Infobox Settlement
official_name = Rotterdam
nickname = "Rotjeknar", "Rotjeknor", "Waterstad", "Maasstad", "Manhattan aan de Maas", "Roffa"
motto = Sterker door strijd "(Stronger through Struggle)"

imagesize = 275px
image_caption =

flag_size = 125px
image_shield = Arms_Rotterdam.jpg
shield_size = 125px

mapsize = 275px
map_caption = Location of Rotterdam
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Netherlands
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = South Holland
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Ivo Opstelten
leader_title1 = Aldermen
leader_name1 = Jeannette Baljeu Hamit Karakus Rik Grashoff Lucas Bolsius Jantine Kriens Dominic Schrijer Roelf de Boer Leonard Geluk
leader_title2 =
leader_name2 =
area_magnitude =
unit_pref = Metric
area_footnotes =cite web
title = Kerncijfers Rotterdam 2006
work = []
publisher = City of Rotterdam
month = May | year = 2006
url =
accessdate = 2007-04-04 |format=PDF
area_total_km2 = 319
area_land_km2 = 206
area_water_km2 = 113
area_urban_km2 =
area_metro_km2 =
population_as_of = 1 January 2007
population_footnotes = [cite web
title = Randstadmonitor 2006
work = []
publisher = Regio Randstad
month = January | year = 2007
url =
accessdate = 2007-04-04 |format=PDF
population_note =
population_total = 584046
population_density_km2 = 2850
population_metro =
population_urban =
population_blank1_title = Randstad
population_blank1 = 6659300
timezone = CET
utc_offset = +1
timezone_DST = CEST
utc_offset_DST = +2
latd=51 |latm=55 |lats=51 |latNS=N
longd=4 |longm=28 |longs=45 |longEW=E
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m =
elevation_ft =
website = []
footnotes =
Rotterdam (pronounced Audio-IPA|Nl-Rotterdam.ogg| [rɔtərˈdɑm] ) is the 2nd-largest city by population in the Netherlands, located in the province of South Holland in the west of the country. The city, which had a population of 584,046 on 1 January 2007, comprises the southern part of the Randstad, the 6th-largest metropolitan area in Europe, with a population of 6.7 million inhabitants.

The port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe and was the world's busiest port from 1962 to 2004, until it was overtaken by Shanghai. Rotterdam is situated on the banks of the river Nieuwe Maas ('New Meuse'), one of the channels in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse rivers. The name "Rotterdam" derives from a dam in the "Rotte" river.


On 1 January 2007 (source: Statistics Netherlands), the municipality covered an area of 319 km² (206.44 km² of which is land) with a population of 584,046. It is part of a larger metropolitan area called Rijnmond ('Mouth of the Rhine') with a total population of about 1.2 million. In 1965, the municipal population of Rotterdam reached its peak of 731,000, but by 1984 it had decreased to 555,000 as a result of suburbanization.

Rotterdam consists of 11 submunicipalities: Charlois (including Heijplaat), Delfshaven, Feijenoord, Hillegersberg-Schiebroek, Hoek van Holland, Hoogvliet, IJsselmonde, Kralingen-Crooswijk, Noord, Overschie, and Prins Alexander (the most populous submunicipality with around 85,000 inhabitants). Two other areas, Centrum ('Center') and Pernis, do not have official submunicipality status.

As partly mentioned above already, Rotterdam is situated in the Zuidvleugel ('South Wing') of the Randstad ('Rim City') conurbation, with 6.7 million inhabitants, the sixth largest metropolitan area in Europe (after Moscow, London, the Ruhr Area, Istanbul, and Paris). The Zuidvleugel includes Leiden, The Hague, Zoetermeer, Delft, Vlaardingen, Schiedam, Capelle aan den IJssel, Spijkenisse and Dordrecht, and has a population of around 3 million.

