Of course we’re huge fans of Amsterdam, but Rotterdam comes in close! It’s such an interesting city full of unique architecture, cool culture and lots of open water.
When visiting Rotterdam be sure to stop by at least one of the many museums. There are museums for every taste, from modern art to natural history. Here are some of my favorites.
7 Best Museums in Rotterdam
If you don’t have a lot of time, several of Rotterdam’s museums are clustered together near Rotterdam’s Museumpark allowing you to see a few in one day. Also check out the Rotterdam Welcome Card for discounts to museums and local transit.
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen
This world class museum houses a huge array of famous Dutch and European art, both contemporary and historical. Don’t miss the The Marriage Feast at Cana by Hieronymus Bosch. Until recently it was thought to be the original, but has now been deemed a fake! Interesting. Also don’t miss the infinity room by artist Yayoi Kusama, especially if you are an Instagram fanatic.
I really enjoyed exploring the variety of art and the unique architecture of the building. There is something for everyone!
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen
Museumpark 18, Rotterdam
The Nederlands Fotomuseum shows ever changing curated collections of photographs on a wide variety of subjects and styles. You’ll find works by Dutch photographers as well as international photography exhibitions.
Wilhelminakade 332, Rotterdam
Natural History Museum
Science nerds and kids will love Rotterdam’s Natural History Museum. Marvel at the taxidermy animals like anteaters, tigers, camels and polar bears and learn about the ecosystems of the Netherlands. See exhibits of insects and seashells. Learn about fish, whales and patterns of birds in flight.
My favorite part is the weird items in old jars lit by colorful lights.
Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam
Westzeedijk 345, Rotterdam
If you love architecture you will enjoy a visit to the Kunsthal in Rotterdam just to see the building designed by Rem Koolhaas. The changing temporary exhibits are fantastic too. Last time I was there I saw an interesting exhibit of digital artworks. Sometimes they’ll show light exhibitions, photography or paintings. Check the website to see the current exhibition.
The Kunsthal is also famous for the 2012 theft of seven paintings by Picasso, Monet and Gauguin.
Westzeedijk 341, Rotterdam
This beautiful and historic building along the Maas is home to a fantastic collection of ethnographic objects, art and artifacts from around the globe, especially Asia. You’ll also be able to see pieces from Oceania, Africa and the Islamic world.
Their special exhibits often intertwine local Rotterdam culture with ethnography and world cultures making for engaging topics.
Willemskade 25, Rotterdam
Rotterdam’s Maritime Museum is a great place to visit with kids or if you have a fascination with everything nautical. Learn about the port of Rotterdam and the city’s seafaring past and present. The museum also features interactive exhibits and an open-air section, where you can even go onboard the ships on the water
Leuvenhaven 1, Rotterdam
Just outside of Rotterdam you’ll find Kinderdijk, a UNESCO Heritage Site and open air museum. And best of all you can get to the windmills at Kinderdijk on a boat cruise.
Kinderdijk is known for its iconic 18th-century windmills. The windmills are used to manage the water, pumping it from the low lying polders. The site is both interesting and beautiful to visit. Walk or cycle along the waterways and visit the museums in preserved working windmills.
Nederwaard 1, Kinderdijk
I hope this inspires you to visit some of these amazing Rotterdam museums. What are your favorites?
Want more things to do in Rotterdam? Take a look at our Rotterdam visitor’s guide.
Be sure to check out the top 10 Amsterdam museums too.
Before your trip to Rotterdam, check out these books!
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