The richness of Rotterdam rooftops

Through the roof!

The richness of Rotterdam rooftops

Rooftop Tour by Inside Rotterdam | photo: Marieke Odekerken

The richness of Rotterdam rooftops

In Rotterdam, you either do something properly or not at all. And when it comes to rooftops, you can rest assured that Rotterdam does it best! The city has a lot of roof space, so why leave it unused? To a Rotterdammer, an empty roof is like a blank canvas where your imagination is the limit. From greening and energy generation to recreation: even roofs offer room for innovation and experimentation. As a visitor and resident, you can be a part of it, not just an observer: experiment, learn and enjoy the ride!

Top vibes on the rooftops

Rotterdam has the flattest roofs in the Netherlands, partly as a result of the reconstruction. Besides wonderful panoramic views, these many square metres offer a wealth of space. Space for experimentation, for the generation of energy and climate adaptation through the collection of water and greenery. But perhaps also for living, working and recreation. There is only one way to explore all the options: experiment and learn. That is exactly what the people of Rotterdam are good at. One learns by doing, and you – resident or visitor – are invited to participate, to learn and, above all, to enjoy the fantastic vibe on the Rotterdam rooftops. You can do this by visiting beautiful (catering) locations on the roofs (go-to roofs), by participating in the events and activities on the roofs (to-do roofs) or by working on your own roof (DIY roofs).

Go-to roofs

There are more and more roofs to visit in Rotterdam. For the view, the cafes and restaurants or the vegetable gardens, for example. These roofs are open to everyone all week long.

  • The roof of the Schieblock on Hofplein is an oasis in the city, largely due to the DakAkker: the first harvestable roof in the Netherlands and, at 1000 m², the largest urban agriculture roof in Europe! Rotterdam’s bees also have a good time here in the various beehives. And at Teds you can enjoy All Day Brunch.
  • Bistro Binnenrotte’s city terrace is on the roof of the entrance to the Central Library and offers a splendid view of the Markthal, the Cube Houses and the Laurenskerk. It’s also a great place to people-watch on market days (Tuesday and Saturday).
  • The roof of the Hofbogen is an upcoming go-to. The Hofbogen Park is being realised on this longest roof in the Netherlands (1.9 kilometres!), transforming it into a green pathway linking the city centre with the neighbourhoods in Rotterdam Noord. It connects with the Luchtpark Hofbogen city park, which is open to everyone daily from 10:00 am until sunset.
  • You can visit another rooftop park near Marconiplein: the Dakpark is built on the roof of a parking garage, is almost one kilometre long and, at a height of nine metres, offers a panoramic view. This is a wonderful place for the neighbourhood, where children play on the ‘water steps’, people go for a run, picnic and meet each other on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The neighbourhood garden – with sheep, chickens, a vegetable garden and fruit hedges – is a productive addition to the area.

Do-it-yourself roofs

If you think that extraordinary rooftops are only reserved for organisations, institutions and events, think again. In line with Rotterdam’s can-do mentality, the city is actively encouraging its citizens to do something with and on their own roofs.

  • Residents are encouraged to use their rooftops. The city has over 18 km² of flat roofs, often unused. We can make better use of that space, and the city sees that as a welcome challenge. The roofs offer opportunities for the generation of energy, new places for social connection and opportunities for reducing heat stress and flooding. Using the roofs is important because Rotterdam is growing. To keep the city attractive and healthy, we need to work together. By looking forward and looking upward!
  • By registering your roof with Rooftop Revolution, you can contribute to a healthy city by creating your own green roof oasis, energy-generating roof or roof garden. The organisation will help you to realise your ‘roof dream’.

Look forward and upward

The city is constantly evolving, which means there are some exciting milestones to look forward to. For example, de Doelen, a national monument, had created a green roof, Gebouw De Heuvel will not only have an attractive roof garden, but this ‘energy roof’ will also have all kinds of climate-adaptive applications, and the roof of FENIX (from 2025) on Katendrecht will be a true spectacle.

1500-FenixII-Katendrecht-Feijenoord-Rotterdam 1500-FenixII-Katendrecht-Feijenoord-Rotterdam
The Fenixloods II warehouse is being transformed into the FENIX museum with stories that transcend borders.