Out on the terrace

There are small ones, large ones, ones that are highly visible, and ones that are well hidden. They may all be very different but they all have two things in common: amazing drinks and the ultimate summer feeling. After much deliberation, these Rotterdam terraces have made it through our strict selection process and are awaiting your visit.


Words: Gerdien Barnard


The view over the Maas is just as good as anything over the Pacific — or even better! The name comes from the location, in the former Tropicana indoor pool, and the sun-soaked terrace is suitably tropical. From here you can take in the spectacular skyline and watch the ships pass by. The menu is healthy — and inventive. Try the home-brewed beer, Cascara White Stout, which is made from the hull that surrounds coffee berries. You’ll never want to leave. Sum it up in word? paradise.
Maasboulevard 100 (Centrum), open: daily from 12pm, alohabar.nl
[Photo by Sophia van den Hoek]
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Aqua Asia Club
There aren’t too many Asian restaurants with great terraces in this city, but Aqua Asia Club more than compensates for this. The restaurant is known for its fine Asian dining, majoring on Japanese food, in one of the most eye-catching landmarks on the skyline — De Rotterdam. The terrace offers a magnificent view of yet another landmark: the Erasmus bridge. The first-class panorama is matched by first-class food and design — but do take a peek inside at the dazzling lounge area while you’re there.
Holland Amerikakade 106 (Kop van Zuid), open: Monday to Thursday 12pm-midnight, Friday and Saturday 12pm-2am, Sunday 1pm-midnight, aquaasiaclub.nl
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A seat indoors isn’t even an option here, because there is no interior. If the name conjures up the stereotypical German steins and lederhosen, think again. This is one of the trendiest gardens in town, though naturally there’s beer (along with wine, and great burgers straight off the charcoal barbecue). The cool setting and excellent DJs make this one of the best places for Friday night drinks.
Schiestraat 18 (Centrum), open: Wednesday to Sunday 3pm-midnight, biergartenrotterdam.nl
Biergarten really packs a crowd every weekend
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You may well be familiar with Bird’s jazz podium, club and restaurant, but probably not its charming garden. Hidden between the Luchtsingel and the Hofbogen, this new oasis (complete with herb garden) is a great addition to the city and the place to go for a cocktail, beer, glass of wine or pizza. Sit back in the comfy lounge chairs or lie in the grass and catch strains of jazz coming from nearby. It really doesn’t get much better than that on a sunny afternoon.
Raampoortstraat 24/26/28 (Centrum), open (until 15 October): Tuesday to Friday from 4pm, Saturday and Sunday from 2pm, bird-rotterdam.nl
The pop-up summer bar is perfect for chilling with friends
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Chances are you’ll face two hurdles at Bokaal: finding somewhere to sit at the weekend and picking a beer. There are many, many to choose from, starting with the 10 different varieties on tap. Factor in the location — a cute square on the Nieuwemarkt — and you begin to see why this heavenly city-centre café is such a popular hangout with bon viveurs, beer connoisseurs, flexi workers and families. Well, everyone basically. New friendships are very quickly forged around the wooden picnic tables.
Nieuwemarkt 11 (Centrum), open: daily 11am-1am, bokaalrotterdam.nl
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Terraces are not just for beers and cocktails, but for sipping on a delicious coffee. On a sunny morning there can be no better way to start the day than with one of Coffeelicious’s award-winning brews in its enchanting courtyard garden. Come lunch or high tea, order a slice of homemade pie — and then try really, really hard to stop yourself ordering a second. For those devil-may-care days when calories are completely forgotten there’s red velvet chocolate milk with marshmallows. A great place to bring children.
Nieuwe Binnenweg 174 (Centrum), open: Tuesday to Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm, coffeelicious.nl
[Photo by Christine Reehorst]
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Whilst some terraces are hidden away, this one is right out there in plain sight. With its prime pitch in front of the city hall, it’s perfect for people-watching from behind sunglasses. Look out for the mayor, as well as newlyweds. With a glass of red and something from the charcoal grill, we’d happily stay here all evening!
