Brief History: Tiergarten Schonbrunn was originally the Imperial Menagrie (Royal Zoo) in 1752 and is the World’s oldest Zoo. In fact a small zoo existed in Schonbrunn since 1540 but had onyl become open to the public in 1779. Its located on the grounds of the Schonbrunn Palace which we will discuss shortly about. The animals were kept in enclosures that were arranged around the centre pavilion which was to represent 13 slices of a cake, unusual but in the days of the Emperors and Kings i guess it was seen to be an elegant way of design for a Royal Zoo?
Today the Zoo is still one of the most beautiful Zoo’s you can visit, with some recent successful breeding of the Giant Panda’s and that in fact in 2007 it was the first Zoo to have a panda naturally conceived in Europe. It houses over 700 species and according to their site still has 8500 animals, but of course the Giant Panda’s get the most amount of attention due to the uniqueness of their breeding in EU.
When you walk in you know Vienna Zoo is no ordinary Zoo, it carries elegance and historicness will make it a very unforgettable experience. Some attractions include the rain forest house, the pandas (as mentioned), crazy lemurs bouncing around and playing and even a large aquarium and a polarium for an Arctic area they house.
The enclosures are quite good, reasonable i would say but also offer quite up close encounters for yourself and your family. Unlike many Zoo’s you will find wild squirrels and other animals squirrelling around the place which was nice, especially as we don’t have Squirrels here in Australia they’re very cute to watch and cause trouble. Be aware, do not feed them human food! They have plenty of food from the Zoo which is a bit better suited to their diet.
It definitely has an impressive array of animals, from penguins, rhinos, flamingos, elephants, lemurs mentioned above and the famous pandas. Vienna Zoo also offer feeding sessions throughout each day at various enclosures so be sure when you enter to ask to possibly organise a once in a life time feeding experience!
We had some fun feeding local squirrels which mind you if you gave them anything they would take it, whether they eat it or not is another story but like monkeys they’re quite cheeky and will steal something from your hand if you’re too close to somewhere within their reach, or jump – be careful!
There isn’t too much to say about the Zoo other than if you enjoy animals of course this is somewhere that you will have to visit and enjoy.
Vienna Zoo General Information & Parking
The main entrance “Hietzing” is close to the U4 underground station Hietzing. The zoo is easily reachable from anywhere you decide to stay in Vienna, whether train, bus or car you can get there incredibly easy.
The Schönbrunn Palace Gardens are reached via the Hietzinger Tor and then you just follow the pathway between the Palm House and the Desert House.
The zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. – 365 days a year, also in winter and on public holidays. Closing times vary between 4.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m depending on the season. Please note that the Palace Gardens (Schlosspark) are closed shortly afterwards. Ticket office closing time and last entry time is 30 minutes before the end of visiting time. All the usual facilities such as toilets, food and drink stands, souvenir shops and a cafe is available. We do have to mention that the food in the restaurant is better than any food you’ll find in Australia, and much cheaper!
Wien Tierpark (Vienna Zoo) located within walking distance from most major attractions in Vienna City.