Home ATTRACTIONS ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo: Admission, opening hours & info

ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo: Admission, opening hours & info


If you know my blog, you know Amsterdam has much to offer. It’s to spend just a weekend there. But there are a few places that you have to visit when you’re in the city. The ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo offers a unique experience and a short break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Online-Ticket for the Royal Artis Zoo

The zoo is located in the centre of the Dutch capital, is the oldest in the country, and is one of the most pristine in Europe. A visit to this special place is ideal for solo travellers, young and old, and families with children. ARTIS has a lot to offer, and there are plenty of animals to marvel at – from huge to tiny ones…

The two other museums on the Artisplein are also worth a visit. Information, tickets, and opening times can be found at the end of the text.


What is there to see at the zoo?

What is there to see at the zoo?
Grévy-zebra op de Savanne. Foto ARTIS, Ronald van Weeren

The ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo is home to animals of all sizes and from all countries. More than 780 animal species live there, from butterflies to giraffes. The enclosures are designed true to nature and adapted to the native and exotic animal species. For visitors, a zoo tour is like travelling around the world—the zoo endeavours to recreate the animals’ natural habitat.

What is there to see at the zoo?
Een monarchvlinder in het Vlinderpaviljoen. Foto ARTIS, Ronald van Weeren

Visitors can “travel” from Africa to the Arctic in just one day. In addition, the enclosures are large, and the grounds are spacious. It is not for nothing that this zoo is one of the most beautiful in Europe. At Amsterdam Zoo, you can observe rare phenomena and conditions that cannot be found anywhere else. For example, same-sex pairs of animals live here. A beautiful park with various trees and flowers surrounds the animal enclosures, inviting you to linger and relax.

What is there to see at the zoo?
Een dwergoeistitie in het Apenhuis. Foto ARTIS, Edwin Butter

Various themed gardens in the park bloom beautifully in spring and summer and shine in the brightest colours. The zoo is regarded as a green oasis in the metropolis, a local recreation area for locals and tourists alike. The zoo also includes two museums, a butterfly house, an aquarium, and a planetarium. You can find everything you need about our planet in the Geological Museum.

What is there to see at the zoo?
Sterrencluster Planetarium. Foto ARTIS

✅ In the planetarium, you can learn everything there is to know about the universe. Concerts, picnics, lectures, and guided tours also occur at ARTIS, especially in summer. ARTIS is a real adventure zoo with so much to offer that it is worth a whole day trip. Officially, the zoo is also called Natura Artis Magistra, loosely translated as Nature is the master of the art. The zoo has always stuck to this motto since its opening.

What is there to see at the zoo?
Aziatische olifanten in ARTIS. Foto ARTIS, Amber Dekker

How much does admission to the zoo cost?

Here you can find the admission prices for the Royal Zoo in Amsterdam:

Artis ZooPrice*Ticket
Adults25,00 €Book Online
Children 3 - 9 years21,00 €Book Online
Children 0 - 2 yearsfree-

The tickets for the ARTIS Zoo do not include admission to the MICROPIA, a section of the zoo for microbiological creatures, or the ARTIS Groote Museum. Everything else about these remarkable exhibitions and the possibility of booking tickets can be found at the end of the text.

Free entry to the royal zoo

Free admission to ARTIS Zoo is only available for children up to 2 years old. Free admission to the zoo and the MICROPIA exhibition is also available to holders of the popular I Amsterdam City Card.

Find out more in my Amsterdam Pass comparison or directly on the provider’s booking page – Amsterdam city card. Cardholders can conveniently choose their I amsterdam City Card time slot for visiting the zoo via iamsterdam.com/en/i-am/timeslots. Of course, this is only possible within the validity period of the booked attractive travel pass.

Free entry to the royal zoo
Een rode vari op lemurenland. Foto ARTIS, Ronald van Weeren

Opening hours of the ARTIS Zoo in Amsterdam

Firstly, the good news is that the zoo is open all year round. Here you can find the exact opening times in detail:

Artis ZooOpening hours
1 March to 31 October9 AM to 6 PM
1 November to 28 February9 AM to 5 PM
Christmas Eve
1st and 2nd Christmas Day
9 AM to 5 PM
New Year's Eve9 AM to 4 PM
New Year's Day10 AM to 5 PM

✅ The opening hours for the MICROPIA exhibition and the ARTIS Groote Museum are listed below.

How long does a visit to the zoo take?

It would help if you planned to stay for 2 to 3 hours. For visitors with children, the duration of the visit can vary greatly depending on the age and interests of the little ones.

The queues at the entrance can often be very long, which can be very annoying for visitors with children. Therefore, Many zoo visitors book their tickets online in advance. The online tickets are available at the same price as the on-site box office.

How long does a visit to the zoo take?
Jaguar in ARTIS. Foto ARTIS, Edwin Butter

What is special about the ARTIS Zoo in Amsterdam?

