Centrum – enjoy the city to the full while you’re studying
What are the best spots for international students in Rotterdam Centrum?
If you come to Rotterdam to study you’re still going to want to have fun. Living in the city centre (“Centrum”) puts you at the heart of things with great shopping as well as cultural institutions, the main nightlife and the central station. Meanwhile, the main universities are still just a bike or tram ride away.
Life and style
Like any city centre, Centrum is a busy place with a mix of business, shopping and residential districts. A lot of Rotterdam’s cultural highlights are here with many museums and art galleries not to mention some of its most striking architecture – both modern and old. The contrast between historical buildings and super-contemporary skyscrapers is one of the things that makes Rotterdam so special. Getting around is easy. A well-developed network of trams and the metro system mean you can get to your school conveniently. And, it being a Dutch city, cyclists rule the streets. Centrum is made up of many different smaller districts with something for everyone – from the lively and cosmopolitan Cool district (how cool is that!?) to the museums and open spaces of Dijkzigt, from the historic and beautiful Nieuwe Werk district to the bustle of Oude Westen. Rental rates for accommodation tend to be higher than in other parts of the city but that’s the price you pay for the convenience of city centre living and all the opportunities it opens up to you. Find out more about how to rent a home in Rotterdam in our Step by Step Guide.
Seeing and doing
If you’re a shopper you’ll be in heaven. As well as all the high street brands you’re used to in the main shopping streets of Lijnbaan and the Koopgoot (Which translates literally as “shopping gutter”!) you’ll also find many designer boutiques and speciality stores. For food shopping, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Kruiskade has loads of shops with food from all around the world (Rotterdam’s China town is here too). Or check out the magnificient Markthal – a wonderful piece of Rotterdam modern architecture housing stalls and shops with delicious things to eat. Most of them will let you taste for free so it can be a very cheap trip out! Culture-wise, there’s so much to see and do. As well as the larger cinemas like Pathé that you’d see anywhere, little ones like Kino present more unexpected movie options. And, don’t forget, the Rotterdam Film Festival comes round every year for the real movie aficionados. The Museum Quarter is packed with interesting museums with all sorts of exhibits as well as internationally renowned art spaces like the Kunsthal. And even if art and museums aren’t your thing, this is still a great area to just go for a walk. Head through the parks and down to the river for a taste of the real Rotterdam or grab a coffee at one of the many cafes around its beautiful harbours such as Oude Haven.
Eating and drinking
Talking of eating and drinking, there’s something for everyone here. Oude Westen has great restaurants – some, like Lilith, are open from first thing in the morning for breakfast. Grand cafes like Café Beurs, De Dijk or NRC are an elegant way to have a coffee and gebak or maybe a beer. Try out Witte de With for the biggest concentration of bars and restaurants all in one street. It’s a really popular spot for students. In particular we can recommend the Witte Aap and the King Kong Hostel (which is a really cool place for a drink even if you’re not staying there). The area around the station has many other eating and drinking options especially at Station Hofplein. And, in the summer, enjoy open air drinking in the sunshine at the charismatic Biergarten. Last but not least, music venues like Rotown, V11, Eurotrash and Bird regularly have live bands or DJs too.
In short, Centrum has it all: shops, bars, culture and entertainment – plus a good range of interesting accommodation options.
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