A Travel Price Comparison for Netherlands Rotterdam vs. Amsterdam for Nightlife, Backpackers, Attractions, and Families

Should you visit Rotterdam or Amsterdam?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Rotterdam and Amsterdam. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Rotterdam

Rotterdam is a trendy, high energy, and modern port city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a laid-back, scenic, and historic city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and live music.

Rotterdam and Amsterdam: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less family-friendly


How is Rotterdam different from Amsterdam?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Rotterdam or Amsterdam Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Rotterdam
Amsterdam

You'll find a number of museums and attractions in both Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Rotterdam. Although many of the historic buildings around town were destroyed during World War II, there are still a number of sights worth checking out. Head to the Old Harbor and Marine Museums, the Museum Boijmans-van Beuningen, or the Wereldmuseum to see some interesting places.

Amsterdam offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city has a number of sights and museums including the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Royal Palace.


Is Rotterdam or Amsterdam Better for Food?

Rotterdam
Amsterdam

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Rotterdam and Amsterdam can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

Rotterdam is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The city's restaurant scene is diverse. There are ethnic restaurants, vegan restaurants, local restaurants, and some popular chains.

Amsterdam offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Food is expensive in this city, particularly in the touristy areas. There are some markets that sell great local items and the dessert cafes are awesome!

Is Rotterdam or Amsterdam Better for Nightlife?

Rotterdam
Amsterdam

The vibe at night is comparable in Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

Many people head to Rotterdam for the nightlife scene. It is a trendy city with an active nightlife. You can relax with a beer or hit up one of the clubs around town. Popular options are Club Vibes, Toffler, and Club Vie.

Amsterdam is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. The city has some of the best nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of bars, dance clubs, and other activities that you can enjoy throughout the night.

Is Rotterdam or Amsterdam Better for Shopping?

Rotterdam
Amsterdam

If you're looking to go shopping, Rotterdam and Amsterdam both offer plenty of spots.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Rotterdam. You'll find fashion and clothing shops in the area around Lijnbaan and Beurstraverse. This is also where you'll find the shopping mall of Bijenkorf.

Amsterdam is an extremely popular place for shoppers. For the best shopping in town, head to the Nine Streets area in the historic district and the two main shopping streets of The Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat.

Is Rotterdam or Amsterdam Better for Families?

Rotterdam
Amsterdam

Families may find more to do in Rotterdam than Amsterdam.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Rotterdam. Fun activities for kids include Miniworld Rotterdam, the Kids Marina, and Fun Forest, which has ziplines and a ropes course.

Amsterdam is not the most family-friendly destination. The city does it's share of partying, and there are some areas, like the red light district, that aren't exactly kid-friendly, but there are some nice parks, playgrounds, and the impressive NEMO Science Museum that you can explore.


Is Rotterdam or Amsterdam Better for Couples?

Rotterdam
Amsterdam

Rotterdam and Amsterdam both fun destinations for a couple.

Rotterdam is a good port city for couples to visit. It is a modern city with good restaurants and some fun activities.

Amsterdam is a very popular place to visit for couples. For many, a visit to this city is all about the party, but for couples who enjoy history, architecture, or boat rides along the scenic canals, the city also makes a great getaway. It's also fun to stay in a houseboat and have a unique experience.

Is Rotterdam or Amsterdam Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Rotterdam
Amsterdam

Travelers usually think of Amsterdam as a better destination for backpackers than Rotterdam.

A large number of backpackers visit Amsterdam, as it is a very popular city for budget travelers. With it's party-hard personality and countless low price hostels, this city attracts its share of backpackers. Do note that many of the hostels aren't focused on quality, so make sure you understand what you're paying for. It may be worth booking a slightly more expensive room in a hotel.

Rotterdam is a good port city to visit for backpackers. There are a number of hostels around town as well as a good nightlife that appeals to backpackers.

Is Rotterdam or Amsterdam Better for Public Transit?

Rotterdam
Amsterdam

Rotterdam and Amsterdam both offer public transit to get you around.

Rotterdam offers a very effecient public transportation network. There are trams, buses, metros, and even a ferry.

Amsterdam has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the city. The city has metros, trams, buses, and ferries that help you get around. Since this is the Netherlands, getting around by bike is very popular.

