Rotterdam: A City of Architecture and more: 6 Places to Visit

by Gavin Darvell

The Netherlands second city, Rotterdam is over-shadowed by its larger and tourist attracting top city Amsterdam. However, that’s unfair, for Rotterdam has the type of architecture that will woo and excite any who have a pasting interest for design. Time then to take Rotterdam seriously, get under its skin, see what this city can offer.

Rotterdam is one of those European cities that had to be rebuilt after the Second World War. Hence why so much of the architecture here has a visionary, innovative feel. The locals seem to have embraced it, and so will you after you’ve explored the city. Areas like the former docks, Kop van Zuid (South Bank) is a good example, as is Markthal (Market Hall).

So, let’s get our eye in and go explore and find out the places to visit. We’ve listed 6 we think you’ll love to see.

1. Markethal

First, this u-shaped building is an attraction just from looking at it! They only built it in 2014, but you’ll find an interesting mural on the ceiling (see below), and it’s a market with plenty of atmosphere and places to sit down and eat. A place for soaking it all in!

The Markethal roof in Rotterdam

2. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

This is Rotterdam’s top museum and houses its fair share of works from some of the local and wider greats of-the-art world. From Rubens to Miro, Picasso to Monet and Van Gogh, well, it’s time well spent among the masters of art.

3. Van Nelle Fabriek

You can only go inside on limited occasions, but this building is a design great from the 1920s modernist period. Another bit of architecture you need to find are the cube houses – there’s even a museum (Show Cube Museum) if you’re curious.

4. The Harbour and The Euromast

The re-developed harbour area and The Euromast tower make for great additions to your Rotterdam touring. Both offer sights to see, and when you climb the 185m of the tower, well, the views are just what you need to get the full picture. For even better views, get a tour out into the harbour. Rotterdam has a rich maritime history to learn about, and a cruise around the harbour is the perfect way to get a sense of one of Europe’s busiest ports.

5. Delfshaven district

For more pleasant walking, this district of Rotterdam is well worth exploring. Feel the pre-war atmosphere here, visit the Pilgrims Fathers’ church and the town’s brewery of De Pelgrim. Grab a beer and enjoy the historic buildings.

Erasmas Bridge in Rotterdam

6. Erasmus Bridge

On your way into the Delfshaven district, you’ll come across this bridge. It’s a striking one, and when heading across, you’ll be high up too. The River Nieuwe Maas flows below your feet. Another of Rotterdam’s architectural pieces to enjoy.

As you can see, there are plenty of places to discover, and that’s without naming other museums and places of interest. Rotterdam also offers some top-quality cafes, from the posh to the holes-in-the-wall and the culinary district to visit is Deliplein.

But it’s the architecture that is this city’s draw. Feast of the styles and you’ll be richly rewarded. Rotterdam is a worthy and equal runner to its capital city. Time then to try it.

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