Tierpark Dählhölzli is a small, popular zoo located in the city of Bern, Switzerland. Although it is not as large as Zoo Zurich and Zoo Basel, it is home to a wide variety of animals, including birds, amphibians, fish, mammals, reptiles, and more. It also offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about the animals, watch animals being fed, and interact with them in the children’s zoo in a safe and controlled environment.
There are two animal parks in Bern, a larger animal park in Dählhölzli (Tierpark Bern Dählhölzli) and a bear park in the city (Tierpark Bern Bärenpark). This article discusses the animal park Tierpark Bern Dählhölzli, what to expect during your visit, and our experience visiting it.
Overview: Tierpark Dählhölzli Bern
The story of Tierpark Dählhölzli began in 1871 when a committee proposed a zoo in Schwellenmätteli, Bern. Unfortunately, this never happened. A small animal park existed in Bierhübeli, three kilometers north of Tierpark Dählhoelzli, before the current animal park was built.
The will of William Gabus, who died in 1873, left Bern CHF 150,000. He explicitly requested that an animal park be established in Dählhözli. t would still be a couple of years before the Zoo Association Berner Natur- und Tierparkverein was born in 1930.
Having shattered a proposal to build the park in Elfenau, Bern and its citizens agreed to build an animal park in Dählholzli in 1933.
Finally, Tierpark Dählholzli opened in 1937 and has since then become a popular attraction for locals and tourists. In addition to serving as an educational destination for families and animal lovers, it also contributes significantly to conservation efforts, research, and breeding.
Tierpark Dählhölzli Bern: What to Expect
Tierpark Dählholzli Bern is home to a variety of mammals, birds, and reptiles. This is a great place for visitors to learn about the habitats, behaviors, and unique characteristics of these creatures.
Here are some of the animals that you can find at the Tierpark Dählholzli Bern:
|Crocodile||African Reed Frog||Flamingo||European Wildcat|
|Basilisk||Stork||Ground Squirrel||Carpathian Lynx|
|Duck||Owl||Wild Boar||Raccoon Dog|
|Giant Crab Spider||Wiesent||Raccoon||Little Owl|
The Vivarium is the first area you encounter upon entering the facility of Tierpark Dählholzli Bern. In the Vivarium, visitors are able to experience a wide range of fascinating and diverse creatures.
As you step inside, you are greeted by a diverse range of animals in carefully designed glass enclosures. Behind the transparent glass walls, you can observe various animals in their habitat. The glass provides a barrier between visitors and the animals, ensuring their safety while allowing for an up-close view.
Within the Vivarium, there is a dedicated bird room, where birds can freely soar through the air once you enter. On one end of the Vivarium, you can see through the swimming area dedicated to seals. Here, you can observe these creatures as they dive into the water, showcasing their elegance. The huge glass partitions offer an excellent view, allowing you to witness their underwater movements and interactions.
Beyond the glass-enclosed sections, there is also an area that replicates an Amazon tropical forest. You are surrounded by lush vegetation while encountering various species such as the crocodile and frogs. In addition to the seals and the Amazon forest, you can also see some fish in some aquariums.
The Children’s Zoo is a delightful outdoor space in Tierpark Dählhölzli Bern specifically designed to entertain the park’s youngest visitors. This area does not require an additional fee for entry, making it accessible to all.
Here, you can expect to find a charming wooden playground. Smaller children can climb and explore the play equipment; it is a safe space for physical activity and fun.
When you encounter an enclosure with a ladder, it signifies that visitors are welcome to enter and interact with the animals inside. This hands-on experience allows children to get up close to friendly animals and even pet them. Donkeys, horses, and goats are among the adorable inhabitants of the Children’s zoo.
Shop and Restaurant
There is a shop outside and a restaurant within Tierpark Dählholzli Bern.
The shop offers a variety of animal-related souvenirs and merchandise. Visitors can browse through a selection of items that celebrate the diverse wildlife found within the zoo. From plush toys representing various animals to clothing, the shop provides a range of options for visitors to take home.
You can also find a restaurant in the middle of the zoo, near the owls. This central location allows visitors to conveniently recharge and get a warm meal. The menu at the restaurant caters to a variety of tastes and dietary preferences.
Voluntary nature conservation is used by the zoo for nature and species conservation activities. Some of the efforts include supporting the following:
- Rivers and floodplains as well as the species that live there
- Urban meadows that promote biodiversity among small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and insects
- Habitat forests and the species that live there such as the fire salamander, beetles, insects, birds, and more
- Coral reefs and the larger marine ecosystem including fish, turtles, marine mammals, anemones, and sponges
- Mountains especially the Swiss Alps as well as the animals there such as the shrew, insects, spiders, and other invertebrates
Tierpark Dählhölzli Bern: Practical Information
Tierpark Dählhölzli is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Before visiting the zoo, it is important to know some basic information about the park.
Hours of Operation
Tierpark Dählhölzli is open every day of the year, including Sundays and holidays. Tierpark Dählhölzli opens at 9:00 AM and closes at 6:00 PM in summer. It closes one hour earlier in winter (November until the end of February).
Admission to Tierpark Dählhölzli is affordable, making it a great destination for families.
- Adults pay CHF 11
- Children until 15 years old pay CHF 7
- Family tickets are available for 2 adults and a maximum of 4 children for CHF 28
- Children under six years old can enter the park free of charge
- Group discounts are available for school groups, students, and other organizations
How to Get to Tierpark Dählhölzli Bern
The easiest way to get to Tierpark Dählhölzli Bern is to take the bus to “Bern, Tierpark” and walk from there. Alternatively, you can also come by car. There are parking spots around the zoo.
|Train||Bern (30-minute walk)|
Tierpark Dählhölzli Bern: Our Experience
Our visit to Tierpark Dählhölzli Bern was a delightful and memorable experience. I found this zoo pleasant to visit despite its small size. It was easy to navigate and explore, and it was not as crowded as other zoos such as the ones in Basel and Zurich.
The zoo boasted a diverse range of animals, including some species that are not commonly found in other zoos throughout the country such as the ground squirrel. This was a family favorite (called Ziesel in German). It was exciting to encounter these active little squirrels and witness their cute natural behaviors up close. The variety of animals ensured there was always something fascinating to see and learn about.
Affordability was another positive aspect of our visit. The entrance fee was reasonable, making it a budget-friendly attraction in Bern. Additionally, the zoo offers a free section outside, specifically designed for children, where they can interact with animals in a petting zoo. Moreover, I found the presence of the playgrounds outside really fun for the young ones.
Tierpark Dählhölzli Bern also had convenient amenities and facilities. There was a well-stocked shop where visitors could purchase souvenirs or animal-related merchandise. The presence of a restaurant ensured that we could grab a bite to eat during our visit, should we have wanted (actually, we didn’t).
The overall infrastructure of Tierpark Dählhölzli Bern was well-maintained, clean, and compact, offering a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
In conclusion, our visit to Tierpark Dählhölzli Bern in Bern was a fantastic and relaxing activity for the entire family. With its manageable size, diverse animal collection, reasonable prices, and a free section for children, it truly catered to people of all ages. We highly recommend this zoo to anyone seeking a rewarding and enjoyable experience in Bern.
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Darla Uhl 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.