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11 Best Free Zoos in Switzerland

Last Updated on June 17, 2024 by Darla

Switzerland is home to several zoos where you can observe animals, interact with them, and sometimes even pet them. What’s even better is that some of these zoos are free to enter, making them accessible to everyone. In this article, we’ll be highlighting the 11 best free zoos in Switzerland. Our rankings are based on aggregate user reviews and our own firsthand experiences.

Image of Wildnispark Langenberg, Langnau am Albis by TouringSwitzerland.com

Whether you are a nature lover or simply looking for a fun day out, here are some of the free zoos in Switzerland that you might want to visit.

11 Best Free Zoos in Switzerland

Switzerland has a variety of zoos to explore. While the larger ones like Zoo Zurich and Zoo Basel require an entrance fee, there are also several free zoos to enjoy.

These free zoos are made possible through sponsor support, and you’re always welcome to donate to help with their maintenance costs.

Here are some of the best free zoos in Switzerland based on aggregate user reviews and our own firsthand experiences:

1. Wildnispark Langenberg, Langnau am Albis

Image of Wildpark Langenberg by TouringSwitzerland.com

Wildnispark Langenberg is a free, wildlife park in Langnau am Albis near Zurich. It is home to various native and formerly native animals such as deer, lynxes, wild boars, and bears. Visitors can explore the park on foot and learn about the animals’ natural habitats. There are hiking trails to Wildnispark Langenberg from Türlersee, Felsenegg, and the Sihlwald.

Address: Wildnispark, 8135 Langnau am Albis
Opening Hours: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Animals: Alpine marmot, Alpine ibex, Deer, Brown bear, European moose, Otter, Mouse, Lynx, Horse, Fox, Wildcat, Wild boar, Bison, Wolf
Area: 12 km2
Website: https://www.wildnispark.ch/

2. Parc aux animaux du Bois de la Bâtie, Geneva

Image of Parc aux animaux du Bois de la Bâtie, Geneva from Wikimedia

Parc aux animaux du Bois de la Bâtie is a small zoo in Geneva, near the confluence of the Rhone and Arve rivers. Though lacking exceptional species, it is a free and ideal spot for a family walk with kids. It features birds, wild pigs, deer, Shetland ponies, donkeys, goats, and more in a serene natural setting.

Accessible via a viaduct-style train bridge, the journey to the zoo provides a delightful walk from Geneva’s city center. This mini zoo is a hidden gem in Geneva, catering to families, animal enthusiasts, and those seeking a tranquil outdoor experience. It is part of a larger park with a restaurant and a kids’ game area, offering a perfect setting for a sunny afternoon.

Address: Parc aux animaux du Bois de la Bâtie
Chem. de la Bâtie 28
1213 Petit-Lancy
Animals: Sardinian Donkey, Alpine Ibex, Peacock Goat, Marmot, Mirror Sheep, Shetland Pony, Woolly Pig, Quail, Wild Turkey, Golden Pheasant, Blue Peafowl, Silkie Chicken, Tawny Owl, Elegant Avocet, Muscovy Duck, Common Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye Duck, Mandarin Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, European Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Common Eider, Eurasian Coot, Pied-billed Grebe, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Oystercatcher, Barnacle Goose, Brent Goose, Greylag Goose, Guinea Fowl, Ruddy Duck, European Pond Turtle.
Area: n/a
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, April to October from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Website: https://www.geneve.ch/fr/themes/environnement-urbain-espaces-verts/ville-nature/parc-animaux-bois-batie

3. Tierpark Lange Erlen, Basel

Image of Tierpark Lange Erlen Basel by TouringSwitzerland.com

Surrounded by 450 trees, Tierpark Lange Erlen in Basel has offered guests a clean and welcoming atmosphere for free since 1871. The zoo features European bison, red deer, wild boar, wild cats, and capuchin monkeys. Surrounded by the Lange Erlen forest, the zoo provides spacious enclosures, large ponds for ducks and geese, and wheelchair/stroller accessibility.

Operating on donations, the zoo is well-maintained and family-friendly. The animal park is an educational and historical spot, making it a perfect cost-free outing, especially on sunny days. Visitors can enjoy animals, a playground, and a scenic walk by the river. It is recommended for families with young children.

Address: Tierpark Lange Erlen
Erlenparkweg 110
4058 Basel
Opening Hours: March to October, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, November to February from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Animals: Chickens, Deer, Bearded Tit, Mountain Duck, Eurasian Coot, Squirrel, Common Kingfisher, Common Redpoll, Eurasian Lynx, European Teal, Eurasian Wigeon, European Pond Turtle, Common Quail, European Wildcat, European Tree Frog, Common Starling, European Eagle Owl, Chamois, Common Merganser, Tufted Capuchin, Yellow-Bellied Toad, Common Bullfinch, Grey Heron, European Greenfinch, Domestic Donkey, Domestic Rabbit, House Mouse, Mute Swan, Honey Bee, Northern Lapwing, Northern Pintail, Common Eider, Wall Lizard, Guinea Pig, Common Teal, Snow Goose, Partridge, Red-Breasted Merganser, Grass Snake, Common Reed Bunting, Red Fox, Red Grouse, Common Redshank, Canvasback, Turtle Dove, Brown Rat, Water Rail, European Green Toad, White Stork, Wild Bee, Wild Boar, European Bison, Mangalitza Pig, Little Bittern, Dwarf Goose, Pygmy Mouse, Little Owl, Smew, Little Grebe, Pygmy Goat.
Area: 20 Hectares
Website: https://www.erlen-verein.ch/

