Roaming Rotterdam on Foot: A Local’s Guide to Exploring the City

With its wonderful mix of modern architecture and historical buildings, vibrant culture, and bustling streets, Rotterdam is a city worth exploring on foot. And what better way to discover the hidden gems and local favourites than by using the Spotted by Locals app, which shows you the best spots and calculates the walking distance between them?

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, our app makes navigating the city easy and discovering its many charms. So, grab your walking shoes and let’s stroll through Rotterdam’s streets, guided by the insights of its locals.

First Stop, Breakfast @ 30ML

30ml Rotterdam Centrum Rotterdam

Image by Silvia Graham

“On the Nieuwe Binnenweg, 30ML lures you in with the scent of freshly roasted coffee, a small terrace when the sun is out and the smell of delicious cooking. The atmosphere is laid back, relaxed and creates a little oasis in the middle of this busy part of Rotterdam. Their drink menu is extensive with a great variety of teas, specials such as seasonal lattes and homemade lemonades and of course coffees.

The coffee, ah the coffee is everything lovers of this dark coloured life elixir want: the black coffees are dark, fragrant, steamy, hot and hit your veins with the caffeine hit of choice. The white coffees, I have been told, are equally delicious. To accompany your coffee, there is everything to tickle your fancy: vegan lemon poppy seed slice, pancakes, which are delicious, but treat yourself and order the deluxe version of the season.” – Silvia Graham

Second Stop, 5-Minute Walk To Kabouter Buttplug

Kabouter Buttplug Rotterdam

Image by Michael Afanasyev

“Rotterdam has a knack for nicknames. The Swan, the Towel, the Vomit Bowl are just some of the nicknamed locations in the city. This sculpture by Paul McCarthy is formally a Santa Claus holding a Xmas tree. But it’s not hard to understand how it got its nickname. As Barbara Streisand once said, “Art does not exist only to entertain – but also to challenge one to think, to provoke, even to disturb”. Well, it doesn’t get more disturbing than the 6-meter tall Kabouter Buttplug, aka Buttplug Gnome.

Originally it was intended to be placed at the entrance to the Doelen theatre. But even Rotterdam, not strange to the extraordinary, was a bit uncomfortable with this work thrusted into such a prominent public space. For a while, the Gnome guarded the entrance to the Boijmans van Beuningen museum. Plans to move it to the Koopgoot met resistance, and eventually, it settled down at its current location.”- Michael Afanasyev

Lunch Time? 5-Minute Walk to Bazaar

Bazar Restaurant Rotterdam

Image by Nour Nassar

“Nestled in the famous Witte de Withstraat in Rotterdam, you’ll find Bazar restaurant – part of Bazar Hotel. As soon as you step inside, you’ll be mesmerized by the number of decorative lights all over the place, but without losing a sense of serenity and calmness to it, which washes over you. If you appreciate art and culture, you’ll definitely see the beauty of this place and the culture it represents.

Now, on to the most important aspect of this place: THE FOOD! And oh my, the food… if you fancy Middle Eastern cuisine, then this place is a must-visit place in Rotterdam. Looking at the menu alone is mouthwatering as you see all the options, and I mean the one million options, they present to you. There are so many categories to choose from. Meaty dishes, vegetarian, vegan. it’s a restaurant that satisfies every customer. And let me tell you, the food is absolutely delicious!” –Nour Nassar

Peace and Quiet? 10- Minute Walk to Park Schoonoord

Image by Davy Baas

“Once in a while one stumbles upon a place that has that ‘wow factor’. I guess you could call those places hidden secrets. ‘Park Schoonoord’ is one of those hidden secrets. With this article I’ll expose Schoonoord and risk a crowded park, but it is for the greater good of having a chill day.

Park Schoonoord is a small park/garden near the Euromast. Its history dates back to the 18th century when it was a garden that belonged to one of the nearby villas. After numerous owners, the park came to the possession of the Mees family, a banker family. They opened Schoonoord for the public in 1970 and since then the city has been responsible for its maintenance.

