The Ultimate Moving Guide for Students in Rotterdam

Did you get accepted into the Erasmus University, or some other school in Rotterdam, and are now looking for an apartment in the city? Oranje Transport’s professional movers know Rotterdam like their own pockets and we want to make your moving experience as pleasant as possible. That’s why we put together some info that you might find useful, like how to choose the most suitable living area, where to buy furniture and how to handle the moving.

Living Areas Around the Rotterdam City Centre

The campus of the Erasmus University resides few kilometres to the east of the city centre, in an area called the Kralingen, which is extremely popular living area amongst students. Therefore, the rent prices in Kralingen are also generally very high, although you might be able to find an exception if you begin the search early enough. In Kralingen there is also the Kralingse Bos, a spectacular 200 hectares forest park with a large lake, the Kralingse Plas, in the middle. The park includes many attractions: a beach, a petting zoo, a golf course, a climbing park, jogging and biking paths, restaurants and much more. If you’re a fan of the outdoors, Kralingen is definitely an area to consider.

If you want to find an affordable apartment in the city centre, you probably want to focus your search on the west side, where there are more residential neighbourhoods and more affordable prices. Further to the west Middeland and Nieuwe Westen are also great choices, especially if you happen to study in the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences or Erasmus MC, which are located nearby. If you have more money in your disposal, you might want to consider the area around the Binnenrotte Market. This area has many advantages: there is the large central library, the stunning Markthal, many supermarkets including Marqt and Gimsel that specialize on local and organic products, and of course the huge outdoor market where vendors gather twice a week to sell everything from groceries to clothing and electronics.

The north side of Rotterdam, called simply as the Noord, is a great choice for a student in Rotterdam. It is the largest area around the city centre, which means that any offer you find for an apartment near the centre is most likely located in the Noord. The rent prices are also generally lower than in the Kralingen and city centre. Especially nice area is the Oude Noorden, the Old North, where you can find an abundance of different shops, restaurants and bars.

Rotterdam’s south side on the other side of the Nieuwe Maas river is often considered as an area that you should avoid, and the more you head down south the more you should hold on to your belongings and watch over your shoulders. It is true that Rotterdam has a high crime rate in Dutch standards, and probably the south side is slightly dodgier than the north side of the river. Still, the Netherlands overall is a very safe country to live in and Rotterdam’s south side is no exception. The bad name that the south side has received is also keeping the rent prices low, and this is the area where you are most likely to find a very cheap apartment. However, some areas in the south, such as Katendrecht, are becoming increasingly popular amongst the young urbanites and the rent prices are rising accordingly.

Where to Buy Furniture

Perhaps the most common dilemma that any apartment seeker faces (except the usual struggle of finding one) is whether to go with a furnished of unfurnished. Now, especially if you’re a foreign student or expat on a budget, you probably tend to prefer the furnished option. After all, acquiring everything by yourself can seem like a huge hassle in a place you don’t quite know yet, and an expenditure you can’t afford.

But then again, if you are willing to take that one extra step you usually get at least,

A: Cheaper rent and
B: the luxury of designing the place to your preferring

Plus, if you know where to go and what to do, finding furniture can be easy on the pocket and the nerves. Here you’ll find some useful tips on how to make that happen in Rotterdam.

Social Media

In a big city like Rotterdam, there’s often really no need to buy brand new furniture, because the supply of used furniture is vast and of high quality. One of the best places to look for those items is the Commodity Market Rotterdam group on Facebook, where Rotterdammers and expats go to sell the stuff they no longer need. New furniture is added daily, but the competition can be fierce so if you want to succeed you have to act fast!

Vintage and Second Hand Shops

Another (less competitive) option to find used furniture are the vintage and second hand shops around Rotterdam. In the city centre there are two excellent spots which are located within few hundred meters of each other: Piekfijn (Mariniersweg 255) and Tony’s Garage Sale (Burgemeester van Walsumweg 528). Piekfijn is a second hand shop that has a good selection of everything from furniture to everyday appliances. The prices are not necessarily the cheapest possible, but the quality of the items are generally very good.

If you are looking for the maximum style and personality that is still affordable, Tony’s Garage Sale is your choice. The shop has incredible selection of the coolest vintage furniture you can find in Rotterdam, and with prices that won’t require you to eat noodles the entire next month.

More vintage and second hand shops you can find through:

Furniture retailers

If you prefer new furniture, there are countless options in and around Rotterdam. The most popular one being of course non-other than Ikea. The closest one is located in the near-by town of Delft. With public transport you can reach it by catching a train to Delft and then taking a bus 61 or 64. Other affordable option is Xenos, which has a store right in the city centre of Rotterdam on Hoogstraat.


For smaller household goods and decorative things you’ll definitely want to check Blokker. There you can find anything from trash cans and ironing boards to kitchenware and even TVs. Another store where you can find things for decoration, with extremely cheap prices, is Action. The quality of their products are perhaps not the best but their prices are hard to beat.

How to handle the furniture moving to your apartment

Of course, once you have bought the furniture, whether used or new, you’ll still have to find a way to transport them to your place. If you buy the stuff from a retailer, they might also offer transportation services, but if you’re buying used items you’re usually on your own. In either case, usually organizing the transport on your own is the most economical way of getting things done. If you live with roommates or if you have friends who are willing to help, your best option is to rent a van and handle the moving all by yourself. On the other hand, if you’re all alone or if the moving requires for example getting the furniture through hard angles or a tight staircase (like most often in the Netherlands!) you probably want to take a van plus a man deal where you get a professional mover to help you out, or several movers to handle the whole process. Oranje Transport is a moving service in Rotterdam that offers affordable moving jobs, including house moving services, international removals, transporting furniture from the store to your apartment, and transporting goods to or from a storage facility. The ordering is effortless and can be done via calling or WhatsApp (+31614746788) or through our website. And, when you decide to move out or need our help for other moving jobs, you get a 15% discount as a previous customer!