Rotterdam is probably the most hipster city in the Netherlands. If you are into contemporary architecture, design and cool stuff, then you will love it. Check my list of the most instagrammable things to do in Rotterdam and plan a visit!
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1. Erasmus Bridge and Dutch architecture
Crossing the Maas river by foot or cycling – 100% Dutch style – is a must do in Rotterdam, even if it is windy and/or rainy (both very probable). Known as the swan, the Erasmus Bridge has been a city icon for the last 20 years, as much Brooklyn Bridge is for New York… could you miss it? 🙂
This UN Studio project together with the view of OMA’s De Rotterdammer complex is a dream for all architects out there: two biggest names of Dutch design reunited in one shot. Wondering if I am forgetting MVRDV? Check out the next Thing to Do in Rotterdam!
Erasmusbrug, 3011 BN Rotterdam
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2. Visit the Markthal
Huge. Out of scale. An improbable combination of a fresh market, food stands, offices and apartments where people actually live in (see those little windows on the roof?). A ceiling covered by a colorful collage of giant flowers, insects and vegetables, and two glass facades. Can it be a real building? Yes, the Markthal!
Markthal, Ds. Jan Scharpstraat 298, 3011 Rotterdam
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3. Luchtsingel pedestrian bridge
A color for Rotterdam? Yellow! Cool, bright and indeed functional, Luchtsingel is a pedestrian wooden bridge located in the north side of the city center, not too far from the Central Station.
While in other countries citizens would organize strikes asking to demolish such a hipster work (a least in Italy for sure!), Rotterdammers combined energy and funds to design and build it! Would you like to carve your name on the wood plank and contribute to the construction? You are still on time!
Photography tips: the bridge offers different angles, including stairs, round walls, and galleries. Since yellow is the king, think to match your subject using primary colors (like yellow, blue or red) and keep the urban vibes with the poses and editing.
Share your best Luchtinsingel photos on Instagram using the tags #loverotterdam #archilover #archidaily #arkiminimal #igersrotterdam #ayellowmark #rottergram #zoomnl
3. Taste a bubblewaffle at Foo Concepts
Tired of stroopwafel and looking for something different for your Instagram feed? Try out the original Hongkong style bubblewaffle, available in the coolest street in Rotterdam, Hoogstraat. Funky and 100% Asian inspired, Foo Concepts offers both salty and sweet waffles, however for the most instagrammable feed order the ice cream and add a mix of colorful toppings!
Photography tips: Foo Concepts has two main walls both perfect as photo background: one with a giant artwork, the other blue with a composition of white shelves. Furthermore, if you wish to shoot outside, the Cube Houses are only 7 minutes far away walking!
Designed in the ’70s by the visionary architect Piet Blom, the Cube Houses are literally 38 cubes rotated of 45 degrees, standing on the basement as a small yellow forest. Stairs (a lot of stairs!) and walking paths create a concrete maze where nothing is straight. Anyway, every angle is a photo opportunity, so who cares if the project is not 100% cozy and makes you feel dizzy?
Photography tips: easily recognizable on the map, this star shape frame is one of the top Instagrammable spots of Rotterdam. One last advice: go there early in the morning to avoid the crowd of tourists!
You will need a car to reach the Elastic Perspective, which is honestly in the middle of nowhere. But check out these photos: aren’t they worth a small trip off the beaten path? This giant sculpture is sinuous, smart and fun to shoot. Probably my favorite among the most instagrammable things to do in Rotterdam!
@1_unlimited @nextarchitects Share your best Rotterdam photos on Instagram using the tags #minimalism #1_unlimited #archidaily #instadesign #tv_tinypeople #minimal_mood
6. Admire the instagrammable Rotterdam Skyline
Head to Willemskade for a panoramic view of Rotterdam skyline.
Tips for photos: early morning or the golden hour are the best moments to shoot when the sunlight is not direct and you can catch all the architectural details.
follow @rottergram and @ 010byday and share your best Rotterdam photos on Instagram using the tags #rottergram #igersrotterdam #rotterdamhotspots #rotterdambyday #landscapephotographymagazine #urbanlandscape #weekendsinrotterdam
7. Relax at Hotel New York’s cafe
Curious to jump in the 19th cent? National heritage site since 2000, Hotel New York is the former head office of the Holland America Line, the passengers and cargo cruise line between the Netherlands and North America. Think about how many people slept in the hotel building 100 years ago, before crossing the Ocean and starting a new life in the New World!
The vintage atmosphere is elegant but not overwhelming and the terrace is perfect for a tea with a view.
Share your Rotterdam photos using the tags #ssrotterdamofficial
8. Scout the street art
I like to think about Rotterdam as the Berlin of the Netherlands: hipster, cool and with great street art.
Recently several artists have created interactive installations in the city center; download a map and start your self-guided tour!
several locations in Rotterdam city center
follow @rotterdam_makeithappen @streetart_official @streetart_daily and share your Rotterdam street art photos using the tags #streetart # streetart_daily #streetarteverywhere
9. Count the small wall-e at Rotterdam Centraal
You will probably reach Rotterdam by train: if yes, don’t rush to the city center and take your time to enjoy the Central Station, one of the coolest public spaces in Rotterdam! Surrounded by colorful skyscrapers, Rotterdam Centraal is an iconic project, airy and with great small details: aren’t these Wall-e security cameras so cute?
When strolling around Rotterdam, you will notice for sure a bunch of emblematic sculptures spread around the city center. Despite some of them look classic, others are peculiar and will make you think “what the hell is that?“. For example, have a look at the Santa Claus of Paul McCarthy: does it hold a Christmas tree? Maybe a cake? No, according to the artist it is a sex toy! (!!). And then they say that Amsterdam is the libertine city in the Netherlands…!
(Santa Claus) Eendrachtsplein, 3012 LA Rotterdam
Map with Instagrammable things to do in Rotterdam
Best Rotterdam Instagrammers
Looking for inspiration before planning your instagrammable things to do in Rotterdam? Here it is my list of Top 5 Instagrammers to follow!