Introduction

Rotterdam may not be the first city that comes to mind when planning a trip to the Netherlands, but this vibrant city has so much to offer. From stunning architecture to a thriving art scene, Rotterdam is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. If you only have 48 hours in this city, here are 10 cool things you absolutely must do.

1. Explore the Cube Houses

One of the most iconic sights in Rotterdam is the Cube Houses, designed by architect Piet Blom. These unique houses, tilted on a 45-degree angle, are a true testament to Rotterdam’s architectural innovation. Take a stroll through the cube-shaped rooms and experience the unconventional living spaces. Don’t forget to snap a photo from the top, where you’ll find the extraordinary Overblaak Street and the vibrant Markthal.

Sources:
https://www.kubuswoningen.nl/en/
https://www.markthal.nl/en/

2. Visit the Markthal

Located just below the Cube Houses, the Markthal is a vibrant indoor food market that showcases the diversity of Rotterdam’s culinary scene. As you walk underneath the horseshoe-shaped arches adorned with colorful murals, you’ll find an array of local and international food stalls. Indulge in Dutch cheese, traditional herring, mouthwatering stroopwafels, and many other delicacies. The Markthal is not only a food lover’s paradise but also a feast for the eyes with its stunning architecture.

Sources:
https://rotterdam.info/locations/markthal/
https://www.markthal.nl/en/

3. Explore the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Art enthusiasts cannot miss a visit to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. With an impressive collection that spans from the Middle Ages to contemporary art, this museum offers something for every taste. Marvel at masterpieces by renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Magritte. Additionally, the museum hosts stimulating temporary exhibitions, ensuring there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

Sources:
https://www.boijmans.nl/en

4. Enjoy Rotterdam’s Architecture at the Witte de Withstraat

The Witte de Withstraat is Rotterdam’s vibrant cultural hub, offering a mix of contemporary art, lively bars, and innovative architecture. Stroll down this bustling street and immerse yourself in the city’s creative atmosphere. Admire the iconic Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and explore the numerous galleries showcasing cutting-edge exhibitions. The street is also dotted with cozy bars and restaurants, making it an ideal spot for an evening of drinks and live music.

Sources:
https://www.wdw.nl/en

5. Take a Water Taxi ride on the Maas River

To truly experience Rotterdam’s waterfront beauty, hop on a Water Taxi and cruise along the Maas River. You’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the city’s skyline, the iconic Erasmus Bridge, and the innovative architecture that lines the waterfront. The Water Taxi not only offers a convenient mode of transportation but also serves as a thrilling way to explore Rotterdam’s maritime charm.

Sources:
https://www.watertaxirotterdam.nl/en/

6. Visit the Van Nelle Factory

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Van Nelle Factory is a testament to Rotterdam’s industrial heritage. This stunning building, designed by architects Brinkman and Van der Vlugt, is a prime example of the Dutch modernist style known as Nieuwe Bouwen. Take a guided tour through the former coffee, tea, and tobacco factory and learn about its history and architectural significance. The Van Nelle Factory is a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Sources:
https://vannellefabriek.nl/en

7. Embrace the Future at the Rotterdam World Trade Center

The Rotterdam World Trade Center (WTC) is a hub of innovation in the heart of the city. This modern complex is home to numerous businesses, startups, and creative minds. Visit the WTC and discover the cutting-edge technologies and ideas that are shaping Rotterdam’s future. Attend events, conferences, or simply soak up the entrepreneurial energy that radiates throughout this lively center.

Sources:
https://www.wtcrotterdam.com/en

8. Discover the Street Art Scene

Rotterdam’s street art scene is thriving, and exploring the city’s vibrant murals is a must for art lovers. Witte de Withstraat and Middellandstraat are hotspots for urban art, where you’ll find colorful and thought-provoking works by local and international artists. Join a street art tour or simply wander the streets to encounter these stunning artworks that blend seamlessly with Rotterdam’s contemporary urban landscape.

Sources:
https://www.urbanguides.nl/street-art-tour.html

9. Indulge in Food and Drinks at Fenix Food Factory

Located in the up-and-coming Katendrecht neighborhood, Fenix Food Factory is a food hall that showcases local delicacies and traditional Dutch snacks. From artisanal bread and cheese to craft beer and cider, this is the place to satisfy your culinary cravings. Enjoy your food and drinks while admiring the beautiful views of the Maas River from the food hall’s terrace. Fenix Food Factory is a true hidden gem that offers a unique dining experience in Rotterdam.

Sources:
http://www.fenixfoodfactory.nl/en

10. Cycle through Rotterdam’s Urban Park

For a moment of tranquility amidst the bustling city, head to Het Park in Rotterdam. Rent a bike and cycle through this picturesque urban park, known for its lush greenery and calm lakes. Stop by Euromast, an iconic tower offering panoramic views of the city, before continuing your ride through the park. Cycling through Het Park is a refreshing and leisurely way to soak in the city’s natural beauty.

Sources:
https://www.angloinfo.com/how-to/netherlands/south-holland/your-health/activities/urban-park-het-park

Rotterdam truly deserves its spot as one of the coolest cities in the Netherlands. From its innovative architecture to its thriving art scene, and delicious culinary offerings, there is no shortage of unique experiences to be had in this vibrant city. Whether you’re into art, architecture, or simply want to immerse yourself in the local culture, Rotterdam has something for everyone. So, grab your itinerary, pack your bags, and get ready to enjoy an unforgettable 48 hours in Rotterdam!

Sources:
https://rotterdam.info