The Waalhaven was opened in 1908 and was the largest harbor in the world at the time. It played a crucial role in Rotterdam’s harbour development, helping the city become one of the largest port cities globally.


Today, Waalhaven is primarily used for handling general cargo, bulk goods, and containers. It serves as a significant maritime gateway and plays a critical role in Rotterdam’s logistics chain. Numerous companies operate along the banks of Waalhaven, ranging from logistics providers to industrial enterprises. Over the years, Waalhaven has undergone various developments, including expansions and infrastructure modernization.


Waalhaven Airport was the first civilian airport in the Netherlands, located in Rotterdam. It was opened in 1920 and operated until 1940. Waalhaven Airport ceased operations during World War II when it was heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe in May 1940. An industrial zone now replaced the former airport, with aviation having moved to Zestienhoven Airport (now: Rotterdam-The Hague Airport.

School excursion to Waalhaven Airport (ca 1935).

Here is a photographic impression of the Waalhaven.