Blijdorp is a quiet residential neighbourhood with one major attraction: the Rotterdam Zoo. Diergaarde Blijdorp is one of the oldest zoos in the Netherlands and among the loveliest animal parks in Europe. All the regions of the world are represented here, from the savannahs of Africa, where world-famous gorilla Bokito lives with his family, to the Asian Jungle Trek with its beautiful and historic lion habitat. The atmosphere in the older part of the zoo, designed in the 1940s by Sybold van Ravensteyn, is nostalgic. There are hardly any bars and fences here; Van Ravensteyn opted for deep ditches to separate the public from the wild animals housed here.
The newer, more modern part of the zoo can be found in the Oceanium. Entering this indoor waterworld means surrounding yourself by sharks, sea turtles and schools of colourful fish.
Less tourist-oriented, but very popular with Rotterdam locals, the Vroesenpark is nearby. Simple pleasures: just grass, trees, water and a playground, but what more could you need to go jogging, kick a football around, or have a barbecue? That’s right: nothing. Well, maybe a bit of sunshine. When the weather is fine, even the spacious Vroesenpark sometimes gets a bit crowded.