Municipal additions

The current size of the municipality of Rotterdam is the result of the amalgamation of the following former municipalities, [Ad van der Meer and Onno Boonstra, "Repertorium van Nederlandse gemeenten", KNAW, 2006. [] ] some of which now are a submunicipality:
*Delfshaven (added on 30 January 1886)
*Charlois (added on 28 February 1895)
*Kralingen (added on 28 February 1895)
*Hoogvliet (added on 1 May 1934)
*Pernis (added on 1 May 1934)
*Hillegersberg (added on 1 August 1941)
*IJsselmonde (added on 1 August 1941)
*Overschie (added on 1 August 1941)
*Schiebroek (added on 1 August 1941)


:"For the destruction of the city center in 1940, see Bombing of Rotterdam"

Settlement at the lower end of the fen stream "Rotte" (or "Rotta", as it was then known, from "rot", 'muddy' and "a", 'water', thus 'muddy water') dates from at least 900. Around "1150", large floods in the area ended development, leading to the construction of protective dikes and dams, including "Schielands Hoge Zeedijk" ('Schieland’s High Sea Dike') along the northern banks of the present-day Nieuwe Maas. A dam on the Rotte or 'Rotterdam' was built in the 1260s and was located at the present-day "Hoogstraat" ('High Street').

On 7 June 1340, Count Willem IV of Holland granted city rights to Rotterdam, which then had approximately 2000 inhabitants. Around 1350 a shipping canal, the "Rotterdamse Schie" was completed, which provided Rotterdam access to the larger towns in the north, allowing it to become a local transshipment center between Holland, England and Germany, and to slowly urbanize.

The port of Rotterdam slowly but steadily grew into a port of importance, becoming the seat of one of the six 'chambers' of the "Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie" (VOC), or the Dutch East India Company.

The greatest spurt of growth, both in port activity and population, followed the completion of the "Nieuwe Waterweg" in 1872. The city and harbor started to expand on the south bank of the river. The "Witte Huis" or "White House" skyscraper, [ cite web |title=The "Witte Huis" or "White House" |url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ] inspired by American office buildings and built in 1898 in the French Chateau style is evidence of Rotterdam's rapid growth and success. It was at the time of completion the tallest office building in Europe, with a height of 45 m.

The German army invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. Germany had planned to conquer the country in one day, but after meeting unexpectedly fierce resistance, it finally forced the Dutch army to capitulate on 14 May 1940 by bombing Rotterdam and threatening to bomb other cities. The heart of the city was almost completely destroyed by the German Luftwaffe, and 800 people were killed, while about 80,000 others were made homeless. Ossip Zadkine later captured the event strikingly with his statue "Stad zonder hart" ('City without a heart'). The City Hall survived the bombing. The Germans carefully avoided it during the bombing, as it was assigned to be their headquarters of the region during the war.Fact|date=February 2008 The statue is now located near the "Leuvehaven", not far from the Erasmusbrug in the centre of the city, on the north shore of the river "Nieuwe Maas". From the 1950s through the 1970s, the city was rebuilt. It remained quite windy and open until the city councils from the 1980s on began developing an active architectural policy. Daring and new styles of apartments, office buildings and recreation facilities resulted in a more 'livable' city center with a new skyline. In the 1990s, a new business center on the south bank of the river, the "Kop van Zuid" was built.


With 55% of the inhabitants earning a low income, Rotterdam has its fair share of typical urban problems, such as dilapidated inner city areas. Fact|date=May 2008

Ethnic make-up of the city

Figures are from 2006:
*Total: 588,718
*Dutch: 317,943
*Surinamese: 52,329
*Turkish: 45,415
*Moroccan: 36,831
*Antillean / Aruban: 19,701
*South-European: 17,774
*Other non-industrialised nations: 66,464
*Other industrialised nations: 32,261

In the Netherlands, Rotterdam has the highest percentage of foreigners from non-industrialised nations. Nearly 50% of the population are not native to the Netherlands or have at least one parent born outside the country. Recent figures show that Muslims comprise close to 25% of the city's population. [ [ Europe works to assimilate Muslims] , Atlanta Journal Constitution] The city is home to one of the largest Cape Verdean communities in the world, as well as the largest Dutch Antillean community.

