Are you looking for secret attractions in Rotterdam? Our city has numerous tourist attractions and sights, such as the Erasmus Bridge, the Markthal, and the Euromast, but it also has much more to offer!
Recently, I’ve discovered some lovely, little-known spots in Rotterdam. Visit the following hidden gems to get away from the crowds or to see a side of Rotterdam that goes beyond modern architecture.
COURTYARD CITY HALL ROTTERDAM IS THE MAIN ATTRACTION
The city hall is one of the few buildings in Rotterdam’s center that has survived the Second World War bombing. It’s also a structure that most people have only seen from the outside.
When you walk in, you’ll notice that the city hall is a large square building with an intimate inner garden. The courtyard’s historic architecture and appearance almost make you forget you’re in Rotterdam. The inner garden of Rotterdam City Hall is an oasis of peace in the middle of the city, thanks to the fountain, statues, and beautiful flowers such as roses and hydrangeas.
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Historical Garden Schoonoord, Attractions In Rotterdam
The Historical Garden Schoonoord is located near Euromast Park. Despite its central location, it is a peaceful haven where you will not encounter many other people. A lovely place to walk around and take in the scenery.
Schoonoord has been designated as a protected national monument because of its unique location, historical elements, and rare plants. The garden has a diverse collection of flora and fauna. There are also benches, bridges, a lush pond, and a number of mature trees. It’s definitely worth a visit!
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EILAND VAN BRIENENOORD
The Van Brienenoord Bridge (where tens of thousands of cars drive on the A16 every day) is probably the last place that comes to mind when you think of beautiful nature on an island. Surprisingly, this island is directly beneath the Van Brienenoord Bridge!
As soon as you step onto the island, you are greeted by a beautiful piece of nature where you can walk in peace. There aren’t many people on this island. There are wooded areas, grass fields, small pools, open waters, and a natural playground along the path. In addition, the nature reserve is home to 40 different bird species, plants, and butterflies.
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ONS PARK NOORDEREILAND, Attractions In Rotterdam
The former Willemsspoorttunnel construction site has been transformed into a beautiful green park with the (temporary) name “Ons Park” (which means Our Park)! As seen in the photo above, Ons Park on Noordereiland provides a stunning view of the Willemsbrug.
It’s a small park, so it’s usually nice and quiet, with just a few visitors out for a walk or a group working out. It’s a beautiful spot to take in the scenery, the greenery, and the free-roaming bunnies. The best time to visit is at sunset.
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I really want to keep the Lührs viewpoint a secret, but the view is just too lovely! Lührs is unique in that it is located on top of a 40-meter-high hill, which is not common in Rotterdam.
It takes some effort to reach the summit. You will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the Rotterdam skyline and, if the weather permits, the skyline of The Hague!
You get away from the city and enjoy nature as the sun sets behind the horizon. Please also read my article on the 6 best sunset spots in Rotterdam.
TROMPENBURG TUINEN & ARBORETUM
If you enjoy peace, Trompenburg Tuinen & Arboratum is a breath of fresh air when compared to popular parks such as Kralingse Bos and Het Park. This hidden tree and botanical garden can be found on the outskirts of the city center in the district Kralingen. With over 4000 tree and plant species, you almost forget you’re in a bustling city.
In Trompenburg, you can easily read a book on one of the many benches or explore the tree species while eating and drinking in the romantic tea garden. Trompenburg is also a maze of nature and cute bridges, making it a great place to walk.
THE SECRET BEACH OF DE HEIJPLAAT
Tired of Rotterdam’s crowded beaches? Then, behind the quarantine area, the secret beach of ‘De Heijplaat’ is a good option for a breath of fresh air in the winter or a splash in the summer. This river beach is invisible from the land and is surrounded by the harbor and river, making it a secluded piece of the Maas.
If you are visiting the beach for the first time, it may take some time to locate it. The journey begins at De Heijplaat, a large port with meter-high colorful containers, massive cranes, and massive ships.
Walking through leads to the quarantine area, where the harbor slowly flows into a forest with large trees and bushes on the water. Then you take a narrow path that leads to the beach and a stunning view of Rotterdam and the Maas! A one-of-a-kind spot for sunbathing, reading a book, walking, or simply gazing out at the passing cargo ships on the Maas.
‘DE ZANDWACHT’ ARTWORK, Attractions In Rotterdam
I immediately associate the Maasvlakte with industry, wind turbines, and terminals, but to my surprise, the Maasvlakte is also a peaceful, vast piece of nature with a beautiful work of art called ‘De Zandwacht’ in the center. This artwork is located on the Maasvlaktestrand and is a must-see for beach and art enthusiasts.
When you walk through the artwork, you will always see a different angle of the beautiful panorama landscape. It depicts how sand dunes are formed by the way sand blows up and then descends in strong winds. The artwork is a great place to sit and lie down or jump from one pillar to the next. The work of art is illuminated in the evening, creating magical images during sunset.
HEEMTUIN KRALINGSE BOS
The beautiful Heemtuin is hidden away in the Kralingse Bos. Plants, trees, and shrubs of all kinds can be found here.
Walk across the narrow pier through the greenery until you reach the Kralingse Plas, where you will be rewarded with a stunning view of Rotterdam’s skyline.
Kralingen is a lovely place to walk in Rotterdam. This district is nice and close to the city center, but it is also a place where you can completely relax. I enjoy walking around here and admiring all of the beautiful historic buildings and massive houses.
In addition, there are many green spaces in Kralingen, such as Park Rozenburg. It’s a small park, and it’s often very quiet. It’s an oasis in the city, with duck ponds and plenty of lawns and trees. Slot Honingen is also close to Park Rozenburg. Another Kralingen hidden gem surrounded by large villas.