Easy to reach by public transport (U Bahn station and a direct bus from Marienplatz). Ticketed entry. A small city zoo squashed between the river Isar, a small escarpment and housing developments. This is a traditional Zoo which is making a big effort to get away from being just a collection of parts. Many new animal houses have been put up in the last decade. The great apes, big cats, tropical house and rhinos have all benefited, and just now the Elephant / Giraffe house is being refurbished, retaining its amazing turn of the century facade and decoration.
Winter is not the best time to see everything (although one brave Roo was outside by minus 4 degrees - Mad Aussies). However, you benefit from less crowds, less hectic and a chance for a much more personal view of things. Summer can be overcrowded and it can be hard to see the animals, although folks here always let kids push to the front.
There are several quick-eat places but they close for the season. The main restaurant is very good value but can get crowded, even if the rest of the place is empty. Food is meat and french fries, pasta or salad- hot and filling which is perfect for a winter day.
The zoo has specialized in hoofed animals and they usually brave the winter weather, so you will see species that are not your everyday zoo stock. Highlight is the great ape house, with social groups of Gorilla and Chimpanzee (keeper lecture in the afternoon, albeit in German- but with enough visual clues to understand). The Rhino house (Sumatran Rhino, Malayan Tapir) is very small and intimate, which makes for great viewing. Watch out for the free-range Sloths up above. The small primate house is the best place to eat a packed lunch and to keep kids entertained whilst they thaw out / dry off. It is quiet and warm, with amazing enclosures for a whole host of Lemur species, with floor-to roof glass. This appears to be the designated breast-feeding location, so you get a free lesson in comparative zoology thrown in.
There are two entrances, so be careful not to loose your bearings, as you may exit the wrong one (they are actually well labelled but you know how it is).
The signage always included English names, and is very pictorial so easy to follow.
The recommended route ha a lot of walking and after five antelope species you may baulk at a sixth, so keep the map you get on entry handy for short cuts.
There are wooden handcarts available for rental, but if it is cold its probably best to keep the small ones moving.
A great innovation for spectacle wearers: Hot air blowers for de-fogging your lenses on entry into the warm and humid houses.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.