Stadhuisplein 3 (Centrum), open: Sunday to Thursday 12pm-midnight, Friday and Saturday 12pm-2am, cornelisrotterdam.nl
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With a history stretching back more than 40 years, Dizzy is indisputably Rotterdam’s most famous jazz café. Its courtyard is also pretty special. In summer there’s live al fresco music almost every day (except Mondays, when it’s closed), and the place takes on the air of an intimate concert. Hungry? We can highly recommend the Dizzy Veggie Special.
‘s-Gravendijkwal 127 (West), open: Tuesday to Saturday 12pm-1am, Sunday 12pm-11pm, dizzy.nl
An iconic place to visit
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Hotel New York
Not to be missed, this one. The historic building and seafood alone warrant a visit, and then there’s the terrace. With its outstanding view over the Maas it’s one of the best in town. Watch the boats and cruise ships glide by, and wave at the water taxis. Locals like to come here to relax in the beach chairs as if they were on holiday in their own city. It can get chilly by the water’s edge, so make sure to take an extra layer.
Koninginnenhoofd 1 (Kop van Zuid), open (until September): daily 10am-midnight, hotelnewyork.nl
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Brouwerij Noordt
This former fire station is one of only a few breweries in Rotterdam — and a great meeting-point for beer lovers and connoisseurs. At the front there’s a terrace with wooden tables and balcony seats on the railings, where you can savour what’s made with love and passion in the building right behind you. In fact, why not take a tour after you’ve finished?
Zaagmolenkade 46 (North), open: Wednesday to Sunday 3pm-7pm, brouwerijnoordt.nl
Trust us, we have never seen it this empty
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La Stanza
You can’t get any more un-Dutch than this courtyard tucked away behind a stately mansion. It is a tiny slice of Rome in central Rotterdam. The beautiful garden has the charm of the most picturesque Italian piazza — and food to match, courtesy of the accomplished kitchen. Free-flowing barolo, chianti and prosecco complete the illusion that you’re somewhere other than the Netherlands. Why bother flying or driving to the southern boot of Europe when you have it all right here on your doorstep?
Van Vollenhovenstraat 19 (Scheepvaartkwartier), open: Monday to Friday 12pm-11pm, Saturday 6pm-11pm, lastanza.nl
La Stanza’s terrace has such a cosy charm, we love it!
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This terrace is notable for two reasons: it’s on board a boat and it belongs to a British gastropub. Docked in the Wijnhaven, one of Rotterdam’s oldest harbours, the red 1950s British lightvessel is hard to miss. It makes for a unique spot to tuck into a generous Sunday roast or beef Wellington. The home-brewed beer will keep you buoyant all night.
Wijnhaven 101 (Centrum), open: Tuesday to Thursday 12pm-11pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm-2am, Sunday 11am-11pm, vessel11.nl
Vessel 11 [Photo by Eva de Korte]
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Enjoy a delicious fish supper with your feet in the sand while the setting sun warms your face. What could be nicer on a lazy summer evening? Part of the De Machinist restaurant, Viskantine aan de Cool (fish canteen on the Cool) is right on the quayside — though it might as well be the Med. You’re transported there as soon as you sit down and smell the divine grilled fish. Perfect!
Willem Buytewechstraat 45 (Coolhaven), open (sunny days only): from 5pm, demachinist.nl/eten-en-drinken/viskantine-aan-de-cool
A seafood-lover’s dream
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Proof that you can be in the middle of the city and surrounded by nature at the same time. For those of us who don’t have their own garden, this terrace in Vroesenpark is also the ideal place to chill while the kids run around. The homemade lemonade is the very best thirst-quencher on a hot day.
Vroesenlaan 60 (Blijdorp), open: Monday 11am-6pm, Tuesday to Saturday 11am-9pm, Sunday 10am-6pm, vroesenpaviljoen.nl
[Photo by Sophia van den Hoek, Studio Unfolded]
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Van Zanten
This is the meeting-point on the Meent. On a sunny day it seems as if all of Binnenrotte has decided to congregate there. You’re almost guaranteed to bump into someone you know. What’s so special about it? In all honesty, not much really. But for whatever reason Van Zanten has somehow become the place in Rotterdam to end the working day or start a night out. And before you know it the weekend has begun.
Meent 44 (Centrum), open: daily from 10am-1am, cafevanzanten.com

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