Skyline of Rotterdam with the Erasmus Bridge and De Rotterdam.


The Market Hall in Rotterdam

Market Hall

The Market Hall can be considered the biggest architectural innovation in Rotterdam over the past years. It is not just the marketplace itself that looks splendid, resting under a ceiling that is adorned with an 11,000 m2 artwork called the Horn of Plenty – it depicts strongly enlarged fruits, vegetables, seeds, fish, flowers and insects. It is inside that colourful ceiling where you can find the apartments, draped over the food market in a horseshoe configuration. Get directions.

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Shopping in the Koopgoot in Rotterdam


This pedestrian shopping promenade crosses under the main street of Rotterdam, the Coolsingel. It features mostly mainstream stores, including big international brands, such as H&M and Zara. The most famous high-end Dutch department store De Bijenkorf can also be entered from the 'Koopgoot' (Du) – which translates roughly as 'Shopping Gutter'.

See the official website of the promenade for further info about the stores. Get directions.

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The Central Station in Rotterdam

Rotterdam Central Station

The Central Station of Rotterdam recently had a complete makeover, making it one of the most iconic architectural sights of the city. The stylish roof, which is fully clad with stainless steel, points towards the heart of the city. The station is nicknamed 'Station Kapsalon', referring to the metal tray in which the typical Rotterdam snack Kapsalon is served. Get directions.

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De Rotterdam by Rem Koolhaas

De Rotterdam

De Rotterdam is a true masterpiece by architect Rem Koolhaas, designed to become a 'vertical city'. The three linked towers of nearly 150 meters tall, offer apartments, a hotel, offices, shops, restaurants and parking facilities. The restaurant Nhow on the 7th floor contains a nice terrace with pretty views over Rotterdam. Get directions.

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The Veerhaven in Rotterdam

The Veerhaven

The Veerhaven (Du) is a lovely old marina, mainly for historical boats. It is a unique remaining part of the historical Rotterdam. The calm and romantic atmosphere makes it a great place for strolling, or for dinner in one of the nice restaurants around the marina. Get directions.

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Find a place in Rotterdam centre.
The Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam

Van Nelle Factory

The Van Nelle Factory is a former factory, which originally processed coffee, tea and tobacco for Van Nelle. It was designed by Leendert van der Vlugt in 1930, and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014. The old factory is praised as an industrial monument in the Nieuwe Bouwen (Du) style, which came up in the 1920s and sought a radical new approach in architecture.

After the factory shut down in 1995, it was turned into a creative space hosting offices and events. A nice way to learn more is via a group tour by Urban Guides – check out their official website for more details. Get directions.

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The Fenix Food Factory in Rotterdam

Fenix Food Factory

The Fenix Food Factory is a hip and alternative food court located in a former port warehouse. Find here home-made stroopwafels, Moroccan delicacies, artisan bread, craft beer and many more delights.

The food factory is closed on Mondays. Check out the official website to learn more about the food offered here.

Fenix is easily reachable from Hotel New York via the non-motorized Rijnhaven Bridge. Get directions.

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The Grotekerkplein Park in Rotterdam

Binnenrotte / Grotekerkplein Park

The Binnenrotte is a pedestrian square in the heart of Rotterdam, with more greenery appearing every year. The greenest part so far is the Grotekerkplein (Du), in front of the Church of Saint Lawrence, with plenty of places to sit down. There you can also find a statue of Erasmus made in 1622, and as such considered to be the oldest bronze statue of the Netherlands. Get directions.

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The Maritime Museum in Rotterdam

Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum was founded in 1874. It covers shipping throughout time, with a focus on the Netherlands, and in particular on Rotterdam – which has been the busiest port in the world, before that position was overtaken by Singapore in 2004, and now by Shanghai. By using interactive exhibitions, the Maritime Museum brings the seafaring world to life!

Please note that the museum is closed on Mondays. Get directions.

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The City Hall of Rotterdam

City Hall

The City Hall (Du) was built in 1920, after a design by the Dutch architect Henri Evers. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands laid the first stone of this impressive Beaux-Arts style building in 1915. It belonged to the few buildings in the centre that escaped the bombing of Rotterdam in 1940. Today it still holds the office of the mayor of Rotterdam.

