A guide to 13 thrilling zoos and animal parks in the Netherlands

Lots to see, lots to zoo πŸ¦’

Looking for a fun day trip this summer? Consider it sorted: here are the best zoos, animal parks, aquariums, monkey parks and more in the Netherlands.

A little bird (maybe one from Avifauna, but more on that later πŸ˜‰) told me you’re looking for the best place to visit the animal kingdom in the Netherlands.

Well, look no further. Whatever your favourite furry friend, we’ve put together a list of the most popular zoos in the Netherlands. πŸ’

Keep an eye on ticket prices: Most of the tickets for these zoos are cheaper (at least by a few euros) when you buy them online rather than at the zoo! So, where possible, we have included the online prices below. πŸŽ«πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦

1. ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo

This is actually the oldest and most popular zoo in the Netherlands. Despite being around for so long, it’s still very modern and well-kept.

READ MORE | 33 best things to do in Amsterdam in 2023 [UPDATED]

ARTIS Zoo provides its visitors with a whole day of fun and a variety of different things to see. 🀩

They have a daily schedule, so if you’re dying to see the lions or penguins being fed, then make sure to check the timings and head to the enclosure at the specified time.

ARTIS is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands. Image: Depositphotos

They offer guided tours and even hotel experiences. The zoo also has an aquarium and a planetarium β€” so there’s certainly plenty to explore!

πŸ’Ά Price: Adults €26.50, kids aged 3-12 €22.50 (online)

⏰ Opening Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM

πŸ“Location: Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, 1018 CZ Amsterdam, Netherlands

2. Blijdorp Zoo Rotterdam

I may be biased here as Rotterdam Zoo is my local and personal favourite, but it’s one of the most beautiful zoos in Europe. And with the number of awards it’s been nominated for, others seem to agree with me!

Blijdorp Zoo is one of the most popular animal attractions in the Netherlands. Image: Gert-Jan de Jong/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

It’s got amazing scenery and an incredible play park for children (if seeing all the animals hasn’t worn them out yet).

READ MORE | 24 best and free things to do in Rotterdam in 2023

There’s also a large aquarium section, a butterfly garden and animals from all over the world. The zoo is so big that you might actually struggle to see it all within the opening hours.

πŸ’Ά Price: Adults €27.50, kids aged 3-12 €22.50

⏰ Opening Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM

πŸ“Location: Blijdorplaan 8, 3041 JG Rotterdam, Netherlands

3. Safaripark Beekse Bergen Tilburg

Beekse Bergen Safari Park is a really wild experience. If you’re stretched for time (or sufficient funds) when it comes to the real deal β€” this is definitely a good second-best safari option.

READ MORE | 19 outstanding things to do in Tilburg in 2023

The park is so large that we recommend taking the whole day to explore it all, especially when it gets really busy during the peak summer season!

Enjoy a Dutch safari close to Tilburg. Image: SQCK/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

You have a few options: the walking tour, where you can see the safari animals on foot, or the driving tour, where you can admire them from the comfort of your own car or safari bus. There’s also an option to take a boat trip around the park.

READ MORE | Wildlife in the Netherlands: a Dutch safari

Alternatively, you can stay at the park in your own safari lodge and watch the animals from your balcony.

πŸ’Ά Price: Adults €27.50, kids aged 3-9 €23.50 (online)

⏰ Opening Hours: 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM

πŸ“Location: Beekse Bergen 1, 5081 NJ Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands

4. Burgers’ Zoo Arnhem

Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem is a great zoo outside of Holland. It has a wide range of different species in varied habitats, from desert to ocean. There’s even a mangrove forest! 🌿

The zoo has a variety of great things on-site for all your needs throughout the day, including five different restaurants.

Ogle at the ocean of Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem. Image: Manfred Morgner/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

What makes it different from other zoos is that the animals here live in their respective natural habitats. In this sense, you get to see them freely roam around, as opposed to being stuck in cages or small enclosures.

It’s certainly more ethical, making it an even more special experience to witness.