What is special about the ARTIS Zoo in Amsterdam?
Een Kameroen rozenkever eet van een viooltje. Foto ARTIS, Ronald van Weeren

The ARTIS has many special features. But the most impressive feature is the design of the enclosures. In them, the natural habitat of the respective animal species has been recreated as realistically as possible. This makes it feasible for giraffes and zebras to live in the savannah. Coral reefs have been created in the aquarium to make it as homely as possible for the exotic fish. In the butterfly house, you can marvel at thousands of colourful small and large butterflies in a tropical setting. This not only has excellent advantages for the numerous zoo animals.

What is special about the ARTIS Zoo in Amsterdam?
Watoessirund op het Kamelenveld. Foto ARTIS, Ronald van Weeren

Humans learn much more about the respective animal species and their natural habitats. Another unique feature of the zoo that has already been mentioned is the same-sex couples living there among the 8,200 or so animals. These include dolphins, elephants, and flamingos. The zoo aims to bring nature to life and show it as it is. The aim is to demonstrate how animal species live, how they can be protected, and how rare plants and animals can be preserved. This transition from a simple zoo to an educational institution began in 2010, with an immediate focus on raising awareness of nature.

More lifelike enclosures were gradually built and renovated. Another unique feature is the Micropia microbe museum, which is all about the smallest of all living creatures. But more on that later.

History of Amsterdam Zoo

ARTIS Zoo was opened in 1838 in Plantagebuurt in the east of Amsterdam. It is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands and the first official zoo. In the beginning, however, it was still a small collection of animals that cannot be compared with today’s zoo. The ARTIS zoo was not intended to be kept privately, as was customary at the time but was to be made accessible to the middle classes. Initially, only a few animal species lived there.

History of Amsterdam Zoo
Mandril in ARTIS. Foto ARTIS, Edwin Butter

After monkeys and parrots, the population increased one year after the opening, and polar bears, elephants, lions, and zebras, among others, moved in. The foundation stone was laid, and the development into a zoological garden could begin. Even then, great importance was attached to the design of the zoo. The zoo is adorned with 27 listed monumental historical buildings, some of which have been preserved today. It was built in a landscaped area so that much could be created from the available natural resources. Ancient trees, some of which are listed, still stand along the edges of the paths.

Various gardens and themed gardens have also found their place here over the years. The Japanese garden is awe-inspiring. In the meantime, the zoo has developed into one of the most animal-friendly and beautiful in Europe.

Food and drink

Food and drink
ARTIS-Groote Museum. Foto ARTIS, Maarten van der Wal

Food and drinks are provided. There is also a restaurant, café, kiosk, snacks, and, of course, chips. The various refreshment options are spread across the park grounds.

For a hearty meal, the Café-Restaurant de Plantage is located near the zoo entrance in a unique location, with outdoor and indoor catering, open until after midnight.

Lage und Anfahrt des Zoos

ARTIS Zoo Amsterdam is located to the east of the centre of the canal city. It is about a 20-minute walk from Centraal Station to the zoo entrance. Walking from the famous Museumplein or the tranquil Jordaan neighbourhood takes about half an hour.

If this is too far or strenuous, you should use public transport. Tram 14 departs from Centraal Central Station and stops at ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo. The tram stops at 7 and 19, with the stop at Amsterdam Alexanderplein, a 10-minute walk from the zoo entrance. The same applies to the nearest metro station, Waterlooplein. If you want to walk only a little in Amsterdam, you can book your day or multi-day tickets in advance.

For car drivers, here is the satnav address: Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, 1018 CZ Amsterdam

ARTIS Zoo has its car park at the entrance to Plantage Kerklaan 40. Tickets are available at the ticket office, the parking machine at the main entrance, or the ARTIS Shop after the entrance. The discounted parking fee is € 15.00 on presentation of an admission ticket. This also applies to ticket holders of the Micropia exhibition.

Otherwise, the parking fee for the car park is € 6.00 / hour.

During the classic travel months, public holidays or school holidays, the zoo car park and surrounding parking facilities are quickly overcrowded. Parking is always a disaster in Amsterdam. So it’s best to travel by public transport or reserve a nearby car park in advance. I suggest Parking Amsterdam Centre Markenhoven, Anne Frankstraat 220, 1011 MP Amsterdam.

Services & souvenir shop & other information

The zoo offers free access for people with reduced mobility, with few exceptions. Wheelchairs can be hired at the entrance for a small fee. However, bookings are unfortunately not possible.

All sanitary facilities, including toilets for people with disabilities, baby changing stations, and breastfeeding rooms, are available to the general satisfaction of visitors.

Of course, you can only do with a small soft toy as a souvenir of your visit to Amsterdam Zoo. The Souvenirwinkel artis shop at the zoo entrance leaves nothing to be desired for young and old.

Important, but not surprisingDogs are not permitted. This also applies to assistance dogs with restrictions. Information directly from ARTIS Zoo, info@artis.nl. Smoking is also strictly prohibited on all zoo grounds.

