It might not be as popular with tourists as Amsterdam or Utrecht but Rotterdam seduces travellers eager to discover an edgy contemporary town. The city is constantly changing thanks to the introduction of a series of new architectural and cultural icons, often unique to the Netherlands and even in Europe.

Rotterdam is considered as one of the coolest cities in Europe thanks to its laid back atmosphere but also its strong positioning in the world of contemporary architecture and design. The full destruction of the city in WWII has given way to a metropolis full of creativity with striking architectural landmarks, hip bars and restaurants and some of Europe’s best design studios. Before the pandemic, Rotterdam was recording 1.5 million overnight stays in hotels. In 2020, hotels still recorded over a million overnight stays.

Rotterdam is a surprising alternative to more established tourist destinations in the Netherlands and the metropolis is about to become even more attractive than ever to travellers with the introduction of new architectural and cultural icons.

Inaugurated by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen opened its doors to visitors on November 5. The cylinder-shaped structure is the world’s first publicly accessible art storage facility. It is located next to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Museumpark – contains more than 151,000 objects, all expertly stored in five different climates and is the result of 172 years of collecting.

Completed in 2021, at 215 metres high, De Zalmhaven Tower is the tallest residential building in the Benelux. The first 190 metres of the building – which is located next to the Erasmus Bridge on the Maas River – are reserved for private apartments while, a restaurant and bar with spectacular viewing points will welcome visitors from January 2022.

The Zalmhaven building will be the tallest in the Benelux
De Zalmhaven tower, the tallest building in the Benelux will integrate a restaurant and a viewing platform (Photo : © 2021 De Zalmhaven)

A surprising city

Rotterdam Floating Farm is an innovative example of how to make good use of water. The structure is the first floating farm in the world that has been operational since 2019. The farm works on sustainable eco-friendly principles with organic waste streams from the city creating a large part of its cows diets.

For example, the cows are fed with grains from a number of Rotterdam breweries, bran from Schiedam mills, grass from local sports fields and potato peelings from a local processor. Visitors can then taste the yoghurt and milk produced from Rotterdam’s unique floating farm…

The future Hofbogenpark (Artist rendering taken from

Another attraction set to transform Rotterdam is the Hofbogen Park. Construction is set to start in 2022 and will eventually be a two-kilometre-long green city park standing high above the streets. The Hofbogen is a former railway line viaduct and the longest monumental building existing in the Netherlands. Space for relaxation and nature will be created on top of the Hofbogen. Until the park is fully operational, visitors can find design, fashion and food outlets at the current hotspots in the Hofbogen.

And finally two new hotels are due to open in 2022. In one of Rotterdam’s newest residential complex made of two towers, a hotel with 150 rooms and a restaurant will open. A luxury boutique Kimpton hotel, with 231 rooms, will open in the city’s former Post Building in Coolsingel, a dynamic business and shopping street in the city centre.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *