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“Aren't there supposed to be animals at a zoo???”
Review of Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo
Ranked #41 of 512 things to do in Dublin
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: One of the world's oldest zoos, Dublin Zoo is also modern in design and houses more than 600 animals. It has been redesigned in recent years to be a safe environment for people and the animals with gardens, lakes and natural habitats.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Where to begin!
Hot Summers day, no surprise really that the world and his brother chose the same day to visit the zoo as we did! One of our group is a wheelchair user, we assumed that there would be disabled parking spaces at the zoo, and there are - 4 of them! All full. So things did not get off to a good start!
Queue for buying tickets - 10 mins, lady at ticket kiosk, really helpful but to be honest, it was all downhill from there.
Without exception, the first enclosures we visited were empty, no lions, tigers, hippos, to be seen. Those enclosures that actually did contain animals were so inaccessible in terms of viewing that they may as well have been empty! Next to impossible to navigate through the sea of people, all desperately trying to find some actual animals to show their kids & then find a way for little johnny or Suzy to see said animals through a tiny viewing window from the back of a 10 person deep crowd! I have seen less desperation & panic at refugee camp feeding stations!
We actually got to see the sea lions, but the penguin enclosure contained one lone penguin standing alone at the back of the enclosure. Not exactly what we expected.
Toilets were filthy, and in order to use the disabled toilet, you had to obtain a key code from an attendant. Fair enough. Except the attendant was nowhere to be seen ... Perhaps she had locked herself into the toilet or was, like the majority of the animals - invisible!
The restaurant we ate at - the Meerkat, was a huge disappointment. Even the kids weren't impressed & let's face it , you have to try really hard to get sausages & chips wrong!
To top it all off, building work is taking place everywhere - who does that in peak season???
In summary - avoid! Buy the kids an animal picture book instead. They will get to actually see the animals then!

1  Thank Daenisf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 22, 2013

Visited Dublin Zoo on a Saturday with my significant other and her nephew, we arrived at 12:30 on what was a spectacular day for Dublin, we arrived by car and had to park about 10 minutes walk away as the Zoo and Phoenix park were busy. But on a normal day I'd imagine parking wouldn't be so bad, there is some parking available closer to the Zoo and if you early on visiting on a less busy day it shouldn't be as full.

Queuing for tickets was pretty fast for us, we were waiting less than 5 minutes to get served at the desk and had our tickets and were ready to enter the Zoo in no time. The cost was €16 per adult and €11.50 for a child which is a lot of money but a lot of it is invested in animal welfare and conservation so while it's not helping the value for money at least its a good cause.

Upon entering the Zoo we grabbed 3 sandwiches in the Meerkat restaurant where you can watch the Meerkats as you eat, the sandwiches and a few drinks cost €20 so not exactly cheap but they were very nice and fresh, there was also a pretty good selection of hot food to suit all tastes, the Nakuru restaurant also looked like a nice restaurant although we didn't eat here so can't comment. Their are picnic areas throughout the zoo and if you want to save some money I would reccomend packing a picnic, especially if you have several kids as the food bill in the zoo could get very large.

It took us four hours to explore the entire zoo which makes it a great day out, it does involve lots of walking but there are areas you can take a break through out, the enclosures for the animals are all very well done with each animal generally having an inside house and outside area, they are set out so that it is generally pretty easy to see the animals but as with any zoo there is a risk of not getting to see an animal, of all the animals there we only could not see the following: Asian Lions (Due to husbandry), the Arctic fox and African hunting dogs.

The African Savanna is particularly well done, offering a spectacular plain on which to view the animals there. Other highlights include the Orangutans, Amur tigers, Grey Wolf (You have to make an effort to go up a hill for the best views of these), Gorilla rain forest, Penguins, and the Red pandas (Make sure to see these, they can be easily missed)

The Kaziranga forest trail is nicely done but the viewing area for the Elephants was some what obstructed for some reason making it difficult to see more than one Elephant, granted on another occasion they may be in a better area to view but it seemed purposely obstructed and I couldn't understand why.

The family farm area is also somewhat poor, with little interaction with the farm animals and it seemed somewhat parse, Tayto park in Co.Meath offers a much better version of this.

But overall a highly recommended place to visit.

1  Thank Donal R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013 via mobile

We had a fantastic visit to the Dublin Zoo yesterday. I read all of the mixed reviews but after speaking with locals about great places to visit with our children, it came highly recommended. We have visited many zoos and animal parks around the world in our travels and I can honestly say that hardly any have been as nice as the Dublin Zoo. The enclosures are natural and make you feel like not only was the comfort of the animals seriously considered, but also the comfort of the guests to see them. Wide paths, level terrain suitable for all visitors, handicap friendly and accessible, very stroller friendly and child oriented. We were able to see the entire zoo including a stop to play at the playground and snack time in about 3 hours. My husband and 2 sons enjoyed the hot dogs at the zoo and the employees we encountered were friendly. My only complaint would be the smoking. At least 6 people were opening smoking cigarettes despite several signs that I saw that said no smoking. I wish that it was a hard and fast rule that employees would reprimand people who are smoking in a clearly family oriented environment. The smoking is not healthy for the infants right next to them in a stroller nor the animals I am sure, it could also pose a fire hazard as the lack of rain lately has dried things out. Overall a nice visit and would highly recommend a visit.

Thank botanical_fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

I love the Zoo, it's a wonderful day out! When we were there last, we got to see the sealions being fed and putting on a show, they were great! We also learned more about them from the keepers. who were very entertaining! We stopped for lots of ice creams as it was vwey hot, but we had plenty of places to sit. The only thing I don't like about it is the afeican plains. There is a long streach of nothing really to see, and a long walk! But apart from that, the Zoo is an amazing day out!! :D

Thank Sunshine482611
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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Reviewed July 20, 2013

Visited the zoo on the 3rd night of the stay well kept good day out animals are lovely staff friendly

Thank KevS2202
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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