Rotterdam, in the southern Netherlands, is the country’s second-largest city after Amsterdam, with a population of around 630,000 people. Rotterdam has been an important city for hundreds of years, and its location on the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt river delta has long made it a vital port.
The port of Rotterdam has grown and operated as a key port for the Dutch East India Company since the 1300s. During WWII, Rotterdam was heavily bombed, and the city’s centre was nearly destroyed; nonetheless, the city was gradually rebuilt, and it now stands as a modern port.
Apart from its unique harbour, Rotterdam is home to some beautiful architecture, such as the modern cube structures and the Euromast Tower, as well as a diverse range of museums, cafes, and activities. Let’s check Rotterdam things to do.
1: Markthal Rotterdam
The Markthal in Rotterdam is a remarkable piece of architecture that doubles as an office building and a marketplace. It was built in 2009. With a wide semi-circular grey façade and a large windowed part facing out to the surrounding courtyard, the structure’s architecture is rather unusual. Arno Coenen’s magnificent artwork on the inside of the structure depicts numerous colorful fruits, plants, insects, and flowers.
The Markthal’s market portion houses a diverse range of shops, stalls, restaurants, and bars, including a Tea bar, a tapas bar, a “world of drinks” shop, and over 70 other establishments. It’s a fun and lively location to visit and taste some local food and drink.
2: Euromast Tower
The Euromast Tower is a panoramic observation platform that was built in 1960 to provide panoramic views of Rotterdam’s cityscape. The antenna on the tower makes it the tallest structure in Rotterdam, standing at 606 feet. A restaurant, a conference space for business meetings, a hotel suite, and, of course, the observation deck are all located in the tower.
This is a great way to observe Rotterdam’s enormous expanse and ports, and the entrance cost is reasonable for both adults and children. You may even zip-line or abseil from the tower if you’re seeking for a little adrenaline rush!
3: Erasmus Bridge
The Erasmus Bridge spans the Rhine’s Nieuwe Maas distributary, which runs from the junction of the Noord and Lek rivers. This magnificent bridge extends for 802 metres, making it the second longest in the Netherlands. Because of its large upright mast, which resembles a swan’s neck, the bridge is known as the Swan.
A bascule part in the middle of the bridge opens to allow larger ships to sail through the waterways. This modern engineering marvel provides a spectacular background to Rotterdam’s port and is a lovely structure to view and walk across.
4: Rotterdam Central Station
Rotterdam Central Station Rotterdam is a city known for its modern and distinctive architecture, and the central station is one of them. The new terminal opened in 2014, and its design has become a landmark. The structure has a triangle shape with a projecting angle towards the sky.
To preserve some of the former station’s memory, the clock and huge inscriptions that are put in the station entryway were transported from it. The station serves 100,000+ passengers each day and connects to several other locations in the Netherlands, including Amsterdam, Den Haag, Groningen, and Tilburg.
5: Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk
Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk The Church of Saint Laurence is Rotterdam’s only surviving piece of mediaeval architecture. The church was built in 1449 and has been expanded throughout time.
The church was one of the first all-stone structures in Rotterdam, and it has hosted a number of significant events. The church, which is located in the ancient town centre between the Maritime Museum and the Erasmus Bridge, stands out against Rotterdam’s relatively modern cityscape.
With many decorative arches, high vaulted ceilings, a variety of stone reliefs, and rich religious décor, the interior of the church is particularly lovely.
6: Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum is one of the world’s largest of its kind, featuring a massive collection of cartography, maritime relics, and art. The museum sits near the Markthal and the Cube residences in central Rotterdam.
A contentious painting of the Battle of Trafalgar, a collection of figureheads from various ships, diverse navy outfits, and flags from maritime conflicts are just a few of the noteworthy exhibitions.
This is a site full of fascinating things related to the marine world, and the artefacts on display are of world-class quality.
7: Rotterdam Boat Tour
Rotterdam Boat Trip A boat tour is an excellent way to visit Rotterdam’s beautiful harbours and ports.
Because the port is so large and sprawling, it’s pointless to try to walk about it on your own — a boat tour will give a pleasant mode of transportation and you’ll learn a lot from the tour guides.
Many firms provide boat trips, but the Spido Harbor Tour, which lasts around 75 minutes, is one of the most popular.
The boats are extremely modern, with plenty of interior and outdoor seating as well as large, unobstructed windows. There is also food and drink available, as well as commentary in both Dutch and English.
8: Kinderdijk’s Windmills
The Windmills of Kinderdijk Windmills are an iconic landmark that has come to characterise the Netherlands and is one of the first things that people think of when they think of the Netherlands.
Kinderdjik, a little village 20 kilometres east of centre Rotterdam, is a wonderful destination to explore in its own right.
The many windmills that flank the canals in this area, though, make it particularly enchanting.
The 19 windmills have been restored to their original condition and have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is a wonderful site to visit, and the surrounding scenery and canal network are breathtaking.
9: Cube House Rotterdam
The cube house is exactly what it sounds like – a collection of cuboid-shaped houses.
Piet Blom built this strange and unusual housing block, which is made up of cubes that are inclined at a 45 degree inclination. The cubes are unlike any other form of home you’ll see, and they’re a fascinating concept; it’s hard to imagine how the residents deal with the odd angles of the walls and windows.
From afar, the structure resembles an old 2D computer game, and one of the cubes is exposed to the public, allowing visitors to see the interior.