Historical population

*1796: 53,200 inhabitants
*1830: 72,300
*1849: 90,100
*1879: 148,100
*1899: 318,500
*1925: 547,900
*1965: 731,000
*1984: 555,000
*2005: 596,407
*2006: 588,576


Rotterdam is divided into a northern and a southern part by the river Nieuwe Maas, connected by (from west to east): the Beneluxtunnel; the Maastunnel; the "Erasmusbrug" ('Erasmus Bridge'); a subway tunnel; the "Willemsspoortunnel" ('Willems railway tunnel'); the "Willemsbrug" ('Willems Bridge'); the "Koninginnebrug" ('Queen's Bridge'); and the "Van Brienenoordbrug" ('Van Brienenoord Bridge'). The former railway lift bridge "De Hef" ('the Lift') is preserved as a monument in lifted position between the "Noordereiland" ('North Island') and the south of Rotterdam.

The city centre is located on the northern bank of the Nieuwe Maas, although recent urban development has extended the center to parts of southern Rotterdam known as "De Kop van Zuid" ('the Head of South', i.e. the northern part of southern Rotterdam). From its inland core, Rotterdam reaches the North Sea by a swathe of predominantly harbor area.

Built mostly behind dikes, large parts of the Rotterdam are below sea level. For instance, the Prins Alexander Polder in the northeast of Rotterdam extends 6 meters below sea level, or rather below Normaal Amsterdams Peil (NAP) or 'Amsterdam Ordnance Datum'. The lowest point in the Netherlands (m to ft|6.76 below NAP) is situated just to the east of Rotterdam, in the municipality of Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel.

The Rotte river no longer joins the Nieuwe Maas directly. Since the early 1980s, when the construction of Rotterdam’s second subway line interfered with the Rotte’s course, its waters have been pumped through a pipe into the Nieuwe Maas via the Boerengat.

Commerce and industry

Rotterdam is home to the Dutch half of consumer goods giant Unilever, and Mittal Steel Company N.V., subsidiary of Luxembourg-based Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steel company.

The Erasmus University has a strong focus on research and education in management and economics. The University is located on the east side of the city and is surrounded by numerous multinational firms. On Brainpark I, Brainpark II, Brainpark III and "Het Rivium" are located offices of Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, AIG, KPMG, CMG,Sodexo, Coca Cola Company, Cap Gemini, Ernst and Young, etc. In the center of the city are the above-mentioned Unilever offices, but also Robeco, Fortis (including Mees Pierson and Stad Rotterdam Verzekeringen), ABN AMRO, ING (Nationale Nederlanden), and the Rotterdam WTC.


Rotterdam has the largest port in Europe, with the rivers Meuse and Rhine providing excellent access to the hinterland upstream reaching to Basel, Switzerland and into France. In 2003 Singapore took over, and in 2005 Shanghai, as the world's busiest port. In 2006, Rotterdam was the world's seventh largest container port in terms of Twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) handled. [ [ Port of Rotterdam - Home ] ]

The port's main activities are petrochemical industries and general cargo handling and transshipment. The harbour functions as an important transit point for bulk materials and between the European continent and overseas. From Rotterdam goods are transported by ship, river barge, train or road. In 2007, the "Betuweroute", a new fast freight railway from Rotterdam to Germany, has been completed.

In 1872, the Nieuwe Waterweg ('New Waterway') opened, a ship canal constructed to keep the city and port of Rotterdam accessible to seafaring vessels as the natural Meuse-Rhine channels silted up. The canal proper measures approximately km to mi|6.5 from the western tips of its protruding dams to the Maeslantkering ('Maeslant Barrier'). Many maps, however, include the Scheur as part of the Nieuwe Waterweg, leading to a length of approximately km to mi|19.5.

