotterdam, places to visit, and also attractions that are not so common but that we love. Later on, you’re gonna find some of the best tours to do in Rotterdam and an exclusive chapter about food.
Our what to do in Rotterdam guide shall start with architecture, art and a little bit of history. Rotterdam was heavily bombed during World War II and the city got rebuilt in a very innovative way, merging urban spaces with art and a city that boosts creativity. There is no ordinary space in Rotterdam and everything is possible there. The best way to feel and understand Rotterdam’s unique spirit is walking around the city.
– Rotterdam architecture trail
Almost every building in Rotterdam is a tourist attraction and if I were to list all of them here this blog post would become a book. But there are some you really must visit, so we created a short list with our favorite ones. Be ready to blow your mind with shapes, colors and innovation.
It’s hard to believe that the Cube Houses were built in late 70’s. This architectural project by Piet Blom takes urban space and housing to a different level. You can walk among the houses, visit one of the Cubes and even spend the night in one of them [check out the hostel here]. The houses are built on a cube shape, placed on top of pylons and together they resemble trees, creating a concrete jungle.
Just beside the Cube Houses, there are other two amazing buildings that many travellers don’t take time to explore. One is The Pencil, also designed by Piet Blom, a tall building that looks exactly like a pencil pointing up to the sky, and the other one is the amazing Rotterdam Central Library. The Blaak Square is an epicenter of incredible architecture, from where you can see the futuristic Blaak metro station, some modern buildings and the iconic Market Hall, that deserves a special mention.
Rotterdam Central Station:
The renovated station added a wow factor to Rotterdam city center. The state of art diagonal roof is best welcome wish any traveler can receive. The station itself is huge, bright and plenty of shopping opportunities. The square around the station was also renovated, adding to the complex a gigantic underground bike parking and lots of green and resting areas.
Sitting by the Mass River, this three-tower building is an icon of Rotterdam’s skyline. Designed by Rem Koolhaas, the building houses a hotel, as well as restaurants and offices, and it has one of the best views of Erasmus Bridge. You can admire it from outside, you can also go on a tour do learn more about the building and the architecture innovations used there. Or you can spend some awesome nights at the Nhow Hotel, just like we did.
Also known as the Swan, this elegant and modern bridge is one of the main Best of Rotterdam tourist attractions. The design is beautiful and the views you get from crossing the bridge are even breathtaking. Our list of suggestions on what to do in Rotterdam must have a visit to Erasmus Bridge during the day and in the evening, as it looks even more stunning when it’s lighted up.
The first Willemsbrug bridge was destroyed during WWII and a new one was built in 1981. The construction itself is impressive, but, more than that, the bridge connects the Oude Haven [old port] to Noordereiland, a super cute neighborhood located in the middle of Mass River.
Also designed by Rem Koolhaas, the Timmerhuis is an old building behind the city hall with new and modern architecture features added to it. It is a beautiful complex that was brought to life with apartments, bars, restaurants, and a museum, all under the same modern roof.
These are some of the city’s modern architecture wonders, but you also need to add to your list of places to visit in Rotterdam some old beauties, such as:
Built in 1898 and measuring 43 meters, this was Europe’s first skyscraper. The White House facade is decorated with Art Nouveau mosaics and statues making it one of the Rotterdam must see. Together with the City Hall, it’s one of a few buildings that wasn’t destroyed during the WWII.
The building was constructed with mixed styles, from Byzantine, Roman and Art Deco. Just beside it, there is another impressive building that used to be the Post Office, and both of them are located in front of the Timmerhuis.
Van Nelle Factory:
This former tobacco industry was renovated in 2000, being declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. It’s a fine example of Dutch modernist architecture and an amazing place to visit.
Hotel New York:
In 1917, this building was constructed to house the Holland America Line head office, and it used to be where Dutch immigrants sailed to North America from. In 1993, it became the glamorous Hotel New York, adding a nostalgic charm to a fast-growing area in the city. If you fancy staying at this beautiful Hotel New York, check the rates and book your room here.
– Market Hall: food and art in only one place
Located at the Blaak Square, in front of the Cube House, the central market is a must visit in Rotterdam. Go there for some good local food, like Dutch cheese and stroopwafels, or just to be mesmerized by its design and colorful ceiling. Rotterdam Market Hall is a combination of apartments, food stalls, shops, restaurants, parking, and museum. On the underground, you can see historical artifacts from different periods of the city’s history. On the ground level, the main attraction is the gigantic panel ‘Horny of Plenty’, by Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam. As you go up, there are apartments overlooking the square in a prime location of the city.
– Laurenskerk, the medieval side of Rotterdam
St. Laurence Church is the only Gothic building remaining in Rotterdam, and that’s why it’s worth the visit. The church was reconstructed after being partially damaged by the World War II bombing. Nowadays, it’s one of the most interesting places to see in Rotterdam as you admire the old and new architectural features side by side.
