Artis (Amsterdam Zoo)
Artis (Amsterdam Zoo) Review
Short for Natura Artis Magistra ("Nature is the Teacher of the Arts"), Artis was continental Europe's first zoo and is the world's third oldest. Built in the mid-19th century, the 37-acre park is home to a zoo, a natural-history museum and zoological research center, a planetarium with regular films (not just about space), a butterfly pavilion, a geological museum and an aquarium with 500 species of freshwater and saltwater fish, and a fun cross-section of an Amsterdam canal complete with eels and dumped bicycles. Several animal quarters (the poor lions...) are showing their age but Artis has redevelopment plans. It's a good family day out, and the zoo and all its museums are accessible on a single ticket. The Artis Zoo Express canal boat from Rederij Lovers combines a visit to the zoo with an (expensive) hour-long canal tour (in 15 languages) and goes from Centraal Station.