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The organizing committee has chosen two host areas: the cultural host area and the sports host area. The main reason for creating two host areas is to give a taste of all that Rotterdam has to offer competitors, family and friends. The sports host area is, as the name suggests, the area for sports and everything revolving around sports. The cultural host area has been created for recreation after the sports. This is where you can meet everyone and share your experiences whilst having a drink or enjoying your dinner. The area is close to hotels, restaurants, bars and Rotterdam’s nightlife – so it is the right place to be before going to bed.
The most important events during the WPFG are the Opening and Closing Ceremony. However, various trips and tours have also been organized for competitors, their family and friends. Rotterdam and the Netherlands have much to offer when it comes to leisure and we love to show it!

Cultural host area

The Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam is the centre of the cultural host area (or athletes village) during the WPFG. Within the cultural host area, the following locations can be found:

  • Rotterdam Central Station (train, metro, tram, bus and taxi);
  • The host hotel: Marriot Hotel Rotterdam;
  • De Doelen: venue for bid presentations candidate cities 2027;
  • The Hilton Hotel;
  • The NH Atlanta Hotel;
  • Coolsingel: the start and finish for the half marathon and various cycling events;
  • Many restaurants, bars and cafés;
  • Shopping malls.
The cultural host area is the vibrant nightlife area for competitors, their family and friends, and the citizens of Rotterdam. The area is accessible for everyone; closed events or evenings can also be held here, such as certain ceremonies or tributes and theme nights. The cultural host area is opened daily from 12:00 to 23:00.

Sports host area

Due to the safety measures in place, competitors and their supporters need to be able to show identification at all times. Accreditation is necessary at any large sport event and the WPFG will have an accreditation facility and Ahoy is the central location for this. Ahoy is one of the largest indoor event halls of the Netherlands and is ideally suited for exhibitions, (sport) events, concerts, congresses and meetings. It is close to the Zuidplein indoor shopping mall and the largest hub for public transport in Rotterdam. Reachability is guaranteed. A subway ride from the cultural host area (from Central Station or from Stadhuis) is 6 or 7 stops and will take about 20 minutes. Ahoy has hosted many (inter)national sport events and is experienced in the accreditation of large groups of competitors and supporters.

This area, which includes Ahoy and a yet to be build 50-meter swimming pool near the Zuidplein shopping mall (completion autumn 2017), is the sports host area. Ahoy is one of the most important venues for the WPFG. The accreditation takes place here, as do 18 sports and the closing ceremony. A shuttle service runs from Ahoy and for 10 days this venue is dedicated to the WPFG. Competitors can play sports here, visitors can spectate, and food and drinks will be available. Ahoy is also host to the Expo. It is also possible for the (inter)national competitors to use the Expo for the sales of sporting materials and souvenirs. During the WPFG, Ahoy is open daily from 09:00 to 23:00, depending on the sports schedules.
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Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony is one of the most important parts of the WPFG, because this is the actual start of the event. The intended venue for the Opening Ceremony is the Feijenoord Stadium in Rotterdam. ‘De Kuip’, as the stadium is called, is famous in Rotterdam and in the rest of the country. This stadium is one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world, due to the atmosphere and the experience. Soccer matches or concerts here are amazing experiences. It is a stadium with history: it is the home base of soccer team Feyenoord. The build of this stadium started in 1935 and the opening took place two years later on 27 March 1937. The building was renovated in 1993/1994 and the stadium is now a multifunctional building. This football stadium has seen many concerts by national and international stars such as the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Pink Floyd, U2, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Bruce Springsteen.
Feijenoord Stadium is very well suited for the Opening Ceremony as this is where music, culture and sports collide!

During the Opening Ceremony, the competitors will be the centre of attention. The focus is divided between participating countries and a smooth-running Opening Ceremony. The programming includes fixed parts of the ceremony, such as the athletes’ march and taking the oath. The programming reflects Dutch culture as well as international allure. Together with acknowledged suppliers and programmers, the organizing committee will further give shape to the ceremony.

