Interested in Dutch art, culture, history or science? Here’s a list of some of the most visited and interesting museums in Rotterdam that both expats and tourists should visit.
Museums in Rotterdam
Parklaan 14-16 Rotterdam
The Tax and Customs Museum (Belasting & Douane Museum) relates to tax and customs and the history of taxation in the Netherlands. It has a collection that explains the ins and outs of the Dutch tax system over the centuries and a clear insight into the historical evolution of Dutch taxes and their role in everyday life, as well as the customs system of Rotterdam port over the centuries, including anecdotes about smuggling.
Museumpark 18, 3015 CX Rotterdam
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is one of the oldest museums in the Netherlands. In 1849 the lawyer Boijmans left his art collection to the city of Rotterdam. With the acquisition of the Van Beuningen collection in 1958 the museum got the second part of its name. It is located in the city's museum district, near the Kunsthal and the Rotterdam Natural History Museum.
Leuvehaven 1, 3011 EA Rotterdam
Situated in the bustling heart of Rotterdam, the Rotterdam Maritime Museum is one of the world’s top maritime museums. Established in 1874 by Prince Henry of the Netherlands, it is also the oldest maritime museum in the Netherlands. It possesses 850.000 objects from six centuries of maritime history, including restored ships and cranes of historical significance.
Museumpark 25, 3015 CB Rotterdam
Het Nieuwe Instituut (The New Institute) illuminates our rapidly changing world and fosters discussion of topics related to design. This art institute is an important platform for exhibitions, lectures and research on contemporary design, art, architecture and urban planning in the Netherlands. There are guided tours of the building, and additionally, a ticket to Het Nieuwe Instituut also grants access to nearby Sonneveld House Museum.
Museumpark 11, 3015 CB Rotterdam
The Chabot Museum Rotterdam houses a number of different collections, for instance, it manages the private Grootveld Collection that consists of 26 paintings by the Dutch painter and sculptor Hendrik Chabot that date from the period 1940-1945. There are also sculptures, drawings and graphics by Chabot. These collections combine to provide an excellent summary of Chabot’s oeuvre. The white 1930s villa in which the museum is housed has been declared a national heritage site.
Nieuwemarkt 1a, 3011 HP Rotterdam
The National Museum of Education (Nationaal Onderwijsmuseum) houses more than 350.000 objects related to education including chalk boards, ink pots, atlases, photographs, wall-charts and films. As well as exhibitions, the museum also organises guided tours and specially-themed projects of various kinds, giving insights into what shaped Dutch education through the centuries.
Westzeedijk 345, 3015 AA Rotterdam
The Rotterdam Natural History Museum (Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam) is a natural history museum comprising an estimated 400.000 objects, which was established in 1927. It is housed in the Villa Dijkzigt, dating from 1852 and extended in 1995 with a modern glazed pavilion which was designed by the Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat.
Museumpark, Westzeedijk 34, 3015 AA Rotterdam
The Kunsthal Rotterdam, located at the edge of Museumpark, hosts about 25 exhibitions a year. It presents culture in the widest sense of the word: old art, new art, design, photography ranging from high art to popular culture. The building, designed by Rem Koolhaas and opened in 1992, is one of the Dutch architectural icons of the 20th century.
Las Palmas, Wilhelminakade 332, 3072 AR Rotterdam
The Nederlands Fotomuseum organises exhibitions of and about photography, consisting of images of the 20th and 21st centuries. It is associated with over 150 archives of images by Dutch photographers. The museum is steeped in Dutch history, culture and society and visitors can view over 120.000 images and watch short films from the archives.
Willemskade 25, 3016 DM Rotterdam
The World Museum (Wereldmuseum) in Rotterdam is an ethnographic museum exploring cultures both in the past and in the present. It offers, by its outstanding ethnographic collection of over 1.800 objects, a unique place to absorb and experience a variety of cultures, from Asia, Oceania, Africa, the Americas and the Middle East. Universal themes of humankind, such as celebration, conflict, mourning, ornamentation and prayer can be traced in multiple contexts.