5 museums you shouldn't miss in Rotterdam

1) Nederlands Fotomuseum

The Dutch photo museum owns a large collection of works by contemporary photographers and the archives of photographers such as Ed van der Elsken and Cas Oorthuys. Temporary exhibitions at the museum focus on documentary, experimental photography, by photographers from the past and the present, or new talent.

visitors at Nederlands Fotomuseum

2) Wereldmuseum

The local yacht club used to have its home base here. Gifts were brought in from all over the world. The collection kept on growing after the municipality bought the building in 1885 and turned it into a museum. The vast collection of utensils, religious objects and weapons among others illustrates the close historical connection between this port city and the rest of the world.

historic masks hanging at Wereldmuseum

3) Natural History Museum

Besides stuffed animals, fossils and huge skeletons, the Natural History Museum has a humoristic collection of ‘dead animals with a story’, like a seagull that crashed into a trauma helicopter and a hedgehog with its head stuck in a McFlurry cup. Look out for the show-offs: the animals with the longest neck, biggest mouth, greatest appetite or hottest fart!

visitors at Natural History Museum

4) Stedelijk Museum Schiedam

Schiedam isn’t exactly Rotterdam, but it’s part of the city’s public transportation network and therefore easy to reach. The Stedelijk Museum Schiedam has a good collection of Dutch post-war art, including many works by Cobra painters such as Karel Appel, Constant and Corneille. To get there, take tramline 21 or 24 from the city’s Central Station and get off at Schiedam, Koemarkt.

visitors at Stedelijk Museum Schiedam

5) Kunsthal

Architect Rem Koolhaas designed this exhibition venue on the south side of Museumpark. This ‘art hall’ doesn’t have a collection of its own, but curates over 20 high profile, annual exhibitions in genres such as modern art, fashion, photography and design. Don’t forget to stop at the museum shop, where the offer changes regularly to match the many exhibitions.

Kunsthal by night

Buy this book

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Rotterdam reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keento explore Rotterdam's best-kept secrets.

Go to bookshop

Join the community

Sign up for free to gain unlimited access to the website. Plus, you'll receive a 10% discount in our online bookshop.

Sign up