Whether travelling with kids or a sucker for animals yourself, Germany is a great place to spend a day at the zoo. Nearly all cities of any reasonable size have one, so they’re not difficult to find and one – in Leipzig – was voted second best zoo in all of Europe in 2016. If animals are on your itinerary, here are 10 safari parks and zoos to visit when you’re on holiday in Germany.
Serengeti Safari Park
This old-school safari park, situated halfway between Hannover and Bremen, is divided into four areas: animal world, monkey world, water world and theme park world. In animal world, you can drive through in your car and the animals come to you. Or they stay under the tree and nap because it’s way too hot for that. Just be sure to get no deductible insurance if you take your rental. Monkeys love to pick the shiny bits off the cars!
There are around 1500 animals roaming freely throughout; the park also has Europe’s biggest petting zoo. Serengeti Safari Park is renowned in zoo circles for its elephant and white rhino breeding program.
The Berlin Zoo, right in the centre of the city is old (est. 1844), big (35 ha), popular (>3 million visitors per year) and home to around 18,000 animals covering 1600 species. It’s a successful breeding centre for polar bears, all species of flamingos, black rhino and others. Rarities like fossas and ring-tailed mongeese and a whole house dedicated to nocturnal animals make the zoo a must-see even for seasoned zoo goers.
Berlin Zoo – Hardenbergplatz 8, Berlin, Germany +49 30 254010
Sooo klein war sie mal! Alles Gute und Liebe zum Geburtstag süße Meng Meng! She grew up so quickly! Happy Birthday and all the best for you 😙 Thanks to Mr. Li Ming for the picture! #panda #pandasberlin #mengmeng #pandaliebe #pandalove #pandas #allesgutezumgeburtstag #geburtstagskindimzooberlin #happybirthday #birthdaygirl #sommerkind #zoo #berlin #zooberlin
Next to a botanical garden and the Siebentischwald forest, the Augsburg Zoo has 2,000 animals, making it the perfect scale for families with children too big for the stroller and too small to walk a massive complex like the Berlin Zoo all on their own. Lions, of course, but also free-roaming peacocks, fur seals, meerkats and capuchin monkeys and the rare Persian leopard (not roaming free!).
Augusburg Zoo – Brehmpl. 1, Germany +49 821 5671490
One of Germany’s oldest zoos is way over in the east, in Dresden. Around 3000 animals representing 300 species is also a good scale for young families. The Zoo’s primary purpose is to serve as a learning centre for scientific research and conservation. You can look a giraffe in the eye on a platform in the Giraffe House and watch monkeys play without glass or a fence to interrupt the view. At the heart of Dresden, not far from the famous Church of Our Lady, lies one of Germany’s oldest zoos. People from all over the world come to spend an enjoyable day in the company of its amazing creatures.