As much as I love living in the city, I’m often in need of a bit more green around me. Fortunately, you can find enough beautiful gardens and parks in Rotterdam, so that we can still get in touch with nature!
Below you can find a number of green oases and hidden gems, such as a city park, roof garden and an island under a bridge. Places where you can enjoy a picnic on a sunny day and where you can take a quiet walk.
Be sure to also check out these great picnic locations in Rotterdam!
1. Het Park
The Park is located at the foot of the Euromast, west of the center of Rotterdam. It’s a green oasis where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city!
It is a very famous park in Rotterdam, but I always find it surprisingly quiet here. That makes it the excellent place for a walk or to organize a picnic (or a combination of the two).
It’s my personal favourite spot for a picnic in Rotterdam. In the park are many beautiful trees and big green lawns. Because of the shade of the trees it is often nice and cool here. Ideal during a warm summer day!
TIP: In the Park you can also visit Parqiet, a wonderful spot for breakfast, brunch or lunch.
2. Kralingse Plas
A place in Rotterdam that cannot be missed in this list is the Kralingse Plas. Surrounded by the Kralingse Bos, this lake is the place where the Rotterdammer goes during a summer day.
When the sun shines it is full of people barbecuing, children playing and friends enjoying a drink. There are always enough spots here and you can sit by the water and watch the boats go by.
On sunny days it is always fun here! But also on colder days it’s the ideal spot for walks and sports. And of course it is an excellent place to watch the sunset in Rotterdam.
Langepad 9, 3062 CJ Rotterdam
3. Ons Park
The former construction site of the Willemsspoorttunnel has been transformed into a beautiful green park with the (temporary) name “Ons Park” (which means Our Park)!
As you can see on the photo above, you have a beautiful view of the Willemsbrug from Ons Park on Noordereiland. What you can’t see on the photo, is that the park also offers a great view of the Hef.
It is a small park and it is usually nice and quiet here, with just a few visitors going for a walk or a group doing a workout. It a great place to enjoy the view, the greenery and the bunnies that roam freely.
Bring some snacks and your best friends and have a picnic. A good time to visit is during the sunset, but a visit during the day is also a real treat.
4. Eiland van Brienenoord
Under the Van Brienenoord Bridge you can discover a beautiful piece of nature.
It’s a wonderful place for a walk and you will not find many people on this island. On the path you will find wooded areas, grass fields, small pools, open waters and a nature playground. In addition, there are 40 different bird species, plants and butterflies that live in the nature reserve.
Perhaps the most surprising habitants are the Scottish Highlanders who roam around and graze the grass all year round. There is enough to see here!
Be sure to also read Fatima’s article about hidden spots in Rotterdam!
Van Brienenoord, 3077 AE Rotterdam
5. Dakpark Rotterdam
The unique Dakpark (meaning roof park) in Rotterdam-West is one of the largest roof parks in Europe. Located at a height of nine meters, the park offers a beautiful view of the nearby harbor and high-rise buildings.
There is plenty to do at the Dakpark! There is lots of grass and handy picnic tables, so you can enjoy a barbecue or picnic. There is also an herb garden, Mediterranean garden, community garden and pergolas. Children can play in the playground and on the water stairs.
Of course there is also plenty of space for organized activities, such as yoga and boot camp.
At the moment you can find a number of sculptures from the sculpture route ‘Let’s Get Physical’ by Atelier van Lieshout on the Dakpark. Be sure to check our calendar for more Rotterdam events.
Vierhavensstraat 79, 3029 BB Rotterdam
6. Lage Bergse Bos
The Lage Bergse Bos, located between Hillegersberg and Bleiswijk, is a beautiful green area in Rotterdam.
This forest is approximately 150 hectares and is part of the Rottemeren recreation area. There are several walking routes to follow here, on both forest trails and paved footpaths. But there is also enough grass for a lovely picnic!
Scottish Highlanders walk around here, so don’t be surprised if you suddenly see one popping up!
Rottebandreef 50, 2661 GR Bergschenhoek
7. DakAkker Rotterdam
We’ve already mentioned the view from the Euromast, the highest observation tower in the Netherlands. But our city has so much more viewpoints to offer. From green rooftops where fruit and vegetables are grown to cozy office terraces, there are many unique rooftops in Rotterdam that offer a great view!
DakAkker is another great viewpoint in Rotterdam. It looks like a green courtyard, but then 20 meters in the air. In addition, it’s the first green rooftop in the Netherlands where fruit and vegetables are grown and honey bees are kept. Be sure to also check out the restaurant Op Het Dak for delicious food and drinks!
Be sure to read Fatima’s article with hidden rooftops in Rotterdam.
Schiekade 189, 3013 BR Rotterdam
8. Courtyard City Hall Rotterdam
The city hall is one of the few buildings in the center of Rotterdam that is still standing after the bombing in the Second World War. It’s also a building that most people have only admired from the outside.
Walk in and you will see that the city hall is a large square building with an intimate inner garden in the middle. The historic architecture and appearance of the courtyard almost make you forget that you are in Rotterdam.
The fountain, statues and beautiful flowers such as roses and hydrangeas make the inner garden of Rotterdam City Hall an oasis of peace in the middle of the city.
Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam
9. Trompenburg Tuinen & Arboretum
This hidden gem in Rotterdam is a botanical garden located in Kralingen. It is beautifully landscaped and filled with trees, shrubs and the most unique flowers.
Whether you like flora or just want some peace and quiet, you are welcome to drop by and walk alone or with a guide. You can simply buy a ticket at the entrance.
Honingerdijk 86, 3062 NX Rotterdam
10. Historische tuin Schoonoord
The Historical Garden Schoonoord can be found near the Euromast Park. Despite its central location, it is a quiet oasis where you won’t encounter lots of other people. A beautiful place to walk around and enjoy all the greenery.
Schoonoord has been designated as a protected national monument due to its unique location, historical elements and special plants. In the garden you can find a rich collection of flora and fauna. There are also benches, bridges, a lush pond and several old trees. Really worth a visit!
Kievitslaan 8, 3016 CG Rotterdam
11. De Harmonie Restaurant 23
There are also great restaurants with a garden in Rotterdam. Going out for dinner while enjoying a lovely summer evening: perfect!
De Harmonie Restaurant 23 is a very special restaurant where you can choose from the seasonal a la carte dishes or opt for the four, five or 23 (!) course menu. For chef Marco Somer, nature is a constant source of inspiration and you can really taste that in his culinary dishes.
When the sun shines, you can sit in their lovely garden!
Westersingel 95, 3015 LC Rotterdam
12. Voedseltuin Rotterdam
Last, but not least: a garden with a mission, namely Stichting Voedseltuin (food garden). This foundation was founded with the aim of providing healthy and fresh food for everyone. With the help of volunteers they grow sustainable and seasonal vegetables and fruit for the Food Bank in Rotterdam.
You can find Voedseltuin Rotterdam on the damped Keilehaven in the Vierhaven area. Currently you can find a number of sculptures from the sculpture route ‘Let’s Get Physical’ here.
Keilestraat 9, 3029 AC Rotterdam
Those are 12 beautiful gardens and parks in Rotterdam. Have I overlooked a place in our city that should be included in this listicle? Then let me know in the comments below!