A Budget Guide to Rotterdam

Spotted By Locals
May 8, 2019
6 min read
Leuvehoofd Rotterdam (by Jose van der Plaat)

Rotterdam is one of the few cities in all of Netherlands that looks modern. During WW2, the whole city was damaged by bombs, which left Rotterdam completely ruined. Because of this, Rotterdam had to be built up from the ground and it never looked the same. In my opinion, this is why my city Rotterdam is definitely worth a visit!

This article takes you on a trip to a budget guide in Rotterdam. In my personal experience, there are many ways to enjoy Rotterdam on a budget. These next examples will take you to the right places, without having to worry about your financial resources. Enjoy Rotterdam through my eyes as I take you along this journey.

Cheap hostel with luxurious rooms

King Kong hostel (by King Kong)

As most of you travelers know, hostels are usually the option for cheap accommodations. The cheapest dorm room at King Kong is only €17,50,- a night and this is including breakfast and linen. The rooms are all uniquely designed by local artists from Rotterdam, and include a luxurious feeling. There is an open bar on the first floor where everyone is welcome to order from, even people who do not rent a dorm room. This makes for good conversation. Especially because it is located at the Witte de Withstraat. A street that I personally recommend every traveler to visit when in Rotterdam! As you can read in the picture, they encourage people to explore Rotterdam like a local. What a great motto. More info about King Kong can be found here.

Take a boat trip !

Watertaxi (by Gisela Clarke)

Rotterdam used to have one of the biggest havens in the world. This means there is plenty of options to discover Rotterdam by boat. You can take the Watertaxi that brings you from one location to the other on a fast speed. The locations include Aloha Bar, Hotel New York and Leuvehaven. These destinations all come with places to eat with a nice view. You can take a Watertaxi for as little as €4,50,-

If you don’t feel like going very fast, there are alternatives like Aqualiner, with prices  from €2,- depending on where you go. This boat is more suitable if you want to take pictures along the way.

Picnic in the park

Vroesenpark (by Open Rotterdam)

What better way to enjoy a lovely spring day than having a picnic in the park? All you need is a good park and some shops where you can buy your food for almost nothing. Vroesenpark is a park where only the locals hang out because it is not located near the centre, but it is busy enough to create a cozy atmosphere. The benefits of this park is that it’s located near a shop called Het Dorpsplein that sells fresh fruits, veggies and bread for very low prices. Lunch for 2 people shouldn’t cost you more than €10,-. I know, because I have done this many times myself. If you want to, you could also just go to Het Vroesenpaviljoen located in the middle of the park. It provides everything from lunch to dinner, to that nice wine you can not wait to drink in the sun.

Heemtuin Kralingse Bos (by Pinterest)

From a crowded park to a secluded park. Kralingse Bos is the biggest park in Rotterdam, which makes it a perfect place for hidden spots. Heemstuin is a good example. If you’re alone, this is a good place to give your mind some clearance. If you’re with your lover this is a good place for a romantic date. Around sunset you can watch the clouds turn from blue to orange with a beautiful skyline to finish the view.

If you’re looking for a tropical vibe, Park Schoonoord can give you this feeling. This park is hidden in the Euromast park. The only thing you see is green, and the only thing you’ll hear are crickets and birds. The perfect place for total (and free) peace in a busy city!

Free art galleries

Showroom MAMA (by Hilde Spleet)

Rotterdam is increasingly becoming famous for its museums. Each year we find more and more people visiting De Kunsthal, Boijmans and Het Nieuwe Instituut, all located at Museumpark. This popularity has made ticket prices go up. And when you have paid your fee, there is a big chance that the places are very crowded. To avoid this, there are plenty of alternatives to still enjoy art for the price of: nothing.

One of these art galleries is Showroom Mama. It is located in de With de Withstraat, the hippest street in Rotterdam where you can shop, eat and drink as well. This showroom exhibits new creative art every month to help upcoming artists.


Across the street there is another art center called TENT. This center is much bigger and counts three stories in total. It showcases contemporary art in de context of Rotterdam. They produce exhibitions, new products, education projects, performances and events. If you happen to be there on a friday, you’re in luck! The entrance is totally free then.

More? Our local Jet wrote an article about local art exhibitions to visit instead of a museum.

Grab a bite

Altijd in de buurt (by Altijd in de buurt)

Even though it’s located near Rotterdam Central Station, Altijd in de buurt is still a secret food place. It’s the perfect place to grab a lunch. Their menu offers diverse meals that you can not find in any other food place in Rotterdam. Like their famous chicken and waffles, delicious avocado frites and mozzarella sticks. And while you’re there, try their homemade ice tea. All the food on their menu is €8,50 or lower! Bon appetit.

Speaking of delicious frites, Bram Ladage has been a part of Rotterdam’s culture since 1967 and has met no competition ever since. Whenever tourists in the city ask me where they can get a quick bite, this is definitely my first tip! These Bram Ladage food stands are located in different places in the city, so you will bump on it a few times. But if you don’t know if they’re worth it, you’ll walk right pass them. Best part about it, a large sized fries (enough for a full meal) is only €4,-. Enjoy! You won’t regret it.

Night time

Bar (by Bar Rotterdam)

So, I’ve given you all the options of what to do in the coolest city of The Netherlands, but you’re still not ready to call it a night? No problem. I can hook you up with some places to hang out after midnight. According to our Spotter José there is golden triangle of the night scene. My combination of this triangle will only cost you between €5 and €10,-

Bar is one of those places that offer diverse parties from Trap music to Techno. Now imagine those music genres. You got it? Now imagine the coolest possible people that listen to those genres. Now you have an image of the Bar night life scene.

If you go to the back of Bar, you will find Annabel. Imagine being a tourist in the city and one of your favorite international artists is performing there? Annabel is the club where this is most likely to happen. Check their events beforehand and you might be surprised.

The Suicide Club (by The Suicide Club)

Take another 5 minute walk from Annabel and you will find The Suicide Club. When you’ve patiently waited in line and paid your ticket, you are escorted to an elevator that takes you to the top floor. When you arrive you will be amazed by the view. The music is great and the cocktails are delicious. Enjoy!

More? Check our Rotterdam blog or app!


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