I like zoos and every now and then I enjoy visiting one of them. But I also have mixed feelings and doubts about animals in captivity. In Dutch zoos, the animals are well cared for, have ample living space and live in an environment that closely resembles their natural habitat. Zoos have pros and cons. Zoos are educational; you learn a lot about animals. They can also play a role in the conservation of animal species. Some zoos have special themed days about a certain animal species, sometimes you can even see or touch these animals up close.
So if you like to visit a zoo in the Netherland, here is some practical information. In the Netherlands, we have different kinds of zoological gardens. Some of them are specialized in one species. Most zoos have a diversity of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and shellfish. In Dutch we say “Dierentuin”.
1. Artis Royal Zoo, Amsterdam
Artis is the oldest Zoo in the Netherland and you will find it in the heart of the city. Artis is innovating, from a zoo to an educational institute that wants to stimulate love and care for nature. More space is being created for animals and plants, education, and heritage. Within Artis, you will find Micropia, the 1st microbe museum in the world, the monkey house, birdhouse, jaguar house and elephant house.
Address: Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, Amsterdam
Opening hours: Open all year, every day of the week from 9.00 till 17.00 in wintertime and in summer till 18.00 hours.
Public transport: you’ll get there by tram 9 and 14 or by canal bus.
2. Zoo Blijdorp, Rotterdam
Address: Blijdorplaan 8, Rotterdam
Opening hours: Open all year, every day of the week from 9.00 till 18.00 hours.
3. Zoo Apenheul, Apeldoorn
Monkeys, apes and prosimians
Opening hours: Open all year, every day of the week from 9.30 till 17.00 in wintertime and in summer till 18.30 hours.
4. Zoo Ouwehands Dierenpark, Rhenen
Address: Ouwehands Dierenpark Grebbeweg 111, Rhenen
Opening hours: Open all year, every day of the week from 9.00 till 16.00 hours. The park is situated on a Dutch “Mountain”called Grebbeberg which rises up in the landscape like a sudden geological surprise which offers a great view over the Dutch delta.
5. Zoo – Animalpark – Dierenpark Emmen
Address: Ermerweg 28, 7812 BG Emmen
Opening hours: Dierenpark Emmen
Open all year, every day of the week from 10.00 till 17.00 hours. In the summertime, on weekends the Zoo may be open until 18 or 20 hours.
6. Zoo – Wildlifepark Hoenderdaell near Den Helder
You get to see retired circus lions, Siberian tigers rescued Bulgarian bears, a monkey island and ring-tailed lemurs in an animal-friendly Dutch wildlife parks. A falconer gives spectacular birds of prey demonstrations. The well-being of animals is the leading principle of the managers of this Zoo.
Address: Landgoed Hoenderdaell, Van Ewijckskade 1, 1761 JA Anna Paulowna.
The Zoo is about 65 km north of Amsterdam in the flower region of Holland.
Opening hours: The Zoo is open 7 days a week from 9.00AM – 6:00PM. The last ticket is sold at 5PM.
7. Zoo – Animal park Amersfoort
Animal park Amersfoort exist since 1948. In 2003 the Animal park Amersfoort Wildlife Fund was established. The Fund has been committed to protecting endangered animals and their habitat. Worldwide, there are more than 26,000 animal species on the ‘red list’ of endangered species. Animal park Amersfoort Wildlife Fund supports projects around the world, the proceeds will go towards protecting the habitat of the elephants in India.
Every Wednesday and weekend there are special activities. For example in the insect house, it is possible, under supervision, to run a tarantula on your hand or to hold a cockroach or a snake.
Address: Barchman Wuytierslaan 224, Amersfoort
Opening hours: Every day of the year, summertime from 9.00 till 18.00 hours.
8. Zoo: Burgers Dierenpark, Arnhem
Address: Antoon van Hooffplein 1, Arnhem
Opening hours: Open all year, every day of the week in summertime from 9.00 till 19.00 hours.
9. Ecomare Texel , National Park Dunes of Texel
Ecomare is a nature museum, seal sanctuary, sea aquarium and a bird sanctuary at the Wadden Sea on the Island of Texel.
10. Smallest zoo in Holland – Mini zoo Artisklas Haarlem
Address: Ruijslaan 92, De Koog – Texel
Opening hours: open every day from 9.30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Ecomare – Texel