Rotterdam, the second-largest city of the Netherlands, is located in the province of South Holland and has a history that goes back to 1270.
Did you know that Rotterdam is Europe’s largest port?
The story of the city, the bombardment and reconstruction, and the drive to innovate that locals still use today to shape their city, all make Rotterdam a fascinating place to visit. Everything seems possible here and there’s so much left to explore. Is Rotterdam a must-see? Absolutely!
A multi-faceted city with layers of history, Rotterdam is one of the most intriguing cities in the Netherlands. Some of the top attractions you shouldn’t miss are the Rotterdam Markthal, Hofbogen, the Euromast observation tower, Rotterdam’s beaches, and canals:
The Erasmus Bridge is a beautiful combination of art and technology and can be counted among the architectural style of Supermodernism. This Rotterdam icon is 800 meters long and 139 meters high. Thanks to the bent asymmetrical steel pylon, the bridge is also known as ‘De Zwaan’ (The Swan). The bridge was designed by architect Ben Berkel and officially opened in 1996. It connects the city centre with the new district called Kop van Zuid.
This is one of those architectural feats that will definitely blow your mind. The Cube Houses were designed in the seventies by Piet Blom. He turned an ordinary cube-shaped house 45 degrees and put it on a hexagonal pylon. Every house represents a tree, so all the houses together form a forest. Nicknames for the Cube Houses include Huubkuberkluber, the Blaakse Bos and the Paalwoningen. Because they do not have a straight wall, buying furniture is difficult.
Rotterdam Central Station is one of the most iconic architectural sites in Rotterdam. The roof over the tracks is covered in solar panels and the striking hall roof points towards the city centre. A number of historic elements from the former station building have been re-used, like the original clock in the front façade and the letters spelling out ‘Centraal Station’. In the main hall you can find shops, public transport information and the Rotterdam Tourist Information.
The Netherlands used to be a world-power and that meant that they had quite a powerful navy. The Maritime Museum is located in the oldest and largest museum port in the Netherlands. Go on a journey through the country’s maritime past and also discover the present. Listen to stories, admire masterpieces and experience the historic ships in the museum harbor. Learn about the enormous influence of the maritime world on the daily lives of people in the Netherlands.
The White House
Rotterdam has its own White House! This house, built in Art Nouveau style, was designed by architect Molenbroek. The 43-meter high building was the first skyscraper in the Netherlands and even in Europe with 10 floors. As if by a miracle, it survived all bombings in Rotterdam during the Second World War. On the flat roof is a viewing platform that can be reached by elevator. After you’ve enjoyed the view, you can go for a snack and a drink on the ground floor.
You’ll find an indoor market hall in various world-class cities, but the combination with luxury housing makes Rotterdam’s Markthal the first of its kind. The apartments are arched over the food market in a horseshoe configuration. The main hall houses the market itself, as well as shops and various restaurants, with a supermarket and a four-storey car park situated below. Look up to enjoy the massive artwork sprawled across the ceiling.
Getting around Rotterdam:
The most obvious way of getting around any Dutch city is by bike of course, but Rotterdam also offers many other forms of public transport, such as the bus, metro and even a water taxi. Check out the Rotterdam Tourist Information guide on getting around Rotterdam.