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De binnentuin van het Stadhuis is een van de mooie onontdekte plekken in Rotterdam.

25 Hidden spots in Rotterdam

By Fatima Benhaddou
March 28, 2024

Are you looking for hidden spots in Rotterdam? Our city has infinite sights and tourist attractions, such as the Erasmus Bridge, the Markthal and the Euromast, but the city offers so much more!

In recent months I have come across some beautiful, unknown places in Rotterdam. If you want to escape from the crowds or just want to see a side of Rotterdam that goes beyond modern architecture, visit the following hidden gems.

 

1. Eiland van Brienenoord


When you think of a 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!

As soon as you set foot on the island you discover a beautiful piece of nature where you can walk peacefully. 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!

You can walk the whole island in 45 minutes. Make sure you bring your own food and drinks, because there are no restaurants. The island can be reached via the access bridge in Feijenoord at the end of the Hoendiep road.

Address

Van Brienenoord 5, 3077 AE Rotterdam

 

2. Courtyard City Hall Rotterdam

Photo by our blogger @olivia.in.rotterdam

The city hall is one of the few buildings in the centre 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.

Address

Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam

 

3. 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!

Address

Kievitslaan 8, 3016 CG Rotterdam

 

4. Ons Park Noordereiland


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.

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. A good time to visit is during the sunset.

Address

Noordereiland, 3071 LN Rotterdam

 

5. Lührs Viewpoint

I actually want to keep the Lührs viewpoint a secret, but the view is too beautiful! Lührs is special, because you are on top of a 40-meter high hill and you won’t find those easily in Rotterdam.

It is a bit of a climb before you reach the top. You will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the Rotterdam skyline and, if the sky is clear, the skyline of The Hague!

You escape the busy city and enjoy the nature, while the sun slowly hides behind the horizon. Be sure to also read my article with 6 beautiful sunset spots in Rotterdam.

Address

Bergschenhoek

 

6. The secret beach of De Heijplaat

Tired of the busy beaches in Rotterdam? Then the secret beach of ‘De Heijplaat’ behind the quarantine area is a good option to get a breath of fresh air in the winter or to take a splash in the summer. This river beach can’t be seen from the land and is surrounded by the harbor and river making it an isolated piece on the Maas.

If you visit the beach for the first time, it can be quite a search before you find it. The starting point is De Heijplaat, a large port where you travel between meter-high colorful containers, gigantic cranes and huge ships.

If you walk through, you end up on the quarantine area where the harbor slowly flows into a forest with large trees and bushes on the water. Then you walk over a narrow path and you are rewarded with the beach and a beautiful view of Rotterdam and the Maas! A unique place for sunbathing, reading a book, walking or simply looking at the passing cargo ships over the Maas.

Address

Quarantaineweg 1, 3089 KP Rotterdam

 

7. Trompenburg Tuinen & Arboretum

Trompenburg is een leuke plek om heen te gaan met de Rotterdampas! Met de Rotterdampas kom je helemaal gratis binnen bij Trompenburg
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 centre. With more than 4000 species of trees and plants you almost forget that you are in a bustling city.

In Trompenburg you can easily read a book on the many benches or explore all tree species while enjoying a snack and drink in the romantic tea garden. At Trompenburg you are also in a maze of nature and cute bridges, making it a good place for a walk.

For the animal lover there are even various types of birds that you can admire in the aviary. Finally, it is a photogenic place for your perfect wedding photo or Instagram #picoftheday. Escape the hectic city and visit this hidden green piece of paradise!

Trompenburg is worth visiting in any season, but spring is definitely the best time to go. When the beautiful pink flowers and shrubs like ‘rhododendron’ are in bloom, the garden is even more beautiful!

You need to pay a fee to enter Trompenburg!

Address

Honingerdijk 86, 3062 NX Rotterdam

 

8. Artwork ‘De Zandwacht’

I immediately associate industry, wind turbines and terminals with the Maasvlakte, but to my surprise the Maasvlakte is also a peaceful, vast piece of nature with a beautiful work of art called ‘De Zandwacht’ in the middle. This artwork is on the Maasvlaktestrand and is a must-see for the beach and art lover.

