Neighbourhood guide of Rotterdam

We would like to give you a short guide to get familiar with the different neighbourhoods in Rotterdam. 

The different neighbourhoods of Rotterdam that will be introduced are: 

- Kralingen - Crooswijk
- Noord
- Centrum
- Delfshaven
- Overschie
- Hillegersberg - Schiebroek
- Prins Alexander
- Rotterdam South (Charlois, Feijenoord & IJsselmonde) 

You can view the location of the different areas on the map below:

Map of Rotterdam


Kralingen is international and hip. It attracts a mix of students, expats, Rotterdamers and the social elite. Its buildings were mostly created in the 19th or early 20th century and have often been beautifully renovated. When walking through the streets, you can feel the unique atmosphere of royal green lanes with villas and cosy streets with many student and fraternity houses. Want to go to the beach? You can find it a short walk away at the lake Kralingse Plas. Erasmus students are only a short walking or cycling distance away from their campus and commuting to the city centre only takes around 10 minutes. As one may expect, housing prices reflect the desirability of the area. Crooswijk refers to the area next to Kralingen on the west side. As many parts of Rotterdam, it is a melting pot of different cultures and people from all layers of the society.


Rotterdam North offers the full range of street pictures, from busy shoppi

ng streets with many small international shops and supermarkets to green lanes with beautiful villas. In Rotterdam North you will find a mix of young, old, poor and rich. Rotterdam North is the home of many students and particularly attractive due to its moderate rents and the closeness to the city centre. The Erasmus University is mostly just a 15-20 minutes cycling trip away.


The city centre is surrounded by Delfshaven in the west, Rotterdam Noord in the North, Kralingen in the West and the Maas river in the South. Living in the in the vibrant heart of this world city implies countless shopping opportunities, cosy cafes and delicious restaurants just a short walk away. The city’s nightlife mostly takes place in the city centre at places as the famous Witte de Witstraat, the Oude Haven (the old habour) and the area around the town hall, the Stadhuisplein area. Rotterdam’s biggest market is located at the Meent near Blaak, with its new market hall being finished in 2014. Needless to say that excellent tram and Metro connections will bring you anywhere in no time.

Delfshaven (West)

Delfshaven is located on the western part of Rotterdam. It is a place where students, starters, creatives, Rotterdamers and people from all over world live. For students, Delfshaven is attractive due to its moderate rents and its closeness to the city centre and many educational institutions as  the Erasmus MC, the Hogeschool and the Codarts art school. Also Erasmus University Students find their home in Delfshaven and benefit from a direct metro connection to the campus. Cycling to the Erasmus University takes around 20-25 minutes.


Overschie is a family friendly and green neighbourhood in the northwest of Rotterdam. By car you reach the city centre within just 10 minutes, by bike within around 20 minutes. You can enjoy easy access to the highways and free parking.


Hillegersberg-Schiebroek is Rotterdam’s upscale area with many beautiful villas, traditional Dutch houses but also modern buildings. Waters or parks are never far away. The centre of Hillegersberg-Schiebroek is at the Bergse Dorpsstraat, where you can find designer clothes or have a coffee in one of the inviting cafes and restaurants. The city centre can be reached within 10-20 minutes cycling.

Prins Alexander

Prins Alexander is a calm and green neighbourhood in the Northeast of Rotterdam. As student you benefit from affordable rents and a short distance to the Erasmus University. Many of its buildings were established in the mid or late 20th century.

Rotterdam South (Charlois, Feijenoord & IJsselmonde)

Rotterdam South comprises the districts Charlois on the west, Feijenoord in the centre and IJsselmonde in the east. Generally one can enjoy relatively low rents in the South of Rotterdam. When walking through the streets you can see a mix of cultures from all over the world. In the centre of Rotterdam South you can find one of the largest shopping centres in town, “Zuidplein”. Students from the Erasmus MC, Codarts, the Hogeschool, InHolland or ZadKine can find an affordable home in Charlois or Feijenoord, just 10-20 biking minutes away from their school and the city centre using the Maastunnel. For Erasmus University students, the area of IJsselmonde is just a few bus stops or a 20-25 minutes cycling trip away from the  campus. 

The relatively new area Kop van Zuid is across the centre, on the south of the Erasmus Bridge. It shows a unique atmosphere. You spot modern skyscrapers, historic factories which have been built into student homes, office buildings, beautiful restaurants but also the new Luxor theatre. Living at the Kop van Zuid is hip and just a bridge or metro stop away from the city centre. 

Energy and water suppliers 

When renting an apartment excluding gas, water and electricity expenses, you will need to make your own contract with an energy and water supplier.

With respect to water, Evides is the only providerin Rotterdam.
Visit the website of Evides

With respect to energy, you can use the english website Energievergelijken.nl to find and contract your supplier. 

You can also contact one of the following energy supplier directly:

Unfortunately the energy suppliers do not offer their websites in English. We therefore advise you to ask a Dutch-speaking person for help or to contact the suppliers by phone.

Municipal Taxes

As inhabitant one is responsible for the settlement of two kinds of municipal taxes, namely the garbage levy (Dutch: Afvalstoffenheffing) and the Water tax (Dutch: Waterschapsbelasting). Before renting your home you should inform yourself whether these taxes are included in the rent.

