Diergaarde Blijdorp is one of those attractions that both children and adults enjoy visiting. It’s a big zoological garden in Rotterdam, which is not only about seeing wild animals in captivity but also education about wild animals, nature, pollution and endangered species.

Are Zoos a Bad Thing?

I’d like to start this post off with a small disclaimer about my views on zoos, circuses and animals in captivity, because it’s a heated topic nowadays and I totally understand why.

Flamingoes Diergaarde Blijdorp Rotterdam Zoo
Flamingoes in Rotterdam Zoo

When zoological gardens first were created, it was pure fun for visitors. Seeing all those wild animals in captivity in not so great and well thought out conditions was interesting because there were no other ways to see them in real life, if you couldn’t travel across the world and many people couldn’t do that. Even going on a much shorter trip was much more expensive than nowadays, not talking about crossing borders and visiting other continents.

Pelicans Diergaarde Blijdorp Rotterdam Zoo
Pelicans in Rotterdam Zoo

Times had changed significantly and we not only have more opportunities to travel across the globe but also more resources to look up interesting wild animals without even leaving our homes. That’s why some people say zoological gardens should not exist anymore and we should leave those poor animals alone. While all those things were changing, purpose of zoos changed as well. It is still fun, but nowadays it’s more focused on education and prevention.

Small kangaroo Diergaarde Blijdorp Rotterdam Zoo
Small kangaroo in Rotterdam Zoo

People running zoological gardens are more aware of their role in modern world, especially here in Europe. Even in Diergaarde Blijdorp you can see a display of how conditions of living for their animals have changed for better because of this awareness. It will not be perfect, because even outside world is not perfect for those animals anymore.

Diergaarde Blijdorp Rotterdam Zoo

People have destroyed a lot of ecosystems by polluting, tree logging and illegal hunting. Zoological gardens are places where some of the species have a chance to survive this madness. Some even collect percent from the ticket sales to prevent animals in their natural habitat from endangerment. Their role switched from taking wild animals and mistreating them in captivity to preventing and educating people of how their actions and everyday choices effect lives of other species across the world.

So in my opinion, zoos are not a bad thing, if run properly. Releasing those animals in nature doesn’t mean better life for them, rather quicker death. Of course everyone can have their own opinions but I would like to keep discussion kind and respectful, if you think otherwise.

Trip to Diergaarde Blijdorp

After this long disclaimer, let’s get to the fun part. To be honest, I didn’t expect Diergaarde Blijdorp (Rotterdam Zoo) to be this big. I really don’t know why, because I should have. Rotterdam is second biggest city in the Netherlands, after all.

Here’s a video from my visit to Diergaarde Blijdorp.

Even though the weather was not great, visit in the zoo is always fun. At least it wasn’t raining 😉

Small kangaroos Diergaarde Blijdorp Rotterdam Zoo
Small kangaroos in Diergaarde Blijdorp

They offer a free app that you can download for both iOS and Android devices. This app will show you the map of the zoo and possible trails. It also contains more detailed descriptions of Diergaarde Blijdorp residents. I think it’s a good invention to get better experience in the zoological garden.

Tickets to Diergaarde Blijdorp (Rotterdam Zoo)

Giraffes Diergaarde Blijdorp Rotterdam Zoo
Giraffes in Diergaarde Blijdorp
  • Adults €24.50 or €23.50 if bought online
  • Children (3-12) €20.00 or €19.00 if bought online
  • They also offer group tours and stays for business, schools and special events

When you buy tickets online, you don’t have to print them out, just show barcode in the pdf file at the entrance.

Opening hours of Diergaarde Blijdorp (Rotterdam Zoo)

  • Wintertime opening hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Summertime opening hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • New Year’s Day: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Diergaarde Blijdorp is open 365 days in a year