Once you enter through the gates, all that noise from the city disappears. Instead you’ll hear chirping birds, a waterfall and zooming insects. The park has a large pond with some pretty big fish in it and some ancient-looking trees. The perfect place to stroll around. It even has a bird house with adorable-looking fluffy birds. The lapwings are the cutest!” – Davy Baas

Time For Some Coffee, 7-Minute Walk to Kula

Kula Rotterdam

Image by Nour Nassar

“Overlooking Coolhaven, the beautiful calm water of the port, you’ll find Kula cafe. This place is truly one of a kind. Not only is it a cafe, but you can also participate in a yoga class after you sip on one of their delicious drinks.

‘Feel Good’ is their mission and what they want to give to their customers. They are very focused on well-being, which is clearly reflected on the design of the place, the employees who work there, and the variety of things you can do at Kula.

Whether you want to have a coffee, breakfast, brunch, lunch, take a yoga class, or participate in one of their many monthly events, the aim is to make you feel good about yourself and your surroundings.”- Nour Nassar

Or Perhaps you want Coffee-To-Go? 1-Minute Walk To Tuschinski Park

Tuschinskipark Rotterdam

Image by Nour Nassar

“This park has become a new local favourite for the people of Rotterdam as one of the best hangout spots. Fancy a nice picnic on the water? Some drinks and food, perhaps even dip your feet in the refreshing water for a bit? Well then, head to Tuschinskipark now, and you won’t regret it.

To make it even better, right on the street behind the park, you’ll find a couple of restaurants and cafes where you grab a snack or a drink, and I never say no to iced coffee.” – Nour Nassar

History and Culture? 7-Minute Walk To Historical Delfshaven

Historical Delfshaven Rotterdam

Image by Nour Nassar

Historic Delfshaven is an area in  Rotterdam filled with history and stories. This area is part of the old city of Rotterdam, as it is one of the few places that survived the 1940 bombing.

Walking here feels like a jump back through time; you can feel the richness of the history embedded in the street, the houses, and the marina.

This area is also known to be the birthplace of the admiral Piet Hein, who was a Dutch admiral in the eighty-year war. In Historic Dlelfshaven, you can see the monument of Piet Hein.

Moreover, this area is known for being the place of departure for many pilgrims who departed on their trip to America.

I absolutely recommend taking a stroll in Historic Delfshaven. There are a lot of cafes and restaurants with outdoor and indoor seating directly on the canal where you can sit down, relax, and enjoy the picturesque scenery of the beautiful marina.”-Nour Nassar

Sit Back and Enjoy The Scenary, 3-Minute Walk To The Delfshaven Windmill

De Distilleerketel Rotterdam

Image by Nour Nassar

“This windmill is considered one of the Netherlands’ largest windmills. It is quite a beautiful sight and makes for an absolutely photogenic scene.

Situated in the historic area of Delfshaven, it is also surrounded by beautiful architecture, history, art, culture, and many shops and restaurants.This mill was built in 1986, however, it is currently not functioning as a flour mill, just a beautiful structure with a lot of history.

If you decide to visit this place, you can sign up for an educational tour which costs only 5 euros. Moreover, there’s also the mill shop where you can buy a lot of fresh products such as freshly ground coffee, tea, drinks, and an assortment of freshly baked goods.”-Nour Nassar

Dinner Time, 3-Minute Walk To Le-Souq

Le Souq Rotterdam

Image by Nour Nassar

“Nestled in the beautiful historical Delfshaven area, surrounded by beautiful scenery and canal waters, you’ll find Le Souq.

The moment you step inside, you’re already engulfed with Lebanon’s culture and feel. The place is very cosy, and the walls are rich with colours and patterns that indicate its culture. What’s more, the Lebanese background music sets you directly in the mood for what’s to come.

Le Souq offers a variety of delicious dishes. Are you vegetarian or vegan? Not to worry – there are a lot of options that would fit everybody’s desires. The food is absolutely delicious and the cooks ensure that presentation and taste are of the same high standard. Sight, smell, and taste – 100% guaranteed satisfaction.”-Nour Nassar

Want to discover more? Check out our full Rotterdam Guide

Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)