– Euromast for a bird’s eye view
If you like dazzling views, you must visit Euromast. The observation tower is located beside the Het Park, another beautiful place to visit in Rotterdam, from where you can have a 360 view on the city. The Euromast was built in 1960 and in 1970 the space tower was added, making it the highest watchtower in the Netherlands measuring 185 meters.
The Euroscope is a revolving lift that takes the visitor to the top of the tower on a smooth and fun ride. And if you are in the mood for an adrenaline rush, you can even go down from the tower on an abseil line.
– Visit some of the best museums in Rotterdam
Rotterdam breathes art and everywhere you look you can see paintings, graffitis, sculptures and statues in public spaces. But if all that is still not enough to satisfy your desire for art, there are some great museums worth adding to your Rotterdam to do list. At Museumpark you can visit Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum and the Natural History Museum, which are among the best ones in the city. If you have any extra time, check out Kunsthal Museum with its temporary exhibitions and also the Rotterdam Museum at Timmerhuis. But if we had to choose only two or three museums to visit in Rotterdam, our picks would be the Maritime Museum, Netherlands Fotomuseum, and the Dutch Pinball Museum.
Travel back in time when Dutch sailors explored the far east on the glamorous cruises that sailed into the new world. The interactive expositions are great fun and also an easy way to learn about our oceans. Looking for things to do in Rotterdam with family and kids? A visit to the Maritime Museum must be on your list. Stroll around Leuvehaven to have a close look to old port machinery and an outdoor exhibition.
Dutch Pinball Museum:
We had a blast there! Pinball lovers, movie addicts and anyone who likes a good game should spend at least an hour there. Located on a former warehouse, the museum is filled with pinball machines from 1900 up until now, and you can actually play almost all pinball games there. That’s right, you pay to visit the museum and play, from one hour or for..
Rotterdam is deeply connected to the sea and trading. The Mass River is the pulsing heart of Rotterdam. The city houses the largest port in Europe, also considered one of the biggest in the world. As a traveler, you can be part of this maritime world, go on on a Rotterdam boat tour, visit ports, themed museums, and do a bunch of cool activities by the river.
The Rotterdam Maritime Museum and the boat tours are just two of the many water activities in Rotterdam that you can experience. The list of what to do in Rotterdam by water is long and if you are looking for things to do in Rotterdam with family, this guide is perfect for you. Here you’re going to find activities for kids and grown-ups. Some of our suggestions are famous attractions in Rotterdam, like the boat tours and port tour, while others are great if you wanna go a little bit more local.
Rotterdam boat tours and much more
– Boat Tours and Rotterdam Port Tour
As the largest port city in Europe, there are parts of Rotterdam that are best experienced on the water, so a boat tour in Rotterdam is a must do for any traveler.
The docks and the shipyards are quite interesting and tours like the Rotterdam Harbour Tour will allow you to have a good look at them, experiencing history from up close. There are many boat tours in Rotterdam: you can choose the one that suits your schedule or most interesting itinerary. We boarded on the Spido Boat Tour and we loved it! It was a 75-minute adventure cruising the Mass River, visiting different ports, and seeing the city from a completely different angle. If the weather is good, this is the perfect boat tour to relax, have a beer and admire the city. The Spido Rotterdam Harbour Tour ends with the impressive steamship SS Rotterdam. You don’t get to visit it in the inside, but if you don’t have that much time to explore the city, you can see it from outside during the tour, and then you can kinda cross this Rotterdam attraction off your must-visit list.
– Travel back in time at the SS Rotterdam
In 1958, Queen Juliana launched the Steamship SS Rotterdam after a lavish ceremony. It was considered to be the last Dutch State Ship, which is why it’s also a marvel of engineering. In September 2000, it was finally retired and its interior has been restored as faithfully as possible to its glory days, and then converted into a unique museum. There are a restaurant and a hotel inside the ship, so if you fancy a night of glamour you can book a room at the SS Rotterdam and enjoy the full experience.
– Visit the Maritime Museum Rotterdam
Rotterdam’s maritime history is deep and colorful, and few spots are better representations of it than the Maritime Museum. It’s Holland’s oldest open-air harbor museum, and a historical part of the city. The area used to be a busy port that was heavily bombed during World War II. After the war, the whole port was rebuilt and today you can visit it as an open-air exhibition, and let us tell you, it is one of the coolest free things to do in Rotterdam. The Maritime Museum has a large permanent collection and interactive exhibitions. Part of the event is following a guided tour, which focuses on Netherland’s history, as well as Rotterdam’s importance as a port city.
– Pancake Boat Rotterdam
Imagine yourself cruising Rotterdam Maas River while eating delicious pancakes! Yes, all you can eat Pancake Boat Tour is a thing in Rotterdam and a popular attraction among families and friends. One of the best things about this boat tour is that the seating is always great! It doesn’t matter where your table is, stunning views are guaranteed. Along the way, you’ll see attractions like the Wilhelmina Pier, the SS Rotterdam, and the fantastic Erasmus Bridge. And don’t forget the pancakes!
