In Rotterdam you will find yourself at international crossroads. Being the ”Gateway to Europe”, its international features are omnipresent. Approximately 1,000 foreign companies from all over the world have already chosen Rotterdam as their base for European and worldwide business activities. The city accommodates 600,000 people and no less than 174 different nationalities. Eighty percent of the population speak English as a second language. Moreover, Rotterdam is a centre for international interchange of art, culture, sport and science.

Rotterdam is a city on the water. Being the “Gateway to Europe” Rotterdam has a hinterland of 500 million inhabitants. The harbour facility along the riverfront is more than 40 kilometres long and stretches between the city and the sea. The operational port is moving further and further towards sea. An impressive port and industrial complex has been developed at ample distance from the city. A boat trip by Spido offers you the opportunity to visit the harbour and sail amidst the heavy traffic of seafaring vessels and river craft.

Vital economy

Rotterdam is a vital centre of commerce, knowledge and services; but also vibrant with culture and activity. Access to the city is excellent as a result of two nearby international airports. You can travel directly to Paris, London and Frankfurt by high-velocity train. Business services account for at least sixty percent of all the city’s economic activities. Education and health care are sectors which continue to grow. New branches of industry flourish, such as film and audio visual activities. On top of that, innovative companies in animation and new media have set up facilities in Rotterdam as well.

Skilled labour pool

The Netherlands has one of the most skilled and flexible labour pools in Europe and education is of a high standard. Rotterdam accommodates 20,000 students at the Erasmus University; 50,000 students in higher technical and vocational training and 40,000 students in intermediate training. Whether your company is looking for trainees, recent graduates or temporary staff, you will discover a wide score of young people of distinctive educational levels at the many institutions.

Centre of culture

Rotterdam is also a centre of culture with an exuberant offer of art, music, dance and theatre. Also, the city offers a wide range of cuisines from all corners of the globe, music festivals, various stages and a rich variety of shops. The International Film Festival, The North Sea Jazz Festival, Poetry International and the Caribbean Summer Carnival are among the public’s favourite festivals. In addition, many world famous sport events take place in Rotterdam.


Rotterdam is constantly re-inventing itself. The realisation of a citywide fibre optic network is one of the latest challenges for inhabitants, entrepreneurs as well as for the local government. High-profile projects that express the urban vigour are e.g. Kop van Zuid, the new central station and surrounding area, the second Maasvlakte and the Erasmus Medical Centre. The latter houses the largest university medical centre in the Netherlands and ranks among the best in the world. Rotterdam is presently focussing on new economic forefronts such as the medical sector and the creative industries. 

Source: Rotterdam Expatdesk