Artis, Amsterdam

.There are many things that I love to take photos of - people, plants, flowers... and animals! To find the best photo opportunities, I visited the Amsterdam Royal Zoo - Artis in April 2017. Artis has been in Amsterdam since 1838 and nowadays, you can find it in a quite a busy areas of Amsterdam. My first impression was that it is weirdly located in the middle of a city. In my experience, zoos are usually located on the side of a city or even in between cities to allow their inhabitants to have constant peace and sense of wild nature. You can click on the image on the right to access maps.

TIP: I highly recommend purchasing a ticket online before you go. The waiting line for tickets was huge and with an online ticket, you can just skip the whole line and go right to the entrance!

As one would expect, the zoo is filled with many and many animals from the beginning to the end. You are immediately greeted by the first exhibition and it just keeps going. You can find anything from gorillas, giraffes, elephants, peacocks to white wolves, kangaroos, tiny monkeys (whatever they are called, check the images below this article and let me know what they are called if you know), lizards and many birds.

Overall, it's a decent zoo. Comparing to zoos such as the Prague Zoo in Czech Republic or the Pairi Diaza in Belgium, Artis is much smaller and does not provide their animals a large space. Especially for the elephants, but I have to acknowledge that when I was there, they were collecting donations in order to turn their parking lot into a larger space for their elephants. I really hope that they managed to do that because they were really cramped up in there.

As for the tiny monkeys; they were by far the friendliest. They were about 10-15 centimeters tall, using their tiny hands and feet to climb up and down the trees and to jump around. There were designated food spots for them with fresh fruits and one of them came right in front of me and shamelessly started biting on a juice grape. He was not afraid even one bit, letting me take the closest and not to mention cutest photos.

Opposite to the friendliest animal, after walking through the whole zoo, I stumbled upon the gorilla pavilion. There are many videos of gorillas running towards the glass and almost appearing to trying to attack the observers. Well, did I find them funny before I experienced it first hand. It was just before their feeding time so I would guess that they were all getting pretty hangry and were running around, fighting each other. Since they were so active, a good amount of people gathered around to watch. The largest gorilla from the pavilion, also appearing to be one of the older ones, decided to run full speed towards the plexi glass and jump with all his force onto the glass right in front of me. Let me tell you that I almost poo'd my pants 😂 Not the best experience but definitely made this zoo trip memorable.

To summarize - the Artis is a great place to bring your kids, especially if you live in or near Amsterdam. There is definitely enough entertainment for the whole day and if you get a chance to go on a weekday, such as Monday or Tuesday, do that simply because there will probably be a lot less families, allowing you to enjoy all of the exhibitions in privacy. To repeat again - it is not the best zoo but it should definitely be on your to-go list. If not the Artis, then at least Blijdorp in Rotterdam (I have heard that Blijdorp is slightly better than Artis, but I still have yet to visit it myself).

Now enjoy some of my favorite images from my trip:

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