– Only in Rotterdam you can soak in a HotTug
Floating down the canals while lounging in a steaming hot tub is one of Rotterdam’s most unique activities. Actually, the HotTug is one of the most memorable things to do in Rotterdam. This is the world’s first wood-fired hot tub that allows you to float down a canal, like a little boat. The season doesn’t matter, this is something you can do from hot summer to freezing cold winter. Think about it as a social activity best shared with friends, loved ones, and family.
– Try the Water Taxi in Rotterdam
There are few things in Rotterdam that are as exhilarating as speeding down the Maas River. Rotterdam boat tours are great fun, but crossing the river on a speedboat is even better. With a water taxi you can easily go to almost any part of Rotterdam in practically a blink of an eye since traffic jams won’t be an issue. There are dozens of different landing sites all over the city. If you spot a yellow platform by the river or by a canal, that’s a Water Taxi stop. It’s the perfect way to travel around during summer, but they’re not bad at all during winter as the taxis are heated.
– Discover Rotterdam’s Old Harbor
The Old Harbor, or Oude Haven, is the oldest harbor in Rotterdam. It has been around since the 14th century, and its a must visit place in Rotterdam. Many of its historic ships have been moored and anchored at this location adding an extra charm to the area. Oude Haven is a popular spot in Rotterdam and it’s filled with bars and restaurants. So take a seat, order a drink a enjoy the view. It’s also the location of Europe’s first skyscraper – The White House, or Witte Huis.
During World War II, almost entire Rotterdam was bombed and destroyed. However, Delfshaven is one of the few parts of the city that survived almost entirely intact. If you’re interested in seeing just how Rotterdam used to look in its older days, then Delfshaven is the perfect lesson for that. It’s an old historic port, and its shipyards were responsible for creating entire armadas. You can visit a replica of De Delf, an important warship that sunk in the final years of the 18th century. The world’s largest warship replica is at the Museum De Delft, located in Delfshaven.
– Food and Fun at Fenix Factory
At Fenix Factory you can find all sorts of food, craft beer, and delicacy. It’s a food hub located in Katendrecht, inside one of its industrial warehouses. There are several different shops, each with their own distinct vibe and feel. Once you have chosen your food, grab a seat outside, eat and relax overlooking the Maas River and Wilhelmina Pier.
– Rotterdam’s Iconic Bridges
Erasmus and Willemsbrug are the most famous bridges in Rotterdam and you simply must visit both of them. They’re some of the most dominating pieces of architecture in the city and are considered two irreplaceable landmarks. Each one connects very important parts of the city. Erasmus bridge connects the Maritime District with Kop Van Zuid to its futuristic skyscrapers. And Willemsbrug bridge connects Oude Haven to the cute Noordereiland neighborhood.
If you have time, visit Erasmus Bridge during the day and at night, and you might as well have numerous photo opportunities there.
The World Port Days is one of the most important events in Rotterdam. If you like sailing, ships, and all-around adventures on the water you must be part of it. World Port Days is a maritime event that offers different tours and excursions on the many vessels that take part in the festival. There are normally helicopter shows and demonstrations, a water cannon display, as well as a speedboat racing. There are also plenty of companies which will show off their barges, which you can board on and explore for a bit. World Port Days 2019 happens during the first week of September, on the city’s harbor, so don’t miss it! Bear in mind, that during the World Port Days, the boat tours in Rotterdam change their schedule and departure times, so book your tour in advance. Also, the city tends to be packed with tourists, so book your room in advance as well.
Photo credit: Iris van den Broek
The Mass River and canals are full of things to see. Many travelers only enjoy Rotterdam boat tours, but the truth is that there are much more cool things to do there. The river is filled with unique historical places, and it’s also one of the best spots to view the city from. It doesn’t matter when you’re visiting Rotterdam, take time to explore the canals, river and do some water activities, you gonna experience the city in a unique way.
Where to stay in Rotterdam by the river
For travelers who want to have a full water experience in Rotterdam, there are some special hotels and accommodations waiting for you. Think about floating rooms, magnificent views of Mass River and Erasmus Bridge and much more. Let Rotterdam hotels surprise you.
We have stayed in two amazing hotels in Rotterdam, and both have fascinating views of the river and Erasmus Bridge. Each one has a different style and decor, but both are super comfy, spotless and have great hotel services.
Nhow Hotel – Premium room with skyline view: we loved all about it! The view, the modern decor and the breakfast in bed were fantastic. The building itself is an attraction, so why not stay at least one night at Nhow Hotel and wake up to an incredible skyline?
Inntel Hotel Rotterdam Center – Panorama Top Room: the corner suite has an outstanding view overlooking the Mass River and the city. The room was great, the breakfast was huge and you can have it while admiring Rotterdam’s canals. The location is even better: from the hotel you can explore Rotterdam on foot or by public transportation.