Living life in Rotterdam

29 May 2011, by

Even though largely destroyed during the Second World War, Rotterdam, home of Europe's biggest port, has managed to become an international city at the forefront of architectural design.

Covering different housing needs and the "Aanpak Woonoverlast" action plan for dealing with noisy neighbours clearly illustrate the local authorities’ intentions to create a better living environment and to extend the average length of stay.

In fact, the "State of Housing" report, alderman of Housing and Spartial Planning Hemit Karakus' overview of the achievements that the Municipality of Rotterdam and its partners have achieved, clearly concludes that Rotterdam has taken major steps to create an attractive residential city.

Neighbourhoods in Rotterdam

Rotterdam, the Netherlands' second largest city is divided into numerous districts (right column) and neighbourhoods, most of which could be characterised as ideal for expats:

Rotterdam city centre

Rotterdam's distinctive triangular shaped city center contains a number of characteristic, historic buildings (many of which date back to the early 1900s), simple ones with shared staircases, modern apartments and spacious villas.


Hip, international and just 15 minutes east of the city centre; a great area with students living next to millionaires close to the woods and the nearby lake.

Kop van Zuid

Kop van Zuid (Feijenoord district) is an international and trendy area well-positioned along the southern bank of the Nieuw Maas. Here, expats and business professionals can find renovated warehouses and modern apartment blocks at upmarket prices.


The Schiebroek neighbourhood (west of Hillegerberg) is also turning into an increasingly popular area for expats.


Blijdorp is a popular neighbourhood with attractive housing prices; an expat friendly area within walking distance to the Central Station, Rotterdam Zoo, shops, restaurants and cafes as well as cycling distance (less than 5 minutes) to Rotterdam Centre. 

rotterdam neighborhood map
Image source


Green suburb with several international schools and good public transportation. As expected, house prices reflect the neighbourhood’s desirability.

Prins Alexander

Both Prinsenland and Onmoord (north-east, Prins Alexander district) are becoming popular expat neighbourhoods with affordable houses close to Rotterdam’s largest shopping area, the Alaxandrium Shipping Centre.

Rotterdam districts

Kralingen - Crooswijk
Prins Alexander
Hillegersberg - Schiebroek
Hoek van Holland

Fred Tromp is an Expat Service Provider with 10 years of experience in the housing market in the Netherlands. For inquiries and / or remarks, feel free to comment below or visit Perfect Housing.

More guides to neighbourhoods in the Netherlands:

Amsterdam neighbourhoods guide
Living in The Hague
Dutch neighbourhoods for your family home

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About the Author
Joost Luttge

Business Development Director, joined Perfect Housing in 2005. I worked for a couple of years in Spa...



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