Old Harbour

Relax at the Old Harbour of Rotterdam with the 'White House', many outdoor bars and restaurants and historic ships.

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Classic vs modern in the Old Harbour of Rotterdam

The Old Harbour is the oldest harbour in Rotterdam, it was built in the 14th century already. Within this ancient harbour, many historic ships of the Harbour Museum Rotterdam are moored. The view of this historic fleet gives the Old Harbour in Rotterdam a unique atmosphere. The Old Harbour also offers a small shipyard, where historic ships are renovated in its old splendour. But what makes the Old Harbour really special is the mix of historic homes and modern design, which is characteristic for Rotterdam. In the Old Harbour the famous modern Cube Houses are located next to the historic merchant houses, which are some of the oldest buildings in Rotterdam. Due to this contrast, the Old Harbour is a great photo spot as well!

The White House: the 1st skyscraper in Rotterdam

One of the highlights in the Old Harbour is the magnificent White House, Europe’s first skyscraper. This building is 43 meters (140 feet) tall and was built in 1898 and it has been the tallest office building in Europe for many years. The White House in Rotterdam was inspired by Manhattan’s skyscrapers after a trip to New York by one of the developers and it was built in Art Nouveau style. Visitors were able to use an elevator to the viewing platform at the top floor of the building, which was a novelty during those days! Nowadays, a nice café is located at the ground floor of the White House in Rotterdam, where you can have a drink or a bite.

Nightlife in the Old Harbour of Rotterdam

Besides a popular tourist attraction the Old Harbour is nowadays one of the most popular nightlife areas in Rotterdam with many restaurants, bars and outdoor terraces. Most of them are located just opposite the White House with a lovely view at the Old Harbour. (do visit party hot spot Café Plan C). At night this historic harbour comes to live when many people enjoy nightlife. Especially at Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening the harbour gets crowded with lots of students. On a sunny day all the waterfront terraces are full till late at night!