Rotterdam Centraal Station is the main railway station of the city Rotterdam in South Holland, Netherlands. It is also known as the international gateway to Rotterdam, as it connects the city with many domestic and international destinations by bus, tram, metro and train. The station has a modern and striking design, with a pointed roof that extends over the tracks and the station hall. The roof is partly covered with solar panels and points towards the city center. The station building was officially opened in March 2014, after a total transformation that lasted several years. Some historical elements of the old station building from 1957 were preserved, such as the original clock, the letters Centraal Station and two granite sculptures on platform 1.
You can buy tickets online, at the ticket machines or at the service desks in the station hall. For most public transport services, you can also use an OV-chipkaart, which is a smart card that you can load with credit or travel products. You need to check in and out with your OV-chipkaart at the gates or readers when you enter or exit a station or vehicle. You can find more information about tickets and fares on the websites of the transport operators, such as NS, RET, Thalys and Eurostar.
Rotterdam Centraal Station is open every day of the year, but the opening hours may vary depending on the day and the season. Generally, the station hall is open from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., and the shops and eateries are open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Some shops and eateries may have different opening hours on Sundays and holidays. You can find more information about the opening hours of each shop and eatery on their websites or on the station’s website.
There are many ways to get to Rotterdam Centraal Station, depending on where you are coming from and what kind of transport you prefer. If you are travelling by car, you can park your car at one of the nearby parking garages, such as Schouwburgplein 1 or 2, Kruisplein or Weena. You can also use Park & Ride facilities at some metro stations, such as Kralingse Zoom or Slinge, and then take the metro to Rotterdam Centraal Station. If you are travelling by bike, you can park your bike at one of the free or paid bike parking facilities at or near the station, such as Fietsenstallingen Stationsplein, Blijdorp or Proveniersplein. If you are travelling by public transport, you can take a bus, tram, metro or train to Rotterdam Centraal Station from many locations in and around Rotterdam. You can plan your journey using online tools such as 9292.nl or Google Maps.
Some tips for visiting Rotterdam Centraal Station are:
- Check the current travel information and departure times on the screens in the station hall or on your mobile device before you board your bus, tram, metro or train.
- Use the free Wi-Fi network in the station hall to stay connected and access online services.
- Enjoy a snack or a drink at one of the many shops and eateries in the station hall, such as Dudok, Starbucks, Julia’s or Albert Heijn To Go.
- Explore the architecture and art of the station building, such as the wooden ceiling, the glass facade, the clock tower and the light wall.
- Visit the Rotterdam Tourist Information office in the station hall to get information and tips about what to see and do in Rotterdam.
There are many tours that you can take from Rotterdam Centraal Station to discover Rotterdam and its surroundings. Some examples are:
- The Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing bus tour, which lets you explore Rotterdam at your own pace by hopping on and off at various stops around the city.
- The Spido boat tour, which takes you on a cruise along the Maas river and shows you the highlights of Rotterdam’s port and skyline.
- The Rotterdam ByCycle tour, which guides you through Rotterdam’s history and culture by bike.
- The Markthal tour, which introduces you to Rotterdam’s iconic food market and its architecture and art.
There are many things to see and do near Rotterdam Centraal Station, as it is located in the heart of Rotterdam. Some examples are:
- The Schouwburgplein, which is a lively square with a modern design and a cultural vibe. It hosts many events and performances throughout the year and is surrounded by theaters, cinemas and restaurants.
- The Lijnbaan, which is a pedestrian shopping street with a wide range of shops, from fashion and beauty to books and electronics.
- The Hofplein, which is a historic square with a fountain and a monument. It marks the entrance to the Coolsingel, which is one of Rotterdam’s main streets and leads to the City Hall and other landmarks.
- The Kunsthal, which is a museum that exhibits various forms of art, from paintings and sculptures to photography and design.
- The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, which is a museum that showcases a rich collection of art, from medieval to modern, from Dutch masters to international artists.
There are some prohibitions that you need to follow when you visit Rotterdam Centraal Station, such as:
- Do not smoke in the station hall or on the platforms, except in designated smoking areas.
- Do not litter or damage the station property or facilities.
- Do not cause nuisance or disturbance to other passengers or staff.
- Do not bring dangerous or illegal items or substances into the station or on the public transport vehicles.
- Do not travel without a valid ticket or OV-chipkaart, or without checking in and out properly.