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10 x Rotterdam for free
Iris van den Broek

10 x Rotterdam for free

There are plenty of free activities in Rotterdam. You can book a day in Rotterdam without having to pay for it. Below you will find the top 10 free activities that you should definitely visit.

1. Markthal

The covered Markthal is the biggest tourist attraction in Rotterdam. An indoor market hall is something you’ll find in many other cities, but Rotterdam has a world’s first thanks to the unique combination with apartments. The Markthal is located on historic ground close to where Rotterdam once started. During the construction, interesting artefacts were found. These archaeological finds can be seen in De Tijdtrap, a free exhibition in the Markthal stairwell and parking garages.

2. ss Rotterdam

The ss Rotterdam is one of the most well-known post-war Dutch passenger ships and is permanently moored on the quay in Katendrecht. The ‘ss’ in ss Rotterdam stands for steamship. You can enjoy the ultimate cruise experience in the hotel, the restaurant and on the terrace on the back deck of this former Holland America Line flagship. You can also enjoy paddling in the pool (40 cm deep) and you have a beautiful view over the Maas.

Did you know that every Cube House represents a tree and that all houses together form a forest?

3. Cube Houses

The Cube Houses have been an architectonic phenomenon for over 30 years and are world famous because of their striking design. The houses were developed by Dutch architect Piet Blom. He turned a cube-shaped house 45 degrees and put it on a hexagonal pylon. Together, the houses form the ‘Blaak Forest’. There are 38 cube houses, they are connected to each other with two giant cubes at both ends. Each house has three floors. Some residents use the third floor as a garden.

4. Rotterdam Discovery

Rotterdam Discovery is the starting point for a visit to Rotterdam. This free exhibition takes you on a journey through the past, present and future of Rotterdam. The exhibition also has a large-scale model of Rotterdam showing the latest construction projects so that you can see the future of the city. You can find Rotterdam Discovery in the basement of the Rotterdam Tourist Information, in the garden of the historic Schielandshuis on the Coolsingel. Combine your visit with an afternoon of shopping because the famous Koopgoot (sunken) shopping street is just around the corner.

5. Art Evening in the Witte de With quarter

The Witte de Withstraat is a trendy and lively cultural nightlife street in Rotterdam. The street consists of art galleries, cafes, restaurants and shops that are slightly different. The weekly Art Evening takes place in the Witte de With quarter every Friday. You can then visit the institutions and galleries in the Rotterdam Art Quarter free of charge. The participants of Kunstblock are MAMA, TENT, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, V2_ and WORM and are open from 18:00 – 21:00. A free tour starts at 19:00 from the Witte de With/TENT desk, Witte de Withstraat 50 (no reservation required).

6. Historic Delfshaven

If you’re looking for the oldest part of Rotterdam, then you should visit the Historic Delfshaven. The post-war port of Delfshaven dates from 1389. It’s a wonderful city walk and you can admire all the beautiful things that have been preserved over the centuries.

7. Windmills De Ster and De Lelie

The Kralingse Bos wood is a beautiful green oasis in the city where you can walk, cycle, play sports, picnic and relax. At the Kralingse Plas lake you will also find the only working snuff and spice mills. The Star and the Lily, as the windmills are called, are often open on Wednesday (10:00-16:00) and Saturday (14:00-16:30). Admission is free, but a contribution to the tip jar is appreciated and benefits the mills.

8. Museum Rotterdam

In the city centre behind the City Hall you will find Museum Rotterdam in the Timmerhuis. The museum tells you everything about the history of Rotterdam and its inhabitants. A section of the Museum Rotterdam is located in Coolhaven. If you visit both museums, you get a big discount. Museum Rotterdam is free every first Saturday of the month.

9. FutureLand

If you’ve always been curious about the Maasvlakte then you should pay a visit to the FutureLand visitor centre located on Maasvlakte 2. At FutureLand you will experience the future and discover everything about the development of the port. In addition, you can admire the largest container ships and the most modern container terminals! Futureland is suitable for young and old and is accessible free of charge.

10. Rotterdamse routes

Discover the city and its unique stories with the help of the free Rotterdam Routes app. The app takes you on a journey through the city and tells you the story through the eyes of real Rotterdammers. As soon as you are near the Westersingel, you can choose to explore the Sculpture Route. This route takes you past 17 works of art by great sculptors. You can also admire the impressive street art with the Rewriters010 walking route. On the website you can download the map for free.

10x highlights Rotterdam

10x highlights Rotterdam

The story of the city, the bombardment and reconstruction, and the drive to innovate that locals still use today to shape their city all make Rotterdam a fascinating place to visit. Rotterdam is a must-see city with lots of attractions, monuments and architectural highlights to look out for.

Discover the must see sights and activities