Discover Rotterdam’s Must-See Spots


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Introduction to Rotterdam

Rotterdam, located in the Netherlands, is a city with a rich history and vibrant culture that makes it a must-visit destination for travelers. The city was heavily bombed during World War II, resulting in the destruction of much of its historic architecture. However, Rotterdam has since rebuilt itself into a modern and innovative city, known for its stunning architecture, bustling markets, and thriving art scene.

Despite its tragic past, Rotterdam has emerged as a symbol of resilience and creativity. The city’s unique blend of old and new, with modern skyscrapers juxtaposed against historic buildings, creates a captivating atmosphere that draws visitors from around the world. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s iconic landmarks, immersing yourself in its art and culture, or simply enjoying the picturesque scenery along the River Maas, Rotterdam has something to offer everyone.

The Iconic Erasmus Bridge

One of Rotterdam’s most iconic landmarks is the Erasmus Bridge, also known as the “Swan” due to its elegant design. This cable-stayed bridge spans the River Maas and connects the northern and southern parts of the city. The bridge’s unique design features a single pylon that leans at an angle, giving it a distinctive appearance that has become synonymous with Rotterdam’s skyline.

To fully appreciate the beauty of the Erasmus Bridge, head to one of the best viewing spots in the city. The Wilhelminapier is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, offering panoramic views of the bridge and the surrounding area. Another great spot is the Euromast Tower, which provides a bird’s-eye view of the bridge and the entire city.

In addition to admiring the bridge from afar, there are also plenty of activities to do near the Erasmus Bridge. Take a stroll along the waterfront promenade, where you’ll find cafes, restaurants, and shops. You can also rent a bike and explore the city on two wheels, or take a boat tour along the River Maas for a unique perspective of the bridge and the city skyline.

Exploring the Historic Delfshaven

Delfshaven is a historic neighborhood in Rotterdam that dates back to the 14th century. It was once a bustling port and home to many sailors and merchants. Today, Delfshaven is a charming area with cobblestone streets, picturesque canals, and well-preserved historic buildings.

One of the must-see landmarks in Delfshaven is the Pilgrim Fathers’ Church, also known as the Oude Kerk. This church is where a group of English Separatists, known as the Pilgrims, worshipped before they set sail on the Mayflower to America in 1620. The church has been beautifully restored and is open to visitors who want to learn more about this important chapter in history.

After exploring the church, take a stroll along the canals of Delfshaven and admire the traditional Dutch architecture. Stop by one of the local cafes or restaurants for a bite to eat or a refreshing drink. The area is known for its cozy atmosphere and friendly locals, making it a great place to relax and soak up the historic ambiance.

The Stunning Rotterdam Central Station

Rotterdam Central Station is not just a transportation hub; it’s also an architectural masterpiece. Designed by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas, the station features a striking combination of glass, steel, and concrete that creates a modern and futuristic look. The station’s design has won numerous awards and has become an iconic symbol of Rotterdam’s transformation.

Aside from its impressive architecture, Rotterdam Central Station offers plenty of activities for visitors. Inside the station, you’ll find a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat or do some shopping. The station also serves as a gateway to other parts of the city, with easy access to public transportation that can take you to popular attractions like the Markthal and the Cube Houses.

If you have some time to spare, take a walk around the station’s surroundings. The area known as the “Kruisplein” is a vibrant neighborhood with a mix of residential buildings, offices, and cultural institutions. You can also visit the nearby Museumpark, which is home to several museums and art galleries, including the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum and the Kunsthal Rotterdam.

Discovering the Unique Cube Houses

One of Rotterdam’s most famous architectural landmarks is the Cube Houses, designed by architect Piet Blom. These unique houses are tilted at a 45-degree angle and are stacked on top of each other, resembling a cluster of cubes. The design was intended to create a “forest” within the city, with each cube representing a tree.

While you can admire the Cube Houses from the outside, it’s also worth taking a look inside to see how the unconventional design translates into living spaces. One of the houses has been converted into a museum called “Kijk-Kubus,” where you can explore a fully furnished cube and learn more about the concept behind this innovative architectural project.

For the best photo spots of the Cube Houses, head to the nearby Blaak Square. From here, you can capture the entire row of houses in one shot, with the iconic yellow cube standing out among its green counterparts. Another great spot is the rooftop terrace of the Markthal, where you can get a bird’s-eye view of the Cube Houses and the surrounding area.

The Fascinating Maritime Museum

Rotterdam has a rich maritime history, and there’s no better place to learn about it than at the Maritime Museum. Located in a historic building near the waterfront, this museum offers a fascinating insight into Rotterdam’s seafaring past through its extensive collection of artifacts, interactive exhibits, and immersive experiences.

The museum’s exhibits cover a wide range of maritime topics, from the history of shipbuilding and navigation to the lives of sailors and the impact of globalization on the shipping industry. You can explore life-sized ship models, climb aboard a replica of an 18th-century ship, and even experience what it’s like to be in a storm at sea through a virtual reality simulation.

To make the most of your visit to the Maritime Museum, plan your trip around one of the museum’s special events or activities. These can include guided tours, workshops, and demonstrations that provide a deeper understanding of Rotterdam’s maritime heritage. Check the museum’s website for the latest information on upcoming events and exhibitions.

The Vibrant Markthal Rotterdam

If you’re a food lover, then a visit to the Markthal Rotterdam is a must. This vibrant market is not only a feast for the senses but also a stunning architectural marvel. The Markthal is housed in a horseshoe-shaped building with a glass facade that showcases colorful murals depicting fruits, vegetables, and other food items.