πŸ’Ά Price: Adults €27, kids aged 4-9 €24.50 (online)

⏰ Opening Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM

πŸ“Location: Antoon van Hooffplein 1, 6816 SH Arnhem, Netherlands

5. Wildlands Adventure Zoo Emmen

If you’re after more than just a regular zoo, then Wildlands Adventure Zoo is for you. The name tells you everything you β€” it’s a zoo, but a very adventurous kind.

Wildlands Zoo in Emmen promises a day full of adventure. Image: Richard Broekhuijzen/Wikimedia Commons/CC4.0

Think roller coasters and treetop walks, restaurants and jungles. This makes it perfect for the whole daring family. πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦

READ MORE | The guide to 10 thrilling theme parks in the Netherlands

And there’s more: river rapids, temple ruins, boat trips, and safari buses, all of which make the experience seem like a Jumanji movie!

πŸ’Ά Price: Adults €28.50, kids aged 3-9 €24.50 (online)

⏰ Opening Hours: 10 AM – 6 PM

πŸ“Location: Raadhuisplein 99, 7811 AP Emmen

6. Ecomare Texel

If you’ve ever been to the island of Texel, then you’ll know that it’s beautiful and filled with lots of local birds and sea life.

The Ecomare is a centre that cares for ill or injured seals and birds. Once they’re nursed to good health, they are released back into the wild.

Ecomare takes care of rescued seals and birds. Image: WeeJeeVee/Wikimedia Commons/CC4.0

As a visitor, you’ll be able to witness this fascinating process of rescuing animals and rehabilitating them into their natural environments.

It’s a great chance to boost kids’ enjoyment AND education! 🀝

πŸ’Ά Price: Adults €15.50, kids aged 4-18 €10.50 (online)

⏰ Opening Hours: 9:30 AM – 5 PM

πŸ“Location: Ruijslaan 92, 1796 AZ De Koog

7. AquaZoo Friesland

While you’d be mistaken for thinking the below-sea-level Dutchies exist underwater, the AquaZoo in Leeuwarden is where you’ll find actual marine life.

Fancy seeing the polar bears, penguins, and crocodiles splash about? AquaZoo is a great place to go with a group of friends or the whole family.

Admire the beautiful polar bears at AquaZoo Friesland. Image: Unsplash

Here, you will learn all about the different animals and how members of the zoo take care of them. The best way to take it all in is by checking out some of the animal shows they have on offer.

There’s even a “Seal Safari,” where you can take a boat to the middle of the lake and watch the seals swim around.

πŸ’Ά Price: €19.50 (online)

⏰ Opening Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM

πŸ“Location: De Groene Ster 2, 8926 XE Leeuwarden, Netherlands

8. Apenheul Apeldoorn

Apenheul is not only a unique animal park in the Netherlands but also a research centre that specialises in apes and monkeys.

The sweetest monkeys, all roaming free in Apenheul. Image: Apenheul/Wikimedia Commons/CC4.0

The monkeys are left just to roam free, so there’s no predicting what they’ll do (one may even sit on your shoulder!). πŸ™ˆ

There are signs with information scattered across the whole zoo, so you can learn all about these wonderful creatures as you walk around and watch them.

πŸ’Ά Price: Depending on the date, adults €20 – €26.50 and kids 3-12 €17.50 – €24 (online)

⏰ Opening Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM

πŸ“Location: J.C. Wilslaan 21, 7313 HK Apeldoorn, Netherlands

9. Pieterburen Seal Sanctuary

This sanctuary also gets our SEAL of approval. 🦭

The Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre in Pieterburen is the perfect place to go if you want to see more of the great things the Dutch animal research facilities are doing.

Rescued seals in Pieterburen Seal Sanctuary. Image: GerardM/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

You can learn all about seals and how this sanctuary rescues them. The place is basically one giant seal hospital, so it’s really an interesting and unique experience.

The seals in this centre were rescued and otherwise in poor health. Once they return to normal, they’re released back into the ocean.

