A Cultural Walk in Rotterdam, Rotterdam

Visitors seeking culture will get the utmost pleasure from their trip to Rotterdam. It's a place that is both open to cultural growth and very much in touch with modern cultural trends. Lots of cultural music events and festivals are held in the city each year. Check out our tour of the top cultural attractions in Rotterdam.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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A Cultural Walk in Rotterdam Map

Guide Name: A Cultural Walk in Rotterdam
Guide Location: Netherlands » Rotterdam (See other walking tours in Rotterdam)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Author: valery

1) Wereldmuseum (must see)

The Wereldmuseum Rotterdam, or Museum voor Land-en Volkenkunde, was founded in 1883. A major center for ethnography, approximately 1,800 items are housed here from various cultures in Asia, Oceania, Africa, the Americas, and the Islamic heritage.

Why You Should Visit:
Housed in one of Rotterdam's most beautiful buildings and you can enjoy the waterside view from the front of the harbour entrance.
The permanent collection is very well presented, including some spectacular temple-interiors from Tibet, Nepal, Japan, etc.
There's also a large temporary exhibition space, a cute gift shop and a very good café.

Check out the ballroom and adjoining salon on the 1st level. Welcoming staff are happy to assist and provide more information.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10:30am-5:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Tax & Customs Museum

2) Tax & Customs Museum (must see)

Rotterdam has always played a significant part in the history of tax and customs. The name of the Museum – Belasting & Douane – does not initially sound appealing to most people; however, there are more than 100 different taxes that you can learn about. The museum's fascinating collection holds more than 40,000 items – from uniforms, medals, prints, paintings, silver works to smuggling goods.

While tax and customs are nobody's favorite subjects, you're sure to be surprised by how interesting this museum is. The city's long and varied history as an import/export center is wonderfully recreated here.

Why You Should Visit:
The exhibition is pretty small, but surprisingly interesting and housed in a super nice building.
You will enjoy learning about smuggling and fake items – people are so inventive!
You can also touch (almost) everything, and there are lots of interactive displays.
Coffee and tea can be bought at a small counter in the canteen.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 11am-5pm
Koningin Emmaplein

3) Koningin Emmaplein

The Queen Emma Square was built between 1888 and 1891. Here you'll find 15 town houses designed in a neo-renaissance style, each with its own unique points of interest. At No. 3, for example, you'll find the building that became the office and residence of the city's bishop after Rotterdam became an independent diocese in 1956. You can also see a decorative vase from 1890 designed by Berlage.

4) Kunsthal (must see)

The Kunsthal is a museum in Rotterdam that combines 3300 square meters of exhibition space, an auditorium and restaurant into one compact design. The Kunsthal Rotterdam stages some 25 exhibitions a year. It presents culture in the widest sense of the word: old art, new art, design, photography – from elitist to popular. The museum has no permanent collection but organizes a wide range of temporary exhibits.

Why You Should Visit:
You can easily spend some hours wandering around the different exhibitions, and if you need a break, there's a lovely café.
Friendly staff in the exhibition areas, who are keen to show off the amazing ultra-modern building as well as the exhibits.
A great way of jumping into the modern art scene in Rotterdam.

The outside museum park is great for a stroll and less touristy than expected – visit the Rose Garden!

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun: 11am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Natuurhistorisch Museum

5) Natuurhistorisch Museum

This museum, located in Villa Dijkzigt, dates back to 1852 and is one of the Netherlands' largest natural history museums. Originally built for the Van Hoboken family by J.F. Metzelaar, the building was extended with a modern glass pavilion in 1995. The museum has exhibitions, activities, educational programs, conducted tours, quests and options for children’s parties, as well as a shop and a library.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Het Nieuwe Instituut

6) Het Nieuwe Instituut (must see)

Het Nieuwe Instituut is a museum for architecture, design and digital culture, and a platform for the creative industry. There are exhibitions and debates organized on various design disciplines, such as graphic design, product design, games, fashion, (interior) architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture. The Institute was created on 1 January 2013 from a merger of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI), Premsela Institute for Design and Fashion and the Virtual Platform Institute for e-culture.

One important aspect of the Instituut's work is managing the collection of archives that documents Dutch architectural history. This impressive collection encompasses both historic & contemporary architecture and should be an essential stop on anyone's tour of Rotterdam.