Garbage levy (Dutch: Afvalstoffenheffing)

This tax is a compensation charged by the municipality, for picking up and disposing your garbage. In 2014, this amounts to € 372,50 a year for every household. If you live in a room, the landlord is entitled to charge this tax from you and the other tenants of the household.

Water tax (Dutch: Waterschapsbelasting)

The local Water Board (Dutch: Hoogheemraadschap) charges a levy for the mainenance and purification of the waterways and dikes. There are three different Water boards in Rotterdam. All three Water Boards have different tariffs.

  • Hoogheemraadschap van Delfland, charges € 92,08 a year per pollution unit* plus a lump sum of € 114,44 a year per household.
  • Hoogheemraadschap van Hollandse Delta, charges € 49,26 a year per pollution unit* and a lump sum of € 103,88 a year per household.
  • Hoogheemraadschap Schieland en de Krimpenerwaard, charges € 56,56 a year per pollution unit and a lump sum of € 131,61 a year per household.

The Water Board of Delfland corresponds to the area Rotterdam West and Hillegersberg-Schiebroek. All accommodations in Rotterdam South belong to Water Board of Hollandse Delta. The other areas as the Centre and Kralingen belong to the Water Board of Schieland and the Krimpenerwaard.

*The amounts account for each pollution unit for the year 2014. A household of one person is billed for one pollution unit. Households with two or more people are billed for three pollution units.

Links to the websites of the Water Boards: 

Hoogheemraadschap van Delfland 

Hoogheemraadschap van Hollandse Delta 

Hoogheemraadschap Schieland en de Krimpenerwaard 


Internet, television & telephone

Before closing an internet, television of telephone contract, always make sure which connections are available inside your apartment. There are two different cable systems. Most providers work with telephone lines (ADSL). Other internet providers use the television connection.

To arrange your internet, television and/or phone subscription, it can be helpful to go to the area around the Lijnbaan in the city centre. The following providers are located nearby:

- UPC at the Lijnbaan 117, 3012 EN Rotterdam (television connection)

- KPN  at the Korte Lijnbaan 1B, 3012 EC Rotterdam (ADSL)

- Telfort at the Beurstraverse 25, 3011 AE Rotterdam (ADSL)

As alternative to visiting a shop you can also book your subscription online at other providers (often cheaper). Easyswitch.nl is a website which compares offers from all providers. International Students Rotterdam provides a helpful explanation for non-Dutch speaking of how to use the site. 


Short term parking

Parking in the streets mostly requires payment by Chipknip or Creditcard. To avoid expensive parking fines, make sure to charge your Chipknip card if necessary or to buy a disposable one at for instance a supermarket or news magazine shop.

A convenient way might be parking for free in a P+R area outside the centre and continuing your trip with public transport. Those P+R areas are generally well connected to public transport. For an overview of all P+R locations you may use this map.


Resident's parking pass

In order to avoid paying the regular parking fee, you can request a residents parking card from the municipality. The monlthy costs for a resident's parking card are mostly below € 11 a month. 

There are different requirements for a resident's parking card:

- You are registered in The Netherlands and have received your Dutch BSN Number.

- Your car has a Dutch license plate. In case you do not have a Dutch license yet, you need a document which states your exemption from the vehicle tax (Dutch: vrijstelling bpm bij verhuizing). You request this exemption if you plan to register your car in the Netherlands.

- Your accommodation does not have a private parking area.

To request a residents parking card, you may use this form (in Dutch) and hand it in or send it to the City Hall or one of the ”city stores”, the so called “Stadswinkels”.

Rotterdam.nl provides information about parking in Rotterdam.

English site
Dutch site (more detailed) 

Free parking

Next to the P&R parking places there are different areas in which you can enjoy free parking. You can visit the following site to see where this applies. In the areas which are not colored there is free parking at this moment. 

Housing permit

In some areas of Rotterdam South it is required to request a housing permit. The housing permit applies to accommodations with a pure rent excluding gas, water and electricity utilities and other service costs of up to € 699,48 (2014).

Housing permits have to be requested in the following districts:

- Carnisse
- Hillesluis
- Oud-Charlois
- Bloemhof
- Tarwewijk

Why do these districts require a housing permit? The municipality invests efforts in improving certain districts of Rotterdam. To control the development, there are certain conditions for inhabitants such as that they have to be studying or generate sufficient income from work.

Students who receive the Dutch study finance and international students are generally eligible for the housing permit. Please note that requesting a housing permit takes up to 6 weeks and that you are officially not allowed to move into your accommodation before it has been granted.

When renting a room or apartment through Studyrent, we will support you in the entire process.

More information regarding the housing permit can be found on the site of the municipality Rotterdam (in Dutch).


Maintenance obligations 

You might ask yourself what responsibilities your landlord has with respect to repair and maintenance. Questions that could come up are for instance: Does the landlord have to repair the washing machine if it breaks? Do tenants have to replace light bulbs themselves? Who needs to carry out paintworks? Maintenance obligations are regulated in the Netherlands.  We provide you with an outline of which tasks have to be carried out by tenants, and which by landlords in this document.