Take A Trip To This Country To Explore Europe's Most Visited Zoo

In the heart of Germany's vibrant capital, Berlin, is Europe's most visited zoo, with over 3 million annual visitors. The Berlin Zoo has been around for 180 years and is widely considered one of the best zoos in the world. Take a trip to Germany for an unparalleled experience — for animal lovers and curious travelers alike. With 1,200 species and around 20,000 animals, visitors can embark on a global journey through the animal kingdom, all within the bounds of this historic zoo.

Officially known as the Zoologischer Garten und Aquarium Berlin, the Berlin Zoo has captivated visitors since its opening in 1844, making it Germany's oldest zoo. The zoo rose from the ashes despite the devastation it faced during World War II, where most of its animals were lost (only 91 of over 4,000 animals survived). It was rebuilt into a modern, world-class zoo with an area of 99 acres, including a four-story aquarium.

What sets the Berlin Zoo apart is not just its age or history but also its incredible biodiversity. Home to the world's largest variety of species, it's a place where you can meet the majestic lions of Africa, the pandas of Asia, and the regal eagles of North America in a single day. The zoo features meticulously designed habitats that mimic the natural environments of the animals, such as the Indian jungle, the waters of the Caribbean Sea, and the Arctic tundra — providing a humane and enriching environment for every creature.

A full day at the Berlin Zoo

The perfect one-day zoo itinerary starts at the Elephant Gate, the zoo's ornate main entrance, before making your way to the Panda Garden. The Berlin Zoo is one of the few European zoos and the only German zoo to house giant pandas, making it a key player in international conservation. The pandas, Meng Meng and Jiao Qing have been especially popular with visitors since they arrived. 

Don't miss the opportunity to explore the World of Birds, where exotic birds from around the world fly freely in large, open aviaries. Take a moment to relax by the Penguin Hood or watch the playful antics of the sea lions. Other must-visit sections include the Rhino Pagoda, Elephant House, and Primate House, among many others. Lunch can be enjoyed at one of the zoo's many eateries, offering everything from quick snacks at Kolibri Café to full meals at Waldschänke

Afterward, explore the historic Aquarium that opened in 1913, home to a fascinating collection of marine life, reptiles, and insects. As the day winds down, head to the Empire of Cats, where you can marvel at the jaguars, lions, and other apex predators. The zoo also offers an array of interactive experiences. Visitors can enjoy close encounters with some of their favorite animals, observe feeding and training sessions, and learn invaluable information from the zookeepers. Moreover, specialized experiences such as animal photography workshops and tours in sign language are available for registration.

Travel tips for your visit

The Berlin Zoo is deeply committed to conservation, participating in international breeding programs to preserve endangered species. It plays a pivotal role in educating the public about biodiversity through guided tours and interactive programs. This helps visitors learn about the wildlife's challenges and what they can do to help.

The Berlin Zoo is open year-round, with different hours depending on the season. It always opens at 9 a.m., but closing times vary: 4:30 p.m. from October to December, 6 p.m. from February to March, 6:30 p.m. from March to September, and back to 6 p.m. from September to October. It's better to arrive in the early morning, and the best time of year to visit is in the spring, summer, or fall — not in the winter, as most animals are in hibernation or moved into aviaries.

It's easily accessible by public transportation in the city's Tiergarten district via the Berlin Zoologischer Garten railway station, which is served by several S-Bahn lines, including S5, S7, and S9. The U-Bahn stations Zoologischer Garten (U2, U9) and Kurfürstendamm (U1, U9) are also within walking distance. Multiple bus lines stop near the zoo, including the 109, 245, and M46. Tickets can be purchased online on the Berlin Zoo website or at the gate; however, booking online tickets is cheaper and allows you to skip the line. Combined entry to the zoo and aquarium costs €28 for adults and €12 for kids, with free entrance for children under four.