Amsterdam’s wonderfully family-friendly zoo was established in 1838 and covers more than 14 hectares (35 acres) of tree-lined pathways and landscaped gardens. It has more than 900 species of animals, successfully combining 19th-century layouts and buildings with a 21st-century commitment to conservation and breeding. Here lions, elephants, lemurs, giraffes, and gazelles range fairly freely, and the ticket price grants admission to Artis’s Aquarium, the Insect House, Geological Museum, and Planetarium where 3D films on the birth of the planet are shown. If you’re traveling with kids, head to the children’s farm (with assorted small animals to pet) and take note of the daily keeper talks, vulture and lion feeding sessions, and sea lion training demonstrations to fit in to your day as well. On Saturdays between June and the end of August the zoo stays open into the late evening.

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Also worth visiting (though admission is 6.50€  (extra) is the adjacent Micropia, a surprisingly entertaining interactive museum delving into the invisible world of microbes.