When you wander through the artwork you always see a new perspective of the beautiful panorama landscape. It shows how sand dunes are formed by the way in which sand blows up in strong winds and descends again. Through the pillars, the artwork is a great place to sit and lie or to jump from one pillar to the other. In the evening the work of art is illuminated which produces magical pictures during sunset.

De Zandwacht is a frozen moment of how the landscape forms and where forget about time for a while.

Address

 Maasvlakteboulevard 3199, Maasvlakte Rotterdam

 

9. De binnentuin in Citykerk Het Steiger

The Sint Dominicuskerk Het Steiger is already a hidden gem in itself. This church dates from the reconstruction period. Fittingly from that time, modern materials such as concrete and glass have been used.

At first glance it looks like a sober building, until you’re inside and take a good look at the glass-in-concrete wall artwork by Berend Hendriks. This window, eight meters wide and six meters high, creates a beautiful light.

It is a place for silence and reflection in the noisy centre of Rotterdam. The green inner garden with cloister is extra special, a place to dream away for a while.

Address

1e Nieuwstraathof 2, 3011 GN Rotterdam

 

10. Park Rozenburg

A beautiful place for a walk in Rotterdam is Kralingen. This district is nice and close to the centre of the city, but is still a place where you can completely unwind. Whenever I walk here I love admiring all the beautiful historic buildings and enormous houses.

In addition, you will also find a lot of green places in Kralingen, such as Park Rozenburg. It is only a small park and often it’s very quiet. Some ponds with ducks and lots of lawns and trees make it an oasis in the city. Close to Park Rozenburg you can also find Slot Honingen. Another hidden gem in Kralingen, surrounded by big villas.

Discover more places for a walk in Rotterdam.

Address

Waldeck-Pyrmontlaan 10, 3062 BV Rotterdam

 

11. Heemtuin Kralingse Bos

The beautiful Heemtuin is tucked away in the middle of the Kralingse Bos. Here you will find all kinds of plants, trees and shrubs.

Walk across the narrow pier through all the greenery and eventually you will arrive at the Kralingse Plas and you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of the skyline of Rotterdam.

Address

Langepad, Kralingse Bos Rotterdam

 

12. The Rotterdam Art Ride project

Rotterdam Art Ride (ROAR) is een kunstproject waarbij 18 pilaren onder de metrolijn van Rijnhaven worden geschilderd door een internationale groep kunstenaars uit heel Europa. Het doel van dit geweldige kunstproject is om visuele kunst toegankelijk te maken voor een breed publiek en om inwoners dagelijks te inspireren.

Rotterdam Art Ride (ROAR) is an art project whereby 18 pillars under the metro line of Rijnhaven are painted by an international group of artists from all over Europe. The goal of this great art project is to make visual art accessible to a wide audience and to inspire residents on a daily basis.

The Rotterdam Art Ride can be found under the metro line between stations Rijnhaven and Maashaven in the South of Rotterdam. Not a lot of locals are aware of this cool project!

Address

Maashaven, 3072 HP Rotterdam

 

13. Street art on the Zwarte Paardenstraat

Street art by Jorge Kata Núñez in de Zwarte Paardenstraat.

You can admire this colorful work of art on the Zwarte Paardenstraat, a side street of the Witte de Withstraat, since 2007. The mural was created by the Chilean artist Jorge Kata Nuñez and is called “El Trotamundos”, which means the World Traveler. The galloping horse carries a world map on his body and a peace dove on his face. The artwork therefore stands for freedom and global citizenship.

If you walk on the Witte de Withstraat you cannot see it immediately, because the mural is just around the corner. There is a lot of street art hidden in the side streets of Rotterdam. You will also find a colorful mural on the Kromme Elleboog, the side street on the other side of the Witte de Withstraat: “Love Spreads” by Ramon Martins. Also worth a look!

Want to discover more street art in our city? Check out these cool murals in our city!

Address

Zwarte Paardenstraat, Rotterdam

 

14. Street art in the Afrikaanderwijk

Street art door Smug en duo Telmomiel in de Afrikaanderwijk.

Another great place for street art and an area that you might not be so familiar with is Afrikaanderwijk. Thanks to Pow Pow! Rotterdam a lot of artists created a lot of new street art here in September 2019. Now you can find a street art route here with all kinds of beautiful murals on the facades of buildings.

