Blijdorp Zoo

Rotterdam Zoo is one of the best zoos in the Netherlands and a great day out for kids!

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Meet animals across the continents

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.

Oceanium: swim with the sharks

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!

Arctica: hug a polar bear

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.

Amazonica: dancing with butterflies

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.

Savannah: chat with a giraffe

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.

Asia: meet tigers and elephants

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!

Europe: Who is afraid of Bokito?

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.

Rotterdam Zoo for children

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!

Blijdorp Zoo: also in wintertime

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.


Q How can I get to Blijdorp Zoo by public transport?

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.

Q Is there a parking close to Blijdorp Zoo?

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.