The city hall is open on weekdays till 17h, and particularly the inner courtyard deserves a closer look. A free guided tour is available for groups – the tour takes about an hour and can be reserved per email or phone via the official website (Du). Get directions.

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Shopping on the Meent in Rotterdam

The Meent

The Meent (Du) has grown towards one of the most interesting streets of Rotterdam, with high-end and mainstream stores, primarily offering clothes and shoes. The street developed also into one of the best to grab a drink after a shopping adventure, with many nice cafés and bars to choose from. Get directions.

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The Red Apple in Rotterdam

The Red Apple

The Red Apple is a 124 meters tall residential skyscraper that was completed in 2009. Its name refers to the history of apple trade connected with this part of Rotterdam, as well as to Rotterdam being the New York (the 'Big Apple') of the Netherlands. Get directions.

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The iconic Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam

Erasmus Bridge

The Erasmus Bridge is an 802-metre long suspension bridge, which has become an unofficial symbol of the city of Rotterdam. The architectural jewel follows a design by Ben van Berkel, which is based on a 139-metre high steel pylon secured by 40 cables.

With the arrival of the Erasmus Bridge in 1996, traffic across the Nieuwe Maas drastically improved. Besides allowing regular motorized transport, the bridge contains tram and bike lanes, as well as sidewalks that offer stunning views over the Kop van Zuid and the river. Get directions.

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De Hef bridge in Rotterdam.
Shopping around the Lijnbaan in Rotterdam

Lijnbaan area

The central shopping area of Rotterdam is located around the Lijnbaan, which is considered to be Europe’s first pedestrian shopping promenade, opened in 1953. The area is made up of most of the main local brands and international chain stores, excellent for shopping shoes or clothes. Towards the edges you are more likely to find boutiques and designer's stores. Get directions.

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The Historical Garden Schoonoord in Rotterdam

Historical Garden Schoonoord

The Historische Tuin Schoonoord (Du) is one of the best-kept secrets of Rotterdam centre. It is a place of pure wilderness and rich biodiversity in the heart of Rotterdam. Have a walk on the calm paths that lead you through the thick vegetation, or find your rest on one of the shaded benches near the pond.

The park is gated, and open every day until 16:30h. Learn more about the history on the official website (Du). Get directions.

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The White House in Rotterdam

The White House / Het Witte Huis

The White House is a national monument from 1898, designed by Willem Molenbroek in Art Nouveau style. For a long period, this building of 43 meters was the tallest office building in Europe. Curious visitors were allowed to visit the rooftop by elevator for a view over Rotterdam – which was quite an innovative happening at the time.

Today the ground floor of the building is occupied by café Het Witte Huis (Du), which claims it has the keys to this rooftop… Get directions.

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Museum Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam

Het Nieuwe Instituut

Het Nieuwe Instituut is a museum about architecture, design and digital culture and actively seeks to promote exchange between these disciplines. The museum hosts an extensive programme of exhibitions, lectures, debates, workshops, research projects and educational activities. Occasionally you will also find exhibitions of photos and models from the archives of Dutch architects and urban planners here.

Please note that a ticket for Het Nieuwe Instituut also includes entrance to the nearby Sonneveld House (Du), a villa from 1933 designed in the Dutch Functionalist style. The museum is closed on Mondays. Get directions.

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The Luchtsingel in Rotterdam

The Luchtsingel

The Luchtsingel is a 390 meters long wooden pedestrian bridge that connects the city centre with Rotterdam North. The bridge aimed to breathe new life into the once forgotten area around the former Hofplein Station, by directly connecting surrounding buildings and providing extra walkways for crossing the railroad. And over the past years, numerous creative places and cafés do have popped up there. Learn more on the official website of the Luchtsingel. Get directions.

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The Kunsthal in Rotterdam

The Kunsthal

The Kunsthal is a cultural centre where you can find art exhibitions ranging from 20th century masters to contemporary art. The fresh and light building was designed in 1992 by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.

