What does Rotterdam have to offer in 2020

Riva introduces new bars, restaurants and attractions

Rotterdam has flourished tremendously this last decade. And well. In 2020 it won’t stop. Riva presents the newest exciting bars, restaurants, shops and other attractions.

It started with a Grand Départ

The last ten years Rotterdam underwent a big transition. The poorest city in the Netherlands became Europe's capital of cool and a tourist attraction you must visit. The world became aware of the change the city had made when the Tour de France started in Rotterdam. The Grand Départ of 2010 yielded beautiful images for everyone to see. The next years Rotterdam Partners worked hard to get attention. A sophisticated marketing campaign made the world well aware of Rotterdam. 



Grand Départ of 2010


It pays off with nice features in leading titles like Rough Guide. The influential travel guide even places the city in the top 10 of places to see. Next to Rio de Janeiro, Marseille and Glasgow. The architecture, the cafes and restaurants are praised. After the Rough Guide The New York Post, Time Magazine and the Lonely Planet alse recommadares our city. The Academy of Urbanism in London proclaims Rotterdam the best city in Europe. The tourists start coming in big numbers to behold landmarks like the Markthal, Central Station and De Rotterdam by Rem Koolhaas . 

Opening up

Off course entrepreneurs take notice and started developing hotels, restaurants and bars to accommodate all visitors. To this day Rotterdam keeps getting plugged with great bars and restaurants. The last couple weeks a lot of new hotspots had their (soft) opening. 

From COCO to DoDo. COCO is the new restaurant from renowned chef Manuela Gonçalves Tavares and DoDo is a new concept by Tan Do from Little V. Bird branched out with Mavis in the Scheepvaartkwartier and Williams Canteen opened up around the corner of Witte de Withstraat.





Man Nam caters fans of authentic Southern Korean style food, it means spice and fermentation are used to create a taste explosion. You can find this restaurant at the Goudsesingel. While Shanghai Papa pays homage to the father of founder Maggie Mee Yee Chau. It serves Chinese food. Sappi opened a second location on the Zwaanshals. They already have a take-away on the Binnenwegplein.

Something to drink

Cocktaillovers ​can visit The Rumah on the Oude Binnenweg. In their own words: A neighbourhood cocktail pub. Botanero is the brainchild of David Trampe, a renowned cocktailshaker with love for Mezcal, the Mexican spirit. A Botanero is a concept in popular in several southern countries where you always get something to eat as soon as you order a drink. Bar Benthuis will become a cozy cafe for In het Oude Noorden. 

Check this out

Two existing restaurants were renamed, and not really in distinctive ways we might say. Restaurant Roots at Hilton Rotterdam is now called Restaurant Jaq. Opporto in the Hofbogen became Restaurant Jack. It is named after the house-classic My House (Rhythm Controll) by Chuck Roberts. It states: ‘In the beginning, there was Jack, and Jack had a groove. And from this groove came the groove of all grooves…’ The restaurant is dedicated to the (local) history of dance music. 

What's in store 

Next to new places to eat and drink we also need new places to shop. Secrid is a manufacturer of cardprotectors from The Hague where it was founded over twenty years by designer couple René & Marianne. Secrid sells their modern wallets online and in 700 stores in 70 cities. But they didn’t have a brandstore. Founder Marianne was convinced their first own store had to be in Rotterdam, as a tribute to her parents who both descend from our city. 

Margreeth Olsthoorn has moved. This shop offers exclusive fashion from labels like Rick Owens, Maison Margiela, Helmut Lang, A.F. Vandevorst, Henrik Vibskov and Raf Simons. This fashionqueen used to be located on the Schiedamsedijk near de Witte de With. She has moved to Kop van Zuid. She sits between Foodhallen en Bruno Roommate Hotel on the Wilhelminakade 52.

Nishi Market has opened at the Meent. Nishi is a Japanese concept store by designer Margaret West who already owns Ginza. Nishi is like a Mini Market and offers street fashion, accessoires and presents. There is also a hairsalon and the instore Infinitea Bubble Tea Cafe.




A new year means new things. From january Rotterdam will get to know Kiiro. The Japanese Curry House introduces real Japanese curry in the Wijnhaven

In the Kleiwegkwartier a specialty Coffee Hangout will be opening soon. 33rd Street Coffee is a collab with Fika Concept Store.

Vicini opens a third restaurant in Kralingen. It’s a PizzaBar at Lusthofstraat.

A former employee of Urban Bakery Rotterdam will start Crumble & Sass. A true British Bakery on the Hoogstraat.