Inside the Markthal, you’ll find a wide variety of food stalls selling everything from fresh produce and seafood to international cuisine and local delicacies. Whether you’re in the mood for sushi, tapas, or traditional Dutch snacks, you’ll find it all here. Don’t forget to try some stroopwafels, a popular Dutch treat made of two thin waffles with caramel syrup in the middle.

In addition to its food stalls, the Markthal also features several restaurants where you can sit down and enjoy a meal. There are also shops selling kitchenware, cookbooks, and other food-related products. After indulging in some culinary delights, take a walk around the market and admire the stunning artwork on display.

The Picturesque Euromast Tower

For panoramic views of Rotterdam and its surroundings, head to the Euromast Tower. Standing at a height of 185 meters, this iconic landmark offers breathtaking views of the city skyline, the River Maas, and even as far as The Hague on a clear day. The tower also features a rotating glass elevator that takes you to the top, providing a thrilling experience along the way.

Once you reach the top of the Euromast Tower, take your time to soak in the panoramic views from the observation deck. On a sunny day, you can see all the way to the port of Rotterdam and the North Sea. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try abseiling down the tower or enjoy a meal at the restaurant located at a height of 96 meters.

Aside from its observation deck and restaurant, the Euromast Tower also offers other activities for visitors. You can take a guided tour to learn more about the tower’s history and construction, or visit the Space Tower, a rotating platform that takes you even higher for an even more spectacular view. There’s also a hotel located within the tower for those who want to spend the night with a view.

The Artistic Witte de Withstraat

Witte de Withstraat is a vibrant street in Rotterdam known for its thriving art scene. The street is lined with art galleries, museums, and cultural institutions, making it a haven for art enthusiasts and creative minds. Whether you’re interested in contemporary art, photography, or experimental installations, you’ll find it all here.

One of the must-visit art galleries on Witte de Withstraat is the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art. This internationally renowned institution showcases cutting-edge contemporary art from around the world through its exhibitions, performances, and events. The gallery also has a bookstore where you can browse and purchase art books and magazines.

Another notable museum on Witte de Withstraat is the TENT Rotterdam. This contemporary art space focuses on supporting emerging artists and showcasing innovative and experimental works. The museum hosts regular exhibitions, performances, and workshops that provide a platform for artists to explore new ideas and push the boundaries of contemporary art.

The best time to visit Witte de Withstraat is during the annual Art Rotterdam Week, which takes place in February. This week-long event brings together artists, collectors, curators, and art enthusiasts from around the world for a series of exhibitions, performances, and parties. It’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Rotterdam’s vibrant art scene and discover new talent.

Enjoying the Scenic River Maas

The River Maas is not only a defining feature of Rotterdam’s landscape but also an important part of the city’s history and culture. The river has played a crucial role in Rotterdam’s development as a major port city and continues to be a hub of activity and recreation.

One of the best ways to enjoy the River Maas is by taking a boat tour. Several companies offer guided tours that take you along the river, providing stunning views of Rotterdam’s skyline and its iconic landmarks. You can also opt for a dinner cruise or a sunset cruise for a more romantic experience.

If you prefer to stay on land, there are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy the river from the waterfront promenades. Take a leisurely stroll along the Maasboulevard or relax on one of the many terraces overlooking the river. You can also rent a bike and follow one of the cycling routes that run alongside the river, allowing you to explore more of Rotterdam’s waterfront.

The best time to visit the River Maas is during the summer months when the weather is warm and sunny. This is when you’ll find locals and tourists alike flocking to the riverbanks to enjoy picnics, barbecues, and outdoor activities. However, even during the colder months, the river still offers a picturesque backdrop for a leisurely walk or a cozy drink at one of the riverside cafes.
Rotterdam is a city that has undergone a remarkable transformation, rising from the ashes of World War II to become a vibrant and innovative destination. From its iconic landmarks like the Erasmus Bridge and the Cube Houses to its historic neighborhoods like Delfshaven and its thriving art scene on Witte de Withstraat, Rotterdam offers a diverse range of attractions and experiences for visitors.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich history, indulging in culinary delights at the Markthal, or simply enjoying the scenic beauty along the River Maas, Rotterdam has something to offer everyone. The city’s unique blend of old and new, combined with its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, makes it a must-visit destination for travelers looking for an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags and get ready to discover all that Rotterdam has to offer.

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out this article on the ultimate guide to understanding auto car insurance. It’s always important to be prepared when exploring new places, and having the right insurance coverage can give you peace of mind during your adventures. And while you’re at it, don’t miss our other articles on discovering Zurich, a guide to the best places to visit in Switzerland’s largest city, and Denmark holiday packages available. Happy travels! (source)


What are some popular tourist attractions in Rotterdam?

Some popular tourist attractions in Rotterdam include the Euromast tower, the Markthal, the Cube Houses, the Rotterdam Zoo, and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

What is the Euromast tower?

The Euromast tower is a 185-meter observation tower in Rotterdam that offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding area. Visitors can also enjoy a restaurant and hotel located within the tower.

What is the Markthal?

The Markthal is a large indoor market in Rotterdam that features a variety of food stalls, restaurants, and shops. The building itself is also notable for its unique design, which features a large, colorful mural on the ceiling.

What are the Cube Houses?

The Cube Houses are a series of unique, cube-shaped homes in Rotterdam that were designed by architect Piet Blom. Visitors can tour one of the houses to see what it’s like to live in such an unusual space.

What is the Rotterdam Zoo?

The Rotterdam Zoo is a large zoo in Rotterdam that is home to a wide variety of animals, including elephants, giraffes, lions, and penguins. The zoo also features a playground, a petting zoo, and several restaurants and cafes.

What is the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen?

The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is an art museum in Rotterdam that features a large collection of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art from a variety of time periods and cultures. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year.


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