Why You Should Visit:
An absolute must for lovers of urban planning, design, and architecture.
The building itself is one of the best-preserved houses in the Nieuwe Bouwen style, the Dutch branch of architectural Modernism.
Entry ticket also includes admission to the remarkable Sonneveld House around the corner, a 1930s marvel of design.

Check out the Institute's great café – open to the public without needing to visit the exhibits.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun: 11am-5pm; Thu: 11am-9pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

7) Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (must see)

The main art museum in Rotterdam began in 1847 with the collection of Frans Jacob Otto Boijmans (1767-1847). In 1958, the collection of businessman Daniël George van Beuningen (1877-1955) was added. At this point, the museum acquired its current name. It has a diverse collection ranging from medieval to modern art, with a focus on Dutch art. Though much of the collection came to the museum through the two private collections mentioned above, many others have contributed throughout the years. Among the best-known artists in the museum's permanent exhibition are Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Rembrandt, Claude Monet, Wassily Kandinsky, Vincent van Gogh, Maurizio Cattelan, René Magritte and Salvador Dalí.

Why You Should Visit:
To look at the paintings of the old Dutch masters and of impressionist painters, (with emphasis on Van Gogh) alongside early modern & avant-garde art.
For those who like to wander around and be surprised by art, it is always a good idea to drop by.
There is a very nice modern café downstairs with a good view of the surrounding sculpture garden.

The audio tour is hands down one of the most interesting you'll get – try it!

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 11am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Witte de With

8) Witte de With

Witte de With is an organization devoted to exhibiting and promoting dialogue about contemporary art both in the city and internationally. Its gallery has an exhilarating, vast collection of works from the most famous contemporary artists.

9) Cinerama

The Cinerama is the oldest cinema in Rotterdam. Opened in 1957, it's located in a historic area in the heart of the city. Many tourists are drawn here purely by the charming exterior of this old building. Inside there are seven screens and more than 1,000 seats. The Cinerama’s program is very diverse, with everything from Hollywood movies to arthouse films and documentaries.

Walking Tours in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Create Your Own Walk in Rotterdam

Create Your Own Walk in Rotterdam

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rotterdam is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Nightlife Walking Tour in Rotterdam

Nightlife Walking Tour in Rotterdam

Rotterdam is a unique city that sparkles with the liveliest nightlife in the Netherlands. It's got a festival atmosphere that provides visitors with a great deal of enjoyment. There are a number of movies and musical attractions here as well. Take our walking nightlife tour to find the city's top night clubs.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 2

Souvenir Shopping Part 2

It would be a pity to leave Rotterdam without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Rotterdam, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Museums of Rotterdam Walking Tour

Museums of Rotterdam Walking Tour

Rotterdam is a city and municipality in the Dutch area of South Holland in the west of the Netherlands. It's got a rich diversity of museums, where you'll be amazed by the gorgeous and fully-featured exhibits. Check out our rundown of all the best, most famous museums in the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Stadsdriehoek Sightseeing Tour in Rotterdam

Stadsdriehoek Sightseeing Tour in Rotterdam

The name Stadsdriehoek refers to the historic City Triangle of Rotterdam, which dates from the late Middle Ages. The area was bounded by Cool Vest and Schiedamsevest to the west, the Golden Vest to the northeast and the Nieuwe Maas to the south. Take our tour to see the top sights in this beautiful area.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Places of Worship in Rotterdam

Places of Worship in Rotterdam

The historic center of Rotterdam was bombed in May 1940, and almost all of the churches in the area were damaged. Lamentably, numerous significant churches have had to be pulled down. Since then, the downtown area has been rebuilt in a Functionalist style, and some modern churches have been erected. Check out our tour for the key places of worship to see in Rotterdam.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Holland's major port, Rotterdam is an attraction in its own right, totally rebuilt after WWII, hence featuring bold, modern architecture, sometimes as peculiar as the world-famous Cubic Houses. The local Maritime Museum, displaying vintage ships and exhibits, attests to the city's great seafaring past. To get to know Rotterdam in its variety, follow this orientation walk and explore the galore of local sights.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Souvenirs Shopping: 16 Genuine Dutch Things to Buy in Rotterdam

Souvenirs Shopping: 16 Genuine Dutch Things to Buy in Rotterdam

Just as any other major Dutch destination, Rotterdam is associated with sea, excellent cheeses, marvelous beer, good food and, generally speaking, good taste. A set of gifts from Rotterdam will duly reflect any, if not all, of these qualities. Listed here are some of the items that might prove well...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Rotterdam for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Rotterdam has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Rotterdam, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.