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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.

Need Rotterdam travel tips?   Find out the Best of Rotterdam, what to do, places to visit here.

Where to stay in Rotterdam City Center

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.

Check Hilton Rotterdam Hotel rooms and rates here!
– Rotterdam Marriott Hotel

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.

Check Rotterdam Marriott Hotel rooms and rates here!
– Holiday Inn Express Rotterdam Central Station 

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.

Check Holiday Inn Express Rotterdam Central Station rooms here!
– CitzenM Rotterdam

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.

Check CitzenM Rotterdam rooms and rates here!

– Inntel Hotel Rotterdam Center [our pick!]

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.

Check Inntel Hotel Rotterdam Center rooms and rates here!
– Ibis Rotterdam City Center

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.

Check Ibis Rotterdam City Center rooms and rates here!

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.

Book your room at Hostel Stayokay – Cube House here!
– King Kong Hostel

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.

Book your room at King Kong Hostel here!
– Hostel Ani & Haakien

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!

Book your room at Hostel Ani & Haakien here!
– Hostel Room Rotterdam

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.

Book your room at Hostel Room Rotterdam here!

Where to stay in Kop van Zuid

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.

Check Hotel New York rooms and rates here!

– Nhow Hotel [our pick!]

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.

Check Nhow Hotel rooms and rates here!

Room Mate Bruno

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.

Check Room Mate Bruno rooms and rates here!

B&B Unitas

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.

Check B&B Unitas rooms and rates here!

Where to stay in Delfshaven

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.

Check Stroom Rotterdam Hotel rooms and rates here!

– Hotel Light

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.

Check Hotel Light rooms and rates here!

– Hotel Orion

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.

Check Hotel Orion rooms and rates here!
Where to stay in Blijdorp

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.

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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.

Be inspired > Find best photo spots in Rotterdam here
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.

9º It’s time to meet the Swan

No doubt Erasmus Bridge is one of the most famous attractions in the city, and you can’t spend a day in Rotterdam without visiting it. Before crossing, take some time to walk around or even go on a boat tour to Rotterdam Port (the Spido Rotterdam Harbour Tour takes only 75 minutes). More about Rotterdam boat tours and water activities here.

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.

If you need to leave Rotterdam in the same day, from Witte de Withstraat you can take a taxi or a tram to Central Station. Do you want to spend the night in Rotterdam? If so, then do it right, choose one of the best hotels in the city like Inntel Hotels Rotterdam CenterNhow Hotel, Rotterdam Marriott,  Hilton Rotterdam, Hotel New York or CitizenM Rotterdam. Traveling to Rotterdam on a budget? Some of the coolest hostels in Rotterdam are  Hostel Ani & HaakienKing Kong Hostel, and Hostel Room Rotterdam. Still in doubt? Choose the best hotel for your one day in Rotterdam on Booking.com.

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:

  • Nhow Hotel:

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.

Check the rates and book your room at Nhow Hotel here!

  • Inntel Hotels Rotterdam Center

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.

Check the rates and book your room at Inntel Hotel Rotterdam here!

There are other good hotels in Rotterdam with gorgeous views or outstanding location, from cheap accommodation to 5 stars boutique hotels. For more hotel ideas check out booking.com

What to do in Rotterdam and places to visit

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.

  • Cube Houses:

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.

  • De Rotterdam:

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.

  • Erasmus Bridge:

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.

  • Willemsbrug:

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.

  • Timmerhuis:

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:

  • White House:

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.

  • City Hall:

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.

  • Maritime 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..

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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.

Want to sleep in a floating hotel in Rotterdam old port? Book a room at H2OTEL, or rent a houseboat on Airbnb. Want something extra special? So stay at a unique and stunning cardboard made floating house at the old port in Rotterdam. Don’t forget to sign up for Airbnb here and get a discount on your first booking. 

– Visit the charming Delfshaven

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.

Be Inspired! Check out the best photo spots in Rotterdam here

Photo credit: Anne Reitsma

Don’t miss Rotterdam World Port Days

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? 

 Book your Nhow Hotel room here!

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.

Book your room at Inntel Hotel here!

The list of good hotels in Rotterdam is big, so here are some of the best ones that are close to the river or have a special connection with water.

Hotel New York: if you want to stay in a charming historical building with amazing service, you should know that nothing can beat Hotel New York. Check the rooms and rates here!

H2OTEL: dreaming of a floating hotel in Rotterdam? Book your room at H2OTEL and stay at the old port of the city. Check the rooms and rates here!

Rent a houseboat in Rotterdam: that’s a good option for families and group of friends. On Airbnb, you can rent houseboats in Rotterdam for days, weeks or months. Choose the one that shakes your boat and live like a local. Find the coolest houseboats in Rotterdam here, and sign up for Airbnb here to get a discount on your first booking.

Cardboard Floating House in Rotterdam: this is the cutest floating house we’ve ever seen, and we wish we knew about it before we got there, so we could have booked at least one night there. Innovative thinking, design and Rotterdam maritime culture: this house puts all this together with style. Book you cardboard floating house on Airbnb here. Sign up for Airbnb here to get a discount on your first booking.

Love this Rotterdam by water guide? So pin it for later!

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Melbourne is a city that appeals to many different travelers thanks to its culture, its welcoming residents and the vast amount of interesting activities on offer. We know, Melbourne (and Australia in general) is sometimes considered a relatively expensive travel destination, but those on a budget shouldn’t be put off; not everything is expensive there. There are plenty of fun and free things to do in Melbourne, cheap attractions and activities that can fit even on a tight budget.

In Melbourne, you can visit beaches, art galleries, attend free music gigs, work out with others at zero cost, browse the many markets, stroll along the river and relax in green parks and gardens… That’s only a few things to do in Melbourne for free!

Melbourne has a unique vibe, and its fair share of nature too. Whatever your preference in terms of entertainment, this city has it covered. Check out some of our favorite free or cheap things to do in Melbourne, so you don’t have the break the bank while you’re in this wonderful city.

Top free things to do in Melbourne
  1. Tour Melbourne’s art galleries  

Art lovers can head to Victoria, where they’ll have various art galleries to choose from. Here you’ll find the works of internationally famous artists, as well as plenty of local artists’ exhibitions. You might want to check out NGV International (National Galleries of Victoria)on St. Kilda Road for the international exhibitions, and if you’re looking to keep costs down, aim for the permanent collections, which you usually won’t have to pay for. The same goes for a few of the temporary exhibitions.

