Exploring Rotterdam: 8x Must-Visit Hotspots

Erasmus bridge Rotterdam
terrace in Rotterdam
Jan Bijl, Rotterdam Make it Happen

Rotterdam, a vibrant city known for its cutting-edge, modern architecture, is also home to a variety of hotspots. From scenic parks to innovative museums and lively markets, Rotterdam offers a blend of cultural richness and modern flair - making it fantastic for internationals.

Our international student from Canada, Nicole, compiled a list of all of her favourite places to visit in Rotterdam as an international student, giving you the tools to go around Rotterdam like a local.

  1. Markthal: Located in the heart of the city centre, the Markthal isn’t just your average market, the building itself is a work of art in itself. Whether you're in the mood for exotic spices, artisan cheeses, or a quick bite, the Markthal has something for everyone. Bonus Tip: visit the square in front of the Markthal on Tuesday and Saturdays for the farmer’s market and shop like a local. 
  2. Erasmus Bridge: Nicknamed "The Swan" for its graceful design, the Erasmus Bridge is more than just a way to cross the river; it's THE symbol of Rotterdam. This makes it the perfect place to get the best view of the stunning skyline, one of the many enormous cruise ships, or during events with fireworks. 
  3. Kop van Zuid: Kop van Zuid has been transformed into a thriving cultural and residential district. Here, you can explore the Hotel New York, a historic building with a rich maritime history, or catch a show at the Luxor Theater, known for its striking modern architecture and top-tier performances. Also check out the SS Rotterdam, a former cruise ship which has now been converted into a hotel with a great restaurant. On your way home, don’t forget to stop at Fenix Food Factory to grab a quick bite, grab a glass of wine, or even do some vintage shopping. 
  4. Kralingse Bos and Plas: For those seeking a natural escape within the city, Kralingse Bos and Plas offers just that. This park and lake area is perfect for picnics, jogs, or even swimming. The best part? It’s walking distance from campus! 
  5. Cube Houses: No visit to Rotterdam is complete without seeing the iconic Cube Houses. Designed by architect Piet Blom, these tilted, cube-shaped houses challenge traditional architectural norms. You can even tour a fully furnished Cube House to experience life inside these funky houses. 
  6. Depot Boijmans van Beuningen: This museum showcases its entire art collection, not just select pieces and reveals how artworks are preserved and restored. This makes it a unique destination for art lovers and those curious about the behind-the-scenes workings of a museum. 
  7. Euromast: The Euromast tower offers stunning views of Rotterdam from 185 meters high. It's a symbol of the city, with an observation deck and a restaurant. Adventure lovers can also repel down it. 
  8. Witte de With Straat: This street is the lively heart of Rotterdam’s cultural scene, filled with bars, art galleries, and restaurants. It's a place where art meets nightlife, popular with locals and tourists alike. 
Erasmus bridge

One of Rotterdam icons Erasmus bridge "The Swan"

Student takes photo of cube houses in Rotterdam.

Admire architecture such as the Cube Houses

Three students stand in the sun talking in front of the Boijmans van Beuningen Depot in Rotterdam.

The iconic design of Boijmans van Beuningen museum

Visit the Markthal for exotic spices, artisan cheeses, or a quick bite

Get a total view of Rotterdam in the Euromast

Skateboard Erasmusburg Rotterdam

Discover street art and activities all over Rotterdam

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