πŸ’Ά Price: Adult €12.50, kids 3-12 €10.50

⏰ Opening Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM

πŸ“Location: Hoofdstraat 94-A, 9968 AG Pieterburen, Netherlands

10. Sea Life Scheveningen

Centres like Sea Life are basically giant aquariums with plenty of marine creatures to admire for hours.

This one is located at the beautiful Scheveningen beach (so you can really get your money’s worth in one trip) and has over 150 different types of fish. 🐠

Admire sharks up close. Source: Roel van Deursen/Flickr/CC2.0

There are also feeding demonstrations and activities for children. The centre has a large underwater tunnel, so you can walk through the tank looking up a variety of fish and sharks (it’s wild).

On Valentine’s Day, they even turn the place into a mini restaurant, so you can dine with your other half in the tunnel, literally under the sharks. That’s a date you won’t forget anytime soon. πŸ’

πŸ’Ά Price: Adult ~€20, kids aged 2-11 ~€16.50 (online)

⏰ Opening Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM

πŸ“Location: Strandweg 13, 2586 JK Den Haag, Netherlands

11. GaiaZoo Kerkrade

In the middle of the hilly, wooded South Limburg landscape, you can enjoy the stunning GaiaZoo, officially crowned the best outing in the Netherlands in 2023. πŸ†

And if that’s not convincing enough, this beautiful location is home to over 2000 animals, including more than 150 unique and endangered species.

A family of giraffes, just one of the lovely sights of Gaia Zoo. Image: Donarreiskoffer/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

Visitors have the chance to travel the world in one day, from the savannah to the rainforest. Say hello to lions, giraffes, gorillas, rhinos, red pandas, wolverines and even squirrel monkeys up close in the forest.

With rope bridges and climbing towers, plus worldly dishes in the restaurant, it’s not just the animals making GaiaZoo an exciting day out.

πŸ’Ά Price: [July and August] Adults €27.50, kids aged 3-9 €22.50 (online)

⏰ Opening Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM

πŸ“Location: Gaiaboulevard 1, 6468 PH Kerkrade

12. Ouwehands Dierenpark Rhenen

Originally starting out as a chicken farm, Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen now spans 22 hectares and is home to incredible creatures (not that we don’t think chickens are incredible enough). πŸ”

One very special feature of the zoo is the Bear Forest, where rescued brown bears roam alongside wolves in the beautiful wooded landscape.

The crowds gather at the Blue Lagoon attraction in Ouwehands, waiting for the spectacular sea lions! Image: Steven Lek/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

You can even enjoy the unique experience of visiting giant pandas in the Netherlands! Meet the cute pair of pandas while wondering around the Pandasia part of the park, built to look traditionally Chinese.

πŸ’Ά Price: Adults €29.50, kids €26.50

⏰ Opening Hours: Weekdays 10 AM – 5 PM, weekends 10 AM – 6 PM

πŸ“Location: Grebbeweg 111, 3911 AV Rhenen

13. Avifauna Bird Park Alphen aan den Rijn

Bird park Avifauna in Alphen aan den Rijn has all things feathered, from eagles to ostriches. But don’t forget the resident red pandas and monkeys, either.

The main attraction is all things flying, though, and there’s lots of space in this park for all the bird species to spread their wings.

All things feathers, beaks, and wings at Avifauna Bird Park. Image: Donald Trung Quoc Don/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

The birds at Avifauna are truly cared for, as all visitor’s fees go towards keeping the park perfect for its winged inhabitants.

This vogelpark (bird park) is one of the first dedicated bird parks in the world, complete with lots of greenery and ponds to take in as you wander.

πŸ’Ά Price: €18 (online)

⏰ Opening Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM

πŸ“Location: Hoorn 59, 2404 HG Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands

All zoo’d out? The Netherlands also has gorgeous national parks and exciting theme parks for you to enjoy, so your summer of fun starts here.

What are your favourite zoos in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Emma Brown
Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.

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