In the first half of the twentieth century, the port's center of gravity shifted westward towards the North Sea. Covering km2 to mi2|105, the port of Rotterdam now stretches over a distance of km to mi|40. It consists of the city center's historic harbor area, including Delfshaven; the Maashaven/Rijnhaven/Feijenoord complex; the harbors around Nieuw-Mathenesse; Waalhaven; Vondelingenplaat; Eemhaven; Botlek; Europoort, situated along the Calandkanaal, Nieuwe Waterweg and Scheur (the latter two being continuations of the Nieuwe Maas); and the reclaimed Maasvlakte area, which projects into the North Sea.

The construction of a second Maasvlakte received initial political approval in 2004, but was stopped by the Raad van State (the Dutch Council of State, which advises the government and parliament on legislation and governance) in 2005, because the plans did not take enough account of environmental issues. On 10 October 2006, however, approval was acquired to start construction in 2008, aiming for the first ship to anchor in 2013.


Rotterdam has one major university, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, named after one of the city's famous former inhabitants, Desiderius Erasmus. Many of the departments are world renowned. The Woudestein campus houses (among others) the Rotterdam School of Management, which is a top ranked business school. In Financial Times' 2005 rankings it placed 29th globally and 7th in Europe. In the 2006 rankings of European Masters of Management, the school reached a second place with the CEMS Master in Management and a thirteenth place with its RSM Master in Management. The university is also home to Europe's largest student association, STAR Study Association RSM Erasmus University.

The Hoboken campus of EUR houses the Dijkzigt (general) hospital, the Sophia Hospital (for children) and the Medical Department of the University. These are known collectively as the Erasmus Medical Center, which is ranked third worldwide for medical research,Fact|date=August 2007 behind the Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. As a combined medical treatment and research center it is particularly noted for its patient cohort studies in which large numbers of patients are followed for long periods of time.

There are also three "Hogescholen" (lower lever universities) in Rotterdam. These schools award their students a Bachelor's degree and postgraduate or Master's degree. The three "Hogescholen" are Hogeschool Rotterdam, Hogeschool INHOLLAND and Hogeschool voor Muziek en Dans (uni for music and dance) which is also know as CodArts.


Alongside Porto, Rotterdam was European Capital of Culture in 2001. The city has its own orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra with its world famous musical director Valery Gergiev, a large congress and concert building called "De Doelen", plus many theatres (including the new "Luxor" theatre) and movie theatres. The "Ahoy" complex in the south of the city is used for pop concerts, exhibitions, tennis tournaments and other activities. A major zoo called Diergaarde Blijdorp is situated at the northwest side of Rotterdam, complete with a walkthrough sea aquarium called the Oceanium.

The city is home to the Rotterdam Academy of Fine Arts ('Willem de Kooning Akademie').

Rotterdam is currently going through somewhat of a renaissance, with some urban renewal projects featuring ambitious architecture, an increasingly sparkling nightlife, and a host of summer festivals celebrating the city's multicultural population and identity, POV-statement|date=February 2008 such as the Caribbean-inspired 'Summer Carnival', the Dance Parade, Rotterdam 666, the Metropolis pop festival and the World Harbor days. There are also the International Film Festival in January, the Poetry International Festival in June, the North Sea Jazz Festival in July, the Valery Gergiev Festival in September, September in Rotterdam and the World of the Witte de With. In June 1970, The Holland Pop Festival (which featured Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, Canned Heat, It's a Beautiful Day, and Santana) was held and filmed at the Stamping Grounds in Rotterdam.

