Over 4,600 animals from all over the world can be found at Zoo Zürich. Zoo Zürich is a popular attraction to visit just up above the city of Zurich.
Zoo Zürich is one of Switzerland’s most popular zoos. With currently around 27 hectares of space, Zoo Zürich is Switzerland’s largest and most visited cultural and educational institution. The zoo also offers visitors a variety of experiences, so anyone with a love for animals will enjoy visiting it.
Since it was founded in 1929, the Zoo Zürich has provided the public with educational opportunities and a chance to see a wide variety of animals. Throughout its history, it has been a repository of information about animals. During the 1950s, Hediger boards with brief descriptions of the animals on display were introduced. This practice has become common in many zoos since then.
The following is an overview and my honest review of Zoo Zürich, trying to be as objective as possible.
Zoo Zürich: A Short History
After being founded by animal lovers, Zoo Zürich opened on September 7, 1929.
Zurich’s Allmend Fluntern area was the site of the project. Initially, the zoo housed birds, fish, and monkeys among others. The zoo also featured terrariums, elephant stalls, and a bear pit. Zurich Zoo currently covers an area of about 27 hectares.
Originally, there was one main building with numerous animal enclosures surrounding it. Over time, more buildings and enclosures have been constructed. The newest addition to the zoo is the Lewa Savanne exhibit, which boasts giraffes, rhinos, and large African baobab trees.
There have been many other species brought to the Zoo Zürich from all over Europe as well as Asia and Africa since the Zoo opened. At a national level, Zoo Zürich is a member of Zooschweiz and works closely with the University of Zurich.
Zoo Zürich Highlights
There are many attractions inside Zoo Zürich but below are the main highlights.
Lewa Savanna is the newest addition to Zoo Zürich, located near Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park. This is the zoo’s biggest exhibit with giraffes, rhinos, and large African baobab trees. You kind of feel like you’re on a desert safari in Africa. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is one of their partners.
About 500 species of animals live in the Masoala Rainforest, including herons, tortoises, geckos, amphibians, fish, insects, and spiders. It covers an area of 11,000 m2, mimicking a mini rainforest ecosystem. Masoala’s treetop walkway lets visitors walk from the treetops instead of the ground. A few of the species in this Masoala Rainforest are part of international breeding programs.
Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park
There are Asiatic elephants, a black-breasted leaf turtle, an Indian giant forest scorpion, Java mousedeer, and a red-crested wood partridge at Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park. It opened in 2014. They breed and maintain elephants while adhering to the European Endangered Species Program’s standards.
Zoolino Petting Zoo
The Zooolino may be the cutest part of the Zoo, as it lets visitors interact directly with animals. It is possible to pet pygmy goats, pigs, and other domestic and farm animals. Chickens and rabbits are also among the animals that you can find here.
Animals such as koalas, wallabies, and more live there. The Australian region is also home to the Emu, Kookaburra, and Rainbow Lorikeet. There’s a section where you can just walk around and see animals.
In addition to the highlights listed below, I find Zoo Zürich‘s vision for the future to be very interesting. Have a look at this 4-minute video from Zoo Zürich’s YouTube channel. It shows how they envision the zoo to look like in the year 2050.
How to Get to Zoo Zürich
By Public Transportation
To get to Zoo Zürich, simply ride the tram 6 that heads in the direction of Zürich, Zoo. It is the last stop of the tram. The estimated travel time from Zurich city center is 25 minutes.
Zoo Zürich has a very good location close to the city center. The address of Zoo Zürich is Zürichbergstrasse 221, 8044 Zürich. There are parking spaces available in front of and near the zoo. However, you can expect a lot of visitors on a good sunny day, particularly during the school holidays in Canton Zurich.
Zoo Zürich: An Honest Review
In all the times that I have visited Zoo Zürich, I have never been disappointed. Every person, from young children to adults, has always found it enjoyable to visit. Going to Zoo Zürich is truly worth every penny.
Many people think that zoos are a shame and that animals should be kept in the wild. But I believe that in Zoo Zürich, the animals have ample room to move around. The animals are kept in an environment that is as close as possible to their natural habitat. I really appreciate this. There’s nothing like being able to feel like you’re in an African Savannah, a tropical rainforest, or Asia at the Elephant Park.
The zoo is also very well-maintained, and the facilities are clean and modern. The zoo is regularly renovated and improved.
It’s hard to pick a favorite part of the zoo; there are so many. The Zoolino petting zoo is great for animal lovers and small children who want to get closer to animals. It’s also fun to see the penguin parade and the different feeding events.
My only gripe is that the restaurants can get quite crowded on busy days. We lined up for 20 to 30 minutes just to get our food at the self-service restaurant near the entrance. If you plan ahead (come during low season, a weekday or eat early) or bring a picnic, then this shouldn’t be a problem for you. The parking spaces could be bigger too. I’d recommend taking public transportation.
Zoo Zürich: 10 Tips For Your Visit
- You should plan a full day to explore the zoo. Zoo Zürich has enough activities to keep you occupied for a whole day.
- If you can, use public transportation. There is not enough parking. If you really want to come with a car, you should arrive early enough.
- Try to come on a weekday if possible. You will find it less crowded.
- Don’t forget to check out the discounts. As of the time this article was published, there are discounts available from the following institutions:
- Zurcher Kantonalbank
- Die Mobiliar
- Zürich Tourism (via Zürich card)
- Zoo Schweiz
- Take note of the Zoo Events and Activities schedule. We especially recommend the penguin parade in the afternoon. There are other events such as bat feeding, porcupine feeding, giraffe feeding, and more.
- Get faster entry by purchasing tickets online or through the app.
- Consider buying a yearly family card if you plan to visit often.
- Pack your own food if you’re taking a picnic. Otherwise, there are many restaurants to choose from. My favorite is the Thai restaurant.
- You need to bring a CHF 2 coin per passenger in order to ride the Masoala Express train. Payment will be given directly to the train driver.
- Children up to 15 years old are allowed to come in free on their birthdays if they have a valid ID.
Final Thoughts: Zoo Zürich
Zoo Zürich is not only perfect for families with children but is also a great activity for adults. It’s conveniently located close to the city center of Zurich. Moreover, it showcases many different kinds of animals from all over the world.
In addition to being fun and educational, two percent of the overall turnover goes to conservation projects.
Additionally, it is open all year long, making it convenient for visitors the whole year round. You should stop by. I promise you’ll have fun.
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