The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), a beautiful building situated in Southbank, is another free place to visit in Melbourne, an experience worth having. It’s a gallery with a difference, as it commissions its own art. That’s why you’ll be able to view some quite unusual exhibitions, ranging from the innovative to the contemporary.

Both galleries are admission free, and cool things to do in Melbourne. 

  1. Educate yourself on Aboriginal history

If you want to understand the local history a little better, there is a center dedicated to educating you and it’s one of the free things to do in Melbourne. The Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Centre in Federation Square is dedicated to this purpose, and as ‘Fed Square’ is a major attraction itself, you’ll probably be in the area at some point.

At this center, you can find out plenty about Aboriginal history. You’ll get a clear idea as to what Melbourne looked like before the British colonization, which happened a couple of centuries ago. Learn about the custodians of this land, the Wurundjeri people, as well as the interesting Koorie history and culture. Explore the permanent social history exhibition and various other exhibitions of aboriginal art.

  1. Chill out in Melbourne parks for free

When it comes to parks and gardens, Melbourne can lay claim to some of the most beautiful in Australia. Make a stop at the phenomenally huge Royal Botanic Gardens, near to the Yarra River and the CBD, and you can kick back and relax amidst 38 hectares of lush greenery – this place a botanical dream, with a diverse range of trees, flowers, and plants.

The Royal Park is another nature lover’s paradise, and in terms of size, it makes the Royal Botanical Gardens look tiny! Navigate the 180 hectares of greenery via tram or train, and don’t forget to stop off at the pretty Zoological Gardens. If you haven’t got your fill of parks by then, you could head over Treasury Gardens, which is also very close to Fitzroy Gardens – both are very beautiful and frequented by people who just want to enjoy a peaceful afternoon away from the city’s hustle and bustle. The best part, visiting the parks don’t cost a penny, they are some of the best and free places to go in Melbourne.

  1. Take a city tour by bus or tram  

The City Circle tram is a popular way of finding your way to different attractions, and it’s an attraction itself. Jump on and off the tram at sites like Federation Square, the Melbourne Aquarium and Parliament House. Ohhh, this is another free tourist attraction in Melbourne.

Another option is the city sightseeing bus, which is not free but can be a cheaper way to get around the city and visit the markets, such as Chinatown or Queen Victoria Market. If you traveling with family this can be an affordable option of things to do in Melbourne with kids, as you can get a good discount for a family package.

  1. Take a stroll beside the Yarra River

It would be a shame not to spend some time by the Yarra River when you’re in Melbourne. It’s has a social scene all of its own – it’s even the site of various music festivals throughout the year. A stroll down the banks will provide plenty of entertainment! By day, look upon the interesting graffiti and architecture. Stop by any of the cafes and bars for a break and a bite to eat, or have a barbeque, Aussie style. If fishing is your thing, you can do that there too.

It’s not unusual to see people indulging in fitness activities along the banks, whether that’s running, cycling or speed walking. If you fancy a boat ride, jump on a river craft a Princes Walk or Southgate; you’ll be able to hop off again at some of the city parks if you want to kill two birds with one stone. By night, look at the picture-perfect mirage on the water created by the myriad lights, or relax with a glass of wine.

  1. Pick up a bargain at a Melbourne city markets

Melbourne is famous for its many markets, all of which bring a different vibe and a variety of goods, foods, crafts and more. Sample delicious street food, grab a second-hand sweater or take home a local artist’s creation. There are many bargains there, and you needn’t spend a fortune to have fun. Free food samples are common, so it’s even possible to eat without forking out!

Some markets are big on live music, which adds a little extra sparkle – if that sounds like fun, Queen Victoria market at night is the one. Most visitors will put this market on their agenda, as it’s the biggest and best known. However, you’ll find plenty of other tourists there, so if you’d rather mooch around a smaller, quieter market, head elsewhere. For that, you’ve got Camberwell market, and Rose Street Artists Market in the Fitzroy area.

  1. Explore St Kilda Foreshore

Another unmissable free thing to do in Melbourne is to visit St Kilda Foreshore. This beach area is massively popular with both visitors and locals, and there’s plenty happening there – a lot of which won’t cost you anything at all. Grab a coffee and cake and indulge in the local pavement café culture, or browse the colorful local shops around the Acland Street area.

Alternatively, get down to the beach itself for some swimming, sunbathing, kite surfing, or any of the other beachside activities St Kilda can offer you. Wander around the Sunday markets or get a ticket to see a show at the theatre, take a walk along the promenade and pier, or get the adrenaline going at Luna Park’s ancient amusement rides! If a free live music gig sounds appealing, put the Esplanade Hotel on your visit list too.

There are so many more reasonably priced (or free) activities in Melbourne that you’ll have a hard time leaving any space on your agenda – we have only touched on a few. Obviously planning ahead helps, as you’re less likely to get caught out by unexpected expenses, but rest assured that you’ll still be able to make the most of this amazing city, however small your budget is!

As you are traveling to Melbourne on a budget, we are not only helping you to save on activities but also finding affordable hotels to stay. So here is our suggestion of cheap places to stay in Melbourne.

Where to stay in Melbourne that won’t ruin your budget

There are many places to stay in Melbourne, from 5 stars to shared rooms, but let’s talk about the affordable ones. To help you travel on a budget, here are some of the best and cheap hotels in Melbourne.

Location and comfort are the key factors when booking a cheap place to stay in Melbourne, so here are 3 good options where you will be close to many attractions, public transportation, and restaurants.

– Ibis Melbourne – Little Bourke Street

This Ibis Melbourne is located 5 minutes from Southern Cross Station and 10 minutes walking to Melbourne Aquarium. The hotel offers comfy rooms, fitness facilities, and a rooftop terrace.

Book your room at Ibis Melbourne here!
City Center Budget Hotel:

The City Center Budget Hotel  is close to many attractions in Melbourne, 10 minutes to Chinatown and Federation Square, and only two minutes to Parliament Train Station. Rooms are private with shared bathroom, a good option for those who want more privacy than hostels, and each room has its own refrigerator and kettle.

Book your room at City Center Budget Hotel in Melbourne here!
Hub Hostel:

At Hub Hostel  you can book private or shared rooms. The property is located a few meters from public transportation and a park. The reviews are good, especially towards the cleaning and comfort.

