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The Markthal. Credit: MVRDV

The Markthal celebrated 5th anniversary

Designed by Rotterdam-based architecture firm MVRDV, since its inauguration in 2014 by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands this unique building has contributed significantly to the city’s surge in economic growth and tourism in recent years.

The Markthal comprises 228 apartments arranged into a 40-metre-tall arch to create a covered market hall, offering a unique urban space – a space that is neither fully indoors nor fully outdoors, but something in-between. The building’s most striking feature is the 11,000-square-metre artwork by Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam that covers the vaulted interior, which gave rise to a popular moniker for the building often repeated by the media: “The Sistine Chapel of Rotterdam”. With its memorable appearance, the Markthal has become an icon of Rotterdam, and can now be found depicted on postcards, keyrings, fridge magnets, and all manner of other souvenirs.

The Markthal’s First Five Years in Numbers:

  • The Markthal has welcomed 38.5 million visitors, almost 8 million a year and 150,000 a week. That’s more visitors than the Eiffel Tower receives and makes the Markthal, on its own, comparable to a medium-sized city centre.
  • Just over 50% of the Markthal’s visitors are from the Rotterdam Metropolitan Area. The rest of the visitors are tourists from both other regions of the Netherlands and abroad.
  • 33% of visitors to the Markthal are from low-income households, making the Markthal truly an attraction for everyone.
  • The Markthal is the top Rotterdam attraction on TripAdvisor, with a rating of 4.5 out of 5, almost 7,300 user reviews, and 46 “experiences” such as city tours that feature the building.
  • Visitors spend an average of 45 minutes at the Markthal, again comparable to a medium-sized city centre, and spend an average of 17 Euros while they are there.
  • The annual turnover of the Markthal is 63 million Euros (1.3 million Euros a week), 53% of which is earned by the market stalls.
  • Over 100,000 posts on Instagram have been tagged with #Markthal.
  • The Markthal has contributed to an explosion in tourism to Rotterdam, with visitor numbers to the city increasing by 58% between 2013 and 2018.


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