Creative Media Education

Rotterdam City Information


Rotterdam is Holland’s second largest city and the most well respected multicultural capital of the Netherlands. Due to its modern architecture and multicultural society, it has become a city that has drawn many visitors seeking entertainment, culture, fine dining or simply a day of shopping.

Not only is Rotterdam known for its architecture but perhaps even more for its port. It has the largest port in the world and is Europe’s gateway for international shipping


Due to Rotterdam’s multicultural population, you will find many events being organized throughout the year. One of the best known is the summer carnival where you can enjoy all sorts of exotic foods, drinks and music.

For those seeking music and entertainment, Rotterdam has enough to offer.  Some of the biggest musical events are held in Rotterdam such as:

Aside from these annual events, Rotterdam’s Ahoy is one of Holland’s largest venues for concerts. Here the likes of Madonna, George Michael, Brian Adams and many others perform for tens of thousands of people.

Rotterdam offers many venues for live music such as The Old Luxor Theater. This former cinema has been converted to a theater where acts and performances are held. Here you can find known artists as well as the not so well known entertaining the visitors in cabaret, musical performances and many other forms of cultural performance.

Rotterdam also hosts one of the largest international film festivals; The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFRR) where our audio and film students participate in documenting the event.

Rotterdam also hosts many events where you can sit back relax and enjoy the activity. One of the most spectacular events is the Bavaria city race. Here the streets of Rotterdam become a true F1 racetrack. Or you can attend the Harbor Days where some of the largest ships in the world can be seen.

Classical Music
If you enjoy classical music then the De Doelen might be just the place for you. The Doelen is Rotterdam’s most respected concert hall right in the city center. Here you will find many classical concerts.

Rotterdam has enough to offer when it comes to culinary dining. You can grab a quick meal at one of the many local Donner restaurants or fine dine in a Michelin star restaurant. Enjoy a fabulous meal at Parkheuvel (2 stars) or at one of the other star restaurants. The choice would be between Fred, Amarone or SAE Rotterdam’s neighbor Yvy.

A star restaurant a bit too stiff for you? Don’t worry. There are many other alternatives to choose from. Try amazing Asian food at Sumo or a nostalgic trip back in time at the Hotel New York. The original port for shipping between Rotterdam and New York is now a gracious restaurant where original features have been left in tact. A beautiful dining experience near the waters of the Maas.

Some of Holland’s most famous chefs have their own restaurant in the city. Herman den Blijker is a respected chef that has been on national TV over the past 10 years. Both his restaurants De Engel and Las Palmas are located in Rotterdam.

Near the SAE campus a new restaurant has opened it’s door. De Machinist offers a mix of classical dishes as well as modern dishes.

Also near the SAE campus you’ll find café Verhip and Stroom where many SAE students and staff can be found for a drink after class and work.  Stroom also offers a hotel for those seeking accommodation close to the SAE.

This category should be a site on its own as Rotterdam has a very diverse nightlife. There’s something to do for everybody. Whether you looking for live music, Jazz, rock hard guitars or pumping beats, Rotterdam will have several locations for you to choose from.

One of the most popular venues is Off_Corso. Here you can experience 80’s & 90’s classics as well as international DJ’s showcasing their music. Looking for something more intimate? Try The Bootleg Café where DJ’s play their music as you enjoy a drink. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find the space to even dance. Are you in to Jazz and you play Jazz? Then Dizzy’s Jazzcafé is the place to be. Here you can enjoy live Jazz music and once a week musicians are welcome to jam with other musicians.

If you’re hungry and want a bite to eat while you enjoy good live music then you might want to have a look at Rotown. Here you will find a variety of musical events ranging from jam sessions to dance music. Also very nice for a cool drink on a warm summers afternoon.

Looking for something grander? Then The Maassilo might get you in the right mood for a night partying out? This venue hosts Rotterdam’s largest parties ranging from progressive dance to drum and bass.


In Rotterdam you’ll find all sorts of Hotels ranging from luxurious to affordable. Simply looking for a place to stay while you visit the SAE and get an impression of the city? Try the Stayokay Hotel situated in Rotterdam’s Cube buildings or the Home Hotel. A popular affordable hostel is the Room Rotterdam or the Hotel Baan.

Close to the SAE you can also book a room in Hotel/Café Stroom. 2 minutes away from the SAE Rotterdam campus.

Looking for something more luxurious take a look at The Hilton or The Best Western Crown Hotel.

A bit more affordable but comfortable is The Tulip Inn or the in the city center located Maritime Hotel.

Public Transportation
It is relatively easy to find your way around Rotterdam and the rest of the Netherlands. The public transportation system is one that tens of thousands of people use every day. From Rotterdam’s Central Station you can take a tram or  metro to almost any place in Rotterdam. Recently the public transportation has made the move to the OV chip card. This is needed for all public transportation in Rotterdam. The trains use the more traditional printed ticket but can also be paid via the OV chip card.

Upon arrival you will need to purchase an OV chip card in order to use the metro and/or tram. This can be done at every train station. The OV chip card will need to be “topped up” before it can be used. Once you have the OV chip card you can check in as you step in the tram or metro and check out as you leave. The payment will be deducted from the OV chip card.

To plan your trip ahead of time, you can get information on trams and metro from the RET site. To plan your trip for the national train services have a look at the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS).

Because many canals surround Rotterdam, the water taxi is a popular means of transportation. It is worth the while to try it on a nice summers day as you get to see some beautiful sites along the way.

Finding a place to stay can be a time consuming process. There is however a lot on offer. To get an idea of pricing check out the availability on expatriates.com.

It is also possible to find temporary accommodation on Trovit.

There are many banks to choose from in the Netherlands of which two are the most common for available ATM machines. The biggest is the ABN AMRO. Alternatively the Rabobank or ING are also widely available.
Important contact details
Relevant facilities and resources SAE
- Albertheijn (supermarket)
- Thuisbezorgd.nl (delivery diners)
- SKVR (music, dance and theatre school)
- RTV Rijnmond (Local TV and radio)