The self-image of the city is that of a no-nonsense workers' city. In that sense, there is a healthy competition with Amsterdam, which is often viewed as the cultural capital of the Netherlands. There is a saying: "Amsterdam to party, Den Haag (The Hague) to live, Rotterdam to work". Another one, more popular by Rotterdammers, is "Money is earned in Rotterdam, divided in The Hague and spent in Amsterdam". Fact|date=April 2008

Rotterdam has had a rich hiphop scene since the early 1980s. It is also the home of Gabber, a type of music popular in the mid-1990s, with hard beats and samples. Bands like Neophyte and Rotterdam Terror Corps (RTC) started in Rotterdam.

The main cultural organisations in Amsterdam, such as the Concertgebouw and Holland Festival, have joint forces with similar organisations in Rotterdam, via A'R'dam. In 2007 these organisations published with plans for co-operation. [cite web |title=Concertgebouw and Holland Festival manifesto|url= |accessdate=2008-05-15] One of the goals is to strengthen the international position of culture and art in the Netherlands in the international context.


Rotterdam has many museums.Well known museums are the "Boijmans-van Beuningen" Museum, the "NAi" (Netherlands Architecture Institute), the "Historisch Museum" (Historical museum), the "Volkenkundig Museum" (foreign peoples and cultures), the "Kunsthal" (design by Rem Koolhaas),the center for contemporary art Witte de With, [ cite web |title=Witte de With museum |url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ] the Maritiem Museum [ cite web |title=Maritiem Museum official site |url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ] and the "Brandweermuseum" (Fire brigade museum).Other museums include the tax museum, the nature historical museum, historical museum the Dubbelde Palmboom and the Schielandhuis. At the historical shipyard and museum Scheepswerf 'De Delft the reconstruction of Ship of the Line 'De Delft' can be visited. [ cite web |title=Scheepswerf 'De Delft' official site |url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ]

Architecture and skyline

In 1898, the 45 meter high-rise office building, the White House, was completed, at that time the tallest office building in Europe.In the first decades of the 20th century, some influential architecture in the modern style was built in Rotterdam. Notable are the Van Nelle fabriek (1929) a monument of modern factory design by Brinkman en Van der Vlugt, the Jugendstil clubhouse of the Royal Maas Yacht Club designed by Hooijkaas jr. en Brinkman (1909), and Feyenoord's football stadium de Kuip (1936) also by Brinkman en Van der Vlugt. The architect J. J. P. Oud was a famous Rotterdammer in those days.During the early stages of World War II the center of Rotterdam was bombed by the Germans, destroying much of the older buildings in the center of the city. After initial crisis re-construction the center of Rotterdam has become the site of ambitious new architecture.

Rotterdam is also famous for its Kubuswoningen or cube houses built by architect Piet Blom in 1984. In addition to that there are many international well known architects based in Rotterdam like O.M.A (Rem Koolhaas), MVRDV, Neutelings & Riedijk and Erick van Egeraat to name a few.

Rotterdam houses several of the tallest structures in the Netherlands.
*The Erasmus Bridge (1996) is a convert|2600|ft|m|sing=on cable stayed bridge linking the north and south of Rotterdam. It is held up by a m to ft|138|precision=0 tall pylon with a characteristic bend, earning the bridge its nickname 'De Zwaan' ('the Swan').
*Rotterdam has the tallest residential building in the Netherlands: the Montevideo Tower (convert|524|ft|m|sing=on).
*Rotterdam is also home to the tallest office building 'Delftse Poort' (convert|520|ft|m|sing=on) which houses Nationale-Nederlanden insurance company, part of ING Group. [ cite web |title= ING building brief|url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ] [ cite web |title= Sky Scraper City ING site|url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ]
*The city also houses the m to ft|186|precision=0 tall Euromast, which has long been a major tourist attraction. It was built in 1960, initially reaching a height of m to ft|101|precision=0; in 1970, the Euromast was extended by m to ft|85|precision=0 to its current height.

Rotterdam has a reputation in being a platform for architectural development and education through the Berlage Institute, a postgraduate laboratory of architecture, and the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute), which is open to the public and has a variety of good exhibitions on architecture and urban planning issues.