The museum always hosts several art exhibitions at the same time, check out the official website to see what’s on. The Kunsthal is closed on Mondays. Get directions.

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De Kop van Zuid in Rotterdam.
The Kralingse Bos in Rotterdam

Kralingse Bos

The Kralingse Bos (Du) is the forest closest to the centre of Rotterdam. The forest surrounds a large lake, the Kralingse Plas (Du), which is popular for water sports. During the warmer months, locals can be found on the waterside all around the lake, with the largest groups of people gathering in the west, near the beach. On the east side of the lake, there's a number of nice restaurants with terraces, as well as some traditional Dutch windmills! Get directions.

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The Millennium Tower in Rotterdam

Millennium Tower

The 131-metre Millennium Tower is the first building you see, when arriving by train in Rotterdam centre. The skyscraper was built in 2000, after a design by WZMH Architects – known amongst others for designing the CN Tower in Toronto. It is currently in mixed use, containing a hotel, apartments and offices. Get directions.

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The Coolsingel in Rotterdam

The Coolsingel

The Coolsingel is the main street of Rotterdam, interconnecting the most important shopping areas. Although the Coolsingel is very walkable, the street can also be crossed via a subterranean shopping boulevard, the 'Koopgoot'.

Please note that the Coolsingel is currently in the middle of a large makeover, which is expected to finish early 2021. The goal of this project is to develop a comfortable green promenade, with less space for motorized traffic. Learn more on the official website (Du) of the Coolsingel. Get directions.

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De Hef Bridge in Rotterdam

De Hef Bridge

De Hef (Du) is a former railway bridge that became redundant in 1993, after the construction of a new railway tunnel through the centre of Rotterdam. By lifting up the middle part, the bridge allowed ships to pass the waterway. It was constructed in 1927, as the first bridge of this kind in West-Europe. What is left nowadays, is an industrial and picturesque iron monument. Get directions.

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The Natural History Museum in Rotterdam

Natural History Museum

The Natuurhistorisch Museum is located in a monumental building from 1852, which was extended with a glazed pavilion in 1995. It offers a collection of over 25,000 objects on nature and natural history from all over the world, but with a particular focus on objects from the Rotterdam area.

The museum (Du) is closed on Mondays. Get directions.

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The Euromast in Rotterdam

The Euromast

With its 185 meters, the Euromast is the tallest building in the Netherlands. The observation tower was built in 1960 by architect Hugh Maaskant, to mark the occasion of the Floriade, the international flower and garden exhibition.

See the official website for information about visiting the observation deck or the restaurant at the top. The Euromast is open every day of the year! Get directions.

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The ss Rotterdam moored in Katendrecht

ss Rotterdam

Steamship Rotterdam cruised to many parts in the world, after its launch in 1959. Nowadays the ship is permanently moored and open to visitors. Get on board and have a look, a tour, a drink, and you may even spend the night in the hotel aboard! The ss Rotterdam also features restaurants and two escape rooms. See the official website for more visitor info. Get directions.

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The Calypso Building in Rotterdam

The Calypso Building

This remarkable building consists of four tower blocks providing over 400 apartments. It was designed in 2012 by William Alsop, who was inspired by the look of a cut diamond. Thanks to its design with sloping facade panels, the building is said to be in constant movement. Get directions.

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The Dutch Photo Museum in Rotterdam

The Dutch Photo Museum

The Dutch Photo Museum is a leading photography museum in the Netherlands, located in the former industrial building Las Palmas. It offers international photography exhibitions, with a focus on innovation in the documentary tradition.

The museum is closed on Mondays. Get directions.

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The food market inside the Market Hall in Rotterdam

Food market inside the Market Hall

The culinary treat of Rotterdam that finds itself inside the hypermodern Market Hall. The grey and rainy skies that cover the Netherlands every now and then, are replaced here by a colourful ceiling painting depicting enlarged fruits, vegetables, fish and seeds. Typical ingredients of a market, but what you'll find here mostly are fancy restaurants and food stands.

