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Artis Zoo: The Oldest Zoo in The Netherlands

With 750 kinds of animals in replica natural habitats, the Artis Zoo in Amsterdam, Netherlands, was founded in 1838. Beautiful gardens are home to countless plants and flowers that bloom every spring and summer. Both young and elderly will have a great time here on a day trip.

1. Artis Royal Zoo: The best place in Amsterdam for children and family

The Artis Royal Zoo, which opened its doors in 1838, is just as magical today as it was then, almost 200 years ago. The Amsterdam zoological park is a haven for approximately 700 animal species and 200 tree varieties, many of which are close to extinction.


It is also a tranquil oasis in the middle of a bustling city. Amsterdam Artis is also one of the few zoos in Europe with so many listed structures on its grounds, including the Aquarium (1867), the Large Museum (1855), and the distinctive Library building (1867). (1882).

2. History of the Artis Royal Zoo


Gerard Westerman, J.W.H. Werlemann, and J.J. Wijsmuller established the zoo in 1838. (also known as the three Ws). At first, it was only accessible to members. It was made accessible to the public every September beginning in 1851. Despite being accessible to the public all year long since 1920, September is still discounted.

3. The meaning of the name

Because the zoo has three gates with the words “Natura,” “Artis,” and “Magistra” written above each of them, it is frequently referred to as Artis. Most of the time, only the middle gate was open, leading passersby to believe that the zoo’s name was simply Artis when they saw the word “Artis” printed above it.

As a result, very few individuals immediately knew it by its full name, Natura Artis Magistra.

4. What is interesting about Artis Zoo?

An amazing botanical garden

ARTIS is a botanical garden in addition to a zoo. In June 2020, the Dutch Association of Botanical Gardens formally declared it to be so (NVBT)

In actuality, it is Amsterdam’s oldest city park. Numerous annuals, perennials, and houseplants are among the innumerable shrubs.


More than 700 trees at the ARTIS Park, representing more than 200 different species, enjoy the status of an arboretum. Some of the trees, including the Heijmans oak, which is the oldest tree in Amsterdam, are even older than ARTIS itself. Late in the 18th century, this one was planted.

Over 500 species and animals

It should come as no surprise that many Amsterdam residents have zoo memberships that allow them to enjoy the park, botanical gardens, and greenhouses in addition to the animals.

Apes, zebras, butterflies, lions, mice, and elephants are just a few of the zoo’s more than 500 different species of animals.


Although, prior to its renovation program, the zoo contained approximately 1500 species.

Speaking of which, whenever possible, there are no bars or cages in the animal enclosures. Instead, in a landscape that replicates their natural habitat, the animals seem unhurried and pleased.

An aquarium area in Amsterdam


Take a peak inside Amsterdam’s eerie canals while you’re in the aquarium area, or if you’re feeling very bold, sneak a photo of the crocodiles!

Micropia museum


This section of the Artis Zoo is devoted to microorganisms and will take you to a completely different planet than our own.

And Planetarium


Visit distant star systems or follow the planets’ amazing evolution in the planetarium from the beginning of the cosmos to the present.

Zoological Museum


The museum features several exhibitions as well as some fascinating scientific collections from the early 19th century.

5. Ticket price for Artis Zoo

  • Normal (10 to 64 years): €21,50.
  • Children (3 to 9 years): €18.
  • Children (0 to 2 years): Free.

6. Opening hours for the Artis Zoo

  • 1 March to 31 October: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • 1 November to 29 February: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In the summer (June, July, and August), the park is open until dusk on Saturdays with a unique program called ZOOmeravonden that features activities for kids, music, guided tours, and more.

7. Attractions near the zoo

Plantage, a lush but central neighborhood, has a lot to offer. Artis zoo is close to other popular Amsterdam sites, including the Hermitage, Tropenmuseum, and National Maritime Museum, because of its blend of great avenues, museums, and a thriving gastronomic and cultural scene.


Additionally, nearby are the Hortus Botanicus and the Royal Theatre Carré. Reward yourself by enjoying a drink and some food at the lively Nieuwmarkt square or one of the many cafés around Linnaeusstraat. Or go all out Dutch by stopping at Brouwerij ‘t IJ, a brewery housed inside a windmill, for a beer.

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