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Rotterdam must-see sights

Photo by Steshka Willems from Pexels

Rotterdam is a major port city in the south of Holland. After being mostly destroyed during World War 2, Rotterdam was rebuilt and is now known for its bold and modern architecture, amongst its other must-see sights. 

  • The Cube Houses
  • Market Hall
  • The Kinderdijk Windmills
  • Kunsthal Rotterdam
  • Erasmus Bridge
  • Rotterdam boat tour
  • The Witte Huis
  • Luchtsingel Bridge
  • Delfshaven
  • Floating Forest

The Cube Houses 

The Cube Houses are one of Rotterdam’s most iconic sites. They were designed by architect Piet Blom in the late 1970s, who designed the housing development as cubes tilted at a 45-degree angle. Their asymmetrical design was intended to resemble an abstract forest, with each triangular rooftop representing a tree. You can see how the space inside each cube has been utilised by visiting the Show Cube, which holds the original designs and history of the development. Conveniently located next to the Rotterdam Blaak railway station, The Cube Houses are easily accessible, and even form a pedestrian bridge into the city center. 

Photo by Claudia Schmalz from Pexels

Market Hall

Nicknamed “Koopboog” (horseshoe) by locals, the Market Hall is a popular hangout spot for locals and tourists. Formed from an office complex opened in 2014, the Market Hall comes complete with arched ceilings and larger-than-life murals of produce that celebrate the array of fresh food that is on offer. Here, fast food stores and fancy restaurants live in perfect harmony, and you may find it difficult to choose where to eat. From traditional Dutch delicacies to Spanish tapas, you will find an array of cuisines to fit any pallet. 

Image by ddzphoto from Pixabay

The Kinderdijk Windmills

Located 23 kilometers east of Rotterdam, is the idyllic village of Kinderdijk, where you can find the 19 Kinderdijk Windmills. Built between 1722 and 1761, each of the 19 windmills is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Together, they form the largest surviving concentration of windmills in the country. Despite not being active, on National Mill Day, celebrated on the second Saturday and Sunday of May, their sails are spun. The Kinderdijk Windmills are one of the most visited and iconic places in the Netherlands, and definitely worth seeing. 

Image by BriYYZ

Kunsthal Rotterdam

Kunsthal was opened in 1992 and has been the host of a wide variety of global traveling exhibits. Each year, more than 20 exhibitions are hosted at the Kunsthal, the most notable of which has been the 2013 exhibit ‘The fashion world of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the catwalk’. The box-shaped building holds seven exhibition spaces, which are accessible via a sloping and spiraling floor. Designed by Rem Koolhaas, the Kunsthal building is often referred to as a work of art itself, as Koolhaas opted to give the museum an industrial look using corrugated plastic, raw concrete, galvanized steel, and roughly sawn tree trunks- materials that have never been used to build art galleries before. 

Erasmus Bridge

Erasmus Bridge is an important Rotterdam landmark. Stretching 802 meters, the bridge crosses the Nieuwe Maas and connects the north and south of Rotterdam. Completed in 1996, Erasmus Bridge is a great way to reach one side of the city from the other, and is especially beautiful at night when it is illuminated. It was named after Christian Renaissance humanist Desiderius Erasmus, otherwise known as Erasmus of Rotterdam. 

Image by Luke Price

Rotterdam boat tour

Rotterdam is a major port city, and the best way to tour the ports is via boat. There are many different companies that offer boat tours, with some offering dining options. Each tour provides an in-depth tour of the ports and a history of Rotterdam. A boat tour is a perfect way to see the highlights of Rotterdam, in a comfortable and intimate way, whilst learning about the amazing city. Most tours last roughly 75-90 minutes, so make sure to block out a good portion of your day to enjoy the tour. 

Image by Guilhem Vellut

The Witte Huis

Standing proudly at 43 meters tall, The Witte Huis (White House) was Europe’s first skyscraper. Built in 1898, it was formed using white-glazed brick and decorated with Art Nouveau mosaics and statues. On the 14th of May 1940, it was one of the only buildings in Rotterdam to survive a German bombing. It now serves as a national monument and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors to the building can enjoy a relaxing drink in the Grand Café Het Witte Huis, located on the ground floor of the building. 

Image by Fred Romero

Luchtsingel Bridge

Luchtsingel Bridge was the world’s first crowdfunded public infrastructure project. The 400-meter long bridge connects the center of Rotterdam to Rotterdam North, a relatively vacant and neglected area of the city. The bridge was funded by over 8,000 people who donated to fund the construction. Every person who donated €25 has had their names permanently engraved on the wooden boards of the bridge as a sign of thanks. 

Delfshaven

Delfshaven is a beautiful historic town located in the west of Rotterdam. When Rotterdam was bombed during World War 2, Delfshaven was not hit, which has meant that much of the town’s original infrastructure still remains. Asides from its war history, Delfshaven is also famous for being the port from which the pilgrims departed for their voyage to America. As you discover the history of Delfshaven, you can enjoy the multitude of quaint cafes and restaurants in the area. Delfshaven is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of Rotterdam’s center. 

Floating Forest

The Floating Forest is the very first of its kind. Floating in the port of Rotterdam, it was created by the cultural association Mothership and is based on the artwork ‘In Search of Habitus’ by Jorge Bakker. The forest consists of 20 Dutch elm trees, which stand tall on recycled buoys. The aim of the project is to lower CO2 emissions in Rotterdam, whilst creating a visual impact that shows the contrast between nature and the city. It is truly a sight to behold, made better by its impact on saving the environment

Image by GraphyArchy

Rotterdam is home to some truly spectacular sights. Whilst you enjoy these sights, we will enjoy dry cleaning your laundry. To book your Laundryheap service, simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.