Anyone who isn't convinced by Rotterdam's claim to the status of one of the world's most interesting cities of architecture need only check out the brach of McDonald's on Coolsingel. Designed by local firm MEI and opened in 2015, it features a perforated golden facade and a grand spiral staircase – wonderfully different to any other branch of this fast-food favourite and a strong statement that architecture can make even the most prosaic product exciting.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rotterdam attractions

1. Museum Rotterdam

0.08 MILES

The attractive Timmerhuis building designed by Rotterdam-based Rem Koolhaas is a classy location for this museum profiling the city's past, present and…

2. Stadhuis

0.08 MILES

One of the few city-centre buildings to emerge unscathed after the WWII bombardments, this grandiose building designed by HJ Evers was constructed between…

3. Timmerhuis

0.08 MILES

Designed by OMA, the 'Carpenter's House' (2009–15) incorporates apartments, shops, restaurants and Museum Rotterdam. Often described as a 'floating cloud'…

4. Bijenkorf Department Store

0.09 MILES

Legendary Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer worked with Amsterdam-based architect Abraham Elzas on the design of this department store, which opened in 1957…

5. Lijnbaan

0.14 MILES

Commissioned to design 65 shops in Rotterdam's central business district in the 1950s, architects Jo Van den Broek and Jaap Bakema came up with the…

6. Maritiem Museum Rotterdam

0.29 MILES

Children adore this museum overlooking Leuvehaven, whose permanent exhibits are emphatically kid-focused. The best of these is the 'Offshore Experience',…

7. Schieblock


A late-1950s office building now housing design studios, the Schieblock is topped by the pioneering DakAkker harvestable roof with its Op Het Dak cafe and…

8. Markthal

0.31 MILES

One of the city's signature buildings, this extraordinary inverted-U-shaped market hall was designed by local architecture firm MVRDV and opened for…