Rotterdam is a vibrant city that’s sure to surprise and entice you in equal measure. Full of must-see attractions and world-famous architecture, there’s also a whole other side to the Dutch city that’s worth exploring. Here’s your guide to the best of secret spots in Rotterdam, the futuristic city of the Netherlands!
This bridge, canal, singel, however, you wish to call it gives a unique perspective on the city and is connected to great spots such as BAR and Biergarten. De Luchtsingel was designed by ZUS, and connects the Schieblock building to a (former train) station Hofplein/Hofbogen).
Biergarten & Op Het Dak
Biergarten might be the least hidden spot on this list and if you have lived here more than 10 seconds, you will probably already know this place. Normally, this is the first location I take my foreign friends, as it is really close to Centraal Station and in summer, a great place to grab a drink and have some food.
The Maastunnel is the oldest “sunken” tunnel in the Netherlands, opened in 1942 during World War II. The tunnel was built on the mainland and sunken into the water after. Next to the car tunnel, a cyclist and pedestrian tunnel were built. If you ever feel like walking 1.2 kilometres to the other side of the city for no reason, this tunnel could be your friend!
The Binnenrotte market is a staple in Rotterdam and always bustling with people from all walks of life. It’s a great place to stroll through and browse, which can take quite some time as the market is big, especially on a Saturday.
Eiland Van Brienenoord
When you think of beautiful nature on an island, the Van Brienenoord Bridge (where tens of thousands of cars drive on the A16 every day) is probably the last place you think of. Surprisingly, this island is located right below the Van Brienenoord Bridge!
At the Kralingse Plas, you can walk along the lake with a view of the skyline or through the Kralingse Bos. You can watch deer in the deer park and visit a spice mill that is still in operation! In the evening you can eat delicious Italian food at Osteria Vicini. But if the weather is good, it is much better to get a barbecue and some food at the Albert Heijn in Kralingen to barbecue at the Plas.
Trompenburg Tuinen & Arboretum
Compared to popular parks such as Kralingse Bos and Het Park, Trompenburg Tuinen & Arboratum is like a breath of fresh air if you like peace and quiet. This hidden tree and botanical garden can be found in the district Kralingen on the edge of the center. With more than 4000 species of trees and plants, you almost forget that you are in a bustling city.
If you are in need of a piece of history, Historisch Delfshaven is certainly a good choice for a visit. Although much of Rotterdam was bombed during the Second World War, this part of Rotterdam has remained untouched. Even though it is a well-known part among most Rotterdammers, it is often surprisingly quiet. Especially during the sunset it is an oasis of peace.
Though it may not seem like it today, the pretty Witte Huis (literally translated into English as ‘White House’) is the oldest skyscraper in Europe! Located on the edge of the Oudehaven (Old Port) in central Rotterdam, the building was one of the only places in the city to escape the bombings of WWII. Constructed in the Art-Nouveau style during the 1920s, the building stretches 10 storeys into the air.
If you’re looking for even more historical sites in Rotterdam, then you need to look no further than the Blaak Station. Situated somewhere between the impressive Markthal and the Rotterdam Cube House, once underground, you’ll soon discover a small slice of the former Rotterdam city walls.