Book your bed at Hub Hostel in Melbourne here!

If you are not sure yet, keep searching for cheap accommodation in Melbourne on Booking.com. There are plenty of hostels and hotels there, and some of them have free cancel policy, so you can book now and if you change your mind you can cancel or change the dates without paining any extra fee.

Now you know what to do in Melbourne for free, cheap activities and even how to book a room without spending that much. Time to pack your bags and explore this amazing city.

Love this guide to cheap and free things to do in Melbourne, Australia? Pin it for later!!

Author: Cal Bailey

Call runs Mountain Leon – a travel blog he started after two years on backpacking around the world. If you want to learn more about life on the road or his adventure, make sure you check out his sleeping bag guide.

The post Cheap or free things to do in Melbourne appeared first on Love & Road.

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Let’s face it, Europe is overflowing with beauty, both conventional and unique. The sheer diversity of locations, architecture, and history makes Europe the world’s best continent for photography. However, few cities in the entire world can hold a candle to what Rotterdam has to offer in terms of photography. If you like to snap cool shots while traveling in an amazing destination, these photo spots in Rotterdam will light up your wanderlust.

Rotterdam is Europe’s largest port city, and one of the largest in the world, and it’s been a confluence point for culture from all around the globe. It served as an important hub for centuries, and that’s evident in every corner of the city. From its magnificent skyline and the unique little shops, to every nook and cranny you can find.

Although exploration is a key point when it comes to finding the right photo opportunity, in Rotterdam you don’t need to walk much. Just by wandering around you’re gonna find a plethora of photo spots in Rotterdam, from architectural photography to local life snaps and street art shots. Some of Rotterdam’s photo locations are open to the public, others are hidden between buildings or inside shops and cafes adding an extra challenge to find that perfect place, angle, and composition.

Whatever you choose to do, you’re bound to have a photo adventure. The idea is to go out and about exploring the amazing things to do in Rotterdam and freeze unique moments with stunning backgrounds. If you are planning your trip to Rotterdam check out our 10 favorite spots for urban photography, visit them during day and night as the city changes when the sun goes down. Pack your cameras, lenses, phone, tripods and extra batteries, your Rotterdam photo journey starts now.

The coolest photo spots in Rotterdam

1 – Cube Houses, one of the most famous photo spots in Rotterdam

The Netherlands, and Rotterdam by extension, have always had a unique approach towards art. Rotterdam is a very artistic city, and architecture is one of its most important focal points. The first versions of the houses were built in the 1970s by Piet Blom with the idea of maximizing urban space use efficiency. The houses are built atop hexagonal pylons with cubes placed on top on a 45º angle, and their design greatly resembles trees.

Photo Idea: since these houses were built with a perspective shift in mind, taking a photo from unique angles is a must. Either from outside or inside, you can play around with perspective. Add a human element to your photo to show the dimension of the cubes using the lines to create depth in the photo.

2 – Erasmus Bridge, a bridge with hundreds of photo opportunities

Erasmus Bridge is one of Holland’s most important and well-known bridges. It’s a historic landmark even though it’s relatively new, nowadays it’s an iconic part of the city’s skyline. Due to its design, it’s been lovingly referred to as The Swan because of its asymmetrical pylon. The tallest point of the bridge is almost 150 meters high, so it often dwarfs most of the nearby buildings.

Photo Idea: using the bridge as a focal point of a photo is a fan favorite of many photographers. It can also be used as a way to dwarf the surrounding buildings, especially if you place the bridge to one side of your picture. From the top, you can capture the bridge and the busy river Nieuwe Mass. Don’t forget to visit the Erasmus Bridge during night time as well, it’s one of the best photo spots in Rotterdam for long exposure photography.  

3 – Delfshaven, a romantic photo spot in Rotterdam

Rotterdam has had a long and turbulent history. It was one of the cities that endured a lot of bombing during World War II, and because of that, a large portion of the city had to be rebuilt after the war. Thankfully though, Delfshaven is one of the few neighborhoods that was mostly not hit by the bombs. Because of this, the old-world charm still resides in the city. You will be able to admire houses facing the canals, discover old breweries, incredible churches, and even a replica of an 18th-century warship.

Photo Idea: merely walking through the neighborhood’s numerous alleys provides incredible photo opportunities. With friendly locals and stunning architecture, what more could you ask for? And don’t forget the reflections, the canals can play a big role in your photos over there.

4 – Central Station, capture Rotterdam’s busy life

This wonderful and unique transport station is one of the modern pillars of Rotterdam. It’s the central hub from which over a hundred thousand people enter or leave Rotterdam on a daily basis. That’s where you can catch every bus, tram, and train in the city. The Central Station has received a total makeover in recent years, and the new design is spectacular. Its angled rooftop now points towards the center of the city, and the new facade and outdoor area are amazing. The clock, a few sculptures, and the lettering that spells its name remain intact though, adding up to its impeccable charm.

Photo Idea: this is the perfect place to capture the city’s buzz. There’s a sense of scale around the building so it’s always great to capture the moment where a new visitor meets with Rotterdam for the first time. The roof is impressive, so bring your wide angle lenses to snap it. When the sun is out, you can play with flares and reflections. Another cool idea is to stay at the Rotterdam Marriott Hotel and have a bird’s eye view of the station. If you are serious about your photography book a room facing the station and you will be in one of the coolest photo locations in Rotterdam, perfect for sunrise and sunset timelapse.

5 – Market Hall, Rotterdam photo spot that combines architecture, food, and art

Rotterdam is definitely a grand and majestic city. It has a unique charm and it often feels as if it’s grander than most cities in the world due to its impressive buildings. The Market Hall is no exception, an enormous building that combines food stalls, markets, restaurants, and apartments. It’s an innovative building on its shape, purpose and impressive ceiling that is also a work of art.

Photo Idea: the Market Hall is one of the most diverse photo locations in Rotterdam. You can snap urban shots outside showcasing the architecture and the busy life at Blaak Square. Inside, the colors of the ceiling is the highlight, but don’t forget the food stalls, a true heaven for those who like yummy food photography.

6 – Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk, a medieval photo location in Rotterdam

Also known as the Church of St. Lawrence, it’s one of the most iconic landmarks of the city. It’s a medieval Gothic church from the late 15th century and it is also the only remaining Gothic building in the city. Following the bombings in Rotterdam during WWII, the surviving church and its immediate reconstruction signaled that the people and their city were entering a new and hopeful era. The church stands as a bold testament of the city’s heritage, especially when put in contrast with the modern architecture around it.

