The Storybook on Quirky Bars and Night Spots in Rotterdam

After casting your sights at the many art murals that deck the city and gazing your eyes at the eccentric buildings that shape the sky, it is time to rest and play in The Netherlands’ most contemporary and forward thinking city of Rotterdam. Sitting one-hour south from the historical capital Amsterdam, it is stark contrast of the capital city not only in appearance but also in its exciting entertainment and nightlife options that are worthy of a visit to the city alone.

Here are some of Rotterdam’s local hotspots that will thrill the socialite in you, allow you to unwind in blissful surrounds and introduce your taste buds to the finer things in life.

Ahola Bar

And ahola to you too! The water may be gone for what was once residence to a public swimming pool but that hasn’t stopped people coming to Ahola Bar to chill. This converted riverfront eatery serves up as a multi functional catering venue bearing resemblance to an indoor forest that houses a bar, coffee roasting house, restaurant and occasionally silent discos!

After unwinding indoors, head outside onto its large open balcony terrace to take in the harbour views. This can be done best with cocktail in hand by being perched upon one of its wooden swings which would make you second guess you should be in some exotic location somewhere else. This is the type of place that would be pumping come summer time.


Just follow the golden gate outside and it will lead to a whole new world down below. Located on the popular Witte de Withstraat strip, Wunderbar is an underground German themed bunker bar sporting a cosy living room feel with its wooden décor booths, comfortable couches and open hall. It is the perfect spot to have a casual catch up. What is even more impressive is that it serves up top notch German treats – food and beverage speaking including my favourite hipster Berlin beverage Club Mate. Wunderbar indeed!

The Bird

It is time to paint the town with all that jazz! One of the great joys in life is live music and it is made even sweeter when entry is a steal or on the house! The Bird, located in the archways of the disused former Station Hofplein, is one of Rotterdam’s’ most popular live music venues. Combining both a jazz club, bar and restaurant, it is an intimate place to mingle with the young and the old while catching a glimpse of quirky local and international acts. A must visit venue if you are one that wants to be swept away with live music – something that can sometimes be a rare find the dance nation of The Netherlands.


With just a short stroll along Luchtsingel, the crowdfunded bright yellow open air canal bridge, you will find yourself in destination dance. Annabel is the cream of the crop when it comes to dance venues in Rotterdam. With its industrial facade, it is the largest music venue in the city and is home to pop up clubs and live DJ sets. It is the place where you leave your worries at the door and dance the night away. It is best to keep an eye on Facebook for upcoming events especially on its popular Thursday nights. Dance on!


Affordable? Yes. Tasty feeds? Yes. A lively ambience? Yes! When a place has all three, you know you are onto a winner. Located on the corner of the lively Witte de Withstraat strip, the multi-storey and colourfully striking local favourite bar and restaurant Bazar serves up exciting flavours of Middle East and North African cuisine with a twist.

With its ornate Persian inspired finishing’s and Persian background music teleporting you to a distant world, it is no wonder this place is always packed and for good reason too. Besides the food being one to saviour and really affordable, the place has a positive buzz about it. If you are to go out for one meal in Rotterdam, this is the place to go!


Witte Cool Zwart
The ultimate street of cool – Witte Cool Zwart