My overall impression of the zoo

My overall impression of the zoo
Rifaquarium. Foto ARTIS, Ronald van Weeren

If you ask visitors to ARTIS what they thought of their trip to this place, you only hear good things. Its well-kept grounds, lifelike enclosures, and practical layout make a good impression that stays with you. You can’t help but be impressed by the diversity of the animals, even though the Amsterdam Zoo is relatively small compared to other European zoos. The enclosures are nice and large, adapted to the animals’ living conditions, and very educational.

The self-contained areas within the zoo make it easy to organise your tour of the grounds and not miss anything. There are areas where several animals live together or next to each other.

Examples of this are the zebras that graze alongside rhinos and giraffes and enjoy their Dutch savannah. And then, there are special areas or facilities for particular animal species, such as the butterfly pavilion or the birdhouse.

Micropia Museum Amsterdam

Micropia Museum Amsterdam
Quelle: Ciotu Cosmin, Micropia, CC BY-SA 4.0

One of the most exceptional museums in Europe is located right next to ARTIS. Opened in 2014, Micropia is a modern museum and the first in the world to focus exclusively on the smallest living creatures: microbes. These microscopic creatures are everywhere. They also include bacteria and viruses, which tend to have negative connotations. In Micropia, however, microbes will be illuminated from a different angle. Visitors are given an impressive insight into the role microbes play in our lives and what they are helpful for.

The museum is beautifully designed and scientifically oriented but enjoyable for children and adults alike. For example, you can observe microbes through a microscope and make up your own mind. Animals, plants, and objects can be seen up close under a microscope.

The museum is home to science, biology, and medicine all at the same time. Microbes can be found everywhere and are very useful for our lives.

Admission prices ARTIS Micropia exhibition

Unfortunately, a visit to Micropia is not included in the visitor ticket for Artis Zoo. The following admission prices apply here:

Adults 13+17,50 €Book Online
Children 0-12 yrsfree

Opening hours Micropia

The admission times for the Micropia exhibition, which is also open all year round, differ slightly from the opening times of ARTIS Zoo. Here are the exact times:

MicropiaOpening hours
1 March to 31 October11:00 am to 5:00 pm
1 November to 28 February11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Christmas Eve, 1st and 2nd Christmas Day11:00 am to 5:00 pm
New Year's Eve11:00 am to 4:00 pm
New Year's Day11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Artis Groote Museum

The freely accessible grounds of the ARTIS Zoo are also home to the ARTIS Groote Museum. This exhibition building focuses on the interrelationships between the existence of humans, animals, and plants. Here are the familiar questions – Where do we come from? Where are we going? – and how the everyday things in our lives are connected. Exciting, interactive, and surprising.

The building that houses the Groote Museum is also worth a visit. The restored interior of the museum is reminiscent of 19th-century Amsterdam.

Admission prices ARTIS Groote Museum

The following admission prices currently apply for entry to the ARTIS Groote Museum:

ARTIS Groote MuseumPrice*Ticket
Adults 13+17,50 €Book Online
Children 0-12 yrsFree-

Opening hours ARTIS Groote Museum

Like the ARTIS Zoo and the Micropia Museum, it is open all year round:

Note: A visit to the ARTIS Groote Museum is recommended for children aged eight and over.

Artis Groote MuseumOpening hours
January to DecemberDaily 10:00 to 18:00
Thursdays until 22:00

Is a visit to ARTIS Amsterdam Zoo worthwhile?

ARTIS is an absolute highlight on a city trip to Amsterdam. Although it is relatively small, it is nevertheless very varied and experience-orientated. Ideal for young and old, big and small, you can learn a lot about nature, life and the animals of this world. The surrounding park invites you to relax and linger, especially as you can discover many different plant species besides the many animals. So the answer to whether a visit is worthwhile is a resounding yes! And from here you can visit other sights in Amsterdam directly.

And if you prefer a more cozy atmosphere, you can sit down in one of the pretty cafés or restaurants there after you visit the zoo and round off the day in peace. For a cold beer, head to Brouwerij ‘t IJ, a typical Dutch brewery housed in a windmill. Funenkade 7, 15 minutes’ walk from the zoo entrance to the bar!

Attractions near the zoo

Attractions near the zoo
Quelle: ARTIS – Tulpen bij het ARTIS-Aquarium. Foto ARTIS, Ronald van Weeren

It is pretty close to Amsterdam’s other sights, most of which are in the city centre. However, if you want to spend a little longer in this green part of the Dutch metropolis with its many waterways, you should combine a visit to the zoo with a visit to the Nemo Museum or the Maritime Museum. Both are located in the same neighbourhood and are top attractions for Amsterdam travellers with children and teenagers. Tickets are also available directly here – Nemo and Maritime Museum.

Attractions near the zoo
Fotograf: DigiDaan

✅ The same applies to the Wereldmuseum at Linnaeusstraat 2. Amsterdam is a fantastic city for city travellers with younger children. Amsterdam also has many tips for children.

Those interested in culture are more likely to visit the Jewish Historical Museum or the Hermitage Amsterdam, both of which are also within walking distance of the zoo entrance.

*All prices stated in the text are subject to change. The provider’s current offer always applies.


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