In addition to Foodhallen, an indoor food court in Amsterdam we should also take a look at another major food market in the Netherlands – the stunning Markthal in Rotterdam which was opened in October 2014 by Queen Maxima.
The unique €175m Markthal building was designed by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV and is helping to put Rotterdam firmly on the world map. Made up of a large 40m high archway, it offers a covered market area the size of a large football pitch with around 100 food stalls and 20 shops and restaurants. Each end is sealed by a glass façade to keep out the weather.
The building is 70m wide and 120m long and contains no less than 228 apartments (102 rentals and 126 private). Each has an outside terrace whilst half of the apartments also have triple-glazed windows overlooking the market.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the Markthal is the huge psychedelic artwork on the inner wall featuring colourful fruits, grains and vegetables. Called the Horn of Plenty, it was conceived by Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam and is made up of 4,000 separate tiles covering 11,000 m².
The stallholders are a mix of local and national businesses with a focus on high-end food produce. This includes dedicated stalls selling cheeses, meats, fruit & veg and fish. Plus those selling miscellaneous items such as nuts, olives, spices, chocolates and sweets. There is also a decent sized Asian supermarket (Wah Nam Hong).
The complex also contains a number of restaurants – including the first Jamie’s Italian in the Netherlands. A few of the restaurants have upper seating terraces.
You can find the official stall map of the Markthal here
The level below has an Albert Heijn supermarket, a Gall & Gall off license and Etos chemist; there is a large 4 storey underground car park with 1,200 spaces. Deliveries to the stalls and shops are also handled from the underground level which has its own cooling facility.
There is an exhibition called Tijdtrap which shows medieval archaeological finds from the construction of the building. Entrance is free and can be found by going down to the car park levels.
The Markthal is located in the east of the city centre in the Laurens district – being marketed as the ‘SoHo of Rotterdam’. It is just opposite Rotterdam Blaak station or a 15 minute walk from Rotterdam Central station. There is an outdoor market in the square outside and you will also find Rotterdam’s library and the Kubuswoningen (Cube houses) nearby.
Stalls at the Markthal are open daily 1000-2000 (Mon-Thu & Sat), 1000-2100 Fri, 1200-1800 Sun. We visited on a Saturday morning and the market was very busy attracting a lot of curious Dutch and international visitors.
Rotterdam certainly has a different atmosphere to the other historic Randstad cities – its centre was destroyed in World War 2 so it has a more modern metropolis feel. If you are a food lover then Markthal is a good reason to give the city a visit.
De Markthal, Ds. Jan Scharpstraat 298, 3011 GZ Rotterdam