The zoo is a great day out for all the family and a particular favourite for people travelling with children. A city centre animal attraction can transport you from fast-paced urban surroundings to a more serene environment in which nature rules the roost. Whilst the UK has some fantastic examples in places such as Chester, Paignton and Colchester, there are some excellent zoos on the continent too.
Here are some of our favourites.
Prague Zoo is widely considered to be one of the best in Europe, with over 600 different species within its boundaries. It is located in the northern part of the city, backing onto the Vltava River and is best reached by taking the number 112 bus from Nádraží Holešovice metro station. Visitors have been enjoying Prague Zoo since 1931 and anybody walking through the gates today can look forward to seeing animals such as gorillas, polar bears, tigers, hippos and the ferocious honey badger. You can get around using the chairlift, mini train or children's tram and you can even bring your dog.
Zoologischer Garten Berlin
Berlin has two different zoos, but this is the newer of the two and, therefore, has more modern enclosures. Although it is not as big as its city counterpart, the Tierpark, the animals at Berlin Zoo still have plenty of space to move around. There are plenty of feeding times to enjoy during the day, including the morning polar bear feed, whilst a petting zoo and adventure playground will keep the children happy. Booking tickets online is a great way to skip the queues at the gate and the price even includes a visit to the aquarium next door.
Jardim Zoologico de Lisboa
Lisbon Zoo is in the north-west corner of the city but, thanks to its own dedicated metro stop, it is easy to get to. It is very clean and offers the chance to get closer to the animals than you can at most other attractions. A must-see during your visit is the dolphin show which takes place three times a day and is a hit with all members of the family. You can also spot your favourite animals, such as rhinos, elephants, lions and penguins, from above when you take to the skies in the cable car.
The zoo in Vienna is the oldest in the world, having been constructed in the 18th century at the behest of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I. It is very popular thanks to its wide range of animals and the fact that it is home to less common species such as polar bears and giant pandas. Another attractive thing about the Tiergarten Schoenbrunn is the price, which ensures a great day out for only €16. You can also buy your ticket online and even pair it with admission to some of the city's other attractions in order to save a bit of money.
Being a bio park and not a zoo, this attraction in Valencia claims to offer a more immersive and eco-friendly way of interacting with the animals. It is definitely true that you feel like you are stepping into their world, thanks to invisible barriers and the fact that you can get quite close. One of the highlights is the Madagascar enclosure, in which the curious lemurs are free to roam wherever they please. Incidentally, it is not the only animal attraction worth visiting during your time in Valencia. The city is also home to the largest aquarium in Europe, with a range of different buildings housing everything from sharks to sea lions.
If you would like to take a walk on the wild side in any of the cities mentioned here, we can arrange the perfect city break. Call today for more information and to book your next adventure.