what to do in Rotterdam when it rains: Dutch Pinball Museum

Rain is very common in the Netherlands. And in Rotterdam you’ll get a double treat: it often comes with strong winds. Take out a stormproof umbrella and see if you and your umbrella can survive.

The Dutch definitely will not stay at home because of a few drops. You’ll see them cycling through storms, dressed up from head to toes in weatherproof rain suits.

You will probably discover that it’s a great time for shopping, visiting museums in Rotterdam or find one of the nice activities to do with this horrible weather. Here are my tips for:

Visiting Rottterdam when it rains

Dutch Pinball Museum

This is one of my favourite spots in Rotterdam when it rains. Located in the beautiful historic Delfshaven neighborhood, the Dutch Pinball Museum will entertain you for as long as you want. The museum not only exhibits hundreds of pinball machines from the 19th century until now, they also allow you to play all of them. You buy a ticket for the amount of time you want to spend in there, so check the infamous Buiemrader-app and decide if you want to play 1 or 2 hour or the whole day. Seriously, why did they ever removed these machines from bars?

pic: AD.nl

Cube houses

The iconic Cube houses look great on pictures when the sun shines, but get the vibe of living there when it rains. The Kijkkubus, is a Cube house that is open to public. Go upstairs and experience what it’s like to live in such a house when the rain is coming down on your window with sky view. The cube houses form a small living community, which is actually quite cute and provides shelter from the elements. From here you can easily walk dry to the Oude Haven to get a drink at a cosy cafe with a view. Or go in the opposite direction and have some bites and drinks in the Markthal.

hostel Rotterdam in cube houses

pic: Stayokay hostel


My favourite art house cinema in Rotterdam is Kino. Not just because they show the best movies from the past and present, but also because they have a nice bar and burger restaurant. Play board games, have a drink and catch a movie, all in one spot. Cinerama is a good alternative, that provides a retro vibe. If you’re more into a sleek larger art house cinema, visit Lantaren Venster at the Wilhelminapier, or go to Pathe for the blockbusters.

pic: Jan de Groen voor NVBF

Have a spa day at Thermen

I love going to the spa and especially when it’s raining or snowing. Thermen Holiday is a surprisingly good spa with 10 dry saunas, steam rooms, relaxing areas, pools and a restaurant. Some are indoors, others are outdoors. It’s amazing to cool off with raindrops on your hot skin.

Please be aware that in Dutch saunas swimwear is usually not allowed. The spas are mixed and people are completely nude. Check the calendar to see if there’s a clothing optional day, if that is your preference.

Take metro line B in the direction of Hoek van Holland Strand (stop: Schiedam Nieuwland), OR tram 24 to Holy (stop: Schiedam, PrinesBeatrixlaan). From the stops it’s just a 5 minute walk.

pic: IWR

Museums in Rotterdam

If you came to Rotterdam for art and architecture, you probably stumbled upon Kunsthal, Depot Boijmans van Beuningen, Het Nieuwe Instituut and maybe Huis Sonneveld or Natuur Historisch Museum. They are all located around the Museumpark; what’s in a name right?

Het Nederlands Fotomuseum is also worth a visit, but if you are more into contemporary art try Melly or V2. And of course the Dutch pinball Museum, mentioned above.

Melly, pic: indebuurt

Hot Tug

Something that a lot of people like to do when the sun is out, is experience a floating hot tub. They’re called Hot Tugs and I actually enjoy them more when it rains or when it’s cold outside. The heated water in the hot tug is super nice, and since you’re wet anyway, it’s great to see Rotterdam from a completely different perspective. The hot tugs even have drinks on board.

pic: HotTug

Breakfast in Rotterdam

Of course you’d like to start your day with a good breakfast in Rotterdam. That’s why I made a shortlist with 5 great options a.k.a. my personal breakfast hotspots in Rotterdam.

Gay places in Rotterdam

Looking for a jolly good time? First learn why Rotterdam is not your average gay friendly city. And then discover the gay bars in Rotterdam.