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Atlas Obscura Tovertunnel (Magic Tunnel)

Located on the bank of the river Nieuwe Maas, Delfshaven (Port of Delft) has served as a harbor since 1389. Large trading vessels anchored here with goods from across all seven seas, which were loaded into warehouses and smaller ships to be towed to the inland city of Delft. Today, the harbor seems largely unchanged since the 17th century. You can still see old ships, canal houses, warehouses and other historical buildings. But tucked away in one narrow alley, visitors can find a piece of decidedly modern design.

Though it is now part of Rotterdam, Delfshaven was originally an independent town. Famous Dutch naval officers were born and raised in Delfshaven and in 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers started their journey to America from its harbor. Behind the wealthy harbor front, there were slums where poor harbor workers lived. The Dutch word achterbuurt (back street) refers to their position behind the rich buildings. Only a few alleys connected the rich harbor area with the workers’ neighborhood. 

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Audio Guide
2.46km
Audio Guide
Urbirun Rotterdam – Highlights
en fr
Atlas Obscura 2019
3.3km
The Polaroid

Discover The Polaroid in Rotterdam, Netherlands: An enormous Polaroid picture adds an artistic flair to Rotterdam.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.23km
Kraatpaal

Discover Kraatpaal in Rotterdam, Netherlands: A strangely curved lamppost stands tall over this avenue in Rotterdam.

Atlas Obscura 2020
2.59km
Hotel New York

Discover Hotel New York in Rotterdam, Netherlands: This hotel was once home to a steamliner company and became the final rest stop for Europeans heading to the New World.

Atlas Obscura 2020
3.14km
Rotterdam’s Old City Wall

Discover Rotterdam's Old City Wall in Rotterdam, Netherlands: Inside this metro station is a section of the city's former medieval fortification.

Audio Guide
3.22km
Audio Guide
Rotterdam, city of marines
en
Atlas Obscura 2014
2.79km
The Luchtsingel

Discover The Luchtsingel in Rotterdam, Netherlands: Built by crowdsourcing, this wooden foot bridge saved a part of Rotterdam that was languishing in wait of city funding.

Atlas Obscura 2022
0.9km
‘De Bospoldervos’

Discover 'De Bospoldervos' in Rotterdam, Netherlands: A massive stone fox oversees a Rotterdam elementary school crosswalk.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.36km
Het Badkonijn

Discover Het Badkonijn in Rotterdam, Netherlands: A giant floating rubber duck-bunny painted with a different design every year.

Place
2.72km
Rotterdam
Atlas Obscura 2017
2.03km
A Statue of the Second-Tallest Dutchman, Ever

The "Giant of Rotterdam" was over 7.5 feet tall when he died.

Atlas Obscura 2022
3.55km
De Hef

Discover De Hef in Rotterdam, Netherlands: A bridge that has seen many reiterations over its lifetime.

Audio Guide
3.01km
Audio Guide
Medieval Rotterdam Walk
en
Audio Guide
3.66km
Audio Guide
The highlights of Schiedam
da en
Atlas Obscura 2019
2.57km
Rotterdam Historic Harbor

Discover Rotterdam Historic Harbor in Rotterdam, Netherlands: Old ships and machinery fill a historic harbor in the city that's home to Europe's largest port.

Atlas Obscura 2015
1.95km
Paul McCarthy’s Santa Claus

Discover Paul McCarthy's Santa Claus in Rotterdam, Netherlands: Rotterdammers' dirty minds gave this santa a dirty nickname and cursed it to a life of wandering.

Audio Guide
2.14km
Audio Guide
The stories of The West-Kruiskade
en nl
Atlas Obscura 2020
2.11km
Rotterdam Jazz Artists Memorial

Discover Rotterdam Jazz Artists Memorial in Rotterdam, Netherlands: Portraits of musicians line Oude Binnenweg, the jazziest street in the city.

Atlas Obscura 2020
3.21km
Schaakstukkenmuseum

Discover Schaakstukkenmuseum (The Chessmen Museum) in Rotterdam, Netherlands: This small museum located under the famous cube houses, is home to some 30,000 chess pieces.

Atlas Obscura 2019
1.96km
Sylvette

Discover Sylvette in Rotterdam, Netherlands: A nearly 25-foot concrete sculpture of Sylvette, Picasso's muse.

Audio Guide
2.54km
Audio Guide
Rotterdam Maritime Short Trip
en nl
Atlas Obscura 2019
2.14km
Fikkie

Discover Fikkie in Rotterdam, Netherlands: This charming pup is meant to celebrate the youth and stubbornness of the city's students.

