This dynamic cultural institution in Rotterdam's main museum enclave is known for its constantly changing and inevitably thought-provoking exhibition program. There are always at least three exhibitions to visit – from painting to photography, fashion to graphic design – and these are spread across the architecturally notable multifloored building, which abuts a dyke embankment and was designed in 1988–89 by Rem Koolhaas and Fuminori Hoshino from local firm OMA.

The Kunsthal was the victim of a major theft in 2012 when several masterpieces by Monet and Matisse, among others, were stolen (they are still missing).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rotterdam attractions

1. Natural History Museum

0.04 MILES

Geared predominantly towards children, the collection at this small museum focuses on delivering facts in a fun way. The 'Uitslovers' ('Show-offs')…

2. Tuin Schoonoord

0.13 MILES

This 1.2-hectare garden dates from the 1860s. It features 1000 or so plant species and has a tranquil pond filled with Japanese carp.

3. Museum Boijmans van Beuningen

0.22 MILES

The roll-call of artists represented in the collection of Rotterdam's pre-eminent fine-arts museum is stellar and spans multiple periods and movements:…

4. Het Nieuwe Instituut

0.28 MILES

This design-driven cultural hub houses the Netherlands Architecture Institute, e-culture institute Virtueel Platform and the Netherlands Institute for…

5. Sylvette

0.28 MILES

Picasso's sandblasted concrete sculpture Sylvette (1970), which he designed with Norwegian artist Carl Nesjar, depicts the great artist's model and muse…

6. Huis Sonneveld

0.33 MILES

When company director Albertus Sonneveld decided to commission an architect to design a contemporary home for his family, the obvious choice was Leendert…

7. Wereldmuseum

0.35 MILES

Inside the 19th-century Royal Yacht Club building, this ethnographic museum celebrates multiculturalism. Mainly closed for renovation when we last visited…