Photo Idea: as a symbol of renewal try capturing how the church stands out amidst the modernity of its surroundings. Once it regularly has mass celebrations, the crowd of people might serve as a great focus on how Rotterdam’s spirit never wanes. If you are looking for unique photo spots in Rotterdam, book a tour to St. Lawrence Tower and get to see the city from a different and stunning perspective. From the top you can see the iconic Market Hall, the Cube Houses, and many more impressive buildings to photograph.

7 – Witte Huis, Art Nouveau and great composition in a single photo spot

Known as The White House of Rotterdam, this iconic building dates from 1898 when it was the tallest building in Rotterdam [43 meters tall] and the first skyscraper in Europe. It’s one of the very few central buildings that survived the bombings during WWII, and it’s a national landmark nowadays. Its beautiful facade is something that should definitely be on your pictures, as well as its Art Nouveau mosaics and sculptures. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon in Rotterdam.

Photo Idea: if you intend on capturing Rotterdam’s artistic heritage, there is no finer point in the city. From one side you can frame the Witte Huis with the surrounding canals, boats and Willemsbrug bridge. On the other side, you can work on different angles and snap the contrasting architecture of the White House and the Cube Houses.

8 – Willemsbrug, a cool photo spot in Rotterdam that is often neglected

Willemsbrug is one of the city’s most historic bridges. Today’s version is actually the second one, which was built in 1981. The original Willemsbrug was a late 19th-century bridge which was a key defensive point during WWII. Because the defensive forces were able to repel the Germans on this bridge, the Germans decided on bombing the bridge instead. The new Willemsbrug has a very unique design that works majestically for photos. The best part is that most of the tourist and photographers focus on Erasmus bridge leaving Willemsbrug bridge aside, which can be perfect for your photo.

Photo Idea: this photo spot in Rotterdam will dare your imagination and photography skills. It’s hard to capture the real size of the bridge so you might need to cross it a couple of times to find the perfect location. Add a human element or cars to your picture to show the grandiosity of Willemsbrug bridge. Think about the composition and colors, the red from the bridge stands out well, even on a cloudy day.

9 – Luchtsingel, another amazing and symmetric photo spot in Rotterdam

In 2015 the Luchtsingel was officially unveiled, a unique pedestrian bridge which connects the city center and the north part of Rotterdam. But it’s far from being only a pedestrian bridge, this yellow wooden construction becomes one of the symbols of Rotterdam spirit, mixing art, urban architecture and local entrepreneurship. Learn about Luchtsingel project here and get ready to snap some cool shots at this yellow and symmetric photo spot in Rotterdam.

Photo Idea: once the bridge connects large portions of Rotterdam, you can use that information to craft a photo that showcases connectivity. Change your angle to play with the symmetric lines of this place. Think about contrast, movement, and composition. This is one of the coolest photo locations in Rotterdam, even a selfie works well there.

10 – Rotterdam’s Modern Architecture will add WOW factor to your shots

Rotterdam is one of the world’s leading architectural cities. It’s one of the main reasons why it hosts the International Architecture Biennale. Everywhere you look you’re treated to some of the world’s most fascinating buildings, it’s hard to tell which one of them is more unique. Buildings like Maastoren, De Rotterdam, Luxor Theatre, Millenium Tower, Euromast and De Brug are some great examples of modern architecture that can beautifully make the perfect background for your photos.

We can’t forget to mention the old buildings that received a remake a few years ago, becoming some of the coolest spots for photography in Rotterdam. Add the splendid Van Nelle Factory, Timmerhuis, Museumpark, and the Hofplein railway viaduct to your photo itinerary, and that’s just to mention a few.

Photo Idea: our advice is to look up, down and to all sides. Change your angles and play with different lenses. From the ground or from the top you can take amazing shots of Rotterdam’s iconic buildings. The modern architecture is an invitation to let your imagination flow, working with reflection, lights or using the architecture as a cool background for portraits. In Rotterdam, you are free to create your own photos and memories.

The beauty of Rotterdam is basically unmatched. There are photo opportunities at every turn, and each photo can easily signify something great and amazing. Rotterdam is truly Europe’s coolest city for photography, we have been there twice and can’t wait to return. There are incredible places for photography in Rotterdam that we haven’t visited yet, so to plan our next trip and to inspire you to travel there, we’ve compiled some of the best photo spots in Rotterdam using Trover. Check them out!

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Traveling as a couple is one of our expertise. It has been over 4 years roaming around the globe, collecting incredible experiences and unforgettable memories. And just like us, there are millions of traveling couples out there and you probably have a friend or two that can fit perfectly in this wanderlust category. We also know that finding the best gifts for traveling couples is not an easy task, it seems that they have done, seen and bought it all. That’s why we are here, it’s time to share our tips and help you buy the coolest gifts for couples who love to travel. I’m sure this guide will make your life easier and the couple’s next trip more enjoyable.

So if you know a couple that loves nothing more than being on the road together, seeking out new places to inspire their friends, here’s a list of the perfect gifts for traveling couples that will help them blaze a trail.

5 Best gifts for traveling couples

  • Tinggly Gift Box

There’s oodles of scientific research backing up the idea that experiences make us happier than material possessions. So why not give to your favorite travel couple a unique travel experience? If this idea sounds like the coolest travel couple gift ever check out Tinggly.  What makes Tinggly so special is they’ve collected 100s of the best experiences all over the world, perfect for travelers and couples. All you need to do is select the type of gift voucher you want to buy according to your budget, and the couple can be sent a stylish gift box, or an e-voucher, which is useful if they’re already traveling. Then they can choose whatever they want to do, whenever and wherever they are. Tinggly even has gift vouchers for couples so they can share their passions. An extra tip here, travel experiences are a great wedding gift for traveling couples, they can even use them on their honeymoon!

  • Travel Pillows

Nothing says romance like a set of matching travel pillows, right? So what about buying a matching travel pillow? Seriously, when you’re on a long flight or train journey, a comfortable travel pillow is about the biggest luxury you could hope for. A lot of people do have them already, but if your couple does, then who’s to say you can’t upgrade them? You can even get travel pillows that can be personalized with a unique design!

