5 free things to do at the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam

Foto: Zelda Bonnet

Rotterdam celebrates poetry, for the 48th time, and you can join.

The 48th Poetry International Festival kicks off on Tuesday, 30 May and lasts until Sunday, 4 June with events on several locations in the Witte de With Quarter. The best poets from all over the world will read their poetry, there will be music, interviews, lectures, and masterclasses.

A Festival Passe Partout normally costs €50, but it's only €35 students. It allows you to visit all events, including opening night. In addition there are day tickets for €10 (students) and in some cases, event tickets.

But for those who are short on money (why wouldn’t you be – Rotterdam students spend half their cash on housing alone), here are some free ways to enjoy the festival as wel!

1. Poetry + Art Gallery Tour. 31 May, 1, 2, 3, June 1.30pm to 4pm, start: Ro Theatre

Explore different Rotterdam galleries on a (rental) bike, guided by a tour guide. During the tour you can listen to poets or spoken word artists at several galleries.

There are several different tours through different parts of the city – just pick one! The tour’s free, but a reservation is appreciated.

2. Poetry café. 31 May 31, 1, 2, 3, June 4pm to 5.30pm, Ro Theatre

A talk show with festival poets, translators and guests in an informal setting. Including a preview of the programmes and impressions from the festival. No reservation necessary.

3. 3dPOETRY: workshop and presentation. 2, 3 June 10am to 3pm, Tuinkamer, Schouwburg

The 3dPoetryEditor is a computer programme that helps you write three-dimensional poetm. Not just horizontal poems, but parts that are far away, parts that are closer, parts that are connected. It’s a widely used programme which you can now try under supervision of the tool builders! Free, but reservation’s necessary due to limited space.

4. Woorden worden Zinnen + Paginagroots (010 Says it All). 3 June, 3pm to 6pm, Schouwburgplein

Podium for word artists in the widest sense of the word – a variety of performers, poetry, punch lines, cabaret, and music, in the centre of town. Rotterdam word artists mixed with international poets.

5. Poetry at Trompenburg, 4 June, 12.30pm to 2pm, Trompenburg Gardens & Arboretum

Listen to poetry among the trees with Mischa Andriessen, Dumitru Crudu, Jan Wagner, and Margarida Vale de Gato.

This tip is a little sneaky of us, because it’s not technically free – there’s an entrance fee to Trompenburg. But it’s a great chance to see the magnificent arboretum so close to the university, you can enjoy the gardens afterwards and for students it’s only €3.25.

More information

For more info on the festival, the programme and tickets, visit their website.