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Rotterdam Zoo (or Diergaarde Blijdorp in Dutch) is one of the most popular attractions in the Netherlands and most the most visited Rotterdam attraction, because this 150 year old zoo is one of Europe's most beautiful zoos. During your tour through Rotterdam Zoo, you discover the animal world on a voyage from the Asian Rainforest and the African Savannah to the Himalayas Highlands and the Gorilla Forest in Congo. At Rotterdam Zoo you can see all the animals in their natural habitat.
After entering Rotterdam Zoo, you'll see one of their highlights right away: the Oceanium. Here you make a magical journey across the sea bed and along the coast and you will get to know different underwater and coastal animals. The Oceanium is like real swimming with sharks, playful sea otters, snakes, King penguins and giant turtles from the Galapagos Islands. The shark tunnel of the Oceanarium in Rotterdam is an absolutely unique experience!
Opposite to the Oceanium, you'll enter the Blijdorp Arctica world, with cool residents such as snowy owls, arctic foxes and sea eagles. The highlight of Arctic is the impressive ice cave shaped polar bear residence. Within this cave you can get very close to the polar bears, both under water and ashore. The most famous resident of the Arctic was the baby polar bear Vicks, now moved to Mulhouse. While playing with a stone, he smashed one of the huge windows of the aquarium! Everything was captured on film, which is now shown in a little movie theatre.
The buffalo homes face the Arctica area, as well as the spectacular show with predatory birds which takes place several times a day. If you walk a bit further, you'll discover the tropical butterfly paradise Amazonica, Blijdorp's newest attraction. Within a huge indoor dome, Blijdorp have created a miniature Amazon rainforest. Experience the tropical heat in Amazonica and look around! Thousands of colourful South-American butterflies are dancing all around you. During your discovery tour, you see river banks with tropical vegetation and fragrant flowers. You might also get to see the impressive anaconda, the piranhas and some freshwater rays which swim in the shallow water along the Amazonica banks.
After leaving Amazonica, you'll underpass the railway tracks on your way to the oldest part of the Rotterdam Zoo. Here you'll find the African savannah, the largest open area within Rotterdam Zoo. From the top of the huge Baobab-lookout-tree, you could have a great conversation with one of the giraffes, if you wanted to. The top of the tree is also a safe position to spot the other Savannah animal such as zebras, ostriches and various antelope species. The base of the tree contains the indoor hyena homes. Via an elevated deck you can walk to the Savannah-House and the Crocodile-River to watch the crocodiles both under water and ashore. The scary Vulture-Rock is also located within the Savannah area. It's a huge walk through-volary with both vultures and cranes.
The Asia section of Rotterdam Zoo includes the gigantic Asian elephants, which can be viewed both indoors or outdoors. In summer, watch how the elephants take a refreshing bath. At Blijdorp zoo also sweet baby elephants are born at a regular basis. Within the Asian part of Blijdorp, you'll also find the Chinese garden with those characteristic Chinese pavilions and little bridges. Don't forget about the tigers: from behind safety glass you are going to be very near!
The oldest part of Blijdorp Zoo is the monumental Rivièra hall. In this part of the Zoo you will find a number of animals, which you would actually expect on a different 'continent' within the zoo. The Rivièra hall is home of the lions and exotic reptiles such as snakes and salamanders. Close to this Rivièra hall, you will also find the gorilla residence and here you can see Bokito, the huge gorilla male, who became world news in 2007. He escaped from the gorilla island by jumping over the canal, causing panic among the visitors. Eventually Bokito was brought back to his stay where you can now safely visit and admire him.
The Blijdorp Zoo is a fun day out in Rotterdam for the whole family! Blijdorp has a lot of information points where children can learn about the animals and their environment. If your kids want to have some physical action, they can blow out in the huge outdoor playground with some cool slides. Or maybe the treasure hunt by Ranger Bob is nice for your kids. In the afternoon you can relax on the terrace with a drink and a snack, but for many children, the souvenir shop is still the number one Blijdorp attraction: here they sell the popular cuddly elephant Olli!
