Guide to the sea port of Rotterdam – the largest port in Europe

The port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe. Its area reaches 105 km2, and the coastline is 40 km long. The port is divided into 5 districts and 3 shipping zones, more than 40,000,000 consumers are served here and more than 400 million tons of various goods are transported annually.

Rotterdam Port - the largest in Europe

Due to its favorable location, Rotterdam has become Europe’s main seaport. It is located at the mouth of the Rhine and Meuse rivers (South Holland), through which cargo can be transported quickly and safely from the Netherlands to Belgium, France and Germany. It is through Rotterdam that most of the goods coming from Asia or America go deep into continental Europe.

What value is the Rotterdam seaport for tourists and is it possible to come here on an excursion? What is on its territory and how to get there? The answers to the most important questions for travelers are in this article.

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Harbor view, Rotterdam 1856

The first memories of the port of Rotterdam date back to the end of the 13th century, when a dam was built on the mouth of the Rhine River in a small fishing village. A little later, in 1340, a canal was dug at this place, known as “Rotterdam Schie”, which later became the main port of the province and a harbinger of Rotterdam.

The next significant stage in the history of the port began in the era of the great geographical discoveries. After the short sea route to India was discovered, Dutch trade and shipping began their rapid development, turning Rotterdam into the second trading city of the country. In 1873, the port was expanded and got access to the North Sea, not only ordinary cargo ships, but also larger ocean steamships began to sail here.

Rotterdam after World War II

World War I and World War II destroyed more than a third of the port facilities, whose importance only grew in connection with the development of industry in the Ruhr region. In the second half of the 20th century, Rotterdam literally “rose from the ashes”, which remained after numerous bombings. In its place, a completely new city was built with practical and unusual architecture, the seaport became the embodiment of bold innovative projects that are admired not only from a tourist, but also from a professional point of view.

Interesting to know! From 1926 to 1986, Rotterdam was the largest port in the world.

Modern port

Today, Rotterdam is called the main “gateway to Europe.” It is one of the largest ports in the world in terms of cargo turnover – annually over 440 million tons of goods pass through its berths and warehouses. Mostly oil products, ores, sand, coal and container cargo are transported through Rotterdam.

The modern port of Rotterdam

The landscape around Rotterdam made it possible to establish road and rail links here, which became another advantage of the port. In addition, its territory is famous for its unusual architecture, as some companies, whose warehouses and offices are located in this place, have created entire projects to create unique buildings with wide functionality. The port also has a small Maritime Museum.

Maritime Museum in Rotterdam
Maritime Museum

Interesting fact! The seaport of Rotterdam is called the king of Dutch architecture.

Port of Rotterdam is a place where there are no nights. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. More than 135,000 ships and more than 4 million tourists who personally want to visit the main harbor of Europe come here annually.

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Interesting Facts

  1. The port houses a building that until 2008 was considered the tallest in the Netherlands.
  2. Erasmus Bridge, Rotterdam
    Erasmus Bridge
  3. One of the attractions of Rotterdam is the Erasmus Bridge, the construction of which cost $ 110 million.
  4. Rotterdam is the 4th largest port in the world. In terms of area, it is second only to Asian giants: Shanghai, Singapore and Ningbo.
  5. Many say that the port of Rotterdam belongs to more than one country. Every year, he more and more loses his nationality, as representatives of companies from around the world live here.
  6. The port employs 180,000 people.
  7. Cubic houses in Rotterdam
  8. Here are cubic houses – a vivid example of modern Dutch architecture.
  9. The marine giant has its own website, where you can not only find out more interesting facts about him, but also order logistics, transportation and even find business partners.
  10. Rotterdam should be the first smart port in the world. This is indicated in the Port Vision 2030 development program, which is based on the concept of “flexibility” and the ability to quickly adapt to changing conditions.
  11. According to many businessmen, Rotterdam is a great place to innovate.

Excursions in Rotterdam

To see the largest port of Europe from the inside is the dream of many travelers. To implement it, Spido, whose main office is located next to the Erasmus Bridge, conducts more than 5 excursions in the waterways of Rotterdam every day.

Boat trip Speedo

A fascinating walk on the speedboat Speedo will allow you to go where no taxi will bring and will not bring your legs. You will see with your own eyes all the features of the work of this huge mechanism: a tourist boat passes along the river Meuse through the main parts of the port, docks and shipyards, it swims past sea vessels serving tugs and tankers, and shows travelers the most interesting buildings in Rotterdam.

Seaport Excursion

A tour of the seaport will be interesting for both small and adult. It lasts 1.5 or 2.5 hours and is accompanied by information in Dutch, English, French and German. Departure takes place almost every hour from under the Erasmus bridge.

Advice! Food and drinks on the ship are very expensive, so it’s better to buy them in advance. The company does not prohibit carrying sandwiches, fruits, or even wine.

Useful information

HollandPass Map
  • The cost of the cruise is 12 euros. HollandPass cardholders are entitled to a discount, which must be reminded to the cashier;
  • The company operates daily from 9 am to 5 pm. You can only find out the exact time of departure of the vessel on the spot, since the speedo ship schedule depends on its load;
  • Next to the ticket offices of the company is one of the best souvenir shops in Rotterdam. Here you can buy many interesting gifts, mainly marine themes;
  • If you want to enjoy a guided tour from the upper deck, ask for a blanket in advance and do not forget a scarf – the ship moves at high speed and the wind constantly blows passengers.

The port of Rotterdam is a unique mechanism, striking in its scale. Look at his power and strength with your own eyes! Have a nice trip!

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