The Market Hall is open until 20h, and on Fridays till 21h. On Sundays it is open from 12h-18h. Check out the official website to learn more about the food offered here. Get directions.

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The Museumpark in Rotterdam

The Museumpark

The Museumpark is a nice urban park connecting some of the most famous museums of Rotterdam. The blend of greenery, artworks and an orchid is designed by the famous architect Rem Koolhaas. Centrally in the park there's a large asphalted event area, popular with skaters throughout the year. Get directions.

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The Schielandshuis in Rotterdam

The Schielandshuis

Built in 1665, the Schielandshuis (Du) is the only 17th century house in the city centre that survived the 1940 bombardment of Rotterdam. This beautiful historical place, located in between tall modern buildings, has welcomed amongst others Napoleon and Tsar Alexander I as its guests.

The house is nowadays in use by offices, but in the back there's a brasserie (Du) with a nice terrace in the garden – please note that the brasserie is closed on Sundays. Get directions.

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Shopping in the Pannekoekstraat in Rotterdam

The Pannekoekstraat

The Pannekoekstraat is an upcoming street with some cozy and accessible boutiques. It is a good choice to look around for original clothes or (sun)glasses. In recent years more and more nice cafés and bars with terraces opened across the street, great for a coffee break. Get directions.

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The Willems Bridge in Rotterdam

The Willems Bridge

The Willems Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge with a total span of about 318 meters. It was built in 1981, replacing the old bridge from 1878 that connected the city centre with the Noordereiland. The design came from the hands of Cor Veerling, and was awarded the National Steel Prize in 1983.

Besides allowing regular motorized traffic, the bridge contains separated bike lanes and sidewalks. Get directions.

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The Church of Saint Lawrence in Rotterdam

The Church of Saint Lawrence

The Laurenskerk was built between 1449 and 1525. The 65-metre Gothic church is the only remnant of the medieval city of Rotterdam. Climb the more than 300 stairs of its tower for a spectacular view over Rotterdam – the tower can be accessed on Wednesdays and Saturdays from March till October.

The church welcomes visitors every day until 17h, but on Sundays it is reserved for church service. Please note that the church charges a small admission fee. See the official website for further visitor info. Get directions.

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Oude Haven in Rotterdam.
The Park in Rotterdam

The Park

The Park (Du) is the oldest park of Rotterdam, and one of the most beautiful. The lawns are popular for sunbathing and picnics during summertime, with some parts designated as official BBQ zone. The wooded areas with winding paths along little lakes are made for a romantic walk. In the centre of the Park there's a monument to the poet Hendrik Tollens, born in Rotterdam. Get directions.

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The Diergaarde Blijdorp in Rotterdam

Diergaarde Blijdorp, Zoo

Diergaarde Blijdorp is one of the oldest zoos of the Netherlands, opened in 1857. Every corner of the world has its place here: don't miss the African Savanna, the Oceanium, the Asian Jungle Trek, and Europe's largest butterfly paradise, Amazonica.

The zoo is open every day until 18h. See the official website for more visitor info. Get directions.

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Hotel New York in Rotterdam

Hotel New York

Hotel New York is located on a phenomenal spot, on the very edge of the Kop van Zuid amidst modern architecture. The building in Art Nouveau style dates from 1901, when it was to become the headquarters of the Holland America Line – a company that carried Europeans to the Americas.

Nowadays this remarkable building houses a hotel and a restaurant with an excellent terrace by the riverside. Check out the official website to learn more. Get directions.

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The Maas Tower in Rotterdam

The Maas Tower

With its 165 meters, the Maas Tower is currently the tallest office building in the Netherlands. The skyscraper was designed by Dam & Partners Architecten, and completed in 2009. The color transition on the facade of the tower – from dark grey at the bottom to silver white at the top – uses 22 shades of grey. Get directions.

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The Hulstkamp Building in Rotterdam

The Hulstkamp Building

The Hulstkamp Building (Du) is an eye-catcher on the Nieuwe Maas riverbank. It was built in 1888 in Neo-Renaissance style, after a design by Jacobus Pieter Stok. In the early years it served as a cheese and margarine factory, after which it became a jenever distillery for the Rotterdam brand Hulstkamp (Du).