Is Rotterdam or Amsterdam a more walkable city?

Rotterdam
Amsterdam

Rotterdam and Amsterdam are similar when it comes to walkability.

Rotterdam is a very walkable destination. There are broad streets with wide sidewalks that are pedestrian friendly.

It is easy to get around Amsterdam on foot. The historic parts of the city are very walkable and much of the city is best explored on foot.


Should I spend more time in Amsterdam or Rotterdam?

How long in Rotterdam or Amsterdam?

Both Rotterdam and Amsterdam have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Amsterdam than Rotterdam.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Rotterdam is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Amsterdam is 2-7 days.


  • How many days in Rotterdam or Amsterdam? Ideal Length of Stay
    Rotterdam 1-3 
    Amsterdam 2-7

One day in Rotterdam or Amsterdam?

People visit Rotterdam because there is so much to do. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Rotterdam has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Amsterdam. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Rotterdam or Amsterdam?

People visit Rotterdam because there is so much to do. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this port city has to offer. This port city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the canal-lined big city of Amsterdam. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Rotterdam or Amsterdam?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the trendy port city of Rotterdam. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

You'll find nightlife and live music around the laid-back city of Amsterdam. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

A week in Rotterdam or Amsterdam?

Rotterdam is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Amsterdam is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Amsterdam, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Which city is cheaper, Amsterdam or Rotterdam?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Rotterdam is €121, while the average daily cost in Amsterdam is €138. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Rotterdam and Amsterdam in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Rotterdam 62
    Amsterdam 80
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Rotterdam 124
    Amsterdam 160
Compare Hotels in Rotterdam and Amsterdam

Looking for a hotel in Rotterdam or Amsterdam? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Rotterdam


Hotels in Amsterdam


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Rotterdam Hotel Prices and Amsterdam Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Rotterdam 21
    Amsterdam 16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rotterdam

Also for Rotterdam, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Eurovision Song Contest 2020 Transfer to Schiphol Airport: $119
  • Luxury Private Transfer from Rotterdam to Schiphol Airport: $119
  • Private Airport Transfer: Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM) to Rotterdam: $31
  • Private Airport Transfer: Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM) to The Hague: $32
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Rotterdam to Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM): $26
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Rotterdam Airport to Amsterdam Hotel With Meet And Greet Service: $86
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Rotterdam Airport to Rotterdam Hotel With Meet And Greet Service: $62
  • Private Departure Transfer from Rotterdam City to Amsterdam Airport: $97
  • Private Rotterdam Cruise Port Departure Transfer to Amsterdam: $154
  • Private Transfer from Rotterdam to Amsterdam: $149
  • Private Transfer from Rotterdam to Amsterdam City Center: $110
  • Private car transfer from Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM) to the Cruise Port: $9.41

Typical Local Transportation prices in Amsterdam

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Amsterdam:


  • Ride on Tram
    3.20
  • Renting a Bike
    15
  • One Hour Canal Cruise
    10
  • Single Day Transit Pass
    2.60
  • Transit Pass to Amsterdam Airport
    3.40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Amsterdam

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Amsterdam:

  • Private Transfer from Amsterdam to Bayeux - Up to 7 people: $2,675
  • Excursion Brussels: transfer and guided tour in Brussels: $2,173
  • Amsterdam to Paris: Convenient Luxury Transfer: $1,860
  • Convenient Luxury Transfer: Amsterdam to Paris: $1,725
  • Amsterdam to Frankfurt: Convenient Luxury Transfer: $1,574
  • Convenient Luxury Transfer: Amsterdam to Frankfurt: $1,460
  • Amsterdam to Brussels: Convenient Luxury Transfer: $716
  • Convenient Luxury Transfer: Amsterdam to Brussels: $664
  • Private Transfer from Amsterdam to Berlin with 2 Sightseeing Stops: $549
  • Private Transfer from Amsterdam to Bruges: $379
  • Private Transfer form Amsterdam to Keukenhof (Roundtrip incl Tickets): $373
  • Private Transfer from Amsterdam to Brussels: $347

Is it cheaper to fly into Rotterdam or Amsterdam?