Also in wintertime Rotterdam Blijdorp Zoo is very attractive. There are many fun activities, such as a laid back winter square and a spectacular 25-metre sleighing run! At the Blijdorp restaurants you can warm up with some hot chocolate or a cup typical Dutch pea soup. Most animals can be seen at their indoor stays as well. The brand new Blijdorp playground called Biotopia is located at the monumental Rivièra Hall. At this Biotopia playground your kids will have fun 365 days a year no matter if it's sunny or a rainy day.
|Monday||9:00 - 17:00|
|Tuesday||9:00 - 17:00|
|Wednesday||9:00 - 17:00|
|Thursday||9:00 - 17:00|
|Friday||9:00 - 17:00|
|Saturday||9:00 - 17:00|
|Sunday||9:00 - 17:00|
Rotterdam Zoo has two different entrances. The first is the Rivièra Hall entrance, which is located near Rotterdam Centraal Station. The Rivièra Hall entrance is the best choice if you travel by public transport.
From Lightrail station Blijdorp it's a 10 minute walk via Stadhoudersweg and Van Aerssenlaan. From Rotterdam CS it's a 12 minute walk via Bentincklaan or as an alternative ride bus 40 or 44. From Rotterdam CS you could also take bus 33 of 40; you'll be taken to the second Zoo entrance: Oceanium. Plan your trip for free at www.9292.nl. To travel by public transport in Rotterdam, you must first purchase a Travel chip card.
The second entrance of Rotterdam Zoo is at the Oceanium, which is located at Blijdorplaan 8. Pay to park at €8,00 on their private parking lot, which is located here. (Blijdorp car park P1)
Ride the historic tram lind 11 from Rotterdam CS to Rotterdam Zoo, a service only available during school holidays. Return tickets are available at a modest fare of €1,50.
" Neither the high admission price, nor the printed maps reflected the fact that a sizable portion of the eastern section of the zoo was closed for an extensive renovation. Many animals were dislocated from their habitats. The parts of the eastern section that were open were surprisingly old and run down. Concessions were also rather overpriced. Also, lots of racket from the adjacent highway and train tracks - you never forget that you’re in the middle of a big city. On the plus side - the western section (ocean exhibits and polar bear habitat) were excellent, and the staff was very friendly. Light crowds on the Monday that we went. Some great playgrounds for the kiddos. If you live in the area - I’d suggest waiting until the renovation is complete before visiting. I’m sure it will look magnificent when done."
" So much to do here. You could spend two days to do it all justice. Worth bringing a picnic and spending the whole day here. We visited with two toddlers in October 2017 when the zoo was celebrating its birthday and so there were discounted entry deals. We did about 50% of the zoo, and what we saw was fun, engaging and memorable. Parking was easy, but many locals had also cycled there. There are no pay machines I the car parks, your zio entry ticket will get you out if you remember to tell the staff to activate it. The underground polar bear gallery was amazing and unexpected. As were the undersea tunnels, though they were busy. We saw giraffes, elephants and zebras in great habitats and the kids enjoyed hoe close you got to the crocodiles. Potentially pricey but we'll worth it if you pack a picnic and make a full day of it."
" Having been to many zoos, this was the first time to Blijdorp. The zoo consists of two parts, the old part in town and the new part at the other side of the railway and which contains the entrance. The new part is nicely set up. It has a fantastic polar bear display, the aquarium is great and the wild and tame guinea pigs cute. The old part is being transformed and still has good displays, including the lions, tigers and elephants, as well as a great restaurant. Well worth the visit."
" It was a fun experience for sure! There where a lot of animals you could see up close which makes for quite the experience. They also have a lot of different kind of animals. The zoo was clean, it is organized in my opinion. The restaurant had good food. When I was here it was freezing so a few animals where in their stables and couldn't be seen. So keep that in mind if you are planning on visiting this zoo. Most of the animals could be seen in their stables however."
" The best zoo I have visited. It is well maintained , the animals have a lot of space compared to other zoos, and there are places where visitors could observe them from very close distance. I went for the polar bears. It is the first time I see them in real live and they were impressive. I liked the penguins and how playful they become at feeding time. It is the first time I see so many giraffes at one place, it was the first time I see Okapis too. The gorillas were majestic. I spent 20 minutes just watching them play, eat and waiting for them to watch me in the eyes. And they did! The Aquarium is also very nice. The water tunnel is something that makes the entry fee worth. There are toilets, cafes, train shuttle that take you to both ends of the zoo. This place is great for people of all ages!"
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