  • Solar Charger

Most traveling couples will have a number of devices stowed away when they hit the road. Maybe you already got them a drone! But for sure they’ll have their phones, perhaps a GPS, a tablet, a Kindle or a GoPro camera. How to keep them all charged, especially if they’re in a remote place without a reliable source of electricity? A solar charger is the answer. All you need is a patch of sunlight and you can continue making calls, taking photos or listening to music. This is also one of the perfect gifts for traveling couples that are conscious about the environment and want to make their trips as green as possible.

  • Drone

The standard selfie in front of an iconic landmark doesn’t cut it anymore. Today’s traveling couple needs to go above and beyond – literally. Capturing scenes with a drone allows for incredible overhead panoramas, and the latest technology means that these cool devices are more compact and robust than ever before – easily fit into a backpack. Sure, this is one for those of you with a higher budget to spend, but if you really want to see some impressive holiday pics when they get back, you need to get them one of these. Side note here, this is Rob’s favorite travel couple gift idea.

  • Airline Coupons

Your traveling couple probably needs very little encouragement to hop on a flight whenever the mood takes them, but you can give their plans a boost by buying them airline coupons. This allows them to get amazing discounted rates on all kinds of flights around the world, perhaps even an upgrade.

Need some inspiration to find the most romantic destinations to send your traveling couple? What about classy and romantic Paris? Or maybe a mix of culture and romance in Bangkok, Thailand? For couples who like adventure and nature, Langkawi in Malaysia can be a unique idea. And don’t forget The Philippines, one of our fave beach destinations.

Airline coupons or tickets are also a great idea if the couple is on the road for a long time and you’re hoping they might make it back for a special occasion – a hint that you’d be happy to see them again and by the way, I already got your plane tickets covered so now you have no excuse! No doubt this is the best gift idea for couples who travel and are complaining they can’t go back home for holiday season.

This gift list could go on and on, and we might update it as soon as we discovered other cool gifts for traveling couples that goes beyond the traditional travel journal or power adapter. Not that those items are not good enough, actually they are essential to any traveler. What we want is to find gifts, experiences or products that will make your couple travel gift the coolest of the party, so maybe on the next trip, your travel couple brings to you an extra special souvenir.

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The post 5 Cool Gifts For Traveling Couples appeared first on Love & Road.

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Looking for a Viking Ocean Cruise in 2019? Look no further, Into the Midnight Sun Viking Cruise has probably the best cruise itinerary out there. A 14-day journey across Norway, Scotland, and England, packed with stunning landscapes, impeccable service and, of course, the Midnight Sun. Traveling on board a luxury ocean cruise ship is an experience like no other, but doing it through the coasts of Norway and the UK makes this trip an experience of a lifetime.

Imagine yourself surrounded by stunning fjords, colorful and picturesque fishermen villages, pristine lakes, and a lot of wildlife. After cruising the Arctic Circle it’s time to see the gorgeous Midnight Sun and sail to the North Cape before setting route to UK’s most wild islands, known for their impressive cliffs, furry poneys, and cute puffins. If this Viking Ocean Cruise itinerary sounds like the perfect trip for you, keep reading, you will be surprised about how unique, well organized and luxurious Into the Midnight Sun Viking Cruise is.

Our Viking Ocean Cruise review will cover the ship itinerary, restaurants, bars, onboard facilities, staterooms, shore excursions and much more.

Into the Midnight Sun Viking Cruise Itinerary

Our Into the Midnight Sun cruise itinerary started in Bergen, Norway and ended in London, UK, passing by Geiranger, Molde, Tromsø,Honningsvåg, and Lofoten in Norway, and Lerwick, Kirkwall, and Edinburgh in Scotland. A total of 14 days sailing through fjords, crossing the Arctic Circle, visiting historical cities, getting to know the local culture, people and, of course, the local cuisine. It’s a true immersion into the Viking culture. And the best part is, you can visit all these places without worrying about packing and unpacking, organizing tours, booking drivers or restaurants.

Into the Midnight Sun Viking Cruise also sails the opposite direction, from London to Bergen. And as we are talking about the cruise itinerary, let me share a bit of the onshore excursions and activities we did before getting into the proper Viking Ocean Cruise review. Apart from the outstanding ship and service, no doubt the Viking Cruise shore excursions were the highlight of the trip.

Viking Ocean Cruise Shore Excursions

There are tours at all port of calls, which are included in the Viking Ocean Cruise price, but there are also optional excursions for which you will need to pay extra. Over 75 different excursions were available on our itinerary, they carefully selected tours to attend travelers looking for cultural, historical, nature, and/or adventure experiences. It’s important to mention that you need to book your tours in advance, the earlier the better as some of them have limited capacity.

Here are the destinations and some of the shore excursions offered during Into the Midnight Sun Viking Ocean Cruise:

  • Bergen, Norway

Time on shore: Approx. 26 hours.

Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, an important port and for centuries it was the capital of the country. You have plenty of time to explore the city as the ship stays in Bergen for a whole day. The port is close to the city and you can easily walk to attractions like the Fish Market and to the historical buildings of Bryggen wharf. Watching the sunset from the top of Floyen mountain is a must.

Recommended Shore Excursions: Fjord Fishing and Flightseeing over Fjords & Glacier

  • Geiranger, Norway

Time on shore: Approx. 10 hours.

The quote “the journey is the destination” fits perfectly here. To reach Geiranger our ship cruised through monumental fjords and countless waterfalls. It was one of my favorite parts of the journey, sipping cognac at the Explorers Lounge while admiring the Norwegian fjords. In Geiranger the ship was anchored so we needed to take a 10-15 minute tender ride to/from the shore. The town is small, there are several souvenir shops and restaurants, and it’s home to the Norwegian Fjord Museum. The famous viewpoints, Eagles Bend and Flydalsjuvet are accessible by taxi or with the shore excursions.

Recommended Shore Excursions: Geiranger Eagle’s Bend Overlook & Fjord Center and Kayaking Geirangerfjord.

  • Molde, Norway

Time on shore: Approx. 10 hours.

Molde is famous for the Molde Panorama, an impressive range of 222 mountain peaks, picturesque villages, and the Atlantic Road. We stopped at Håholmen, a tiny fishing village that dates back to 1700. It was an important fishing port for years, the colorful fishermen’s houses are now hotel rooms and restaurants. Another highlight of this Viking Cruise shore excursion was the driving through the curvy bridges of the Atlantic Road, impressive.

