The best spots for expats in Rotterdam
If you’re an expat moving to Rotterdam, here are some suggestions of popular places to live
One of the best things about Rotterdam is its diversity. There are so many very different neighbourhoods with completely different vibes which make it such an interesting place to live. Whether you’re coming alone or with a partner or family, whether you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet or for a piece of the action, you’ll find the best spots in Rotterdam.
Here’s a quick rundown with the best spots in Rotterdam of four districts that have proven to be especially popular with expats:
Centrum – close to everything you need
The city centre area comprises shopping and business districts as well as many cultural institutions, the main nightlife and the central station. Although the principal shopping streets like the Koopgoot and Lijnbaan get really busy, you can still find attractive, quiet residential areas here too. The main business district is centred around Weena and the Maasboulevard while you’ll find the Town Hall on Coolsingel and the famous cube apartments on Blaak. Find out more.
Hillegersberg/Schiebroek – family friendly and full of green spaces
Situated to the north east of the city centre, Hillegersberg-Schiebroek is a popular collection of residential areas. Hillegersberg is centred around beautiful lakes and parks like the Berg- en Broekpark and Plaswijckpark – perfect for a stroll on the weekend. If shopping’s your thing, you’ll love the chic boutiques on the Bergse Dorpsstraat. Surrounding areas like the Molenlaankwartier and the garden city of Schiebroek combine elegant living with open spaces. If you’ve got kids, the American International School of Rotterdam is also here (for children up to grade 12). Find out more.
Noord – historical buildings and quiet neighbourhoods
Noord (‘North’) is also popular with families. Relatively large properties dating back from before the First and Second World Wars and now lovingly renovated offer really cool places to live. Also in this district, you’ll find Blijdorp Zoo and the Vroesenpark – both great spots for entertaining kids and adults alike. The Rotterdam International Secondary School is in this area where your children can learn in English while soaking up Dutch culture too. Find out more.
Kralingen/Crooswijk – a lively melting pot of a place
Stretching from the Kralingse Lake and forest in the east to the edge of Noord in the west, this diverse district has a bit of everything. Old and new jostle together in a lively mix with stately looking houses around the Park Rozenburg and more affordable neighbourhoods in Crooswijk full of bustling shops and restaurants. Kralingen also hosts the Erasmus University Rotterdam so it’s alive with students from all around the world contributing to the funky, cosmopolitan feel of the place.
Here’s the thing with Rotterdam – there’s always more to discover. So you might also want to explore districts like historic Delfshaven, for instance, which combines waterside views and a windmill with busy residential districts of affordable housing. Or why not head south over the Erasmus Bridge to Katendrecht and Kop van Zuid-Entrepot for a different kind of Rotterdam expat life? Currently a lot of effort is being put into rejuvenating districts like Entrepot and it’s shaping up to be the next “cool spot” in the city. Trendy bars and restaurants are already taking root and it’s well worth checking out.
If you need any more Rotterdam expat info, visit the Rotterdam Expat Centre website. It’s jam-packed full of useful information about renting and living in this vibrant city with answers on everything from taxes to transport.
Also check out the Maritime District. This is a place where these elements come together. The lovely harbours, the special initiatives, the many restaurants, the old buildings and the new, the museums and of course the Maas. This is where the heart of Rotterdam beats.
Good luck with your move! You’re going to love it here.