Traveling with our child, the Zoos are "a must" in our trips. And Vienna offers a good opportunity to spend few hours watching the animals in its "Tiergarten Schonnbrun".
We've been again at the zoo in Vienna and we found it more interesting during the summer, even if it isn't the best we have visited until now.
Tiergarten Schönbrunn is the world's oldest zoo, built in 1752 and located on the property of the Schönbrunn Palace. It was ordered built by Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, founder of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty. The zoo has a very interesting history, going through prosperous times and tough times through the World Wars.
The zoo is home to approximately 750 animals, the biggest draw certainly being the giant panda family, Yang Yang, Long Hui, and Fu Long. This zoo is one of the few zoos in the world with giant pandas. The baby panda was the first non artificial insemination panda born in Europe. Other animals at the zoo include koalas, elephants, giraffes, penguins, rhinos, and many more.
Aside from the animals, the zoo itself is very nice to look at, with Imperial buildings, greenery, statues and a couple of fountains inside. There is a little train that goes around the whole grounds of the Palace and through the zoo. Cost for the train is 2 Euros for adults and 1 Euro for children.
There is also a good restaurant at the zoo with reasonable prices and a good selection, located in the old Imperial breakfast room.
Admission to the zoo is 12 Euros for adults, 5 Euros for children 6 though 18 and seniors, and free for children under 5. There are also combination tickets you can buy that include the Palm House, Desert House, and giant ferris wheel.
On our last day we managed a quick visit to the zoo.The zoo is very proud of their panda baby, which was born there last August 2007. When we tried to see it, it was doing what babies usually do, sleeping. Still,we could see the black and white bundle quite clearly.
Two polar bear babies were playing with each other, this was fun to watch.
The highlight for me were the koalas, I simply love to see them and only very few zoos in Europe keep them.
Vienna zoo claims to be the oldest in the world. They are working very hard now to provide as natural a habitat for the animals as possible at all within a zoo.The rain forest house makes you think you really are in the rain forest. I was very glad to go out again, 30° and humidity of 80% was too much for me.
Entrance fee was 12 Euro a person, no reduction for students.
The history of the zoo is fascinating and it goes back to Empress Maria Theresia and her husband Franz Stephan.
Franz commissioned the architect Jean Nicholas Jadot der Ville-Issey, to design a menagerie in the park of Schönbrunn, the new Habsburg-Lothringen summer residence.
In summer 1752, after a one-year construction period, the animals were brought to the zoo and presented to the public. There is alao an octagonal pavillion thich now serves as a restaurant but was originally used by the Imperial family as a breakfast room.
Initially, the Menagerie Schönbrunn was only used by the Imperial Family and apparently Franz Stphan gave nature lessons to his children there. Towards the end of Maria Theresia's reign (Maria Theresia died in 1780, Franz Stephan in 1765), in 1778, the menagerie, along with the castle and the park, were opened for "decently dressed persons", initially on Sundays only and soon became a frequently visited place by the Viennese and foreigners. The introduction of various exptic animals is said to have had great influence on the fashion handicrafts and social life in Vienna.
In 1770 the first elephant came to Schönbrunn
In 1781 the first wolves and bears
In 1800 the first polar bears, big cats, hyenas and kangaroos, as well as an additional pair of Indian elephants were added to the zoo
IN 1826, the first girffe
2003 Giant Pandas, Fantastic and rare exhibit
Tiergarten Schonbrunn is located in the grounds of Schonbrunn Castle, with an entrance located near the Neptune statues. We didn't realise that the zoo was there, so had no intention of visiting it. Having gone through a long and very hot tour of the Palace, we were looking to get a bit of air and as we were walking around the lovely gardens, we saw the zoo entrance. Tickets are sold at the entrance and it is definately worth a visit, especially if you have children. The pandas are beautiful and the polar bears are great too. There is also an acquarium section as well which is nice.
We spent about 2 hours there, but you could spend a lot longer. The animals are well looked after, the grounds full of history. Definitely worth a visit!!!! Details of opening hours and ticket prices can be found on the zoo's webpage.
A zoo wouldn't usually be our first port of call in a city such as Vienna but we'd been following the progress of a baby panda (Fu Long), born there last August and only just making his public debut. On our third rotation of queuing, we did get to see him and it was well worth it.
The rest of the Zoo made for an enjoyable day in warm winter sunshine. It is apparently the oldest zoo in the world - founded in 1752. There is plenty to see and you need to allow a full day to explore everything properly. I particularly enjoyed the Rainforest House and the Aquarium.
In the centre of the zoo is a restaurant in a raised pavilion and it has outdoor seating if the weather's nice.
There is a miniature train which runs during the summer months and that takes you through pretty formal gardens to the Schönbrunn Palace.
"Haus des Meeres" is located in an interesting building - a flak tower of the second world war. There are several towers like this left in Vienna as examples of architecture of terror.
It is reccomended to first go up to 9th floor of the building (yes, there is an elevator :)), from where you can enjoy a beautiful view over Vienna. When going down you`ll first see an exhibition about flak towers and aereal defence in WW II.
In the lower floors you can see different aquaria, amongst these a huge newly built aquarium for sharks. There are also different types of reptiles - on Sunday and Wednesday afternoon you can watch their feeding (well, I abstained from that experience). On Wednesday there is also the possibility to pet some snakes.
Most lovely part in my opinion is the "Tropenhaus", where you`ll find tropical birds flying around, turtles, bats hanging on the ceiling, a new basin for crocodiles and also some lovely loose little monkeys.
They are open daily and the entrance fee is about EUR 11 for adults.
Welcome to the world’s oldest zoo (founded 1752!). Building on its long history, Tiergarten Schönbrunn has developed into one of the most modern zoos in the world over the last 10 years. Top attractions include Giant Pandas, koalas, the first elephant born in Europe using artificial insemination techniques, and a rainforest house modeled after the ecosystems of Borneo.
October to end of daylight savings time 9:00-17:30
January – April 9:00-17:00
May - September 9:00-18:00
October – December 9:00-17:00
Cashier’s office closes (final admission) one-half hour before closing time.
Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Ticket Price for adult: EUR 12pp
For 240 years, the "Kaiserglöckerl" has been sounded by hand to indicate closing time; originally, this sonorous bell was rung to herald the arrival of the Emperor and the archdukes.
One thing that I do every time I visit Vienna is to go to the ZOO !!!
It's really something to see ... You need at least a day to go all over around it.
There are lot of things but my favourites are : Pinguine house (super cold - take a jacket ) , Alpine village (yes ! climb trough the forest path - you'll find it at the top ), Rain forest ( I have no words - watch out for those flying bats in the cave :) ...
A great expirience - a real must do. I don't like very much animals - but the Vienna ZOO is really great fun.
TIP : At the entrance buy a "Combo Ticket" - this will give you access to Zoo, Palm House and Desert house. You'll get a discount and you can use ticket whenever you want durng a 1 year period :)
We liked the Zoo so much. There are so many pictures of the animals thatI cannot download here, but take a big tour inside. Do not forget to go the Rainforest section,too.