The Netherlands’ second-largest city after Amsterdam and a major Western European seaport, Rotterdam is a popular destination for both tourists and business travelers. The history of Rotterdam dates back to the 13th century, when a dam was constructed on the Rotte River, which then led to people settling and developing the area. Today, the city is home to about 655,000 people. The city’s greater metropolitan area, which includes The Hague, is home to nearly 3 million people, making it one of the largest urban areas in both the Netherlands and the European Union.
Flights to Rotterdam arrive at Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM), located about 3.5 miles north of the city. The third-busiest airport in the Netherlands, Rotterdam The Hague Airport serves a little over 2 million passengers each year. Some travelers who book flights to Rotterdam, Netherlands, fly instead to Amsterdam International Airport Schiphol (AMS), the Netherlands’ largest airport, and then travel to Rotterdam by car or train.
Another option for travelers who want to fly to Rotterdam is the Eindhoven International Airport (EIN), which is the Netherlands’ second largest. The airport is located about five miles west of the city of Eindhoven.
Rotterdam is known for its culture, maritime history, and its attractive waterside setting. The city is home to a major European research university, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and several modern buildings built after the Second World War.
Many of the leisure travelers who fly to Rotterdam come to the city to attend one of its famous annual festivals. Rotterdam’s most well-known festival is its International Film Festival, which takes place in January. Other popular festivals in the city include its Summer Carnival; the World Port Days maritime festival; the North Sea Jazz Festival; and the Holland Pop Festival.
Business travelers who fly to Rotterdam often work in the shipping and logistics industry. Several of the world’s largest shipping companies have their corporate offices in the city, including AP Moller Maersk. Other large companies with headquarters in Rotterdam include Royal Dutch Shell; Robeco Orix; Eneco Group; Royal Van Oord; Royal Vopak; and Vitol.
Rotterdam is also home to the Dutch offices of several multinational consumer goods companies, energy corporations; pharmaceutical companies, food processing companies; and financial firms.
Students from across Europe book cheap flights to Rotterdam to attend the Erasmus University Rotterdam, named for the 15th-century Dutch scholar, theologian, and Rotterdam resident, Desiderius Erasmus. Nearly 40,000 students from countries across the world are enrolled in Erasmus University Rotterdam, which is consistently included on a list of the top 100 universities in the world. Erasmus University Rotterdam is divided into four separate colleges: health, business, humanities, and government.
The university’s hospital, Erasmus University Medical Center, is a major research hospital known for its state-of-the-art trauma center.
Sports are another reason many people book flights to Rotterdam, Netherlands. The city is home to three professional first-tier football (soccer) teams, each of which has a loyal following. Home games are played at the Stadion Feijenoord, a 51,000-seat stadium popularly known as by residents De Kulp or “the tub” because of its bowl-like appearance. Stadion Feijenoord is the second-largest stadium in the Netherlands after the Amsterdam Arena in Amsterdam.
Other popular spectator sports in Rotterdam include tennis, rowing, field hockey, sailing, and boxing.
Notable residents of Rotterdam include the Dutch-American abstract expressionist artist Willem de Kooning; Colonel Tom Parker, the manager of Elvis Pressley; Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff, the winner of the first Nobel Prize in chemistry; and Remment Koolhaas, an internationally known architect and a professor at Harvard University.