Closing Ceremony

The Closing Ceremony will take place in Ahoy’s indoor arena and is all about passing on the flag to the host city of 2023. Of course, we will also look back on the Games by means of a spectacular movie and all results will be celebrated. It is also important to have room to talk to one another and say our goodbyes. Afterwards the ceremony will move on to the athlete’s village in the cultural host area.

Leisure & Entertainment

There is loads to do in Rotterdam besides playing sports. This a city that is always on the move! Rotterdam has a compact city centre, boasts a varied and extensive range of hotels, and provides a broad array of leisure activities. Over three million people a year visit Rotterdam’s attractions. Whether it’s on the water, in the centre of the city, high in the air, or out in nature, Rotterdam has something to offer everyone for a great day out. The city also hosts a number of exciting, trailblazing festivals each year and the number of attractions for people of all ages is rising. Visitors are sure to be entertained by the many attractions on offer and architecture buffs will enjoy a stroll around the city or taking one of the special architectural tours.

With its vibrant arts scene, arts and culture lovers will be spoilt for choice in Rotterdam with its many exhibitions, concerts and dance performances. The roots of Dutch dance (electronic house music) lie in Rotterdam and the dance parties and clubs are always excellent. Moreover, Rotterdam bustles throughout the year with numerous cultural events, sports and festivals. The city is proud to have been awarded the title ‘Event City of the Year’ three times.
Rotterdam also has an exciting mix of shopping areas. From exclusive to popular, from mega-stores to small boutiques, no one will go home empty-handed! Rotterdam is also known for its restaurant scene. From a classic French meal to a spicy, exotic dish, each district has its own culinary style. Visitors can enjoy the metropolitan allure of Rotterdam’s nightlife into the small hours of the morning. Rotterdam has it all. There is too much to mention, but these sights and attractions are definitely worth a visit:

  • The Markthal: 100 units that offer fresh food, 15 food shops and 8 restaurants in a beautiful building;
  • Rotterdam Zoo;
  • Museum Boijmans van Beuningen;
  • Museum de Kunsthal;
  • Het Nieuwe Instituut;
  • The Euromast: see Rotterdam from the sky atop of this 185 meter high eye-catcher
  • Spido: sail the harbours of Rotterdam
  • Splashtours: take a tour through the city and on the water in one and the same vehicle
  • Delfshaven: an historical part of town in Rotterdam

Friends & family program

Things to do

The competitors and their family and friends will have plenty to do when they’re not visiting one of the events or ceremonies. Of course it is possible to explore the city by yourself, but the organizing committee will also organize some trips. These trips are listed in the accreditation book so competitors and their supporters have a chance to look into all the information beforehand. During these trips the family and friends of the competitors can easily meet and get to know each other. Various trips for those with (small) children are also included. The program of the sports and the cultural host program also include events such as workshops and activities especially for those with kids.

Example trips

  • Cultural tour through Rotterdam: visit various museums such as Kunsthal, Boijmans van Beuningen or smaller museums;
  • Architecture tour through Rotterdam: take a bike ride through the city and see some architectural highlights. What about the Markthal, de Rotterdam, Euromast (see the city from 185 meters) and the Central Train Station;
  • Harbour tour through Rotterdam: a cruise with the Spido through the harbours of Rotterdam and the Maasvlakte. Or take a ride with the water taxi or Splash tours;
  • Trip to Amsterdam: visit various highlights (Rijksmuseum, Madame Tussauds, Anne Frank Huis, Paleis op de Dam, cruise the canals);
  • Trip to Neeltje Jans: the delta works;
  • Trip to Kinderdijk: sail from Rotterdam to Kinderdijk and discover how an authentic windmill works. Or visit the workshop and see how mills are built, maintained and how to become a miller;
  • Trip to Volendam, where you can still find people in traditional local dress;
  • Trips to various sites such as Madurodam, Plaswijckpark or Rotterdam Zoo; 
  • Trips to various theme parks such as Walibi, Efteling and Duinrell.