Rotterdam is standing in the best European SkylineTop together with Frankfurt, Warsaw and Paris.Over 30 new highrise projects are being developed at the moment, including the m to ft|165|precision=0 high 'Maas Tower', the 'New Orleans Tower', which will be about m to ft|158|precision=0 and the Zalmhaven Urban Tower m to ft|195|precision=0. [ cite web |title=Sky scraper city project view|url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ]


Rotterdam is the home of two Eredivisie ('Honorary Division', or Dutch Premier League) football clubs, Feyenoord and Sparta, and one Eerste Divisie club, Excelsior. Rotterdam also has two Hoofdklasse (main class) club, PVV DOTO and TOGR.

Feyenoord, founded in 1908 and the dominant of the three, has won fourteen national titles since the introduction of professional football in the Netherlands. It won the European Cup as the first Dutch club in 1970, and won the World Cup for club teams in the same year. In 1974, they were the first Dutch club to win the UEFA Cup and in 2002, Feyenoord won the UEFA Cup again. In 2008, the year of their 100-year-anniversary, Feyenoord won the KNVB-cup.Seating 51,480, its stadium, called "Stadion Feijenoord" but popularly known as De Kuip ('the Tub'), is the second largest in the country. De Kuip, located in the southeast of the city, has hosted many international football games, including the final of Euro 2000 and has been awarded a FIFA 5 star ranking. And Feyenoord has the biggest supporters group in the Netherlands.

Sparta, founded in 1888 and situated in the northwest of Rotterdam, won the national title in 1959; Excelsior (founded 1902), in the northeast, has never won any.

Rotterdam has its own annual international marathon, which offers one of the fastest courses in the world. From 1985 until 1998, the world record was set in Rotterdam, first by Carlos Lopes and later in 1988 by Belayneh Dinsamo. The marathon starts and ends on the "Coolsingel" in the heart of Rotterdam.

Since 1972 Rotterdam hosts the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, part of the ATP Tour.

Members of the student rowing club Skadi were part of the 'Holland Acht', winning a gold medal at the olympics in 1996.

In field hockey, Rotterdam has the largest hockey club in the Netherlands, HC Rotterdam, with its own stadium in the north of the city and nearly 2,400 members. The first men's and women's teams both play on the highest level in the Dutch "Hoofdklasse".

Rotterdam is home to the most successful European baseball team, Neptunus Rotterdam, winning the most European Cups.

Since 1986, the city has selected its best sportsman, woman and team at the Rotterdam Sports Awards Election, held in December.

Motor cycle speedway was staged in the Feyenoord Stadium after the second world war. The team which raced in a Dutch league was known as the Feyenoord Tigers. The team included Dutch riders and some English and Australian riders.


Well-known streets in Rotterdam are the shopping center the Lijnbaan (the first set of pedestrian streets of the country, opened in 1953), the Hoogstraat, the Coolsingel with the city hall, and the Weena, which runs from the Central Station to the Hofplein (square). A modern shopping venue is the Beurstraverse ('Stock Exchange Traverse), better known by the informal name 'Koopgoot' ('Buying/Shopping Gutter', after its low-lying position, crossing Rotterdam's main street Coolsingel below street level).

The main shopping venue in the south of Rotterdam is Zuidplein, which lies close to Ahoy' Rotterdam, an accommodation center for shows, exhibitions, sporting events, concerts and congresses. Another prominent shopping center, called Alexandrium (sometimes still called by its former name "Oosterhof"), lies in the east of Rotterdam. It includes a large kitchen and furniture center.

