Supertacular Street Art Tour in the City of Rotterdam

by - 3:00 PM


I was on a really fancy bus with wifi that took me from Bangkok to Chiang Mai when I got one of the most exciting tweets of my life: it told me about a street art tour in Rotterdam I could enjoy. Not the one by Rewriters 010, but one I hadn't heard of yet by Frank Tours Rotterdam.
Of course I wanted to join the tour asap, but that's difficult when you're in Southeast Asia. And when I came home to the Netherlands, the weather gods decided to send pouring rain to Rotterdam every time I wanted to go. Finally, about two months after I first got that tweet, the weather wasn't too horrible and I was ready to go - and I wouldn't be me if I didn't sorta kinda take you with me in this post.

Last Friday at 7PM I joined an international group at Hostel Ani & Haakien on the Coolsestraat near Rotterdam Central Station. I think there were over 15 people there and within no time I was friends with a girl from San Francisco - leave it up to me find my fellow Bay Area people anywhere in a split second.
The group made its way to Kruisplein, led by our tour guide Frank. He's the kind of tour guide you want for this kind of tour: he's not just easy and fun to talk to, he also know his street art well and combines it with local history and architecture in such a way that even people who've lived in the Rotterdam area their entire life (like yours truly) learn and see something new. Besides, after starting his tour company and setting this street art tour up, Frank actually got to meet some of the local artists, so he really knows what he's talking about.

Despite being with a real tour guide, a first for me in Rotterdam, I wasn't too sure about the art part of the tour when I joined. Most walls in Rotterdam are commissioned, no guerilla graffiti that made the tour in Ljubljana so great. And because most of these walls are commissioned by Rewriters 010, I was afraid I'd only get to see walls I'd already seen on that tour. Luckily that didn't happen. I soon found myself in a back alley I didn't even know existed, looking at a Lastplak wall I'd never seen before. The next few walls were ones I'd already seen, but they were still as great as the first time I stumbled across them - and this time I got some actual information on them, as Frank told quite a lot about the crews and their background.


Halfway through the tour we came to one of my new favorite places in the city: a multistory car park. Sounds weird, I know, but the view was amazing. As the tour had started at 7PM we had the most beautiful view of the sunset over the Rotterdam harbour, the skyline and, of course, the street art behind the Witte de Withstraat. It was an awesome place to go to with a tour group - and also a great place to leave some of my own stickers. You might want to keep an eye out for a sticker that has my name on it when you decided to join Frank's street art tour. I left them just about everywhere.


After we left the car park we set course towards the Maas. The tour takes two hours, so I'd taken something to drink with me. Just before we reached the next wall I decided to try the Twix shake I'd bought. Which was my biggest mistake of the day, because that stuff is freaking foul. This has nothing to do with the tour, but still it's worth mentioning because I don't want any of you to kill their taste buds with that stuff. So while I was not being too happy with my life decisions we saw another Lastplak wall on which my personal favorite KBTR can also be seen. If there's only one wall you're going to see in Rotterdam, make it this one. I've been there at least four times now (once because I had to take a decent picture and the one I took on the tour was a mess) and still see something new every time.

I was still not over the assault on my tongue when we walked to the last wall of the night. There was a lot at stake here: this last wall depicts a character from a story, and the first person to guess which character it is and from which story can win a piece of carrot cake. I can tell you from my own experience that the carrot cake is so worth it. It's really delicious. Not that I won the guessing game. No, I was being my usual distracted self and missed the guessing game because there's a Lastplak wall opposite the one with the character and on that Lastplak wall I saw Doodkonijn in real life for the first time. It was a real fangirl moment. Oh, and no, I'm not telling you which character is on the other wall. I'm not helping you cheat your way to carrot cake. Have a picture of Doodkonijn instead.


Once the guessing game was over the tour ended on the Witte de Withstraat. It's a great place to end a tour, because it's full of bars and other venues. Not my kind of thing, but still cool to see at night at least once. By this time I was also on a weird adrenaline rush, which seems to happen every time I get to see new street art. I was extremely happy, but not just because of the art. I'd met some awesome people, enjoyed my favorite kind of art with them and got to spread my stickers all over the place. It had been a perfect night. Sure, it was a little weird to be a tourist in my own city, but you get to see and do so many things you otherwise wouldn't. And if you're a tourist in Rotterdam, there's literally no reason not to join Frank on one of his tours. There's a free street art your every Friday, but he also does other tours in and around Rotterdam, both paid and free. This is the guy you want to go to for your tour of my city and if you do, tell him Envy sent you. So go win that street art tour carrot cake and make me proud!

x Envy
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PS. Special thanks to my friend The Girl With An Accent for coming up with a title for this post when I was being less creative than a dead fruit fly!

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18 Fellow Ramblers

  1. Hi, what fantastic street art my fav has to be the cheeky seton in the last photo.

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    1. The last one was my favorite wall of the tour!

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  2. That art is amazing! It looks likes such a wonderful place. I am also so glad that you could get to go, even though it might have taken some time ;)

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    1. It took way too much time, but I got to go eventually and in the end that's all that counts!

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  3. Didnt know you could take tours to see street art. Thats new for me. Love the photos in this post. Really shows off all the colours.
    Xx

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    1. Tours are popping up everywhere now! I know there's at least one in London. The Rotterdam walls are known for their bright colors :)

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  4. I'm so glad that the weather finally allowed you to make this trip because the photos are just amazing! The sunset view from the car park really is gorgeous! This kind of tour sounds really out of the ordinary and I'd love to do something similar to see a different side to a city! Also describing your shake as "an assault on your tongue" made me laugh out loud!

    Abbey 😻 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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    1. This group was so lucky with perfect circumstances, had it been a little cloudier the sunset wouldn't have been this beautiful. I'm sure there are some tours in the UK as well (there's one you can walk without a guide in London).

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  5. A tour of street art would be such a cool thing to do, the photos are amazing!
    jen, velvet spring x

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    1. Thank you! It's a great alternative for the normal city tours.

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  6. Oh my goodness, everything looks absolutely gorgeous! I love street art, a lot. It has become more common here in Finland as well, which I think is amazing as it brings diversity to the scenery. You live in a beautiful city!

    ~ Jasmin N
    // littlethingswithjassy.com

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    1. I loved the Finnish art when I was in Helsinki, even though I didn't have as much time to explore as I would have liked! It adds character to otherwise bland cities. Rotterdam used to be very grey, but now more and more artists are adding color to the place.

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  7. This sounds like an amazing experience and it's great that the weather was better for you! I really like the look of all the street art x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿www.kayleighzaraa.com

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! This was one of those things I really didn't want to miss out on ^-^

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  8. I'm a huge lover of street art, looks incredible right? Have you visited Brick Lane in London, you'd love it. x
    Morgan // www.justmorgs.com

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    1. I haven't visited Brick Lane yet but I really want to. Last time I was in London I didn't even know about street art, so I'll have to go back. I wish I'd know about it in 2015 though.

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  9. A tour of street art? That sounds really cool! Also, you've got some really nice pictures too! Loved this post!

    -GG
    www.girlingamba.com

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you liked my post! Street art always looks good in pictures :)

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