Markthal in Rotterdam is a stunning indoor food market which was opened in 2014.
The unique €175m Markthal building was designed by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV and has helped 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. 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. It is thought to be the biggest artwork in the world.
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.
The complex also contains a number of restaurants, some of which 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 a permanent 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 (-2, -3 and -4).
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.
Rotterdam certainly has a different atmosphere to the other historic Randstad cities – Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Its centre was destroyed in World War 2 so today it has a more modern metropolis feel.
If you have an interest in food or architecture then Markthal is a good reason to give the city a visit.
Also of note in Amsterdam is Foodhallen, an indoor food court.
Markthal Rotterdam Essential Info
|Opening Times||Market stalls are open 1000-2000 (Mon-Thu and Sat), 1000-2100 Fri and 1200-1800 Sun.|
|Admission Prices (2021)||Free entrance into the Markthal building.|
|Getting There||Markthal is just opposite Rotterdam Blaak station (train, metro and bus) or a 15 minute walk from Rotterdam Central station.|
A 1 day Rotterdam RET public transport ticket can be bought online here
Markthal, Ds. Jan Scharpstraat 298, 3011 GZ Rotterdam
+31(0)30 234 6464, markthal.nl
Last updated 6 October 2021. This article was first published in 2014 and has been regularly updated.