The building is currently available for events – check out the official website to learn more. Get directions.

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The modern architecture that gave Rotterdam a boost.

The modern architecture boosting Rotterdam

Rotterdam is a real amusement park for fans of architecture and urbanism. Here you can find constructions of all possible shapes some of which seem to come from the future. And this is not for some kind of design exhibition. All these buildings are suitable for living, entertainment and work. It is amazing how it all looks so harmoniously in one place.

It is worth saying that this has not always been the case. In the past, Rotterdam looked like a typical Dutch city, with picturesque little houses along the waterways. It was 13 minutes during the Second World War that forever changed the face of the city.

In this article we will talk about the faith of the port city of Rotterdam, its development in the 20th century, and we'll zoom in on the four most spectacular architectural projects in the city...Read more

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The Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam


The Schouwburgplein is an urban park situated in between the main concert venue of Rotterdam, De Doelen, a major theatre, the Rotterdamse Schouwburg (Du), and the largest cinema in the city centre, Pathé. The square offers long benches and some small greenery. The most popular feature here are the large red lamps, which positions can be adjusted according to your wishes – just hit the buttons on the black control post. Get directions.

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The Maastunnel bicycle tunnel in Rotterdam decorated for Valentine's Day

The Maastunnel (non-motorized part)

The Maastunnel is the main tunnel connecting the north and south of Rotterdam centre. Opened in 1942, it is the oldest tunnel in the Netherlands. The car tunnel has been completely separated from this non-motorized tunnel of 585 meters long which consists of two floors – an upper one for bicycles and a lower one for pedestrians. The tunnel is free to access, and open 24h.

Please note that a large renovation is due in September 2019, which will leave the non-motorized tunnel out of order for about a year – learn more on the official website (Du) of the tunnel. Get directions to the entrance north of the river.

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The Sonneveld House in Rotterdam

The Sonneveld House

Seeing the Sonneveld House (Du) and its original interior you wouldn't expect it to be built in 1933. The design of the villa for Bertus Sonneveld in the Dutch Functionalist Style is remarkable, and was obviously luxurious and hypermodern for those days.

Learn more about the villa on the official website. Please note that a ticket for the Sonneveld House also includes entrance to the nearby museum of architecture and design Het Nieuwe Instituut. The museum is closed on Mondays. Get directions.

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Stay near the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.
The Unilever Headquarters or 'The Bridge' in Rotterdam

Unilever Headquarters / The Bridge

The Bridge is the name of a magnificent modern building, placed on top of a historical factory from 1891. It serves as the Dutch headquarters of the consumer goods multinational Unilever. The entire steel construction of this office building was assembled at a distance, and transported to its current position, 25 meters above the ground. The building measures 130 meters long, 33 meters wide and four stories high. Get directions.

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Shopping in the Van Oldenbarneveltstraat in Rotterdam

Van Oldenbarneveltstraat

In this calm and charming old street, there's a number of designers and trendy boutiques to be found. A couple of cute restaurants provide for good lunch and dinner options as well.

For more info about the boutiques in the Van Oldenbarneveltstraat, see the official website (Du) of the street. Get directions.

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The Cube Houses in Rotterdam

The Cube Houses

The Cube Houses are part of the project 'Blaakse Bos', as developed by Piet Blom in 1984. Within this project, every individual house represents a tree, whilst all the houses together a forest.

To see what it’s like to live in such a particularly shaped house, visit the 'Show-Cube', a furnished cube that functions as a museum. The Show-Cube is open daily. See the official website for more visitor info. Get directions.

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Inside stadium De Kuip in Rotterdam

De Kuip, Football stadium

The Feyenoord Stadium – popularly known as 'De Kuip' – was completed in 1937, and further renovated in 1994 into the arena it is today. The stadium, with seats for over 50,000 spectators, is home to Feyenoord, a people's football team with a huge national support.

