10 x Rotterdam for free
Florentijn Hofman’s gigantic fox sculpture near Marconiplein - foto Iris van den Broek

10 x Rotterdam for free

Do you have a limited budget for your city trip? You can book a visit to Rotterdam without spending a lot. There are plenty of free activities in Rotterdam. Below you’ll find the top 10 free activities that you must experience. Don’t forget to stay hydrated with water from the city’s 80+ free water fountains. If you’re looking for affordable accommodations, explore some options here.

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.

3. Floating Farm

Rotterdam is a testing ground for innovative entrepreneurs, artists, designers and architects. You can see and discover this in Rotterdam West in the Merwe-Vierhavens (M4H) area. Take a look at the Floating Farm, for example. This floating farm produces fresh dairy food in a sustainable, circular and animal-friendly way. Don´t forget to take a look at the nearby Weelde. Anything is possible in this creative free state. True to its pledge of creating an innovative vibe, it combines art, culture, food, drinks, parties and events.

4. 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 MAMAMelly, V2_ and WORM and are open from 18:00 – 21:00. A free tour starts at 19:00 from the Melly/TENT desk, Witte de Withstraat 50 (no reservation required).

5. The Laurenskerk

Enjoy a delightful walk through the city. Feel the history, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere. On sunny days, go to the Stadspark Grotekerkplein. Relax on the grass and listen to local musicians at the Stadspodium Rotterdam. In the summer, various activities are organized at this stage. You can also find a bookcase where books can be exchanged alongside free water at the monument of the birthplace of Desiderius Erasmus. On rainy days, you can visit the Laurenskerk. Click here to see the list of activities. You could also go to a nearby restaurant like Little V or go to the rooftop bar of Motel One for a hard earned warm drink!

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 in the area of Rotterdam West and you can admire all the beautiful things that have been preserved over the centuries. The nearby Dakpark Rotterdam invites you for a relaxing stroll with a view of the Merwe-Vierhavens (M4H) area.

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. A walk around the Kralingse Plas takes on average just over an hour (approximately 5 km).

8. BRUTUS Garden & Sculpture Park

With the development of the Merwe-Vierhaven area (M4H) into a creative hotbed where ideas are tried and tested, Delfshaven is definitely the place to be. This part of the city was mostly industrial for years, but where the fruit and juice companies used to be, creative enterprise is now allowed to flourish. After artist Joep van Lieshout, designer Daan Roosegaarde also established his ‘dream factory’ here. BRUTUS Garden offers a spacious environment where you can walk, relax and enjoy sculptures by Atelier Van Lieshout. The sculpture garden free to visit, as is the neighbouring Food Garden.

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