Recommended Shore Excursions: Håholmen, a Viking experience.

  • Tromsø, Norway

Time on shore: Approx. 6 hours.

Tromsø historical center is a short walk from the harbor and it’s packed with stunning architecture. The city also houses the Arctic Cathedral and a cable car that will take you to the top of Storsteinen, 421 meters above sea level.

Recommended Shore Excursions: Svensby home visit and Husky trek through arctic hills.

  • Honningsvåg, Norway

Time on shore: 6 hours.

Honningsvåg is the northernmost city in Norway and it’s also the departure point to Nordkapp. Our tour to the North Cape was great fun even with harsh weather conditions.

Recommended Shore Excursions: drive to the North Cape and visit Honningsvåg & Surroundings by ATV.

  • Leknes (Lofoten), Norway

Time on shore: Approx. 6 hours.

The Lofoten Islands are blessed by nature, its mountains, lakes, and fjords are absolutely stunning. This is definitely a place I will return to stay longer. Our 4 hours hike was just a glimpse of how appealing the nature on the Lofoten Islands is.

Recommended Shore Excursions: Tjorndalen Scenic Hike and Sea Eagle Safari by RIB

  • Lerwick (Shetland Islands), Scotland

Time on shore: Approx. 10 hours.

The best word to describe the Shetland Islands is wild. The cliffs, the rough seas, the chilly wind, and the ponies. This archipelago is beautiful, it’s got stunning nature and over 1,500 ponies living there freely. While exploring the island we saw sheeps, ponies, puffin birds, flowers, lighthouses and houses that seem to have come from a child’s storybook.

Recommended Shore Excursions: Shetland Panorama & Ponies and Walking the Nature Trails of Mousa Island.

  • Kirkwall, Scotland

Time on shore: Approx. 8 hours.

The St. Magnus Cathedral and the Earl’s and Bishops Palace are examples of Kirkwall’s splendid architecture. Its UNESCO Neolithic sites are among the best preserved in the world.

Recommended Shore Excursions: Highlights of historic Orkney.

  • Rosyth (Edinburgh), Scotland

Time on shore: Approx. 10 hours.

Visiting Scotland’s capital is like a trip to the past. The narrow alleys and passages are a maze around the extraordinary Edinburgh Castle. The Scottish bagpipers performing along the Royal Mile add a fine touch to this medieval city. Bear in mind that the pier is located about 40 minutes from Edinburgh city center by car.

Recommended Shore Excursions: Edinburgh Highlights.

  • Greenwich (London), England

Time on shore: Approx. 22 hours.

London is one of the most important and diverse cities in the world, thanks to the extensive reach of the British Empire. Buckingham Palace, London Eye, the Parliament, the Shard, its museums, parks, and galleries are just a small sample of what to do in London.

For more inspiration check out our guide to what to do in London in one day.

The arrival in London was amazing, cruising through the River Thames, passing by the Thames Barrier and seeing the change of scenery was incredible. The boat was anchored at Greenwich Port and we reached the shore by tender. It usually takes less than 10 minutes to/from the shore. From Greenwich to London city center it took us about 40 minutes by taxi.

Recommended Shore Excursions: I need to add a HIGHLY recommended here, the Ceremony of The Keys at the London Tower is a unique experience. Don’t miss it.

Into the Midnight Sun Viking Ocean Cruises Review

Viking Ocean Cruises has a fleet of 5 ships, and one more will be deployed in 2019. Each ship can carry 930 passengers, they’re categorized as “small ships”, with a length of 745 feet and a beam of 94.5 feet. This allows the ships to easily navigate and have access to most of the ports. The Scandinavian design gives them an elegant and modern touch, it’s luxurious without being too posh. Our Into the Midnight Sun itinerary was done on the beautiful Viking Sea ship, or as the Captain used to call her: “the shining star of the sea”.

  • The Viking Ocean Cruise Staterooms Review


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The first day was tough, and the second day was even harder. My muscles were sore, my abs hurt and the beach was calling us, but I was happy to push myself to my limits and have fun while doing it. I kept my focus and stuck to the plan, the week of bootcamp in Spain was flying by and I wouldn’t give up.

The idea of joining a fitness holiday has been in our minds for quite a while. Rob is the sports enthusiast of our relationship [he already raced the Singapore and Paris Marathon, and 3 Ironman Triathlons], and although I love running and working out, the thought of compromising one week of my summer to a health holiday didn’t sound like too much fun. However, Rob convinced me and after searching for the best fitness holidays in Europe, I found a bootcamp in Spain that appealed to me. We made a decision, let’s start our summer in Europe attending the Ultimate Fitness Holiday in Mallorca, Spain.

Getting in shape, resting my mind, making friends and on top of that, having a great time on an island, our bootcamp holiday in Spain was everything I expected and even more. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t as difficult as I thought and the results were amazing. So if you are thinking about joining a health and fitness retreat in Europe keep reading, it’s time to share our ultimate fitness experience in Mallorca and also give you some information about what a bootcamp holiday is and what to expect from a healthy retreat.

What is a Fitness Holiday?

A Bootcamp or fitness holiday is basically a place you travel to in order to workout a lot, practice sports, eat healthily and see positive results on your body and mind. Some people might choose a wellness retreat focused on yoga and meditations, others choose martial arts activities, and there are fitness vacations that mix everything. It doesn’t matter what type of health and fitness holiday you choose, the idea is to move your body, look after your health and learn some good habits to take home.

Why should you travel to a bootcamp holiday?

There are many reasons to book a healthy vacation, for me, these are the most important ones:

1st – You take time to look after yourself.

2nd – Qualified instructors will help you to workout every day.

3rd – You can travel to a nice destination and if it’s summer you can book a health fitness holidays in the sun.

4th – Meet new people.

5th – In an all-inclusive fitness vacation you don’t need to worry about anything for a week.

6th – Go beyond your limits and discover new abilities.

8th – Be surrounded by nature and rest your mind.

9th – Learn how to keep fit and have a better lifestyle.

10th – Feel Good!

What type of person travels to a fitness camp?

Before traveling to the bootcamp in Mallorca I was worried about how the crowd would be like. Will they be super fit and strong? Will I be able to keep their pace during the activities?

All these questions were positively answered during the first two days of our fitness holiday in Spain. All kinds of people go on a healthy vacation, they might be fitter than you or not, but a well-organized bootcamp will make you feel comfortable and confident even if you are not the strongest one.

