Corona proof on a journey: discover new areas in Rotterdam

Cities like to see visitors return, but it must be safe. So not all day-trippers in the same shopping street and not all tourists flock to the major attractions.

In Rotterdam they have therefore launched the summer campaign GO SIMPLY SELF, which invites visitors to spread out over the city.


This can be done on the basis of a map, which is available both digitally and in a paper version. Five areas of the city are highlighted on this. From the raw Merwe-Vierhaven (M4H) to the cozy ZoHo and Zwaanhals.

It is a win-win situation: as a visitor you discover cool new places and you can go around the Koopgoot with a big arc. And the city remains safe because not everyone walks around in the city center.

Cube House and Market Hall

The map features both highlights, undiscovered places and special experiences. For example, in the MaHo and Hoogkwartier you have classics, such as the Markthal and the Cube Houses. But you will also find plenty of nice bars and terraces.

If you want to do something unique, you can rent a sailing hot tub at the Wijnhaven. In the wood-fired HotTug you can float with your own household through the Leuvehaven and the Oude Haven.

Historic district

Of the five featured areas, M4H and the historic Delfshaven are the most surprising. You can get here by metro and then explore on foot.

Or you can go on a (rental) bicycle. From Central Station you can be in Delfshaven in just fifteen minutes, one of the few boroughs that survived the bombing of Rotterdam in 1940.

Here you can find beautiful canal houses and cozy terraces, such as that of De Pelgrim brewery.

Raw frayed edge

The Dakpark is a stone’s throw away. A long green strip where many local residents have a picnic and celebrate birthdays. From the park you enter the M4H area, the raw frayed edge of Rotterdam.

It was once one of the largest fruit ports in the world, now you will find street art, a floating farm and the hip sand bar of ‘cultural free state’ Weelde.

Sculpture Route Atelier van Lieshout

Atelier van Lieshout, founded by artist Joep van Lieshout, has been located in the M4H area since the 1980s. Numerous images have been brought to life here. Thirty-three of these are now scattered along the harbor, in the food garden and on the Dakpark.

With the Let’s Get Physical sculpture route, Van Lieshout wants to encourage people to go out and be inspired by art.

Threshold to museum

In these times of corona, the threshold for going to a museum is still high for many. In addition, there are plenty of people who will not enter there anyway, even apart from corona.

It is precisely these people that Van Lieshout hopes to reach. “I want to make art accessible. Understanding cultivation. Perhaps people like it, maybe not. You can find something of it and be inspired by it,” says the artist.

From ArschBar to Wellness Skull

The route starts at the studio where BarRectum attracts attention: an intestinal system, which you can also enter and look out through the anus.

The walk is five kilometers long and shows you the whole area. For example, there are statues on the Dakpark and a huge dark blue sperm cell is located in front of the Weelde terrace.

Skull with sauna

Also not to be missed is the Wellness Skull, a large skull in which Van Lieshout has built a bath and a sauna. An ode to the complexity of the human body and a comment on our obsession with looking good.

All images have a sign with a short, but clear explanation of what the artwork symbolizes.

Head of South

On to Kop van Zuid and Katendrecht, the former port area that now dominates the Rotterdam skyline with all its high-rise buildings.

At the place where emigrants were ready to go to America by boat in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, you can now gaze across the water from a lounger on the field in front of Hotel New York.

Architecture walk

If you want to know more about the skyscrapers that surround the hotel, you can join the architecture walk, where you will also be told what is going to happen in the future.

The tour starts on the Wilhelminapier at De Rotterdam by Rem Koolhaas, after which we walk towards Katendrecht. Now there are flashy new towers and the old warehouses have been nicely renovated, but this part of Rotterdam was still neglected in the early 1990s.

Cape bucket with a view

The redevelopment of the pier, which started in the mid-1990s, has also brought the Katendrecht neighborhood into a new light.

Especially after the arrival of the Rijnhaven Bridge, which connects the city districts. Because Katendrecht used to be the red-light district of the city, Rotterdammers are affectionately known as the Hoerenloper.

Fenix ​​Food Factory

It is definitely worth the short walk, because here you can sit on the terrace of the renewed Fenix ​​Food Factory. More slick and therefore less charming than the original location. But a nice place with a great view.

Especially with a real Cape bucket in front of you. That’s what they call their glasses at Kaapse Brouwers, in which they pour one of the twenty special beers on tap for you.

Space and greenery

Museumpark and Park is the perfect place for those who prefer more space and more greenery. The park with the simple, but effective name ‘het Park’ is located right next to the Euromast and is a nice area for walking.

Lunch is also excellent. For a classic meatball, go to De Ballentent. For a place where you can have a sandwich or a drink with your feet in the grass, go to Parqiet.

The Beatles

The Museum Park is a place where you can experience culture. Until January 2021, the Kunsthal has the exhibition Black Album / White Cube. Where both penetrating and funny artworks about music can be seen.

Highlight is the installation ‘We Buy White Albums’ with 2600 used copies of The Beatles” White Album ‘.

Boijmans drive-thru museum

The Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is on the other side of the Museum Park. Literally and figuratively not to be missed: the special building, with 75 birches on the roof, will open next year, but is already an asset to Rotterdam.

Tip: Boijmans van Beuningen is closed for renovations, but from 1 – 23 August there will be the Boijmans Ahoy drive-thru museum. More than forty works from the collection are exhibited in Ahoy. A limited number of visitors can drive through it in an electric car. Corona proof and innovative.


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