Learn more about the rich history of Feyenoord and De Kuip through a stadium tour. See the official website for further details. Get directions.

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The Timmerhuis in Rotterdam

The Timmerhuis

The Timmerhuis (Du) was completed in 2015, designed by OMA, the office of the famous architect Rem Koolhaas. The building combines the old Stadstimmerhuis from 1953 with new architecture, providing a café, offices and apartments on top.

On the ground floor you can find the main exhibition of Museum Rotterdam, which elaborates on the story of Rotterdam – the museum is closed on Mondays. Get directions.

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The Oude Haven with the White House in Rotterdam at dusk.

Fall in love with Rotterdam in 2 hours

The Netherlands has plenty of cities with beautiful historical architecture, most notably Amsterdam or Utrecht. Cities with a historical core, made up of lovely canals and historical Dutch houses. Those are the sights easy to fall in love with.

But there's another star on the horizon, a star that has been rising since the devastating bombing of WWII. Once also this city from 1340 had a typical Dutch historical core. But history had different plans with Rotterdam, which centre needed to be rebuilt after the war, paving the way for new projects and innovative architecture...Read more

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The Central Market in Rotterdam

Rotterdam Central Market

The main outside market of Rotterdam, located on the central Binnenrotte square. With over 250 stalls, the market belongs to the largest in the Netherlands. The lion share of the market stalls sell fish, vegetables, fruits and meat. But also if you were looking for real Dutch flowers or second-hand furniture, give this market a go.

The market is traditionally held on Tuesdays and Saturdays during the day. Get directions.

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The Vroesenpark in Rotterdam

The Vroesenpark

The Vroesenpark (Du) is a simple park that is beloved by locals, for it is located in a part of Rotterdam with many roads and lacking greenery. The park offers plenty of benches to relax by the waterside, but its most favourite part are undoubtedly the large lawns for sunbathing, picnics and BBQs during the warmer months of the year. Get directions.

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Stay near het Kralingse Bos.
The Westersingel in Rotterdam

The Westersingel

The Westersingel is a very walkable and green canal that connects the modern Central Station with one of the most beautiful historical parts of the city, the Scheepvaartkwartier (Du). Large parts of the canal are flanked by historical Dutch architecture. What makes the walk extra interesting, is a sculpture trail (Du) of 17 sculptures, with amongst them works by Auguste Rodin and Pablo Picasso. Get directions.

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The Pencil Building in Rotterdam

The Pencil Building / Blaaktoren

The Pencil Building (Du) is a residential tower of 61 meters tall. It is a radial structure, with centrally the elevator shaft, surrounded by apartment units. Together with the Cube Houses, it forms part of the project 'Blaakse Bos', as developed in 1984 by Piet Blom.

The pointed roof is uninhabited, and serves merely an esthetical purpose – and have you noticed the upside down windows? Get directions.

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The World Art Museum in Rotterdam

The World Art Museum / Wereldmuseum

The Wereldmuseum is located in a beautiful 19th century building on the Nieuwe Maas riverbank. The museum is all about people and cultures and how remarkably well they are connected. Its permanent collection features artefacts from Africa to Southeast Asia and from New Guinea to Latin America, originating from ancient times up to the present day. Popular temporary exhibitions at the Wereldmuseum have been about the Buddhist culture, or about the colonial past of the Netherlands.

Children get a special treat at the Wereldmuseum, with the Superstreet. This special street with its diverse (virtual) residents helps children to see the multicultural diversity of Rotterdam. Have a look at the official website to learn more about the Wereldmuseum and its temporary exhibitions. Get directions.

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The Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam

Museum Boijmans van Beuningen

Museum Boijmans van Beuningen is a major art museum in Rotterdam, covering art from the Middle Ages up to the present day. Find here masterpieces by Bosch, Bruegel, Van Eyck, Rubens, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Magritte or Dalí.

Please note that the museum is currently closed for visitors, as it is undergoing a large renovation and expansion with the next-door Depot Boijmans van Beuningen expected to open mid 2021. Have a look on the official website for further details and the timeline. Get directions.

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Local experience at the Cube Houses.

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