I was so happy with our group, a mix of girls from UK, Ireland, and Switzerland, all of them with different targets and different levels of fitness, and we all worked together to reach our personal goals. That week Rob was the only man, laughing on us during the push-ups but complaining like a baby during the squats.

Some of the girls were into sports and wanted to lose weight and get fit. Others were there to discover themselves as solo travelers for the first time. I was there to get a 6 pack for the summer and go paddle boarding every day. Rob was focused on the outdoor activities more than the HIIT sessions. There was no pressure, of course, our instructors were tough and they made us work hard, but they always respected our limits and goals.

Why traveling to a bootcamp in Spain?

Spain is always a good idea, especially in summer! I can’t think of a reason not to plan a fitness retreat in Spain but if you still need to be convinced here are some healthy excuses that will make you book a fitness holiday in Spain:

1st – The weather is sunny and warm, perfect for outdoor activities and bootcamp routines.

2nd – Nature is gorgeous, Mallorca has stunning beaches and amazing mountains.

3rd – Mallorca really feels like a holiday destination, even if you are there to workout.

4th – In Mallorca you can add cultural activities to your fitness holiday.

5th – It’s super easy and quite cheap to travel to Mallorca. You can fly to Mallorca with low-cost airlines from anywhere in Europe .

Talking about flying, check out the best flights to Mallorca on Skyscanner and Kiwi.com  

6th – If you decide to stay longer on the island you can book a hotel in Palma de Mallorca, the busiest city on the island, or choose a guesthouse on a secluded beach.  

Check for the best hotels in Mallorca here!

7th – Mallorca offers a good value for the money. You can find hotels, restaurants, and experiences for all types of budget and taste.

8th – Food! Spanish cuisine [and wine] is delicious.

9th – You can travel around and explore other destinations in Spain before or after the fitness bootcamp holiday in Mallorca.

10th – Have you seen the Spanish people (OMG)?

Check out our travel guides to Spain and discover other destinations to add to your holidays.

Why did we choose the Ultimate Fitness Holiday in Mallorca?

Searching for bootcamps experiences we found the Ultimate Fitness Holiday website and they have great reviews about their fitness camps in Bali [Indonesia] and in Phuket [Thailand]. We were about to travel to Europe and they had just opened a bootcamp in Mallorca-Spain, more than a coincidence, that was a perfect opportunity for us.

Barcelona and Ibiza were on our itinerary, so we emailed them and in less than a week we had everything sorted out. From the 17th to the 24th of June we were set to work our asses off and get fit for the two weeks in Ibiza. The Ultimate Fitness Holiday in Spain was beyond our expectations and we loved it. So here goes our honest review of the fitness bootcamp holiday in Mallorca, what we liked and what we didn’t:

– Ultimate Fitness Holiday infrastructure

The house is spacious, bright and super clean, it has a lovely garden and a terrace that are perfect for relaxing, reading or sunbathing. And yes, during your fitness holidays you have time for all these! Yoga-stretching activities happen on the terrace and the HIIT sessions at a resort nearby. The house is beachfront, you only need to cross the road to sink your toes in the water. Meals are included [except for dinner] and they are served in the Beach House, you don’t need to worry about cleaning, organizing, or anything…

They have thought about everything, from workout equipment to instructors, bikes, and extra activities. You only need to wake up on time, be ready to sweat and wash your dirty closes later. It’s a true holiday by the beach, but instead of sipping cocktails you are doing push-ups and sprints.

Big shout out for Tereza, who took care of us, cooked our lovely meals, organized the house and guided us through some awesome hiking trails.

– The best time to travel to a fitness bootcamp in Spain

The bootcamp happens from May to September, but talking with them we discovered that they might run it until October. We were there in the second half of June and it was getting really hot, so I’m not sure how people will cope with the high-intensity training during July and August. When the wind blows it’s lovely, but the sun can be hard without the sea breeze.

I would suggest booking your bootcamp in Spain in May, September or even in October. The weather will be mild, it’s not high season then the prices on the island are cheaper, perfect for those who want to stay longer in this Mediterranean paradise.

– Accommodation in the bootcamp

When you book the Ultimate Fitness Holiday Spain you can choose from the standard package where you stay at the Beach House in a shared dorm, or the deluxe package where you stay in a resort just beside the Beach House where some of the activities happen. There is also a possibility to book only the fitness bootcamp training package and plan the accommodation and food by yourself.

We stayed at the Beach House, in a double room with shared bathroom. Some of the girls in our group stayed at the resort and enjoyed a room with a bathtub, a big outdoor swimming pool, and spa facilities. It’s up to you, we chose to stay in the Beach House as we really wanted to have a social experience with the group.

The house has two shared bedrooms, a double room, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a living area. Outside there is a nice backyard and a terrace. In front of the house is the beach, a very calm and warm bay, and in the back is a Natural Reserve with a few houses and endless tracks for running or cycling.

– Bootcamp routine: activities and free time

Now comes the fun part, the bootcamp activities, and training routine. When I was reading the bootcamp schedule I thought it was a lot of workouts, not enough meals and not much free time. But after the first day I changed my perspective, and for me, it was a great balance of intense workouts, delicious meals, and a lot of free time to relax, explore the island or exercise. Here is the bootcamp training schedule:


Arrival day, time to settle in, meet people and go out for dinner together. Depending on what time you arrive, you can enjoy the beach or explore the area by yourself.

From Monday to Friday

7:45 – 8:30: yoga/stretchings

8:30 – 9:00: light breakfast

9:00 – 10:00: HIIT – High-Intensity Training [it’s hard but it gives amazing results, and Melissa is an insanely good instructor]

10:00-11:00: Breakfast and announcements

11:00 – 12:30: Stand Up Paddle [on Monday you have a class and on the other days you go paddling  by yourself]

12:30 – 14:00 – Free time

14:00: Lunch

15:00 – 18:00: Free time [on Friday the free time ends at 16:00]

18:00 – 19:00: High-Intensity Training, beach training, beach volleyball or an outdoor activity. [on Monday there was a hike to Cala Boquer and on Friday there was a hike to Cala San Vicente]

The activities start punctually and you don’t need to attend all the classes, but come on, you are on a fitness holiday so make the most of it. I skipped some classes because I was very sick for the first two days. I tried to exercise but I couldn’t stop coughing, so I decided to skip HIIT classes for one day. Rob missed a few yoga sessions as the roads were calling him. While we were stretching he was finishing his 10K morning run.

