Like many great cities, Rotterdam also has its lucky walls, gates and houses covered in paintings. The artworks can be admired as long as they last, and often carry a statement. Here, in the Netherlands' port city, street art is in full bloom.
This art phenomenon has existed since the 70's where it was mainly used to make political statements. It disappeared for a while, only to become popular in the 90's and it has remained so ever since. Rotterdam is one of the many cities showing off its artistic depth with an active street art scene. The difference between street art and graffiti, should you wonder just like me, is that graffiti is mainly a creative way of spraying an artist’s name. Thus, it is just about the artist himself. Street art is more about the meaning or statement of the artworks that are sprayed, painted, fashioned, and sometimes even commissioned. For tourists and locals alike, looking at street art has become a popular pastime. It's an (COVID-proof) art form that can be admired day and night.
Where to find street art in Rotterdam
You can see as little or as much of it as you want to in one go. You could just walk down the Nieuwe Binnenweg, pass through some side streets to the West-Kruiskade, walk balk toward central station and just look at anything you can find. This is also an ok advice for the area around the Keilerhaven. You will see things just by being there. You will have a sense of discovery, but you will not find all great artworks hidden in plain sight.
Street art by artist unknown (let us know if you do) 📷 Anna Soetens
Street art by Collin van der Sluijs 📷 Anna Soetens
Street art routes in Rotterdam
For a better prepared art tour, there are many options. We recommend the rewriters010 app or alternatively the Rdam routes app. The latter is downloadable for free. The former costs you a Euro, but with the purchase, you are actively supporting the street art scene. Rewriters010 are part of the foundation for the stimulation of (Inter)national hip hop culture in all its forms and one of the more important players in the Dutch hip hop scene.
Free Rotterdam street art map
You are a starving artist yourself? Then you can download a free street art map of the Rotterdam city centre, courtesy of Rewriters Rotterdam to see inner city murals and wall paintings. However, do note that murals disappear just as quickly as new ones appear. To walk the most recent version of the route, it is best to use the app.
Guided street art tours in Rotterdam
If you want in-depth knowledge, the stories and the facts about a different district in Rotterdam, then you really must book a tour with Rewriters Rotterdam (rewriters010.nl) or get their app on Google Play or on the App Store.
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