4. Wildpark Mühletäli, Olten

Wildpark Mühletäli is a small, wildlife park located on the outskirts of Olten adjacent to the forest. The park has various animals such as raccoons, deer, and goats. This area is also a normal starting point for trails going to Sälischlössli or Wartburg Höfe.

Visitors can explore the park on foot and learn about the animals’ natural habitats. You may buy food for CHF 1.- and feed some of the animals as well. These food purchases contribute to the park’s maintenance. There’s even a fireplace for grilling, and parking is available nearby.

Address: Wildparkstrasse
4656 Olten
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Animals: Raccoons, Peafowl, Valais Blacknose Sheep, Dwarf Goats, Sika Deer, Fallow Deer
Area: 1.5 Hectares
Website: https://www.wildpark-muehletaeli.ch/

5. Wildpark Bruderhaus, Winterthur

Image of Przewalski’s Horses, Wildpark Bruderhaus from Wikimedia

Wildpark Bruderhaus is a wildlife park located in Winterthur that offers free entry. The park has various animals such as deer and wolves. Visitors can explore the park on foot and learn about the animals’ natural habitats.

The restaurant offers a compact yet delightful menu and caters to both dine-in and takeout preferences. It is complemented by a playground that kids adore for its climbing, swinging, and hanging activities, and other facilities such as parking and bathrooms.

Address: Wildpark Bruderhaus
Bruderhausstrasse 3
8400 Winterthur
Opening Hours: Open 24 Hours
Animals: Lynx, Mouflon, Przewalski’s Horse, Red Deer, Wild Boar, European Bison, Wolf, Bankiva Chicken
Area: 6 Hectares
Website: https://www.wildparkverein.ch/

6. Wildpark Peter und Paul, St. Gallen

Image of an Alpine Ibex, Wildpark Peter und Paul by Wikimedia

Nestled on a high ridge over St. Gallen, Wildpark Peter und Paul has various animals such as deer, lynx, and marmots. Visitors can explore the park for free; it is also a serene spot perfect for a leisurely walk or run on a sunny day.

The free animal park is ideal for a family day out, promising a return visit. A restaurant within the vicinity offers quick bites and snacks. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of St. Gallen and a pleasant park for running and picnics, even during winter.

Address: Wildpark Peter und Paul
Kirchlistrasse 92
9010 St. Gallen
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Animals: Fallow Deer, Chamois, Lynx, Marmots, Red Deer, Sika Deer, Alpine Ibex, Wildcat, Wild Boar
Area: 4.5 Hectares
Website: https://www.wildpark-peterundpaul.ch/

7. Tierpark Weihermaetteli, Liestal

Tierpark Weihermaetteli is a small, well-cared-for animal park in Liestal. There is sufficient space for children to walk as well as interact with some animals. Two beautiful playgrounds are here, as well as a large dinosaur slide.

The animal park is ideal for a short visit. Although it does not have an on-site restaurant, you can find the Cafeteria Binetäli at the nearby Psychiatric Hospital. You may also enjoy a unique experience of walking with animals, including lamas, donkeys, and goats for CHF 60 if you wish to do so.

Address: Tierpark Weihermaetteli
Bienentalstrasse 7
4410 Liestal
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Animals: Appenzeller Spitzhauben Chicken, Boot Goat, Canada Goose, Chabo Dwarf Chicken, Dartmoor Pony, Diepholzer Goose, Dülmener Wild Horse, Greek Land Turtle, Irish Tinker, Lama, Bern Lark Dove, Mirror Sheep, Mini Pig, Nun Goose, Raccoon, Scottish Highland Cattle, Shetland Pony, Sika Deer, Stripe Goose, Valais Black-Neck Goat, Walliser Schwarz-Halsziege, Raccoon, Dwarf Goat, House Donkey / Dwarf Donkey, Japanese Humpback Goose
Area: 4 Hectares
Website: https://www.tierpark-weihermaetteli.ch/

8. Zoo du Bois du Petit-Château, La Chaux de Fonds

Image of a Guinea Pig by Tambako

The MUZOO, formed in 2022, combines the approximately three-hectare Parc zoologique du Bois du Petit-Château, established in 1891, with the Musée d’histoire naturelle de La Chaux-de-Fonds (MHNC). Both are located in the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Neuchâtel.

