A Cultural Walk in Rotterdam (Self Guided), 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.
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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

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.

Tip:
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
2
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
3
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

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.

Tip:
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
5
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
6
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.

Tip:
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
7
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.

Tip:
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
8
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

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.
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
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...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

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: 3.3 km
Cool Walking Tour, Rotterdam

Cool Walking Tour, Rotterdam

What a great name this neighborhood of beautiful streets in central Rotterdam has. Once a manor west of Rotterdam, from 1809 to 1816 it was a separate municipality before being annexed by the city. Be sure to take this tour and visit the multitude of the attractions in this fun and friendly district.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
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

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...