Jack Bean wants to offer 100% plant-based fast cuisine. It’s to be found opposite Centraal Station. It will open a second unit at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Estimated opening date: February 2020. 


Jack Bean


The famous Dutch comedian Jandino Asporaat will open an grilled chicken restaurants. Asporaat hails from Rotterdam and he impersonates a lot of typical characters from Rotterdam like Judeska. She is an rude employee at fictional chicken restaurant FC Kip. Now FC Kip becomes a reality. The restaurant will be part of Forum, a new shopping center in the middle of the city. Donner already had a reopening. Primark, Hollister, G-Star, Fit for Free, ICI Paris XL ABN AMRO, Happy Italy, Starbucks and Bagels & Beans will soon follow.

Zalmhuis Rotterdam


The Zalmhuis reopened it's doors in february. It's a copy of the original pavilion dedicated to salmon. It was built in 1896 but demolished in 1956. In 1999 the complex was rebuild. In 2002 a new Zalmhuis opened it's doors. Last year a famous local entrepreneur Herman Hell (known for popular hotspots like Nieuw Rotterdams Café (NRC), Bar Restaurant Sijf, Sugo and Cafe Van Zanten) bought the restaurant and completely redesigned the interior.

Maed for Minia Rotterdam born, Amsterdam based conscious kids brand for 0-8 years, will open a shop at Botersloot this february.

It's becoming (virtual) reality

2019 saw the opening of Poing, an old school arcade hall in the city. 2020 will see the premiere of the first Dutch venue of Zero Latency VR near Marconiplein. A former garage be transformed into a groundbreaking virtual reality arena. 

ZL Rotterdam locatie avond

Zero Latency VR


The Rotterdam VR hall will be the 42nd location of the virtual reality pioneer Zero Latency VR, with locations from Las Vegas to Hong Kong and from Mexico to Dublin. The Australian VR giant started in Brisbane in 2015 and is now regarded as the world leader in epic, free-roam multiplayer virtual reality entertainment, with more than 1 million visitors.

Zero Latency VR offers virtual reality with full freedom of movement. The phenomenon is called free roam VR, where you can move freely through a gigantic hall to play a virtual game with friends or family. You see each other, you can talk to each other and experience the game together.

Zero Latency VR Rotterdam starts from mid-January 2020 with three varied VR games: Zombie Survival, Engineerium and the ultimate VR game Outbreak Origin. This zombie game is not only the most played VR game from Zero Latency in the world, but also the highest rated. The game range is frequently expanded, updated and upgraded.

ZombieSurvival Screenshot 07

Zombie Survival

Where art thou

We already looked forward to the big things happening in Rotterdam in 2020. Off Course the Eurovision Song Contest will gather a lot of people. From july it’s time for Delfshaven400, four weeks of festivities dedicated to 400 years of pilgrim fathers. And, Rotterdam extensively celebrates 75 years of liberation. Next to these one offs regular events like International Film Festival, Art Rotterdam, North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam Unlimited, ABN AMRO World tennis Tournament and the Marathon also feature on the 2020 festival calendar. 


Eurovision Song Contest in Ahoy


2020 will also see the reveal of new sculptural landmarks. In 2020, the unique Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen will be completed at Museumpark. The design by MVRDV (by architect Winy Maas, also responsible for the Markthal) won the architect selection for the Depot building in 2014 is a round bowl shape that is covered with reflective material. In 2020 the construction will be ready. Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen will open to the public in 2021. 




Two big feet on the Binnenrotte will commemorate the origins of the city. It’s designed by Ben Zegers and is titled: Everybody is dead, except for us! The reveal will presumably be in may. 

Renovation of the Fenixloods II will start in 2020. The Droom en Daad Foundation wants to portray the story of the emigrants. The ground floor of the Fenixloods II will offer a mix of creative, culinary and cultural activities for the neighbourhood, the city and visitors in the future. An architectural viewpoint designed by MAD Architects will be placed on the roof with a 360-degree-view of Rotterdam. Because of the complexity of the building, the date DE FENIX will open its doors is not yet known.

Fenix resized



The start of the renovation of Fenixloods II means the departure of the Fenix Food Factory from the warehouse. Several companies will move fifty metres to the  renovated Fenixloods I warehouse. So Kaapse Brouwers, Jordy's Bakery, Westlandse Tuin, Booij Kaasmakers, CiderCider, Bosch & deJong, Stroop and Blije Wijnen will stay put on de Kaap. POSSE will move to a beautiful nearby building on the corner of Brede Hilledijk/Sumatraweg.

KB 3rd anniversary 45

Kaapse Brouwers


Coverphoto: Titia Hahne/NCP

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