Rotterdam City Walk: a route to see all the highlights

This Rotterdam city walk solves a number of dilemmas for you. What is an ideal walking route to see all the sights in the city centre? How do I get from the Market Hall to the Witte de Withstraat? How far is the walk from Central Station to the Cube Houses? Don’t worry! We give you the best route for a city walk.

This route is largely based on our popular Rotterdam Free Walking Tour and private Rotterdam Highlights Tour. This route is designed to make it easy to see all the sights without a guide. If you want to know more about the sights, you are of course very welcome to join us on one of our tours.

1. Rotterdam Central Station

Many visitors arrive at Central Station. That’s why we choose to start our Rotterdam city walk here. It is also great to start here because the station from 2014 is state-of-the-art architecture. It has a beautiful design and especially the roof catches the eye. Rotterdammers call the station the ‘Shark’s beak’ and that’s because of the shape of the roof.

Walk straight ahead toward the city centre. After a minute walk, you’ll see a big white street art on your right with ‘West-Kruiskade’ on it.

Roti Surinaams
Eat delicious Surinamese food at the West-Kruiskade

2. West-Kruiskade

The beautiful white street art shows that this is where the tropical West-Kruiskade starts around the corner. This is the most multicultural street in the centre of Rotterdam. Here you can taste Surinamese, Chinese and other exotic delicacies. If you’re on a tight budget, this street is highly recommended. For €10-€15 you can score an excellent (spicy) main course here.

This Rotterdam city walk does not literally take you to the West-Kruiskade, because we are heading towards the city centre. So do not turn right towards the West-Kruiskade, but turn left. You are now walking in the direction of De Doelen. Cross over in the direction of the Albert Heijn and stop for the big black stone.

The destruction after the bombardment of May 14, 1940.

3. Fire Boundary

The large black stone shows the history of Rotterdam and the great bombardment of May 14, 1940. Here you can see the devastation after the German bombardment during the Second World War. A little further on you can see the Fire Boundary in the ground. These are tiles that light up red in the evening and that mark the points to which the fire came with the big bombardment.

Walk towards the cinema Pathé and walk all the way through the Lijnbaan towards the green dome of the town hall. You walk through the shopping part of the Lijnbaan and you are in the direction of the town hall for about 5 minutes.

Rotterdam town hall

4. Town Hall

This is one of the few buildings you will encounter during the Rotterdam city walk that survived the bombardment of the Second World War. The former post office next to it is also a pre-war building. Tip: you can visit the town hall during the week. Enjoy the beautiful courtyard garden and the beautiful interior of the town hall.

If you are standing in front of the town hall, walk right over the pavement on the Coolsingel and then cross over in the direction of the McDonalds. Walk straight ahead over the street which is called ‘Meent’. When you pass the restaurant Dudok, turn right and walk along the water. On your left, you’ll see the St. Laurenskerk.

St. Laurenskerk from the inside

5. St. Laurenskerk

What is a Rotterdam city walk without visiting the beautiful St. Laurenskerk? Of course, you can experience the church from the outside, but you can also visit the church from the inside. The entrance fee is at least €2 per person. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the thrill seekers can also climb the tower for €5.

Walk along the right side of the church. You also walk past the blue-white house with the image of Erasmus. Walk straight ahead until you reach the Binnenrotte. Then turn right and you’ll see the Market Hall on your right and the Cube Houses on your left.

The colourful painting on the ceiling of the Market Hall

6. Market Hall

This five-year-old multifunctional building is the new major attraction of Rotterdam. On the outside, you can enjoy the special architecture. Foodies can enjoy themselves indoors. Here you will find numerous stalls with food, from European to Asian and South American cuisine. Take a look upstairs and enjoy the large colorful painting.

Walk from here towards the Cube Houses. Walk up to a few stairs and walk under the Cube Houses towards the Old Harbour.

Take beautiful pictures of the Cube Houses

7. Cube houses

The crazy yellow Cube Houses should not be missed in a Rotterdam city walk. These creations by architect Piet Blom from 1983 still amaze everyone. Are you curious what these crooked houses look like on the inside? Then visit the Kijk Kubus Museumwoning.

Walk straight ahead through the passage of the Cube Houses towards the Oude Haven. Don’t forget to take some nice pictures of the Cube Houses and the view of the Old Harbour.

View on Oude Haven and White House

8. White House and Oude Haven

Here at the Oude Haven you can take a break during your Rotterdam city walk. With the many cozy cafes at the waterfront, you’ll have plenty of choice for a drink. Be sure to pay attention to the monumental White House. This building from 1898 is also one of the few buildings that survived the big bombardment.

Walk past the White House and walk straight ahead on the street called ‘Wijnhaven’. Walk straight on for 5-10 minutes along the water. At the end of the Wijnhaven you will find the war memorial The Destroyed City with its characteristic arms up.

War memorial The Destroyed City

9. The Destroyed City

This monument by Ossip Zadkine is the most famous monument in Rotterdam related to the war. The desperate figure depicts the devastated Rotterdam after the great bombardment. Also note the hole in the body. This symbolizes the heart of the city that was bombed from Rotterdam.

The monument of Zadkine is the end of our Rotterdam city walk. We give you two more options to continue from here. You can walk straight ahead the small port (Leuvehaven) on your left side and then you will arrive at the iconic Erasmus Bridge. If you are hungry in the meantime, walk to the Witte de Withstraat. This is the most famous street in the city when it comes to restaurants and bars. In any case, we wish you a lot of fun in Rotterdam!

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