If you are in the Netherlands and interested in visiting a zoological garden, this post may be handy. I will introduce you to the 15 best zoos in the Netherlands, that all differ from each other. Some of them just focus on monkeys, sea creatures, butterflies or on a mixture of animals like mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians or insects. In Dutch, we call most of the zoos: ‘dierentuinen’.
Here’s the list with the 15 best zoos in The Netherlands. Enjoy!
Artis Royal Zoo, Amsterdam (open all year)
Artis, short for Natura Artis Magistra, is a zoo located in Amsterdam. The zoo contains lot of animals, an aquarium and a planetarium. It is the oldest zoo of the Netherlands.
Diergaarde Blijdorp, Rotterdam (open all year)
Diergaarde Blijdorp is located in Rotterdam. Next to all the animals, the zoo also has a botanical garden with butterflies and an aquarium.
Ouwehands Dierenpark, Rhenen (open all year)
Ouwehands Dierenpark is located in Rhenen, close to Utrecht. The zoo is well-known for its ‘berenbos’ (bears forest). This is a forest where you can find wolves and bears, mainly brown bears that are recovering from maltreatment.
Wildlands, Emmen (open all year)
Wildlands in Emmen is an adventure theme park with three areas: Jungola (jungle), Serenga (safari), and Nortica (polar area). The zoo is really nice. You can for example explore the jungle by boat, get lost in the bamboo maze or explore the savannah of the lions and giraffes by jeep.
Apenheul, Apeldoorn (open all year)
Apenheul in Apeldoorn is specialised in apes and monkeys. Most of the monkeys walk around freely in the forest and between the visitors. It is a fun experience, but you should keep aware of your belongings. Some monkeys can be very naughty.
Dierenpark Amersfoort, Amersfoort (open all year)
Dierenpark Amersfoort is located in the province of Utrecht. It is home to more than 100 animal species. The zoo also has an insect house and a big birdhouse where you can walk through. There is also a possibility to use a boat and explore certain areas from close by.
Safaripark Beekse Bergen, Hilvarenbeek (open all year)
Safaripark Beekse Bergen is the largest wildlife zoo of the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) region. Safaripark Beekse Bergen offers the possibility to explore the park on numerous safaris: walksafari, carsafari, bussafari and boatsafari.
Sea Aquarium, Bergen aan Zee (open all year)
Sea aquarium Bergen aan Zee contains more than 320 fish species including 4000 fishes. You can take a journey through the Amazon Jungle with its piranhas and creepy reptiles, via the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical oceans and the Mediterranean Sea to the North Sea and discover the most spectacular fishes and other sea animals.
Royal Burgers’ Zoo, Arnhem (open all year)
Royal Burgers’ Zoo, also called ‘Koninklijke Burgers’ Zoo’, is located in the east of the Netherlands, in Arnhem. It is one of the biggest zoos of the Netherlands and consists of eight theme sites: Burgers’ dierenpark (original part), Burgers’ safari (safari), Burgers’ bush (tropical rainforest), Burgers’ Mangrove (a mangrove swamp), Burgers’ Desert (indoor desert), Burgers’ Ocean (seawater aquarium), Burgers’ Avonturenland (the zoo’s playground), Burgers’ Rimba (Southeast Asian rainforest) and Burgers’ Kids Jungle (Indoor playground in the theme of a South-American village). I love this zoo! It has so many themes and keep renewing things, so every time I visit it, it is a new adventure.
Sea Life, Scheveningen (open all year)
Just like, Sea Aquarium, Sea Life Scheveningen is a huge aquarium located close to The Hague. Sea Life contains lot of fish species, but also rays, sharks, otters and sea turtles.
GaiaZoo, Kerkrade (open all year)
Gaia zoo is located in Kerkrade, in the province Limburg. The zoo contains more than 80 different animal species and has a squirrel monkey forest and an African Savannah.
Dolfinarium Harderwijk, Hardewijk (open from 20 February -30 October)
Dolfinarium Harderwijk is a marine mammal park in Harderwijk, the Netherlands. It is the largest marine mammal park in Europe. In this park you can see bottlenose dolphins, walruses, sea lions, seals, harbor porpoises, rays, sharks and other marine animals, either in their basin or performing tricks.
Zoo Parc, Overloon (open all year)
Zoo Parc Overloon is focused on exotic animals. The parc contains eight themes; Headquarter (Asian animals), Boulders Beach (South-African coast), Outback (Australia), Amazone (Sotuh-America), Jangalee (tigers), Ngorongoro (African lions), Baobab (African monkeys) and Forest (forest animals and birds).
Reptielenhuis De Aarde, Breda (open from Wednesday-Friday)
This indoor reptile house in Breda is located in the south of the Netherlands. It is a zoo where you can discover diverse reptiles like snakes, turtles and crocodiles.
Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre, Pieterburen (open from Wednesday-Friday)
This is not really a zoo, but more a ‘day-care’ and research center for seals. In Dutch, this center is called: ‘Zeehondencentrum Pieterburen’. I think it’s very important that his center is part of this list with the best zoos in the Netherlands. The center rescues seals that have been injured by boats or fishing nets and those that have been sickened due to pollution. The center also rescues orphaned pups. On Saturday and Sunday, the center provides guided-tours (€2,50 p.p.).
The 15 best zoos in the Netherlands
I hope that this list will inspire you to discover one of these amazing Dutch zoos. Have you ever been to one of these Dutch Zoos? Did you like it? Which one did you liked the most?