Read about the city

Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands, and it is known for several things; not least for a glorious maritime history and Europe's largest port. The area has been developed from the city center and all the way to the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas in the North Sea west of the city.

The maritime experiences make their mark on the city, which offers many lovely places along the water and around old port facilities. In addition, there are some excellent maritime museums and of course the opportunity to take a cruise on the harbor with one of the city's many cruise boats.

Rotterdam is also a city with exciting modern architecture, and it is thus an interesting contrast to, for example, old Amsterdam. The Kubuswonungen homes, the Erasmusbrug bridge and the unforgettable Markthal are good examples that form the city together with a few remains from the original Rotterdam.

The area around the Dutch metropolis offers many opportunities for trips out of the city. Here are urban highlights like Amsterdam and Antwerp and you can also enjoy the Dutch countryside with canals and mills. The city of The Hague and the beaches of Scheveningen are also close by.

Other attractions

Witte Huis, Rotterdam

  • White House/Witte Huis: The White House is a beautiful Art Nouveau building from 1888. The Wiite Huis is 49 meters/160 feet high with 10 floors, and it was the first high-rise building in Europe. The house is located by Rotterdam's old harbor in an idyllic area.
  • City Hall/Stadhuis: Stadhuis is Rotterdam's impressive town hall building, built in the years 1914-1920 in Dutch Renaissance architecture. The town hall survived the World War II bombs, and you can therefore see the beautiful interior in original condition.

Hotel New York, Rotterdam

  • Hotel New York: This is a hotel housed in the former headquarters of Holland-Amerika Lijn. However, the building was formerly used as a place to stay for many of those who came to the city to sail to America.
  • Euromast: Euromast is a lookout tower that was built in 1959-1960, where it was to be ready for the Floriade festival. The tower is 185 meters/606 feet high with an observation platform at 112 meters/367 feet high, from which there is a nice view of the city and its harbor. You can also take the Euroscope glass elevator all the way to the top.

Erasmus Bridge, Rotterdam

  • Erasmus Bridge/Erasmusbrug: This is an 802 meter/2,631 foot long bridge that crosses the Nieuwe Maas. The bridge is one of Rotterdam's modern landmarks. It was designed by Ben van Berkel and opened in 1996. Due to the design, the bridge is popularly called the Swan.
  • Maritime Museum/Maritiem Museum: At Rotterdam's Maritime Museum you can experience maritime history and see ships, models and much more from the industry that has meant so much to the Dutch city. You can e.g. see the world's oldest model ship, the Mataró.

SS Rotterdam

  • SS Rotterdam: The ship SS Rotterdam is a hotel ship with a past as one of the 20th century luxury liners. The ship was the last classic ship built in the Netherlands for Atlantic traffic, where it was deployed in 1959. The SS Rotterdam was later a cruise ship until it was laid up in the year 2000.
  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen: At this museum you can experience distinguished art collections with paintings by e.g. Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Claude Monet and Salvador Dalí.
  • World Museum/Wereldmuseum: This is Rotterdam's World Museum, which has fine ethnographic collections from many countries around the world. In this way, the museum reflects Rotterdam's international dimension with the city's large port.
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Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands

Top attractions

St Lawrence Church, Rotterdam

  • St Lawrence Church/Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk: This large church stands as the only preserved church from the Middle Ages in Rotterdam. The church is Protestant and was built between 1449 and 1525. The church was partially destroyed during World War II, but today is beautifully rebuilt.
  • The Old Port/Oude Haven: This is Rotterdam's old harbor basin, where today you can see a lovely city space with many cafes and restaurants around the harbor, which is home to a number of old ships.

Markthal, Rotterdam

  • Market Hall/Markthal: Markthal is a residential and office building built as a fantastic market hall under the big roof. The hall's arched roof is adorned with Arno Coenen's 11,000 m²/118,000 ft² large decoration with i.a. fruit and fish, and at each end the light enters through colossal glass sections.

Cube Houses, Rotterdam

  • Cube Houses/Kubuswoningen: In Rotterdam you can see this unique residential building, where the apartments are arranged in large cubes that rest on the tips. The shape creates exciting homes and an open urban space at street level below them.
  • Delfshaven: Delfshaven is a neighborhood preserved from old Rotterdam, which was otherwise destroyed during World War II. You can see old houses, the harbor area and the church Oude Kerk in the charming Delfshaven.

Harbor Cruise, Rotterdam

  • Harbor Cruise/Havenrondvaart: The port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe, and the colossal port and its many facilities are best seen on a harbor cruise that starts in the center of Rotterdam, and which sails west and to the port's mouth in the North Sea.
Trips in the area

Kinderdijk Mills, Holland

  • Kinderdijk: Along the river Noord you can see the idyllic village, Kinderdijk, where there are 19 traditional Dutch mills built 1722-1761. They constitute the largest preserved collection of mills in the Netherlands and are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Delft: The city of Delft is known for its porcelain production, but it is also the home of the Oranje family and a very idyllic old town with cozy canals, beautiful churches and the city's 17th century town hall.

Amsterdam, Holland

  • Amsterdam: Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and it is a unique city in the world with the many canals, bridges and cozy city spaces that are everywhere in the city. A canal tour is a must and you should also visit some of the city's world famous museums.
  • Keukenhof: In the middle of the vast Dutch flower fields is the Keukenhof, which means kitchen garden. However, the place is not a kitchen garden, but rather a sumptuous flower park with millions of flowers.

Scheveningen, Holland

  • Scheveningen: Scheveningen is the most popular seaside resort close to The Hague and in all of the Netherlands. The long sandy beach is lovely, and the impressive resort Kurhaus from 1885 is centrally located on Scheveningen's beach.
  • The Hague/Den Haag: The city of The Hague is the seat of the Dutch government. It is also the Queen's city of residence and the city is world famous for hosting the International Court of Justice. There are also a number of sights such as the Binnenhof and the Noordeinde Palace.

Antwerp, Belgium

  • Antwerp: The history of the city of Antwerp goes back to the 100-200s in the Gallic-Roman era. Today, Antwerp is a Flemish trade and port city with countless sights. Het Steen castle and many beautiful churches are some of the great sights.
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