With Rotterdam's exciting calendar of annual events, there are plenty of opportunities for new arrivals to get out and about in the city. From live music and film screenings to sports events and parades, there's something for everyone. Events generally take place in the same month each year, but expats should confirm exact dates and find out about any postponements or cancellations.

Below are some of the top yearly events in Rotterdam.


Annual events in Rotterdam

International Film Festival Rotterdam (January to February)

Film buffs are sure to enjoy Rotterdam's annual film festival, known for screening eclectic and unusual films made by independent filmmakers. Filmmakers of various levels are included, whether well established in the industry or just starting out. Throughout the festival, there are more than 500 screenings, ranging from short films to full-length feature films. Other highlights include talks held by actors, directors and other filmmaking professionals.

Rotterdam Museum Night (March)

One night a year, dozens of galleries and museums throughout the city take part in Rotterdam Museum Night. For a small fee, attendees can visit as many participating places as they like, all of which stay open late into the night for the purpose of the festival.

Rotterdam Marathon (April)

Whether a fitness fanatic or an enthusiastic spectator, the Rotterdam Marathon is not to be missed. This marathon is the largest in the Netherlands and is an exciting event with thousands of participants each year. There are several options for those wishing to join in, from kids' and beginners' runs to full-length marathons.

Rotterdam Unlimited (July)

Rotterdam Unlimited is one of the Netherland's largest street festivals – a five-day-long extravaganza packed with things to see and do. Highlights include live music performances by international artists, a carnival-style street parade and a vibrant market.

World Port Days (September)

Home to the largest port in Europe, Rotterdam celebrates all things maritime once a year during the World Port Days festival. Each year is themed and consists of exciting events such as nautical demonstrations, exhibitions, ship tours and more.

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