Rotterdam off the beaten track

After seeing the impressive skyline, visiting the Markthal and making a day trip to the windmills of Kinderdijk, it’s time to explore the city off the beaten track. These are our tips!

#1 A tour of the Van Nelle factory

The former Van Nelle factory is a beautiful piece of architecture. It is one of the largest industrial monuments in Rotterdam. Nowadays it is a building for all kinds of businesses and the large spaces which are used for conferences. But you can also join guided tours to find out more about the special architecture and to see an amazing view of the city from the tea dome on the roof.

#2 Maastunnel

The Maastunnel connects the north and the south of Rotterdam. Where the rest of the Maas is crossed by bridges, you can go under the river here! There are tunnels for car traffic as well as for cyclists and pedestrians. During your visit to Rotterdam, descend into the tunnel on the original wooden escalator to continue under the Maas as a pedestrian or bicycle. Extra fun: you can cycle through the tunnel!

#3 Kralingse Plas

At the Kralingse Plas, you can walk along the lake with a view of the skyline or through the Kralingse Bos. You can watch deer in the deer park and visit a spice mill that is still in operation! In the evening you can eat delicious Italian food at Osteria Vicini. But if the weather is good, it is much better to get a barbecue and some food at the Albert Heijn in Kralingen to barbecue at the Plas.

#4 The botanical gardens of Trompenburg

If you associate Rotterdam with modern architecture, you will be surprised to find a huge botanical garden in the middle of the city. This family garden at one of the larger houses in Kralingen has been developed by the old residents into a botanical garden. It was eventually transferred to a foundation and opened to visitors. A peaceful place in the heart of the city!

#5 Vintage shopping, restaurants, and local beer in Rotterdam Noord

One of the nicest neighborhoods in the city is Rotterdam-Noord. You will rarely see any tourists here, but the Rotterdammers themselves come here often. You’ll find great places here if you like vintage interior items or clothing. Margootje Vintage, Betje Krul, Lily Scarlet, and My Aunt are easily located next to each other. For a bite to eat in Rotterdam-Noord I can recommend Wes Eettentje, Bertmans, Koek & Pan or Destino. Don’t miss out on a visit to Brouwerij Noordt to taste the locally brewed beer.

#6 Historical Tuin Schoonoord

On your route to the Euromast or after a visit to the Kunsthal or the Boijmans, I recommend you to take a small detour to Schoonoord. The small park can be visited free of charge. In this green oasis in the busy city center, you’ll find trees of more than 250 years old, an aviary with birds and a small pond. To make a contribution to the garden, you can adopt a tree.

#7 Delfshaven

In the west of Rotterdam, you will find the historic Delfshaven district with its old buildings and typical Dutch brown cafes. Along the water, you’ll find the old mill De Distilleerketel, where you can buy some nice products as a souvenir in the mill shop. Bla Bla is a popular vegetarian restaurant. If you want to visit one of the oldest pubs in Rotterdam, you should put Café De Ooievaar on your wish list.

Do you want to know more about the major highlights? We made a blog with a full itinerary for a weekend trip to Rotterdam!