Prices for flights to both Amsterdam and Rotterdam change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Rotterdam 43
    Amsterdam 35

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rotterdam

For Rotterdam, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Guided Walking Food Tour: $78
  • Food Tour by Bike: $78
  • Biking Rotterdam Food Tour with Local Guide: $86
  • Walking Rotterdam Food Tour: $86
  • Private Walking Food Tour of Rotterdam: $87
  • Rotterdam Walking Dutch Food Tour: $100
  • Private Multicultural Bike Food Tour: $166
  • Rotterdam Private 2-Hour Food Tour with Tastings: $170

Typical Food prices in Amsterdam

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Amsterdam:


  • Afternoon Tea
    6.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Amsterdam

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Amsterdam.

  • Live online cooking class from Classic European 2-course meal: $23
  • Amsterdam Evening Pizza Cruise: $40
  • Three course lunch/dinner voucher: $42
  • Walking Food Tour: $43
  • 3 Course Dinner in the Dark: $48
  • Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Amsterdam's Favourite Private Food Tour with a Local: $50
  • Private Pizza Canal Cruise Amsterdam: $62
  • Dinner with an Amsterdam artist on the river: $62
  • Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket & VIP Dinner at Hard Rock CafĂ©: $63
  • Amsterdam Small Group Food Tour: $69
  • Food Tour in the Albert Cuyp Market Amsterdam: $73
  • Delicious Dutch Dinner in an Amsterdam Canalhouse: $75

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Rotterdam 25
    Amsterdam 30

Tours and Activities in Rotterdam

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Rotterdam.

  • Rotterdam Private Tour: Old Town & Harbor Exploration Game With Puzzles: $4.96
  • Old Town and Harbor Exploration Game & Tour: $7.93
  • 1-Day RET Public Transport Ticket: $12
  • 1-Hour River Cruise: $15
  • River Cruise Rotterdam 60 minutes: $16
  • Skip the Line: SS Rotterdam Steam Ship Entrance Ticket: $16
  • Skip the Line: SS Rotterdam Exploration Guided Tour: $16
  • Wereldmuseum Entry Ticket: $17
  • Walking tour Rotterdam: $18
  • South Holland: Unlimited 1-Day Public Transport Ticket: $20
  • Markthal Tour, Meet & Taste and Rooftop Oldest Skyscraper: $20
  • Markthal Tour, Meet & Taste, and Het Witte Huis: $20

Typical Entertainment prices in Amsterdam

Here are a few typical costs in Amsterdam for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Two tickets to the Houseboat Museum
    6.00
  • Entry for two to the Anne Frank House
    17

Tours and Activities in Amsterdam

Here are a few actual costs in Amsterdam for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 1 hour Amsterdam City Tour in Pedicab: $87
  • 1,5 hours Amsterdam Rickshaw Tour: $174
  • 1.5 Hour Walking Tour of Amsterdam’s Red Light District with a Local: $41
  • 1.5-hour Amsterdam Bubbly Bike tour: $757
  • 2 Hours Private Walking Tour of the Highlights of Amsterdam: $81
  • 2 hours Amsterdam City Tour in Pedicab: $162
  • 2-Day Nightclub Admission Ticket: Best Nightlife in Amsterdam: $13
  • 2-Hour Private Anne Frank Walking Tour with Drink: $162
  • 2-Hour Private Custom Amsterdam Walking Tour With A Local Guide: $70
  • 2-Hour Semi Private All-Inclusive Cruise on our Boutique Style boats: $79
  • 2.5 hours Amsterdam Pedicab Tour: $249
  • 2.5-Hour Amsterdam Sightseeing Tour by Bike: $204

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Rotterdam 15
    Amsterdam 19

Sample the Local Flavors in Rotterdam

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Rotterdam:

  • Stadshaven Brewery Tour with Beer Tastings: $11
  • Discover 3 Culinary Restaurants in Rotterdam - Self Guided Food & Wine Tour: $128
  • Experience 4 restaurants in Rotterdam - Self Guided Food & Wine Tour: $152

Sample the Local Flavors in Amsterdam

Also in Amsterdam, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Distillery Tour & Tasting: $22
  • Amsterdam Bar Crawl: $27
  • Amsterdam Shared Bar Crawl: $31
  • Private Amsterdam Red Light District and pub tour: $61
  • Guided Craft Beer Brewery Bus Tour with Tastings: $67
  • 4 hour Amsterdam Brewery Tour: $81
  • High Class Culinary Lunch in Amsterdam - Self-Guided Food & Wine Tour: $102
  • Drew's 3-Hour Amsterdam Brewery and Bar Tour to Top Rated Bars: $106
  • Discover 3 gastronomic restaurants in Amsterdam - self-guided food & wine tour: $129
  • Experience 4 Culinary Restaurants in Amsterdam Self-Guided Food & Wine Tour: $152
  • Amsterdam Bachelor Party Bar Crawl: $488


When comparing the travel costs between Rotterdam and Amsterdam, we can see that Amsterdam is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.


When is the best time to visit Rotterdam or Amsterdam?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Rotterdam or Amsterdam in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Rotterdam as well as Amsterdam. Many visitors come to Rotterdam in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, most visitors come to Amsterdam for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Rotterdam is generally around the same temperature as Amsterdam. Temperatures in Rotterdam average around 17°C (62°F), and Amsterdam stays around 17°C (62°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Amsterdam. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Rotterdam this time of the year. In the summer, Rotterdam often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Amsterdam. Rotterdam gets 202 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Amsterdam receives 204 hours of full sun.

Rotterdam usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Amsterdam. Rotterdam gets 75 mm (3 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 75 mm (3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Rotterdam 17°C (62°F) 
    Amsterdam 17°C (62°F)

Should I visit Rotterdam or Amsterdam in the Autumn?

Both Amsterdam and Rotterdam are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Rotterdam for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Amsterdam because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Rotterdam is around the same temperature as Amsterdam in the autumn. The temperature in Rotterdam is usually 11°C (51°F) in October, and Amsterdam stays around 11°C (51°F).

Rotterdam usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Amsterdam during autumn. Rotterdam gets 105 hours of sunny skies, while Amsterdam receives 99 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Rotterdam usually receives around the same amount of rain as Amsterdam. Rotterdam gets 72 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 72 mm (2.8 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Rotterdam 11°C (51°F) 
    Amsterdam 11°C (51°F)

Should I visit Rotterdam or Amsterdam in the Winter?

Both Amsterdam and Rotterdam during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to Rotterdam because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Amsterdam this time of year.

It's quite cold in Amsterdam in the winter. The weather in Rotterdam can be very cold. In the winter, Rotterdam is around the same temperature as Amsterdam. Typically, the winter temperatures in Rotterdam in January are around 2°C (36°F), and Amsterdam is about 2°C (36°F).

In the winter, Rotterdam often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Amsterdam. Rotterdam gets 47 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Amsterdam receives 46 hours of full sun.

Rotterdam usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Amsterdam. Rotterdam gets 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Rotterdam 2°C (36°F) 
    Amsterdam 2°C (36°F)

Should I visit Rotterdam or Amsterdam in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The activities around the city are the main draw to Rotterdam this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Amsterdam for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In April, Rotterdam is generally around the same temperature as Amsterdam. Temperatures in Rotterdam average around 8°C (46°F), and Amsterdam stays around 8°C (46°F).

Rotterdam usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Amsterdam during spring. Rotterdam gets 158 hours of sunny skies, while Amsterdam receives 166 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Rotterdam usually receives around the same amount of rain as Amsterdam. Rotterdam gets 52 mm (2 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 52 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Rotterdam 8°C (46°F) 
    Amsterdam 8°C (46°F)

Typical Weather for Amsterdam and Rotterdam

Rotterdam Amsterdam
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 2°C (36°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 2°C (36°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
Feb 3°C (37°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 3°C (37°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Mar 5°C (41°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 5°C (41°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Apr 8°C (46°F) 52 mm (2 in) 8°C (46°F) 52 mm (2 in)
May 12°C (54°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 12°C (54°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Jun 15°C (59°F) 68 mm (2.7 in) 15°C (59°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Jul 17°C (62°F) 75 mm (3 in) 17°C (62°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Aug 17°C (62°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 17°C (62°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Sep 14°C (57°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 14°C (57°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Oct 11°C (51°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 11°C (51°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 6°C (43°F) 81 mm (3.2 in) 6°C (43°F) 81 mm (3.2 in)
Dec 3°C (38°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 3°C (38°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)


Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Rotterdam vs. Amsterdam Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.