48 hours of Architecture

48 hours of Architecture

Rotterdam is the architectural capital of the Netherlands. With this 48 hour guide you will discover all of Rotterdam’s architectural highlights.

You won’t just see the established icons like the Euromast, the Laurenskerk, the Erasmusbrug and the Groot Handelsgebouw, but you’ll also get to admire new constructions like the Markthal, the new Central Station and De Rotterdam in your 48 hour programme.

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Would you prefer a different combination? Check out the other 48 hour travel guides or contact one of the employees at the Rotterdam Tourist Information. They’re happy to help you with tips on the best way to explore Rotterdam.

Day 1



Arrive at Rotterdam Central Station. Pick up a City Map at the Rotterdam Tourist Information in the hall of the station. If you’re looking for original souvenirs, don’t miss shopping at ‘Love Rotterdam. Gifts, Food & More.’


Did you know that the roof above the tracks of the Rotterdam Central Station is partly covered with solar panels? These flow over into the roof above the station’s hall, the tip of which points to the city centre. Need time to take in this architectural masterpiece? Relax with a cup of coffee next door at Engels, a restaurant in the Groothandelsgebouw, a building that symbolises the reconstruction of Rotterdam. Take the lift to the 7th floor for a beautiful view.


On your way to the Schouwburgplein, admire the striking residential building De Calypso next door to the copper-coloured Pauluskerk church. Relax on the green lounge elements at Schouwburgplein. This square is situated on the roof of a parking garage and is praised and maligned by architect critics across the world. Around the square you’ll find De Doelen concert hall, the Theater Rotterdam Schouwburg and cinema Pathé Schouwburgplein.


Walk through the Korte Lijnbaan to the City Hall, one of the few buildings that survived the 1940 bombing of Rotterdam. This monumental building in Beaux-Art style with Byzantine, Roman and Art-Deco influences is symmetrically designed and built around a beautiful garden which can be reached from the street that crosses through the City Hall. If you want to look around inside, book a tour in advance.


Stroll through the charming shops on the Meent, past the medieval Laurenskerk church, to the Cube Houses designed by Piet Blom. Visit the Show-Cube. This furnished museum house is specially designed and furnished to give visitors an impression of what it’s like to live in a Cube House.


There’s no chance of catching your breath in the Markthal. Visit the shops and fresh food stalls and look up and admire the artwork ‘Horn of Plenty’ by Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam. On the escalators you’ll find the free exhibition De Tijdtrap. Have lunch at Jamie’s Italian. If you didn’t manage dessert then stop for a stroopwafel (Dutch syrup waffle), a donut or something else sweet to take away.


Take the tram, metro or walk along the Boompjesboulevard, pass the Erasmusbrug to the Wilhelminaplein. Here you can admire the high towers at the Wilhelmina Pier, like De Rotterdam, a triple tower skyscraper designed by Rotterdam architect Rem Koolhaas. Book a tour through De Rotterdam with Rotterdam Tours or, for something different, catch a (jazz) concert or arthouse movie at the LantarenVenster in the New Orleans building.


Mainport Design Hotel at Leuvehaven is just one stop away by tram or metro. Order a cocktail in the hotel bar On the Rocks or relax in your room. Hungry? Walk to the Witte de Withstraat where you’ll find lots of restaurants and bars. Enjoy your evening!

Day 2


After breakfast, walk through the Witte de Withstraat towards the Museumpark.


Visit Het Nieuwe Instituut with temporary exhibitions from Architecture, Design and Digital Culture, and Huis Sonneveld, a museum house in which you can experience what it was like to live in a hypermodern house anno 1933.


Have lunch on the sunny terrace at Het Nieuwe Instituut.


What are you going to do this afternoon? See Rotterdam from the top of the Euromast, visit the Kunsthal, another building designed by Rotterdam architect Rem Koolhaas, or take an Urban Guides tour of the Van Nelle Factory?


From Leuvehaven, stroll along the water on the Boompjesboulevard. Discover the Flag Parade: an outdoor museum with 230 flags side by side.


Head in the direction of Aloha, a bar and restaurant in the wild-water slide of the former swimming paradise Tropicana.


Have dinner at Aloha or explore the nearby Oude Haven. In Europe’s first skyscraper, the Witte Huis, you’ll find café the Witte Huis where you can have a drink or dinner. Other hotspots are Stockholm, Fitzgerald and Popocatepetl.


Amble past the houseboats and historical ships in the Wijnhaven back to the Mainport Design Hotel.

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Markthal Rotterdam

Markthal Rotterdam

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Centraal Station Rotterdam

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