The Zoo Bois du Petit-Chateau can be visited for free, whereas the museum is not available for free. It is also a rehabilitation center to tend to injured wild animals. MUZOO also has a cafeteria open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, a picnic area, and a playground. Parking lots can be found in nearby Métrople-Centre and Espacité.

Address: MUZOO
Replat du Dahu 1
2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Winter), 8:00 am to 6:00 pm (Summer). It is closed on December 24, 25, 31, January 1, and Mondays.
Animals: Cobtras, Pythons, Vipers, Chameleons, Iguana, Geckos, Lizard, Tortoise, Axolotl, Alpine Ibex, Red deer, Raccoon dog, Weasel, Gray Otter, European Lynx, Raccoon, Reindeer, Corsican Mouflon, European Wild Boar, Alpaca, Donkey, Drawf Goat, Lama, Aries Rabbit, Oessant Sheep, Ducks, Canary, Tawny Owl, Mute Swan, Snowy Owl, Budgerigar, Hens
Area: 3 Hectares
Website: https://muzoo.ch/

9. Wildpark Roggenhausen, Aarau

Image of Fallow Deer at Wildpark Roggenhaus Aarau by TouringSwitzerland.com

Wildpark Roggenhausen Aarau is a wildlife park located west of Aarau, surrounded by the idyll of the Roggenhausen Valley. The park has wild animals, rare domesticated species, a nature trail, an orchard, and a restaurant with a large playground. Visitors can explore the park on foot and learn about the animals’ natural habitats.

The park has nature and wildlife trails where you can encounter the animals. You can also see an orchard with fruits like apples, pears, cherries, and plums. There are also fireplaces with grills, a restaurant, and a playground.

Address: Wildpark Roggenhausen
Roggenhausenweg
5000 Aarau
Opening Hours: Open 24 Hours
Animals: Alpine Marmot, Axis Deer, Bantam Chicken, Fallow Deer, Rabbit, Guinea Pig, Mini Pig, Peafowl, Red Deer, Shetland Pony, Ibex, Alpine Chamois, Valais Blacknose Sheep, Welsh Mountain Pony, Wild Boar, Wild Doe, Fire Salamander, Least Weasel, Red Fox, Wheatear, Black Woodpecker, Common Snail
Area: 15 Hectares
Website: https://www.roggenhausen.ch/jo/index.php/wildpark

10. Tierpark Langenthal

Image of a Deer, Tierpark Langenthal from Wikimedia

Langenthal Wildlife Park is a small zoo located in Langenthal. The zoo has approximately 80 animals in loosely structured enclosures. Visitors can also see fallow deer, sika deer, red deer, wild boar, pygmy goats, donkeys, and ponies in a natural setting.

Dogs must be kept on a leash. Entrance to the park is free, and limited free parking is available. And while visiting is free, you may sponsor animals for CHF 120 to 200 per year.

Address: Tierpark Langenthal
4900 Langenthal
Opening Hours: Open 24 Hours
Animals: Alpacas, Pygmy Goats, Wild Boars, Shetland Pony, Fallow Deer, Sika Deer, Red Deer
Area: 3 Hectares
Website: https://vvl-langenthal.ch/

11. Tierpark Biel

Tierpark Biel is a freely accessible animal park on Bözingerberg in Biel with approximately 150 animals in their natural habitat. You can find it at the foot of Bözingenberg surrounded by a forest. It provides a natural habitat and loving care for many local animals. The park has no fences or entrance fees and is open year-round.

Visitors can discover animals such as wild boars, foxes, and marmots. You can observe deer, chamois, mouflons, and ibexes as well.

Scattered throughout the park are aviaries for owls, snowy owls, and barn owls. Numerous carved wooden animals and figures adorn the park. Visitors can also feed the animals with the food available in the park.

Address: Tierpark Biel
Zollhausstrasse 103
2504 Biel
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:00 am to 9:00 pm
Animals: Dwarf Goat, Lynx, Insects, Quail, Red Fox, Raccoon, Wild Boar, Sika Deer, Red Deer, Deer, Pheasant, Snowy Owls, Birds, Chamois, Marmot, Mouflon, Eagle Owl, Ibex
Area: 9 Hectares
Website: https://tierpark-biel.ch/

Final Thoughts: Free Zoos in Switzerland

Visiting one of the free zoos in Switzerland is often an interesting and educational experience for people of all ages for free. Typically, these zoos are funded by private donations and sponsorships.

The idea behind free zoos is to make them accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial situation. People with smaller budgets may hesitate to spend money on a zoo visit. Through these initiatives, more people learn about and appreciate the animals, and this in turn helps promote conservation efforts.

Although you can visit all the zoos and wildlife parks mentioned above for free, a small donation would be helpful if you can spare some money. This helps them take care of and feed the animals.

A zoo visit offers an enriching experience for children and adults so we can all learn about various animal species, their habitats, and behaviors. Switzerland’s free zoos provide a unique chance to observe animals in a natural setting without breaking the bank. Not only are these zoos educational, but they are also an ideal destination for families and animal enthusiasts.

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Darla is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country. Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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