Yearly events

*January: International Film Festival Rotterdam [ cite web |title=International Film Festival official website |url=|accessdate=2008-05-15 ]
**Rotterdam Marathon [ cite web |title=Rotterdam Marathon official website|url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ]
*August: Pleinbioscoop [ cite web |title=Pleinbioscoop official website|url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ]
*June till September: the Rotterdam Summer festivals, including
**North Sea Jazz Festival (second weekend of July)
**Summer Carnival [ cite web |title= Zomer Carnival official website|url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ]
**FFWD Heineken Dance Parade (technoparade) [ cite web |title=FFWD Heineken Dance Parade official website|url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ]
**World Port Days (2006: 1, 2 and 3 September) [ cite web |title=World Port Day (Rotterdam) official website (in Dutch) |url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ]
**Gergiev Festival Rotterdam [ cite web |title=Gergiev Festival Rotterdam official website|url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ]
**Wereld van Witte de With (Art and culture festival in the famous Witte de With Straat in the heart of the city)


Rotterdam is well connected in international, national, regional and local public transport systems, as well as by the Dutch motorway system.


There are several motorways which run to/from Rotterdam. The following four are part of its 'Ring' (beltway):
* A20 (Ring North): Hoek van Holland - "Rotterdam" - Gouda
* A16 (Ring East): "Rotterdam" - Breda (- Belgium)
* A15 (Ring South): Europoort - "Rotterdam" - Nijmegen
* A4 (Ring West).The following two other motorways also serve Rotterdam:
* A13, The Hague - "Rotterdam"
* A29, Bergen op Zoom - "Rotterdam"


Although much smaller than the international hub Schiphol airport, Rotterdam Airport (formerly known as "Zestienhoven") is the third largest airport in the country, just behind Eindhoven Airport. Located north of the city, it has shown a very strong growth over the past five years, mostly caused by the growth of the low-cost carrier market. For business travelers Zestienhoven Airport offers advantages due to rapid handling of passengers and baggage. Environmental regulations make further growth uncertain.


Rotterdam is well connected to the Dutch railroad system, and has several international connections. The train system hosts:

Four trainlines
* South direction Dordrecht-and further (including international to Belgium/France)
* West direction Hoek van Holland
* North-West direction The Hague, Amsterdam
* North-East direction Utrecht
* A fifth alternative train system to the Hague, the was converted to the light-rail system Randstadrail in 2006.The four operating trainlines serve seven railway stations within the city boundaries (Rotterdam Centraal, Rotterdam Blaak, Rotterdam Alexander, Rotterdam Noord, Rotterdam Zuid, Rotterdam Lombardijen, Rotterdam Stadion (next to De Kuip, only open for events).

Main connections
*Direct international services to Belgium and France via high speed train system: Thalys
*Frequent international trains to Antwerp and Brussels, Belgium
*Frequent services within the Netherlands:
**Intercity line to The Hague, Leiden, Schiphol airport and Amsterdam (north)
**Intercity line to Utrecht and on to Deventer or Enschede (the east), Leeuwarden (north-west) or Groningen (north-east)
**Intercity line to Dordrecht, Roosendaal and on to Vlissingen (south west)
**Intercity line to Dordrecht, Breda, Tilburg, Eindhoven and Venlo (south east)
** Night services every hour connecting every day of the week to Delft, The Hague, Leiden, Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, and, with a detour, Utrecht. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday night services (either direct or via a detour) to Den Bosch, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Roosendaal.
** Several semi-fast services and local trains originate or call at Rotterdam Centraal; semi-fast services Amsterdam-Breda.
* Detailed information available from the site of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways) [ cite web |title=Dutch Railway website |url= |accessdate=2008-05-15 ]

Light Rail

To bridge the gap between national train services and local public transportation the Dutch Randstad has developed a regional lightrail system called Randstad Rail. First trains ran in September 2006.


