The second-largest city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam, is a major city as it has one of the world’s largest ports. Besides the port, beautiful architecture can be seen in the city, like the cube buildings, the Markthal, and the Euromast Tower. There are also a variety of museums and activities you can enjoy while you’re here.
It’s a bit tricky to nail down the best things to see and do in Rotterdam because there are a lot. If you only have a day or two here, you won’t be able to see all of them, but try your hardest. You will never have a dull time here, and there’s something for everyone in Rotterdam.
Check out these places to see in Rotterdam:
If you’re going to Rotterdam with kids (even without!), one of the things you should see is the Rotterdam Zoo. The zoo, also known as the Diergaarde Blijdorp, doesn’t only have wild animals, but it also has a Botanical garden and Oceanium. It also operates breeding programs to help endangered species.
The zoo is split in themes, such as the Malayan Forest and the crocodile river. There is also a Chinese garden here. When it comes to the animals, expect to see the Greater Kudu, Black Rhino, Sumatran Tiger, Asian Elephant, etc.
The Markthal may look like a magnificent piece of architecture, but there’s more to it than that. It’s true; gawking at it is enough for some, but you won’t have the full Markthal experience if you don’t go inside the building. As you walk inside, you will see the amazing artwork by Arno Coenan that shows various plants, insects, flowers, and many more.
The Markthal is not only a beautiful piece of architecture, but it also serves as a marketplace and an office building. Therefore, if you’re looking for a place to eat in the city, this is one of the best places you can go to. They have a wide selection of food stalls here that offer different types of foods.
Aside from the food stalls, there are shops and bars here as well. The Markthal is a vibrant place to explore and have some snaps taken. Also, it’s perfect for foodies and individuals who are simply hungry!
The Erasmus Bridge, which is also nicknamed The Swan due to its shape is a monumental bridge that runs from the confluence of Noord and Lek rivers. It stretches to 802 meters, which is why it’s the second-largest bridge in the Netherlands.
Right in the middle of the bridge, you can find a bascule section to let larger ships pass through the waters.
If you’re not iffy when it comes to heights, then you should definitely climb up the Euromast Tower. The Euromast is an observation station built in the 1960s to offer panoramic views of Rotterdam. It stands at 606 ft., which makes it the tallest building in the city.
Besides that, it has a restaurant, a conference room, a hotel suite, and the deck. If you want to see it all, then you should definitely climb up the tower.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, there are activities available up on the tower that are definitely not for the faint-hearted! Get your adrenaline pumping by trying out the zip-line or abseil activities here. Indeed, it’s a thrilling experience that you wouldn’t want to pass up if you’re looking for an adventure in Rotterdam.
Every city in Europe has interesting and beautiful museums, but the ones in Rotterdam are truly amazing. If you’re a sucker for museums, then you should head on over to the Museumpark where you will find six museums all in one place:
- Het Nieuwe Instituut
- Museumwoning Sonneveld
- Chabot museum
- Natuurhistorisch Museum
- Museum Boijmans van Beuningen
When you’re in the Netherlands, regardless of which city you’re in, you should always check out the museums. The Dutch is well-known for the arts, so, if you want to see some of the best works by the most popular artists in the world, you should always see a museum. In Rotterdam, specifically here at Museumpark, you get to explore many museums in one place!
The Cube Houses in the city are some of the most famous pieces of architecture in Rotterdam. These houses were by Piet Blom, whose inspiration is the forest. The houses are tilted at a 45-degree angle, which will make you wonder, how do the people inside them live?
You can take a peek at how it feels like to live inside as one of the cubes is open to the public. If you want the full experience, you can also rent a bed in the hostel, which is also within a cube house.
The Witte Huis
The Witte Huis that stands proudly in the city is one of the most historical buildings here. It is one of the only buildings to survive in WWII. With its Art Nouveau style, it’s hard to miss, along with its other features. No wonder it is a National Heritage Site. Here’s another fun fact, the Witte Huis is one of the first high-rise buildings in the whole of Europe.
Originally, the SS Rotterdam is known as the Grande Dame that was built in the 1950s. However, it was retired in 2000. Seeing the inside of the ship is one of the things you can see and do here in Rotterdam. There are guided tours available. Through the tours, you will be able to see how the ship operated back then.
Fenix Food Factory
Dive into the world of food here at the Fenix Food Factory. Here, you can participate in workshops, open markets, and a lot of tastings. The factory promotes local produce that is fresh, and along with that, you can find some treats here. There are also delicious coffee and beers here; pair them up with the tasty cheeses and you’re all set. Not a fan of cheese? You can have a selection of butchers meats, bread, and cakes.
The Maritime Museum is located in central Rotterdam that boasts of a huge collection of cartography, maritime memorabilia, and art. Here you will find interesting items from the maritime world. Make sure to check out the exhibitions here, such as the Battle of Trafalgar.
Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk
What’s a Dutch city without a beautiful church? The Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk is the only remaining piece of medieval architecture in the city, which is why you should see it. It was one of the first all-stone buildings in Rotterdam. Not only does the church look stunning from the outside, but the inside is extremely beautiful with its aches, high-vaulted ceilings, and various stone reliefs.
Delshaven is a neighborhood in the city that is worth visiting. Why? It’s only the area that survived the destruction brought by WWII. So, if you want to see how Rotterdam looked like before the bombing, you should definitely stroll down here. It will make you feel like you have stepped back in time; plus, it’s easy to navigate, so you don’t need to worry.
Make sure to visit the Old Church in the neighborhood as well because it was where pilgrims held their last service before they sailed for the New World across the Atlantic.
You will definitely feel like the neighborhood is similar to Amsterdam. However, make sure you have comfy shoes on because you will be doing a lot of walking in this area. Don’t you worry; it’ll all be worth it. Plus, there are restaurants and shops here so you have a place where you can eat and also have a place to shop as well. You can do so many things in this area, and you’ll definitely get the feel of what the city has to offer and why it’s amazing!
One of the busiest ports in the world is Europort. Additionally, it’s a major trade entry point to Europe. It’s an interesting place to visit because from here, you will understand its importance and its role in many cities and countries. You can explore it via boat tours where you can see cargo shops, storage facilities, and boat yards.
These are the best places to see in Rotterdam. It’s not every day you will be able to see beautiful architecture, a massive port, and museums that are all fascinating. Definitely, you shouldn’t miss any of these places when you get the chance to explore Rotterdam.
Indeed, Rotterdam is a powerful reminder that there’s more to the Netherlands than Amsterdam. So, if you’re looking for new places or cities to explore in the country, don’t skip Rotterdam. It’s a fascinating experience where you get to know more about the Dutch and their culture. From there, you’ll have a deeper understanding of their rich history and how they are today.
Ask The Dutch Guy your go-to guide when it comes to The Netherlands. The goal of Ask The Dutch Guy is to showcase the beauty of The Netherlands and to inspire others to explore the country. Read more about Ask The Dutch Guy at https://askthedutchguy.com. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram.
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