All the classes in the workout schedule are included on the fitness holiday package. There are other extra activities you can do, but they need to be paid separately like kite surfing classes, relaxing massages or chiropractic sessions. Two of the girls in our group went kitesurfing and they were super excited about, I didn’t know that Port Pollença is a first-class destination for kite and windsurfing.


Free day! You can choose to stay in, go explore the island or go on a tour. Our group decided to take the ferry to Formentor Beach and spend the day soaking up the sun and working on our beach photos.

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Winter season is coming and your ski holidays in France are around the corner. You have thought about this trip the whole year, staying in a cozy and luxurious chalet in the French Alps, overviewing the stunning mountains and enjoying a hot cocoa in the morning. However, there is one small detail you haven’t been able to decide yet: where exactly you are going to stay and how to book the perfect ski chalet in France.

There are hundreds of different options for resorts and ski chalets in France, and depending on the location you might even find dozens of luxurious chalets near to each other offering similar services. The main question is, how do you choose the perfect luxury ski chalet that fits all your needs?

With this brief guide, we’ll provide you with the key factors to account when looking for that dreamy cottage that will keep you covered and entertained during your trip to the French Alps.

1 –  Your ski chalet in France is for a solo, a family, or a romantic trip

The first thing you must consider when searching for a luxury ski chalet in France is how large your group will be and how it’s composed. Your accommodation options will vary greatly depending on whether you’re traveling with your family, a group of friends, as a couple, or alone. A luxury ski chalet can accommodate six or more persons and offer every possible facility. But if you’re going alone or with your partner a small, yet comfortable, room in a French Alps ski resort might be better for you. Once you know your group’s size, you can start narrowing the search to account for the next items on this guide

2 – Consider your skiing skills when booking a ski chalet in France

The second most important factor to account is your personal skiing skills and your purpose for the trip. Don’t think that because your skiing skills are minimal or inexistent, you can’t stay in a luxurious ski chalet in France and miss out the fun.

There are ski instructors, beginner facilities, and dozens of activities for those who still haven’t mastered the sport. And if you’re not into skiing, you can still enjoy the Après Ski and the overall experience of staying in a French ski chalet. On the other hand, if you’re an intermediate skier who loves going down the slopes, look for chalets that have direct transportation or are close by the ski parks.

3 – Ski-in, Ski-out chalets in France

The best option for hardcore skiing enthusiasts is Ski-in, Ski-out chalets, an excellent choice that allows you to start skiing right from the cottage. That way you don’t have to waste time on ski lifts, transportation, and going up and down the slopes. Keep in mind that this option is much pricier than traditional French ski chalets and finding one at bargain prices might be difficult.

4 – Location and transportation

Now think about how close the chalet is to the towns, restaurants, and other entertainment options. Some luxury ski chalets in France have magical views, and you can start skiing right from the front door but getting to the nearby markets will require you driving a car or taking a bus for several minutes.

If you want to be closer to the activities offered in the ski resorts, like bars, restaurants, cultural and historical tours, you must search for a ski chalet that’s either nearby to the experiences you’re looking for or one that offers easy access to transportation.

5 – Lodgings and facilities

Luxury ski chalets in France have everything you need to feel at home. Spacious areas, comfortable furniture and rooms, excellent kitchens, and every possible combination of environments, from rustic, classic looking chalets, to modern architecture with state-of-the-art appliances.

Most French ski chalets are standard and cater to most travelers. If you have special requirements like access to handicapped persons, or you want some specific comforts and amenities in your chalet, you’ll have to contact first and look around for them before making a reservation.

6 – Cooking, cleaning, and planning

These luxury ski chalets don’t hold back on lodging, and neither do they on services. You’ll find a beautiful and fully equipped cottage ready for use, where you’ll be able to live and relax like it was your own home but without the worries of maintenance.

With self-catered chalet you can do your groceries, cook at your on time and enjoy the facility of your cottage. Some luxury chalets offer cleaning service during your stay and you can talk to the cottage management to choose the best days and time.

However, for those seeking to relax to their fullest and not spend time cooking and cleaning up the dishes after a whole day of skiing, there are serviced luxury chalets. They can provide a steady supply of meals and drinks at the snap of your fingers.

Some luxury ski chalets in France can take your holiday experience to a higher level, helping you with drivers, booking ski passes, groceries, and other services. When booking your luxury chalet or villa in France ask them what services are available you will be surprised by what they can do to make your ski holidays a memorable one.

7 – Après Ski & nightlife activities

If you’ve never had the chance to come over and stay in one of the beautiful chalets that populate the French Alps and skiing parks you don’t have any idea of how busy the nightlife gets.

After the ski or Après ski, as the locals call it, is a combination of experiences and people looking to enjoy the nightlife of the ski resorts after a day of exercise in the slopes. There you can find cafes, bars, restaurants, terraces with live performances, clubs, and excellent cuisine all mashed up in one single place.

That’s why for some groups of tourists, being close to these busy centers where the best Après ski are located is a must and they book chalets as close as possible. Although, groups like families prefer to stay cozy in chalets situated further away but with different commodities.

Final thoughts about renting a ski chalet in France

Luxury ski chalets in France are a fantastic experience everyone should have at least once in their lives, and no matter which type of ski accommodation you book, you’ll feel at home and enjoy some of the best services in the world. However, picking that perfect place that matches and fulfills every single need can make a great experience become a magical moment. If you manage to find the perfect luxury chalet in the French Alps for sure it will be a holiday that you will never forget, an exciting story you can tell everyone and always remember with a smile in your face.

Whether you’re coming with your family and want to spend a wonderful holiday in the mountains, or you’re there to hit the slopes day in and out, take your time and review every option of accommodation in the French Alps. You can use this article as a guide to make the correct decision and choose the best luxury ski chalet in France for your next winter trip.

Thinking of extending your trip? Check our articles about France here!

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Photo Credit:

Photo 1 by Nicolas Mht on Unsplash

Photo 2 by Jörg Angeli on Unsplash

Photo by 3 David Becker on Unsplash 

Photo 4 by Melvin Trav on Unsplash

The post 7 Tips to book the best luxury ski chalet in France appeared first on Love & Road.

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