In 1968 Rotterdam was the first Dutch city to open a metro system. Currently the system consists of two main lines, each of which has some variants.
*Erasmus Line: Rotterdam Central station - Albrandswaard (Rhoon, Poortugaal) - Hoogvliet - Spijkenisse
*Caland Line: two lines from the northeast of Rotterdam (Ommoord and since September 2005 to the new constructed neighborhood Nesselande (before it ended at Zevenkamp which is one stop before Nesselande), both in Prins Alexander) and one from Capelle aan den IJssel join; the combined line terminated in the west of Rotterdam, but on 4 November 2002, an extension was opened: the line now connects to the main railway network at Schiedam railway station, has a stop in Pernis and joins the Erasmus Line in Hoogvliet; trains on the Caland Line, like those on the Erasmus Line, terminate in Spijkenisse.:The eastern parts of the Caland Line have some level crossings (with priority), and could therefore be called light rail instead of metro; however, they are integrated in the system; these parts have overhead wires, while the rest has a third rail, the vehicles can handle both.


Rotterdam offers 10 tramlines with a total length of 93.4 kilometers.


Rotterdam offers 38 buslines with a total length of 432.7 kilometers.

Fast ferry

Every half hour a fast ferry goes from Rotterdam to Dordrecht and vice versa. The trip takes an hour, inclusive stops along the way. The ferry can carry about 130 passengers and there is space for 60 bicycles. The stops are:
*Rotterdam Willemskade - Krimpen aan den IJssel Stormpolder - Ridderkerk De Schans - Alblasserdam Kade -Papendrecht Westeind - Dordrecht Merwekade.



Since the summer of 2003 an artificial beach is created at the Boompjeskade along the Nieuwe Maas, between the Erasmus Bridge and the Willems Bridge. Swimming was not possible, digging pits was limited to the height of the layer of sand, ca. 50 cm. Alternatively people go the beach of Hoek van Holland (which is still a Rotterdam district) or one of the beaches in Zeeland or the Zuid Hollandse Eilanden: Ouddorp, Oostvoorne, Renesse.

Notable Rotterdammers

Bjorn Buijing Rotterdam Rugby Club Legend

Town twinning

Rotterdam participates in international town twinning.

*13 Sister Cities
*12 Partner Cities
* 4 Sister Ports

Sister Cities
*flagicon|GER Cologne, Germany, Since 1958
*flagicon|LUX Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, Since 1958
*flagicon|FRA Lille, France, Since 1958
*flagicon|ITA Turin, Italy, Since 1958
*flagicon|BEL Luik, Belgium, Since 1958
*flagicon|BUL Burgas, Bulgaria, Since 1976
*flagicon|ROM Constanta, Romania, Since 1976
*flagicon|POL Gdansk, Poland, Since 1977
*flagicon|CHN Shanghai, China, Since 1979
*flagicon|CUB Havana, Cuba, Since 1983
*flagicon|RUS Saint Petersburg, Russia, Since 1984
*flagicon|USA Baltimore, USA, Since 1985
*flagicon|GER Dresden, Germany, Since 1988

Partner Cities
*flagicon|ENG Kingston upon Hull, England, Since 1936
*flagicon|BEL Antwerpen, Belgium, Since 1940
*flagicon|SUI Basel, Switzerland, Since 1945
*flagicon|NOR Oslo, Norway, Since 1945
*flagicon|GER Duisburg, Germany, Since 1950
*flagicon|GER Nuremberg, Germany, Since 1961
*flagicon|IDN Jakarta, Indonesia, Since 1983
*flagicon|JPN Osaka, Japan, Since 1984
*flagicon|HUN Budapest, Hungary, Since 1991
*flagicon|SVK Bratislava, Slovakia, Since 1991
*flagicon|ZAF Durban, South Africa, Since 1991
*flagicon|CZE Prague, Czech Republic, Since 1991

Sister Ports
*flagicon|JPN Kobe, Japan, Since 1967
*flagicon|USA Seattle, USA, Since 1969
*flagicon|KOR Busan, South Korea, Since 1987
*flagicon|JPN Tokyo, Japan, Since 1989


External links

* [ Rotterdam]
* [ Port of Rotterdam]
* [ Rotterdam Tourism]

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