Full disclosure – we love Rotterdam here at Orbzii. It’s so much more than just being the second city of The Netherlands. It’s a striking waterfront city full of historic charm with its cobbled streets and as well as being a modern metropolis full of brutalist architecture and contemporary chic buildings.
Offering an incredible variety of things to do in Rotterdam, there’s also a huge selection of great spots to enjoy a drink or something to eat.
Whether you are a fan of cutting-edge design, concept cuisine or crazily-tilted towers, then Rotterdam is probably for you. From microbreweries and markets to maritime museums and meandering around some of the coolest neighbourhoods in the Netherlands, here are some of our favourite things to do in Rotterdam.
Grab a snack at the Markthal
Foodies rejoice! If you are looking for a plethora of global culinary wares, then head over to Markthal in the historic Laurenskwartier district in the heart of Rotterdam which offers a more expansive and unique contemporary take on a traditional Dutch marketplace.
Not only is the Markthal a great choice for picking out culinary delights – from cheese and cake to smoothies and saucisson, rest assured you won’t walk away hungry. There’s also several restaurants dotted around the outer ring of the Markthal which are super popular with locals and tourists alike.
This is no ordinary foodhall, case in point – the architecture and decor is worth a visit alone. Inside of this expansive hall is a painted ceiling which arches over the stalls – a colourful cornucopia of food, flowers and (wait for it!) insects which take influence from 17th-century Dutch still-life paintings.
Check out the art scene
One of the main draws when it comes to things to do in Rotterdam is the first-class contemporary art scene. With over 40 museums and galleries to choose from, there’s a whole creative world waiting for you. One standout that you simply can’t miss is the new art experience at the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen (BvB) where you can see 150,000 artworks in one dedicated place. In fact, it’s earned the moniker as the “world’s first publicly accessible art depot”. Don’t think of it as a museum as there are no actual exhibitions, instead you can wander through the buildings and compartments and immerse yourself in over 151,000 artworks either alone or with a guide, and learn more about the work being done with regards to conservation and restoration.
Don’t forget to check out our ‘Art Lovers Guide to Rotterdam’, if you are looking to take a deep dive into the art scene of Rotterdam.
Admire the view from the Euromast
Could this be one of the best places to take in the stunning skyline of the city? This has to top anyone’s ‘things to do in Rotterdam’ list – a jaunt up the Euromast will give you access to some of the most amazing views in the whole of Rotterdam.
Not only is the Euromast one of the highest towers in Rotterdam, it’s one of the highest towers in the Netherlands. Designed by the acclaimed architect Maaskant, visitors can take an elevator up to the top and enjoy some of the best views in the city. You can even see the Belgian city of Antwerp on a clear day! If you fancy whiling away a bit of time, you can have a drink, high tea or even spend the night in one of the luxury suites that are there. Imagine waking up to watch the sunrise there.
For those that love adventure, you can swap scones for scaling down the walls of the Euromast either by abseiling or cable gliding from the Euromast.
Prefer to keep both feet firmly on the ground? Why not view it from the comfort of a water taxi or enjoy a boat tour of Rotterdam’s harbour?
Is bijou best? When it comes to beer, the good people of Rotterdam clearly think so. Hence, there are so many microbreweries popping up throughout the city.
When it comes to beer, Rotterdammers clearly believe that small producers are best. Microbreweries are scattered throughout the city, from the intriguing Eurotrash United to Stadsbrouwerij De Pelgrim, you can try any number of tipples and watch the world go by. If you want to take small to the next level, head over to WAKEAT which is the smallest craft miso brewery in Rotterdam where you can try their brew which is made up of just three ingredients including soy beans.
Get square in the cube house
One of the most famous things to do in Rotterdam has to be a visit to the Cube House (Kijk-Kubus) and surely the most Instagrammable too. Created and conceptualised by Piet Blom, this unique offering is one that has to be seen. These little cubes are tilted at 45-degree angles and are abstract pieces of art that are one of the city’s most eye-catching attractions. This little museum stands alongside its equally smaller counterparts that are private houses and offers an intriguing insight into life in what has been described as ‘a conceptual forest’.
Explore Witte de Withestraat
One of the most famous streets in Rotterdam, if you are looking for culture, then head down to Witte de Withestraat. It is chock full of cool bars and restaurants as well as being home to several art galleries where you can find interesting collections of contemporary art. This street is a pivotal area that connects the docs in the East with the acclaimed Museumpark and is recognized as the city’s art axis.