We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“stuck in the seventies” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Northern Zoo

Northern Zoo
Hoofdstraat 18 | Postbus 1010, 7801 BA Emmen, The Netherlands
+31 (0)591-850 850
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Emmen
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Biking
Attraction details
Utrecht, Netherlands
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
45 attraction reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
“stuck in the seventies”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

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.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

116 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    54
    46
    15
    1
    0
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
York, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Once you get over the "HOW MUCH"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

Once you get over the 21 euro entrance fee the zoo is very, very, good. We did Belfast zoo a couple of years ago and decided to visit this one in Holland this year.
Car parking, yes the parking you passed on the way into the zoo is the one you need to park at. don't follow your sat nav right to the door as it is right to the door in the middle of the market, on Fridays....

When we were there the whole Zoos animals were on edge due to a huge thunderstorm coming in and it was interesting to see them all acting differently. The elephants lions and Baboon's were superb and the giraffes just stood in the pouring rain looking at the people hiding from the rain in the panther house. Never saw the tiger. but the muddy paw prints on the glass door gave you a idea of his length.
Over all brilliant. The Markets good too.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zoetermeer, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
60 attraction reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Up close and comfortable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

Maybe not the biggest zoo in Netherland, but definatly worth a visit. Surprisingly, you spend more tiime indoors than uit. Many of the exhibits can be seen from inside. Nice on those rainy days.
They have a fabulose butterfly room. Hundreds of butterflies and many species.
There are a number of places to eat. Its kept clean. Good access.
One warning: Its quite a walk from the parking area to the zoo itself.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great Zoo for every age!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

So much to see, one day is not enough. If it rains you can visit the indoor expositions and animals, the Butterfly Garden and kids can play at the huge indoor playground. If it's sunny there are so many more things outside. It's clean, spacious, the staff is friendly and fun for people of every age.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Veendam, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Moving soon”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

The Emmen Zoo is now stil located in downtown, but will soon move to more spaceous grounds a bit further. Whatever you do, don't miss the unique butterfly house!

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Northern Zoo also viewed

Barger-Compascuum, Drenthe Province
Hooghalen, Drenthe Province
 
Assen, Drenthe Province
Emmen, Drenthe Province
 

Been to Northern Zoo? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Northern Zoo, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.