“Rotterdam Nightlife” is a guest article written by Valeria Doornkamp
No matter where you are, there is always a sense of music and creativity. Music is everywhere. To show that, switching styles has reached out to Valeria Doornkamp to give us a look into the nightlife of Rotterdam. Here are some of the best spots to experience Rotterdam’s nightlife.
Valeria is bringing us her local expertise on the nightlife in Rotterdam. Over the decades, she’s explored her whole life finding the best spots. Valeria was born, raised, and has been living in Rotterdam for 40 years now. If you want more information about her or want more advice on a trip to Rotterdam, check her out here.
Rotterdam Nightlife; Underground or Rooftop?
The flavour of the city’s nightlife is largely defined by the mindset of the Rotterdam locals, who are reluctant to compromise on anything. Whatever they do, they do it right. So a Biergarten in Rotterdam is exactly what you need it to be: a garden with solid wooden benches, large mugs of beer and sizzling sausages fresh from the grill.
Looking for the underground scene? Here in Rotterdam, it’s literally underground: Toffler is a house and techno club situated in a former metro tunnel.
Toffler is situated in an old underpass below Weena; for those 21 and older who enjoy progressive electronic music. Led lights and good sound make the long tunnel cozy and intimate.
Biergarten is a tiny piece of paradise in the big city, where the best things in life are simple: beer, BBQ, music, sunshine and good people. The food is fresh off the grill, and the beer is served ice-cold. Most nights, the music is DJs and live; on Friday evenings it’s homegrown music from Biergarten all-Rotterdam sound system.
One of Rotterdam’s most popular nightlife areas is Witte De Withstraat. Besides the streets many restaurants, its pubs, cozy cafes and stylish wine and cocktail bars attract a varied crowd. Tourists, locals, students, intellectuals, creative professionals, colleagues enjoying drinks after work: they all rub shoulders on a good Friday or Saturday night, in an exuberant and cheerful atmosphere.
Duck into the side streets to discover the city’s most enjoyable nightlife hotspots. The tropical charm of the tiki bar, for instance. If you like experimental music, the line-up at worm always offers intriguing surprises, while wunderbar serves tasty beers and fritz-kolas.
Tikis is a Hawaiian surf bar and grill restaurant in the heart of Rotterdam. The exotic food and delicious cocktails make you believe you are on a tropical island. The tropical ambiance is reflected in the music as well as the styling with bamboo and Polynesian gadgets. It is Hawaii on the Maas.
Worm organizes concerts, movies, workshops, masterclasses, festivals and different events. Next to that, they have a movie studio, a sound studio, a shop and a very fast digital platform (worm. Station). They stimulate and help different productions like Dutch programs about national and international festivals and media publications.
A similar vibe can be discovered at the head of Nieuwe Binnenweg, where several of the city’s most popular cafes and clubs are located: Rotown, Stalles, Bar3 and Club Vibes.
Rotown is a cafe and restaurant during the day, but the chairs and tables are cleared away in the evening to make room for concerts and parties. An interesting concentration of nightlife is also emerging in the area around Rotterdam central. Stroll from (jazz) club bird straight to the pop stage at Annabel, which organizes popular party nights in the weekend.
Cafe Stalles is a relaxed meeting place in the center of Rotterdam. The cafe is known for its simple but good cuisine and serves homemade pizzas on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays from 5.50 euros.
Stalles is a typical Dutch brown cafe and is characterized by the fact that it attracts a diverse audience. The alternative music, extensive beer and whiskey list and affordable menu ensure that Stalles is always lively. In the summer, Stalles has a large terrace and you can sit outside until the late hours.
Club Vibes is a small and accessible club in the city center of Rotterdam and has been popular with locals for more than 10 years. When the cafes close, Vibes will continue until 5 am! The club attracts a mixed crowd and there is always a friendly atmosphere.
The club is open from Wednesdays to Saturdays and is a great place to either dance or just have a drink. Whether you come for Twist and Twerk Wednesdays and Thursdays or for Dirty Weekend Vibes, you can always expect mainstream pop and good old classics. Club Vibes is known for fair prices and the wardrobe and toilets are always free of charge.
Stage, club and restaurant BIRD is located under the Hofbogen in Rotterdam and offers a program full of jazz, soul, hip-hop, funk and new electronics. In the last century, the area around the Hofbogen was already dominated by a rich musical tradition. The first generation of Surinamese and sailors introduced soul, funk and Rand B here from America. Bird doesn’t just want to breathe new life into this jazz past, but update it to the 21st century. Jazz, but also related music movements such as soul, Latin and funk, hip-hop, afrobeat, and electronics are therefore the starting point of the music programming, supplemented by other art disciplines related to jazz, such as performance poetry, film and visual arts.
Bird’s jazz kitchen is a reflection of the city of Rotterdam: unpolished, honest and a crossroads of styles and cultures. Authentic pizzas are prepared in the wood oven, as well as various specials. A nice option is the Chefs Table surprise menu: a selection of different small dishes to share. In addition, Bird also has an outdoor terrace, called Garden of Bird. This is an urban garden and cocktail bar. Here you can expect many musical surprises. Garden of Bird is open until October 15 this year.
Annabel is Rotterdam’s largest music venue, very close to Rotterdam Central Station. You can see and hear leading international acts, from hip hop to pop to electronic. Or enjoy dancing during one of the many parties or festivals. Together with Biergarten and PERRON, Annabel forms the golden triangle of the Schiestraat, a popular nightlife destination among young people.
Thanks to our guest writer Valeria Doornkamp. As a lover of music herself, and a Rotterdam resident, these are certainly locations you don’t want to miss.