In 2020 a lot of new works have been added to the streets, so plenty of new things to discover if you haven’t been there in a while!

TIP: For cool street art routes, I recommend the Rewriters app. This app takes you through the most beautiful street art in Rotterdam and gives you background information about the artwork and the artist.

The routes are updated several times a year, so there is always something new to discover!

Address

Afrikaanderwijk, Rotterdam

 

15. Historisch Delfshaven

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.

Address

Historisch Delfshaven, Rotterdam

 

16. Dakpark Rotterdam

The unique 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. Despite its size, it is a little less known place in Rotterdam.

There is plenty to do at the Dakpark! There are large lawns and handy picnic tables, so you can enjoy a barbecue or picnic here. 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 enough space for organized activities, such as yoga and boot camp.

Address

Vierhavensstraat 79, 3029 BB Rotterdam

 

17. Voedseltuin Rotterdam

Momenteel kun je in de Voedseltuin Rotterdam ook een aantal sculpturen van 'Let's Get Physical' door Atelier van Lieshout zien. Zo ook het beeld 'Weltmeister'.

‘Weltmeister’ in de Voedseltuin Rotterdam.

Stichting Voedseltuin (“Voedseltuin means food garden) Rotterdam is a hidden garden with a mission. This foundation was established with the aim of providing healthy and fresh food for everyone. With the help of volunteers, they grow sustainably grown seasonal vegetables and fruit for the Food Bank in Rotterdam.

But not many people know that you can stop by here at certain hours for a look. The above photo, for example, was taken when there were still sculptures in the Food Garden from the sculpture route ‘Let’s Get Physical’.

Address

Keilestraat 5, 3029 BP Rotterdam

 

18. DakAkker

The DakAkker is a roof farm of up to 1000 m2 where vegetables, fruit and edible flowers are grown and honey bees are kept. It is the largest open-air roof farm in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe!

You will also find the Slimdak on the roof of the roof pavilion. A test site for smart water collection. A very special place, hidden on the roof of the Schieblock in Rotterdam.

Let yourself be guided by the roof farmers with an explanation about the DakAkker. When you’re done walking you can take a seat in the rooftop restaurant Teds All Day Brunch. Enjoy a drink, snack and the view.

Please note: the photo above was taken a few years ago, now it is no longer possible to sit among the greenery, but you look out on it.

Address

Schiekade 189, 3013 BR Rotterdam

 

19. Cloud One Bar in Motel One

Motel One, the successful budget design hotel group from Munich, opened its doors in the heart of Rotterdam in early 2023. The hotel is located on the Hoogstraat, between the Markthal and Laurenskerk.

Because it is such a new hotel, you may not be familiar with their rooftop bar: Cloud One bar. As a guest you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city from the fifth floor. Attached to the lamps above the bar table you will find labels of different types of gin, including the most important information about different types of gin.

With ceiling-high windows, the bar has a unique view of the city from three sides. Step outside and enjoy the view from the huge roof terrace, with a 360 degree view of the city.

You don’t have to be a guest of the hotel to visit! So are you looking for a nice roof terrace where you can enjoy a drink? Then you are in the right place. While enjoying a Gin-Tonic you can end the day on the roof terrace of the Cloud One bar.

Discover even more hidden rooftops in Rotterdam!

Address

Grotekerkplein 70, 3011 GE Rotterdam

 

20. Blend Artwork

Since January 2024, Blend Artwork has taken over the concept and menu of the former Studio Unfolded. As you were used to, this location on the Nieuwe Binnenweg is a shop, coffee place, event location and creative agency all in one. A super fun creative place to get together.

On a sunny day, you can sit in the lovely garden (with parasol against the sun if necessary) and enjoy an (iced) coffee, chai latte or homemade iced tea. You can also spot this in our video!

Do you already know these restaurants with a garden?

Address

Nieuwe Binnenweg 305A, 3021 GH Rotterdam

 

21. De Wasserij

Werk van Nannet Van Der Klein in de studio van Ester Munoz Grootveld tijdens het Groot Rotterdams Atelierweekend.

Have you ever heard of De Wasserij? This was once an industrial laundry in Rotterdam Noord. Today it is a breeding ground for creatives working in the fashion world. There are also many interesting studios to be found here.