Audio Guide
2.58km
Audio Guide
The Bombardment of Rotterdam
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Atlas Obscura 2019
1.76km
Schoonoord Historical Garden

Discover Schoonoord Historical Garden in Rotterdam, Netherlands: An early 19th-century English style garden hidden in the Rotterdam cityscape.

Post 2019
2.67km
r/todayilearned – TIL Kids playground built from discarded wind turbine parts. The Rotterdam based playground is a maze-like structure made from five discarded wind turbine blades. The recycled blades make up a slide tower, a watch tower, tunnels, bridges, ramps, and slides.
Audio Guide
3.16km
Audio Guide
Life Rotterdam city tour
en
Atlas Obscura 2019
2.83km
The Delftse Poort

Discover The Delftse Poort in Rotterdam, Netherlands: A modern reimagining of a medieval city gate.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.34km
The Hat of Lou Bandy

Discover The Hat of Lou Bandy in Rotterdam, Netherlands: From afar it looks like someone's hat blew into the water, but closer inspection reveals a giant floating sculpture.

Atlas Obscura 2020
2.02km
Kunsthalte (Witte de Withstraat Tram Stop)

Discover Kunsthalte (Witte de Withstraat Tram Stop) in Rotterdam, Netherlands: An art installation memorializing a tram stop, which became a tram stop.

Atlas Obscura 2016
3.23km
Cube House

Discover Cube House in Rotterdam, Netherlands: These slanted cubic abodes are a creative if odd solution to a zoning pickle.

Atlas Obscura 2022
1.39km
New Ocean Paradise

Discover New Ocean Paradise in Rotterdam, Netherlands: A condensed piece of China floating in a Dutch harbor.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.63km
The BMW

Discover The BMW in Rotterdam, Netherlands: A dramatic art installation features a BMW flying out of a building in Rotterdam.

Atlas Obscura 2019
1.88km
In Rotterdam, a Huge Teapot Lights Up a Nursing Home

The beautiful design covers the building's facade.

Atlas Obscura 2018
2.78km
Blaak House

Discover Blaak House in Rotterdam, Netherlands: Elegant marble and old vaults fill this historic Dutch bank turned office space.

Atlas Obscura 2018
10.22km
Reactor Institute Delft

Discover Reactor Institute Delft in Delft, Netherlands: A nuclear reactor created for Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace" campaign is now used for research at a Dutch university.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.3km
Schouwburgplein Kinetic Lamp Posts

Discover Schouwburgplein Kinetic Lamp Posts in Rotterdam, Netherlands: Four giant movable street lights decorate this modern Rotterdam square.

Atlas Obscura 2011
3.49km
Noletmolen

Discover Noletmolen in Schiedam, Netherlands: Wind power station for making famous Ketel One vodka.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.46km
Floating Farm

Discover Floating Farm in Rotterdam, Netherlands: The world's first floating farm is staffed by one human, three robots, and 35 cows.

World Heritage Site 2014
2.61km
Van Nellefabriek

Van Nellefabriek was designed and built in the 1920s on the banks of a canal in the Spaanse Polder industrial zone north-west of Rotterdam. The site is one of the icons of 20th-century industrial architecture, comprising a complex of factories, with fa&…

Brutalism 1951
2.23km
Groothandelsgebouw
Atlas Obscura 2022
3.73km
European Walk of Fame

Discover European Walk of Fame in Rotterdam, Netherlands: The European equivalent of the Hollywood Walk of Fame is slowly spreading over the entire city.

Audio Guide
2.54km
Audio Guide
Rotterdam Round Trip
en nl
Atlas Obscura 2019
1.88km
Biopik

Discover Biopik in Rotterdam, Netherlands: A giant yellow phallus sculpture hidden in the gardens of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

Atlas Obscura 2018
1.84km
Maastunnel

Discover Maastunnel in Rotterdam, Netherlands: The Netherlands' first car tunnel has an unusually rectangular shape.

Atlas Obscura 2021
1.92km
Van Nelle Factory

Discover Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam, Netherlands: An icon of International Style architecture on the outskirts of Rotterdam.

Atlas Obscura 2021
2.19km
De Brandgrens (The Blaze Boundary)

Discover De Brandgrens (The Blaze Boundary) in Rotterdam, Netherlands: These lights mark the area of Rotterdam that was bombed and burned in 1940.