Rotterdam Warnings and Dangers
Although locals and frequent visitors say that Rotterdam has become safer in recent years, there are still a few things to watch out for. If this city is on your travel itinerary, keep these Rotterdam warnings and dangers in mind so your stay is enjoyable.
Pickpockets and Scammers Target Tourists
Avoid tipping off thieves by putting your camera away when not in use and stowing money and important documents out of sight. Carrying a small bag around your neck or waist makes valuables easy to spot. Try to look like a local by carrying backpacks in the same way.
When traveling around the city, don’t immediately trust people who approach you. It’s not uncommon for scammers to tell sad stories to try to get money from you or see where you store your wallet. While you should also avoid giving money to beggars, you can trust people selling the “Straatkrant” or “Straatnieuws” (Street Paper), which is a newspaper written by homeless people. They buy the papers for half the price and then sell them to try to rebuild their lives. Sellers are required to have a permit and be drug and alcohol free.
If someone stops you claiming they are police, ask for identification and mind your wallet. Some may approach saying that they checking for counterfeit money. They wear normal clothes and show a dodgy pass. Just tell them you want to go to the police station for the check, and they will usually leave.
Parking and Driving Warnings
Finding a parking space will be difficult if you’re heading to city centre, so you may want to take public transportation. Avoid parking anywhere you’re not supposed to or are unsure if you’re allowed, as penalties are high. Pay attention to speed limits because Rotterdam has many traffic cameras that will catch you speeding and send you a ticket.
Areas to Avoid in Rotterdam
Rotterdam is divided into two parts by the Nieuwe Maas river. Locals warn that the southern portion is more dangerous. Like any major city, Rotterdam has areas of increased drug activity. Be careful when walking around the outskirts of the city, especially in Zuid plein and surrounding areas. At night, Marconiplein and Spangen become less safe areas and parks, in general, are best to avoid. Women especially should try to avoid Claes de Vrieselaan, even during the day.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Rotterdam.