Of course you can’t just walk into such a studio, since the makers are at work here. However, it is worth keeping an eye on De Wasserij. There are often exhibits, pop-ups and other activities here. For example, they take part in the Groot Rotterdams Atelierweekend every year, when you get a look at all kinds of art studios in Rotterdam.

The residents of De Wasserij also have one thing in common: they want to contribute to a better future through their company. As stated on the website of De Wasserij : “… more and more professionals and more and more consumers are becoming aware that fashion causes large-scale pollution. There is also a growing awareness that the production of ‘fast fashion’ in particular in many places in the world creates social inequality.”

Address

Sint-Agathastraat 54, 3037 SH Rotterdam

 

22. The Swapshop

The Swapshop is a sustainable hidden gem, right in the heart of the city centre! In this store you hand in clothes and accessories that you no longer wear and in return you receive Swaps. With Swaps and a personal contribution you can then swap other submitted items.

Swapping is not only fun, but it’s also a great way to clean out your wardrobe. Plus, it’s very fulfilling to hand in your items personally and give them a new life. You get value back immediately and you make others happy. You will find the coolest items and you are part of a group of like-minded “swappers”. The range in the store is diverse, and new items are added every day.

Also check out these sustainable stores in Rotterdam.

Address

Weena 70, 3012 CM Rotterdam

 

23. Swim spot at Little C

Looking to cool down in summer but don’t fancy a crowded pool? Then take a refreshing dip in the Coolhaven at Little C! With a green grass strip, plenty of seating areas and views of the Coolhaven, this is a great place to hang out by the water. Feeling hungry? Then head to Kula, Old Scuola or Côte du Cool for a nice drink and/or snack!

Discover more fun tips for things to do on or at the water in Rotterdam 

Address

Little C – G.J. de Jonghweg, 3015 GE Rotterdam

 

24. Delftsehof

The Schiekade block around Biergarten and Annabel will be transformed and expanded into a lively area with housing, offices and restaurants in the coming years. The opening of Delftsehof on the former car park on Delftsestraat marks the start of the large-scale redevelopment. Delftsehof will be a lively, green place, where there is always something going on thanks to surprising programming by creative entrepreneurs from the area.

Parties such as Biergarten, Annabel, Salsability and Roodkapje can use this extra outdoor space for hip-hop workshops, dance classes, band performances, theatre perfomances and barbecue parties. At times when there is no programming, the Delftsehof is the ideal place for meetings or to sit outside during your lunch break.

Address

Delftsehof, 3013 AG Rotterdam

 

25. Luchtpark Hofbogen

At 1.9 kilometres long, the roof of the Hofbogen is the longest roof in the Netherlands. The first part of the long roof, located on the roof of Hofplein Station, is designed as a public park. The Luchtpark is accessible to everyone daily and is open from 08:30 to 18:00.

Through the Luchtsingel and the entrance on Heer Bokelweg, local residents, Rotterdammers and tourists can enter the Luchtpark Hofbogen. Visitors can lounge in the grass, have a picnic, sit on one of the artificial sheep, or stroll through the garden with its fruit trees and bushes, heath vegetation and vegetable garden beds. All while enjoying magnificent urban views.

Part of the Hofbogen Luchtpark consists of an event area. In recent years, for instance, the roof has been the setting for silent roof cinema Roffa Mon Amour, Conny Janssen Danst, Motel Mozaïque, Wunderbaum, the RYPP Wine Festival, the Operadagen Rotterdam, the Rotterdam Rooftop Days and youth performances by the Hofplein theatre.

Address

Luchtsingel, Rotterdam

 

How many of these spots have you visited? What is your favourite hidden place in Rotterdam?

4 replies on “25 Hidden spots in Rotterdam”

  • My that pic of the garden is just utterly fabulous and I so wish to be there right now. You seem to be so much in love with this city as it comes across in how well you have written the post Fatima 🙂

  • Rotterdam looks so beautiful! I honestly had no idea all these gems were there! Thanks for the inspiration – just pinned!

  • This looks like such a beautiful city to visit! And I love how many hidden things you can find as you walk around the city too.

  • I am Born and raised in Rotterdam. During the pandemic I started walking every day walking. Before work and in between. I have visited all these places mentioned above. And Made a photoalbum of it. It’s definetely worth it.

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