The seaport city of Rotterdam has marked its place on the map as a cultural metropolis in recent years. Rotterdam is host to events like the IFFR and the hugely popular Zomercarnaval, held the last weekend of July. The Zomercarnaval, or summer carnival, in particular embodies cultural diversity as a whole with parades, markets and plenty of music. But that’s not even the half of it! Rotterdam is bursting at the seams with cultural events, museums and theatres as well. Find a few inspiring reasons to soak up some cultural vibes in Rotterdam during your stay.
Rotterdam is soaked in culture. From museums to theatre and cinema, there’s plenty of reason for culture-addicts to visit Rotterdam. Discover a few right here for a weekend full of cultural sights and sounds.
International Film Festival Rotterdam
The International Film Festival Rotterdam is where national and international films are brought to the big screen. 300,000 (international) movie lovers flock to the city for this celebrated 12-day festival held from January to February. Promising talent are dealt the spotlight as well, winning prizes in several different categories. Don’t expect Hollywood excess, but instead exceptional film productions from afar. The festival takes place throughout the city, spread over the many cinemas and theatres. All locations are within walking distance of Rotterdam Central Station.
The cinema is more than just a centrepiece during the IFFR. Rotterdam boasts many other movie houses featuring film other than your average blockbuster. Take Cinerama for example, an iconic theatre with seven halls and 1000 seats. Or Luxor and Lantarenvenster, illustrating notable art-house for the film connoisseur. Lantarenvenster in particular has five movie halls and one especially for concerts! Two Pathé cinemas are also found in Rotterdam so you can always catch a movie that better suits your mood.
The Stadschouwburg, or municipal theatre, is host to numerous performances both large and small. These include (but are not limited to) theatre, dance, lectures and presentations. The cultural season of the Stadschouwburg Rotterdam begins in September with the opening of ‘Festival de Keuze’. During this international event, innovative artists from all over the world are invited to showcase their talents on stage. So be sure to check the agenda during your stay in Rotterdam!
September is also when the Rotterdam Uitdagen, or the Rotterdam Days Out, takes place during the grand opening of the cultural season. Premieres, workshops and various art and cultural projects are held in over 70 locations around town. A unique opportunity to taste what Rotterdam has on its cultural menu!
Rotterdam’s cultural axis
Some of the largest museums are concentrated in areas around the Museumpark and the Witte de Withstraat. This district is otherwise known as the ‘cultural axis of Rotterdam’. In the Museumpark you’ll find De Kunsthal, the Natural History Museum and Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. Make sure to navigate your way to the Witte de Withstraat for contemporary art in Witte de With and TENT.