When visiting The Netherlands, a visit to the beautiful historic city of Amsterdam is absolutely a must! Not only because of the picturesque canals, interesting museums, beautiful parks and typical Amsterdam cafes, the capital of The Netherlands has a lot more to offer!
In the Plantage district, right in the heart of the city, you will find Artis, the oldest zoo in The Netherlands. Besides being home to over 900 species of a wide range of animals, Artis also features a botanical garden, planetarium, geological museum, zoological museum, aquarium, insectarium and a beautiful butterfly pavilion.
In the zoo you can find several themed gardens, like a Dutch and Japanese garden. Furthermore you will also find a greenhouse with various tropical plants. Throughout the park there are several monumental trees, some are older than the Artis Zoo itself.
In the Planetarium you can see movies that were specifically made for the planetarium dome, taking you on a journey through our solar system, become an astronaut or become a diver and visit the deep sea. The movies are for young and old people and last approximately 30 minutes.
In the geological museum you can see the history of life on earth, going from minerals and fossils to impressive dinosaur skeletons.
The zoological museum in the Artis Zoo is one of the two major natural history museum in The Netherlands and organizes various exhibitions.
In the Artis butterfly pavilion you can enjoy more than 1000 butterflies flying from flower to flower amongst the visitors. In the butterfly pavilion you will also enjoy the scents of all the flowering plants and trees.
The Artis Zoo is open every day of the year. From 1 November to 31 March, the zoo opens is open from 09:00 hrs to 17:00 hrs. From 1 April to 31 October you can visit Artis until 18:00 hrs.
During certain periods of the year this cultural zoo has special opening times. Visit for instance Summernight at the zoo, which means that you can Artis in June, July and August until dawn. Also during the winterperiod they have special opening times. Make sure to visit the website of Artis to get the most up-to-date information.
English guided tours are available on request.
Artis is easily accessible by public transport. Take tram 9 from the Amsterdam Central Station, it will stop right next to the Artis Zoo at the Plantage Kerklaan stop. Tram 14 and 10 also stop within walking distance of the zoo. Waterloo is the nearest metro station. From the Waterloo Station to Artis is a 10-minute walk.
You can also travel to Artis in a more special way, the zoo is also accessible by the Artis Zoo Express from the shipping company Lovers and the Canalbus.
You can also travel to the oldest zoo in The Netherlands by car. Next to Artis you will find a car park and visitors can use the cheaper Artis parking rate. Be aware that on busy days there is only limited parking space available.
Refer to my other Amsterdam articles if you are interested in:
- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in The Netherlands
- Parks and Gardens in Amsterdam
- Fun Things To Do For Kids In Amsterdam
- Art Museums In Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum
- Art Museums In Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum
- Interesting museums in Amsterdam: Heineken Experience and House of Bols
- Shopping in Amsterdam, The Netherlands