Wondering how to reach Rotterdam for the EMAG23, or how to get around? There are plenty of options! You can find the main ones below.
Want to come by plane? Rotterdam has its own airport, Rotterdam The Hague Airport, with direct flights from several cities in Europe, including London, Rome, Istanbul and Geneva. If you don’t have a direct flight to Rotterdam from where you live, it is probably better to check for Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. There is a train station under the terminal, and the Intercity direct train takes you to the center of Rotterdam every half hour in less than half an hour. There is no need to make a reservation.
Rotterdam has a beautiful, brand new train station, and is easy to reach from many directions. The main venue is within walking distance from the train station. Make sure you travel to Rotterdam Central Station. We are working on getting a discount code for the Eurostar international train, and will put it here as soon as we have it.
NS International: https://www.nsinternational.com/en
Rotterdam is not as car-unfriendly as many other Dutch cities, but parking in the city center can still be challenging and pricey. The city has several Park and Ride (P&R) locations away from the center, from where you can travel by public transport to the city center. Parking can then even be for free, but please check their requirements carefully.
You can use your car to move through the city. Just be aware that it can be hard to find a parking space and that street parking is quite expensive. There are parking garages in the city that are generally cheaper than street parking, but these remain expensive as well. To pay for street parking, you will need an app. Go to the website, download the app, create an account and you can start parking.
If you come to EMAG by car, we recommend parking your car at a Park+Ride area (https://www.rotterdam.nl/pr-terreinen) on the outskirts of the city. These parking lots allow you to take advantage of cheap parking. All P+R areas have direct links to the city centre by public transport. You can be there within 20 minutes, without any parking problems.
More info on https://www.rotterdam.nl/pr-terreinen (please use the translation option, as they don’t offer this page on the English website)
Using public transport in the Netherlands has recently become very simple: you can check in and out with your bank card! You can easily travel by train to cities like Delft, the Hague, Utrecht or Amsterdam. Local buses, trams and metros take you pretty much everywhere you need to be in and around the city.
More on traveling with your bank card: https://ovpay.nl/en/
Metro, Tram and bus: https://en.rotterdam.info/visitors-info/in-rotterdam/
Transport planner app: https://9292.nl/en
Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle. As every Dutch city, Rotterdam is very bike-friendly. There are plenty of bicycle rentals available. But please be careful! The Dutch bicycle traffic may be different from what you’re used to! Obey the traffic rules, and stay on the right if you’re not a fast biker.
Shared bikes and shared moped providers
You can download the app from the Apple Store or Play store and create an account to use the shared bike or shared scooters. The more popular ones are Donkey Republic for bikes and Felyx and Check for mopeds. You can reserve and unlock a bike or moped from the app and use it. There are a lot of gathering places (Neighbourhood Hubs) being set up where you can pick up and leave a shared bike or moped.
Please be advised that wearing a helmet while using any of these shared mopeds is mandatory! You and your passenger will get a fine when you are caught riding without a helmet.
Donkey Republic (+31 85 888 5646) https://www.donkey.bike
Cargoroo (+31 85 016 1444) https://cargoroo.nl
Check (+31 85 888 1041) https://www.ridecheck.app
Felyx (+31 85 208 0470) https://www.felyx.com
GoSharing (+31 85 902 2901) https://go-sharing.nl
Lime +31 85 808 5186 https://www.li.me
Rotterdam also offers a unique taxi service on the water: the Rotterdam Watertaxi (https://www.watertaxirotterdam.nl). This taxi service has 50 different stops along the river Maas and is an original way to travel fast within the city. You can book a ride on their website or download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store and book trips there. You can pay using debit cards, Visa or Mastercard. American Express is (not yet) accepted.
Currency and payment
The official currency in the Netherlands is the EURO (EUR). The following methods of payment are accepted in The Netherlands.
Cash is accepted almost everywhere. There are some locations (for example the Pathé cinema) where you can only pay with a debit card or credit card. These locations will clearly state this at the entrance (PIN only) or on their website.
ATM’s are prevalent in the Netherlands. They are the primary way for citizens and tourists to withdraw cash. In general, it’s best to use ATMs owned by Dutch banks as they don’t charge a fee for use of their ATMs (most also have the added plus of offering an English-language menu). However, regardless of Dutch rules, your home bank may charge anyhow. The most common ATM’s are called ‘Geldmaat’ and can be recognised by their yellow colour and a ‘smiley face’ in the logo.
Debit cards are accepted everywhere as a valid method of payment. Make sure to check if your home bank has any charges that apply when using your debit card abroad.
Major credit cards, such as Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in the Netherlands at restaurants, hotels, and tourist destinations. American Express is not yet accepted everywhere, but its acceptance is growing. Some small shops may charge a fee of anywhere from 2-6% if you use credit cards, so be aware of that. If you only have a credit card, be advised that Dutch supermarkets do not accept them at all, so you’ll need a debit card or some cash on hand.
The Dutch do not have a tipping culture as strongly-ingrained as much of the English-speaking world. In a bar or restaurant, provided the service was good, a tip of around 10% is appreciated but not automatically expected.
In the Netherlands the power plug sockets are of type C and F. The standard voltage is 230V and the frequency is 50Hz.
In the Netherlands, safe and clean water is regarded as a basic need. That’s why tap water is safe to drink everywhere in the greater Rotterdam area. The quality is comparable to bottled mineral water, without any taste of chloride or salt. Bottled water is also easily available if you prefer that over tap water. Furthermore, there are more than 80 tapping points throughout the city of Rotterdam where you can tap water free of charge (https://www.rotterdam.nl/watertappunten). It is advisable to bring your own bottle, because you pay a tax on plastic bottles that you buy in shops. There are some nice bottles available in the EMAG Shop, so be sure to take a look there!
SIM cards and Wi-Fi
In the venue we will try to make WIFI easily accessable for all participants so you can use internet there. Also free internet is offered in lots of restaurants, cafes and other places. For going around in Rotterdam we recommend downloading a google map of the area for offline use. All RET busses, metro’s, trams and the larger bus and subway stations have free Wi-Fi. Rotterdam Central station also has free Wi-Fi.A lot of bars, restaurants and tourist locations throughout Rotterdam also offer free Wi-Fi. You can ask the password upon entering.
Members from non-European Union countries do not benefit from free roaming with their subcscription in most cases (Roam like Home). So especially for those members, but also for members who lack enough data and/or call/SMS in their subscription plan, we have found an offer to get internet data & calls with a SIM card.
You can buy a SIM card from the EMAG shop to take care of your mobile data needs. Some mobile providers offer data roaming within the EU for free as part of their subscription, so check with your provider to see if you can use your data plan in the Netherlands without extra costs.
Your phone must be capable of either using a second SIM card (so having two slots for SIM), or you might want to change your own SIM card for one we can deliver. The SIM card here on offer is either:
- A FREE empty SIM card which you can choose to charge with money and/or subscription. Useful if you for instance also want to include calls to non-Dutch numbers . Top up information here.
- A € 10 SIM card with 4GB data and 500 minutes for calls/1000 SMS to Dutch numbers & to other Lebara SIM card users
- A € 15 SIM card with 8GB data and unlimited calls/SMS to Dutch numbers & to other Lebara SIM card users
Countries with Roam like Home: please see https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/faqs/roaming-questions-answers
The Roam like at Home regime is available in ALL 27 EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden. The Roam like at Home Regime is also available in the countries of the European Economic Area: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway.