A night at the museum in Rotterdam

Riva curates the Museumnacht 010

Riva rents out apartments in Rotterdam. We mainly service expats and international students and we want to let them know this is a great city. So we indicate nice events. Like the museumnight. The perfect way to experience our town.

Inspiring places

Riva represents hundreds of houses in the city. With our guides we like to show the tenants Rotterdam is a vibrant city. With the guides we inform expats and international students what's happening in certain parts in town. We tell them about restaurants, shops, future developments and off course cultural spots. Because we offer a lot of houses near museums, like this one on Oppert near Museum Rotterdam or this apartment on the Van Vollenhovenstraat within walking distance from Kunsthal. We'll consciously inform people about the museums because that's a great way to get to know a city. March 7th is the perfect oppurtinity to visit more museums in one evening and night during the Museumnacht. Over 30 locations like throughout the city offer housing exhibitions, extraordinary collections, interactive performances, and teasers for new projects. May we suggest some of the highlights?

Museum Rotterdam

Museum Rotterdam was founded in 1905 as Museum of Antiquities to educate Rotterdam's growing working class population, attracted by the development of the transit port. It later became the Historical Museum of Rotterdam that glorified Rotterdam´s Golden Age in a time that the modern city centre lacked its previous historical references due to its destruction in the bombardment of 1940. In recent years the museum has changed its aims and ambitions again. The contemporary transnational city has become central to its museum policies. In 2010 it dropped the ´Historical´ in its name to continue as Museum Rotterdam. Begin 2016 the museum opened a new main location beneath the Timmerhuis.

During Museumnacht the floor will be taken over by the Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival. There will be concerts by Small Time Crooks, Leadbeaters Bluegrass N’roll, DJ Hokum, Cosmo, Bobje’s Flatfoot en toiletjuffrouwen Janny en Gree van de Plee, the Queens of Dixieland. 

In between the shows you can visit Girlpower, an exhibition about succesful local female atletes like swimmer Rie Mastenbroek, kickboxer Amira Tahri, hockey star Fatima Moreira de Melo and cyclist Leontien van Moorsel.

In Ateliergeheimen van Rotterdam you will meet six Rotterdam painters through their studio props and life stories. Discover the studio secrets of Hendrick Sorgh, Pieter de Hooch, Nicolaes Muys, George Breitner, Kees van Dongen and Dolf Henkes.

Amira Tahri opens GIRLPOWER. Photo: Jesje Veling

Amira Tahri opens Girlpower. Photo: Jesje Veling

Maritiem Museum

The Maritime Museum is located in the oldest and largest museum harbour in the Netherlands, where the port of Rotterdam once began. It was founded in 1873 by Prince Hendrik the Sailor. The collection includes over 850,000 objects from Dutch maritime history from the end of the 15th century through to today. Because of the size and quality of its collection, this museum is one of the best maritime museums in the world.

Nowadays the museum serves an audience which is made up of three generations: children, their parents and grandparents. The museum provides wonderment, education and fun for the young and the young at heart, the highly and the lowly educated, for culture lovers and culture scoffers. 

On the evening of march 7 there is a workshop about secret police work (in line with the exhibition Dealing with Drugs, about the ruthless world of the drugs trade in the port of Rotterdam) by detective Marco den Dunnen (also founder of Heilige Boontjes) or you can dance to swing music and get a make-up by Sugarcoated

Experience Dealing with Drugs

Experience Dealing with Drugs. Photo: Marco de Swart.

Huis Sonneveld

This detached villa from 1933 was designed by architects Brinkman and Van der Vlugt on behalf of Albertus Sonneveld, one of the directors of the Van Nelle factory. Sonneveld House is a real time machine. Cross the threshold and you will find yourself back in the thirties. Sonneveld House is one of the best-preserved houses in the Dutch Functionalist style. The architects designed a total concept in which architecture, interior and furnishings are perfectly coordinated and reinforce one another. Light and spacious, the house features numerous balconies and large areas of fenestration that offer views of the surrounding garden. Almost all items of furniture and lamps in the house were made by the firm of Gispen. The house contained many innovative features such as a home telephone and a goods lift, and unusual luxury such as the shower room with no fewer than ten shower heads! 

During the Museumnacht 010 the house will be the stage by a sonic performance by sound artist Elise ’t Hart. She collects sounds audible within the walls of a house, from clattering shower water to a ringing telephone or buzzing fridge. 

Huis Sonneveld. Foto Johannes Schwartz

Huis Sonneveld. Foto Johannes Schwartz


The building on the Willemskade has evolved from a meeting point for travelers, into a museum for world citizens. In 1851, the Association of the Royal Yacht Club took possession of the elegant mansion. Members of the association donated maritime objects, ships’ models and ethnographic pieces, and in 1873 this led to the foundation of a Maritime Museum. In 1883 the council decided to establish an ethnographic museum. Major drivers were Dutch trade relations abroad, the rise of colonialism and increased missionary activity as well as the newly emerging science of cultural anthropology. The Museum for Geography and Cultural Anthropology – today’s Wereldmuseum – opened its doors on 1 May 1885.⁠ 

The Wereldmuseum has been part of the family as a collaboration partner of the National Museum for World Cultures (Tropenmuseum, Afrika Museum and Museum Volkenkunde) since May 2017. The own collection is the core. With more than 80,000 artefacts (mainly collected by inhabitans of Rotterdam) from all over the world, representing 127 different cultures. Over 50% of Rotterdam’s residents have culturally diverse roots. The traditions and customs they brought with them a century ago have become increasingly integrated into local culture and are an integral part of the wonderfully diverse city that Rotterdam has since become. A kids museum, called Superstreet, is part of the Wereldmuseum. 

So it's no surprise that during the Museumnacht there will be a programme about diversity. See the exposition about Indonesia, like pictures from Stacii Samidin. There are Meet & Greets with Dutch-Caribbean contemporary artists like Quinsy Gario, Rachel Morón, Kevin Osepa and Sara Blokland. Their work is part of the exhibition IDENTITIES. Contemporary Caribbean perspective. Choreographer Rajiv Bhagwanbali brings a energetic showcases to the dance floor. During The Culture Connect dancers battle on live music from the Tabla from India, the Tambu from Curacao and Gamelan from Indonesia. Yardbird provides sets of dj's Heaz, Charmaine, Mojakob and S!Rene. 


Wereldmuseum Superstraat

Superstraat in Wereldmuseum Rotterdam. Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

Natuur Historisch Museum

The Natural History Museum Rotterdam has since its establishment in 1927 had many relocations. It started in an attic above a girls' school on the Schiedamsesingel. But the rapidly growing collection of birds, mammals, insects, shells, fossils and other naturalia needed more space. After moving around The responsible foundation ensured the museum had access to the monumental Villa Dijkzigt in Museumpark from 1987, once the home of the Hoboken family and until 1986 the Volksuniversiteit Rotterdam. In 1988 the oak doors of Villa Dijkzigt opened to the public and exhibitions and other museum activities were organized on a modest scale under the new name 'Natuurmuseum Rotterdam' and with a new impetus. 

It's permanent expo Dead-Animals-with-a-story is a must see. It brings together famous dead animals that show how and where people and animals collide and what the dramatic consequences can be for both parties. Examples are: the Dominomus that was shot because it knocked over 23,000 dominoes and almost destroyed a world record, the legendary victim of homosexual necrophilia at the wild duck and the CERN marten, the stone marten that in November 2016 CERN particle accelerator paralyzed. 

During the night you can inject yourself with knowledge about the hot topic of the moment: vaccinations. You can also visit the exposition New Habitat. According to the IUCN Red List, more than 19,000 species are at risk of dying out in the near future. On Borneo, photographer and artist Erik Hijweege witnessed the illegal destruction of the rainforest for palm oil plantations. This dramatic sight inspired him to bring the destruction of natural biotopes to the attention in a creative way with his photo series New Habitat. To guarantee their survival, Erik relocates endangered animals to a new, safe environment. Like African elephants in the Dolomites or a leopard in Rotterdam!

