The city center of Rotterdam was obliterated in World War II. Since then, they’ve been rebuilding the city with gusto. Today, Rotterdam is full of colorful skyscrapers, cute harbors and beautiful walking streets. Here are some of the best Instagrammable spots in Rotterdam.
Blaak Square, Markthal (Market Hall) and Cube Houses
Blaak square is directly above where the Rotte River used to flow. It was dammed up in 1270 which gave rise to modern-day Rotterdam. The square is a lively central location which often hosts the Blaak Market. Surrounding the square are a series of Instagrammable spots. To the west, a huge building shaped like a yule log cake contains Rotterdam’s Market Hall. The building is unique in that it is filled with dozens of apartments for rent. The inside of the building where the stalls are is beautifully decorated with a massive 36,000 sq. ft. mural on the walls, one of the largest in the world.
Three more unique buildings line the east side of Blaak Square. The first is the Central Library of Rotterdam, designed similarly to the Centre Pompidou in Paris with air-conditioning ducts running externally around the building. Next to that is Blaaktoren, or Black Tower. This strange building has been renamed “The Pencil” by locals for obvious reasons. Another odd feature is that the windows appear to be upside down.
Finally, there’s the Cube Houses. These iconic apartments are perhaps the most Instagrammed spot in Rotterdam. They look like a series of yellow cubes, but all balanced on their corners. The best spot for a photo is down on the ground floor at the south end of the building. If you look up from this spot, the angles of the building form a star above you. One of the occupied houses is open for tours for $4. If you want to sleep in a Cube House, it’s possible to rent one on Airbnb or check into the Stayokay Hostel.
Witte de Withstraat, a.k.a. Whitey White Street
Witte de Withstraat used to be a part of town you didn’t want to enter, and certainly didn’t have any Instagrammable spots. Then in 1997, a refugee opened the Bazar Restaurant and Hotel. More restaurants followed suit with their colorful terraces and hipster atmosphere. The King Kong Hostel on the street used to be a brothel and illegal gambling venue, and was awarded as the world’s best hostel. A new ice cream parlor recently opened up which regularly has a line that wraps around the block.
Finally, there’s no better way to photograph Rotterdam than from above. In the city which had Europe’s first skyscraper and has since repeatedly built the tallest buildings in the Netherlands, the Euromast gives the opportunity to get above it all. The TV tower rises up 606 on the west end of town. An elevator will take you up to the outdoor observation platform, and a second elevator brings you in a rotating observation deck to the very top of the tower. Go up at sunset for some truly fantastic shots.