One disadvantage about visiting this zoo is the fact that you have to travel to one of the ugliest, least inspiring places in the Netherlands, the eyesore of a 'town' that is called Emmen.
Now if you arrive by car (most of the people will do this since Emmen is not well served by public transport) and follow the traffic signs for parking at the Noorder Dierenpark you will be sent to a large car park that is ONE KILOMETER away from the entrance.
Yes, a parking that is one kilometer away from the destination connected to it...world record?
And it is expensive as well....8 euro just for putting your car away. O yes, there are only two machines were you can pay (long queues in summer) and they ONLY accept cash...so far for the tourist-friendliness.
The direction to the zoo is very poorly signposted.
We eventually found it and immediately after entering I had memories from the time when I visited this zoo as a kid, back in the seventies...
At that time the Emmen Zoo was one of the most modern in the world and it still draws its reputation from this period. Animals were not stored away in dismal cages but had a large degree of freedom to move around.
However, since then many zoos have cleaned up their acts and improved a lot while Emmen Zoo still seems stuck in the seventies...the buildings, the enclosures, the 'educational exhibitions' , even the toilets (poorly signposted and dirty) and the elevators...it is so much seventies that it revived lots of memories.
However, I feel that this zoo should not dwell on past glory and modernize.
I understand that they will move to a larger area outside of the 'center' of Emmen and that would be a good thing since the place is really crammed, with narrow walkways and a small area.
In other zoos we could keep ourselved busy 3 to 4 hours, In Emmen we had seen it all in 2,5 hours and frankly, I do not intend to go back.
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