In an unassuming grey building in Rotterdam sits a whole city – the efforts of dedicated and fanatical devotees of incredible model making.
Miniworld Rotterdam is an astonishing accomplishment. Over a huge single floor of this attraction is Rotterdam created in miniature.
Virtually the whole of the city and surrounding areas is here spread over a 200 square meter space. If you’ve been staying a Rotterdam for a few days there are plenty of places and iconic buildings you will recognise including the Erasmusbridge, the Central Station and City Hall.
The detail of the works is absolutely incredible. We loved the areas covered in Miniworld, each with its own special theme and items to spot. The whole of the Port of Rotterdam is here in miniature including all of the terminals. Much of the model making is also moving and interactive, with motors driving the mini-activity so it’s transfixing to see what is happening inside buildings and alongside the docks.
I loved our time at the beach in the Netherlands and this is recreated here with a typically Dutch coastline, with miniature sun-seekers (and avert your eyes – there’s a mini nudist beach too!).
This area leads onto a wonderfully sculpted area filled with canals, lockgates and windmills – wonderfully evocative of the surrounding local countryside.
Whilst this isn’t a completely authentic recreation of Rotterdam, the areas are all inspired by real areas of the city and its buildings and activities. So in the suburbs all the local areas have helped give the creators their vision for a very busy part of this Miniworld. From the miniature port there are trains speeding off to the central station, and you can also spot the metro and other trains heading off out of the city. There’s an astonishing 2 kilometres of rail track around the whole of this little world.
We loved the attention to detail throughout the exhibition, which goes way beyond the quality of the works. You can tell how much work and energy has been poured into the 27,000 miniature figures which are dotted around the city, all of which are living, working and travelling in their miniature world.
It’s this thought and care which made Miniworld so mesmerising and captivating for our children – almost everything is moving, like a real city is laid out before you, and they loved being able to peer into the buildings, houses and even festivals to see the people going about their days. I really loved their quirky sense of humour too, with a few special figures to try and spot including three superheros, and a llama for good luck!
And a day doesn’t last long in Miniworld. Every 24 minutes the skies darken and night falls. This spectacle is a wonderful surprise. All of the 19,000 lights come on across the city and light up the evening and night, which quickly passes and the day begins again.
We were delighted to be able to get a glimpse of the work which goes on behind the scenes too where we were able to see the incredible quality of the craftsmanship.
The devotion to creating an authentic scaled down Rotterdam is really inspiring and puts this mini world on a different level to similar exhibitions.
With a cafe, kids trails and plenty of fun this is a great morning or afternoon out and highly recommended.
You can find out more about Miniworld Rotterdam at their website.
We were guests of Miniworld Rotterdam for the purposes of this review, but our views are our own.