Business travelers who make their way to Rotterdam in South Holland are often a little surprised at the inspiring, innovative ambiance of this bustling port city. When you don’t know how incredible it really is, it can be easy to dismiss Rotterdam as a bit of an industrial outpost. Fortunately, there is much more to this exciting destination than meets the eye. Aside from world-class architecture and sustainable urban design, the city has also been shaped by iconic technological projects that keep the Netherlands at the forefront of spatial innovation. Plus, there’s a lively cultural scene to boot!
The TravelManor team has a lot of experience in arranging seamless business trips to the Netherlands and the rest of Europe, so we thought we'd share a bit of insight on Rotterdam in particular. Here are a few insider tips to streamline your business journey to Rotterdam, South Holland:
Many restaurants in Rotterdam only open at 18:00 due to the fact that the locals tend to dine quite late. If you’ll be meeting up with business associates for dinner, be ready for an invitation that can be as late as 21:00. However, the late start doesn’t mean you should be tardy in arriving - the Dutch are a very punctual nation and it’s seen as very rude to arrive late to a meeting, even if takes place over dinner.
Rotterdam has plenty of interesting sights to enjoy. If at all possible, try to find some time in between meetings (or add a bleisure component to your journey) to visit a few local attractions. The Madurodam Park of Miniatures, Keukenhof Flower Park, Rotterdam Zoo and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen come highly recommended. TOP TIP: There are plenty of bike-sharing options available in Rotterdam (you can even download an app!), so see if you can make your way to one of the city’s attractions via pedal power for an extra dose of local flavour.
The Dutch are not a very conservative nation, but there are certain social and business etiquette rules that should be followed if you wish to leave a good impression. This includes greeting others in public places like stores, banks, and restaurants; not wearing fur in public (animal rights are huge); shaking hands with everyone in a meeting upon arrival and departure (both men and women), and being ready for lengthy meetings. TOP TIP: In Dutch culture, all members of a meeting are expected to make a contribution, regardless of their position in the company. Therefore, it is advisable to prepare yourself well at all times and expect input from their whole team.
Following these guidelines when you visit Rotterdam for work will allow you to make the most of your business journey. We will be sharing more expert insight on other cities around the globe in the coming weeks and months, so do keep an eye on the blog. In the meantime, our team of corporate travel planners is on hand if you want to discuss other aspects of your business journeys and find out how we can help you to streamline the entire process from start to finish. Feel free to reach out to learn more about our corporate travel management services.