Leopard in Rotterdam. Photo: Erik Hijweege

Leopard in Rotterdam. Photo: Erik Hijweege

Nieuwe Instituut

The New Institute is a Museum for Architecture, Design and Digital culture. Through its activities Het Nieuwe Instituut aims to increase the appreciation of the cultural and social significance of architecture, design and digital culture and to strengthen the interaction between these disciplines. It houses is a uotstanding design by Jo Coenen. 

During Museumnacht you can visit a exhibition about the Hoodie! It explores the role of a fashion garment as a socio-political carrier. The hoodie tells many stories - tales of social inequality, youth culture, subculture, police brutality, racism, privacy, fear and style.

Hoodie. Photo: John Edmonds

Hoodie. Photo: John Edmonds


Not yet accesible unfortunately. But already a part of Museumnacht. This public art depot for the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen features exhibition halls, a sculpture roof garden and a restaurant, in addition to an enormous amount of storage space for art. The public can see what’s going on behind the scenes in a museum and private art collectors will be able to store their own collection under ideal museum conditions. The design by MVRDV will be completed this year but the outside is almost ready. The reflective round volume responds to its surroundings in the Museumpark and the whole city for that matter. 

During Museumnight Boijmans invites everyone to see the city shine like never before in the 1664 mirrors. Famous photographer Ossip van Duivenbode is present to show how it's done. Share your photo with #depotbynight.

Depot by Night by Ossip van Duivenbode

Depot by Night. Photo: Ossip van Duivenbode


In 1665 the Schielandshuis was taken into use. It was a home for the Water Board of Schieland who ensured the water in the city was controlled. But the Schielandshuis got the appearance of a city palace. That's why French emperor Napoleon and Alexander, the Tsar of Russia, once slept here. The municipality of Rotterdam bought the private building in 1840 and made room for Museum Boymans. After an fire and World War II After that it became vacant. In 1978 the municipality once again took action and ordered a renovation. In 1986 it reopened as a museum. 

In 2016 Museum Rotterdam moved to the Timmerhuis. After the relocation of the museum, new users came in 2017: Rotterdam Partners, Rotterdam Tourist Information, the Rotterdam Council for Art and Culture and nai010 Publishers. Especially with the arrival of Rotterdam Partners and Rotterdam Tourist Information as main residents, the Schielandshuis came back to life. They literally and figuratively open the doors for visitors from home and abroad, companies and residents. So maybe you already visited this historical landmark!

During Museumnacht there is a pop-up bar by Mr Kombucha and off course Rotterdam Discovery is a great way kick off your night. As it takes you on a journey of discovery through our city – a journey through the past, present and future. 

Rotterdam Discovery in het Schielandshuis. Photo: Iris van den Broek

Rotterdam Discovery in Schielandshuis. Photo: Iris van den Broek


GetMuglerized in the Kunsthal

It's the last chance to see the first retrospective on French creator Thierry Mugler. This major exhibition in the Kunsthal (a Rotterdam landmark by Rem Koolhaas) reveals the multiple universes of this undeniably artistic figure – visionary couturier, director, photographer and perfumer – in a retrospective of his work, especially his ready-to-wear and haute couture creations. 

Enjoy a Glamorous Night or Future, Fun & Fashion march the seventh. House of Vineyard brings you live performances, posing workshops, latex & cyborgs, insect inspiration, dance and drama. You can view all exhibitions in the Kunsthal until late at night. From the erotic photography of Sanne Sannes to four centuries of drawing and painting in the exhibition Meesterlijk!

The host of the evening is Amber Vineyard, Mother of House of Vineyard. She'll introduce performances by The Haute Couture Twins (The House of Mugler) and Parisa. You can muglerize your glasswear with fashion designer Isabell Schulz and there will be a fashion show by the fashion talents of MOAM Amsterdam. Music is provided by Arakaza and dj Soulfania.

Thierry Mugler Couturissime. Photo: Marco De Swart

Thierry Mugler Couturissime. Photo: Marco De Swart


In total you can visit more than 45 cultural locations in Rotterdam like Feyenoord Museum, Worm, Maritime Museum RotterdamChabot Museum, AVL Mundo, Weelde, Vendu, Tent, Kunstuitleen and V2.

Buy your tickets here.


Coverphoto: Ossip van Duivenbode.

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