Established in 1838, Amsterdam’s city zoo — Artis Royal Zoo — is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands. And despite being located in an area that is confined by the city itself, the zoo still has around 900 species of animals. You’ll find zebras, giraffes, elephants, and chimpanzees as well as a butterfly house, planetarium, and insectarium.
This is a zoo filled with 19th-century architecture, which you can and should appreciate as you stroll along the pathways. You can also visit the zoo museum which has a selection of taxidermy and other 19th-century artefacts.
There are zookeeper talks throughout the day, and while they are in Dutch, you are free to ask questions in English. Don’t miss the zoo’s aquarium complete with a canal cross section for you to see just what is in all those canals around the city. And before leaving, pop into the gift shop to get your very own Artis the Partis, the zoo’s mascot.