The Schönbrunn Zoo in the palace park, on the grounds of the famous Schönbrunn Palace, is the oldest zoo in the world.
It was founded in 1752 by Emperor Franz I Stephan of Lorraine, Maria Theresa's husband.
Not only is it part of the Schönbrunn UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has also been named “Best Zoo in Europe” five times in a row.
With over 2 million visitors annually, the zoo is one of Vienna's most visited attractions.
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Which Animals Can I See in Schönbrunn Zoo?
More than 750 animal species and 8,000 animals call the Schönbrunn Zoo their home.
Here is a small selection.
- Polar Bears: The white giants welcome you to the 1,700 m² Franz Josef Land polar bear world. The newborn polar bear girl Finja, who has won the hearts of visitors since she was born in November 2019, is particularly popular.
- Pandas: The pandas are one of the rarest mammals in the world and are a crowd puller.
- Elephants: The African elephants are also very popular. Since July 2019, the elephant girl Kibali has been delighting everyone.
- Lions: In Schönbrunn Zoo, you can also marvel at mighty lions roaming their territory.
- Orangutans: In the ORANG.erie, you can watch orangutans doing gymnastics, swinging and relaxing. In addition to the outdoor enclosure, the ORANG.erie also hosts Café Atelier Nonja with a direct view of the great apes.
- Monkey House: The monkey house is home to six species of monkeys: colobus, red ruffed lemur, pygmy marmoset, emperor and titi tamarins, and squirrel monkeys. Meerkats also live in the complex.
- Aquarium and Terrarium House: This environment houses the Crocodile Pavilion with crocodiles, turtles and antennae snakes, The Aquarium House with a wide range of fish species, including endangered fish species, piranhas and gigantic arapaima, as well as the Terrarium House with numerous reptiles such as rhinoceros iguanas, a large anaconda, Cobras, Rattlesnakes and many more.
- Giraffes: The two giraffe "teenagers" Fleur and Sofie are the residents of the giraffe park and are also very enthusiastic.
- Rhinos: The 6,000 m² rhino park is not only inhabited by Indian rhinos, other Asian species such as nilgai antelopes, but also Vietnamese sika deer and black buck antelopes also live here.
- Polarium: In the Polarium you can admire maned seals, rockhopper penguins and king penguins through the 13 meter long pool glass.
- Rainforest House: This huge glass house occupies part of a mountainside in the rainforest of Southeast Asia. In addition to the variety of plants, there are also numerous animal species, such as pygmy otters, river turtles, tiger pythons, Fiji iguanas and spectacled leaf bats. Thanks to the technology and special effects, such as gathering thunderstorms, wafts of fog and tropical temperatures, you can look forward to an authentic experience.
- South America Park: This habitat, agriculturally modeled after a pampas, is home to giant anteaters, capybaras, tapirs, vicunas, seriemas and rheas.
- East Africa House: Here blanket tokos, pygmy mongooses and ground hornbills cavort.
- Nature Discovery Trail: A popular attraction is the nature discovery trail consisting of three stages. Here you can get to know the local flora and fauna better. The highlight is the 160 meter long treetop path, where you can stroll on a 10 meter high suspension bridge through the treetops of the Vienna Forrest and enjoy wonderful views of Schönbrunn Palace.
Admission, Tickets and Annual Passes
- Tickets: Adults pay €22 for a day ticket, children and young people pay €11.
- Combination Tickets: Schönbrunn Zoo offers various combination tickets that you can use to save. An overview of all combined tickets can be found here.
- Advantage Package: There is an advantage package for €65, which consists of 2 day tickets for adults and 3 day tickets for children/teens.
- Guided Tours: Diverse guided tours make a visit a special experience. The current times and prices can be found on the zoo 's homepage .
- Feedings: The current dates for the various feedings, which are very popular, can be found here.
- Annual Pass: The zoo also offers an annual pass and is valid for one year from the date of purchase.
Discounts and Vouchers
- Children and young people from 6 to 18 years pay 11 €.
- Children up to the age of 6 enjoy free admission.
- Children and young people with a disability (up to their 19th birthday) receive free admission, and one accompanying person also receives a reduced ticket.
- People with a 50% disability or more receive reduced admission upon presentation of their disability card.
- People with a 100% disability and 1 accompanying person receive free admission.
- Holders of the Vienna City Card receive a 16% discount on the admission price.
Various vouchers are also available for the zoo. All vouchers can be found here.
Sights in the Zoo
- Tyrolean Court: Look forward to Tyrolean flair in the Tyrolean Court, a typical Unterinntal farmstead from 1722. Bought from Schönbrunn Zoo to save it from decay, removed and rebuilt here piece by piece, the Tyrolean Court presents endangered breeds of domestic animals in its stables.
- Imperial Pavilion: In the heart of the Zoo stands the Imperial Pavilion, which once served the imperial couple Emperor Franz I and Maria Theresia as a breakfast and social room. Today it is a café-restaurant that still exudes imperial flair with its grandiose ceiling frescoes, oil paintings and mirrors. More about this here.
- Palm House: The Palm House from 1882 is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Here, lovers of Mediterranean, tropical and subtropical plants can marvel at different types of plants from three climate zones in three pavilions. Admission prices and opening times can be found here.
- Desert House: The desert house directly opposite the palm house provides a desert experience. The former sundial house takes you on an adventure trail through authentic desert landscapes from Central America to Madagascar. Admission prices and opening times can be found here.
Entrances, Parking and Public Transport
- Hietzing Main Entrance: You can reach the main entrance to Schönbrunn Zoo via the Hietzinger Gate. The nearest stop is the Hietzing underground station.
- Tirolerhof Entrance: This entrance is on the Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg. If you arrive by car and park in the public parking lot, this is the closest entrance.
- Neptune Entrance: This entrance is located in Schönbrunn Palace Park. It is located on the side of the castle by Neptune Fountain.
- A public parking lot is available to visitors to the zoo on Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg. Access is via Elisabeth-Allee. Parking spaces are limited. Address: Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg, 1130 Vienna.
- There is also a chargeable APCOA parking lot with 160 spaces at Schönbrunn Palace. From here you can reach the Zoo in around 22 minutes on foot. Address: Schönbrunner Schloßstrasse 50, 1130 Vienna.
- U-Bahn: U4 Hietzing
- Tram: 10, 58, 60 Hietzing U (Kennedy Bridge)
- Autobus: 51A, 56A, 56B, 58A
Dining at the Zoo
Numerous restaurants and cafés in the Zoo provide for your physical well-being. In addition to the already mentioned Kaiserpavillon and Café Atelier Nonja, you can treat yourself to excellent food in the rustic Gasthaus Tirolergarten, at Jumbo Grillgarten and in the beer garden.
Café Hietzing at the Hietzing entrance, Landtmann's Parkcafé in the castle park and the Eissalon Rhino Bar, where you can treat yourself to delicious ice cream, are all suitable for a coffee break.
History of the Zoo
The Zoo was opened in 1752 by Emperor Franz I Stephan of Lorraine, Maria Theresa's husband, as an imperial menagerie in the park of the Schönbrunn summer residence.
The system goes back to a design by the court architect Nicolas Jadot. After a year of construction, the menagerie was completed in 1752, staffed with animals and presented to visitors. The center of the complex was the central pavilion designed as a breakfast room, today the Imperial Pavilion, which was only completed in 1759. 13 radially arranged animal enclosures surround it.
It was not until 1779 that the Zoo, which became home to more and more animals, was opened to the public. Thanks to expeditions to Africa and America organized by Emperor Joseph II, more and more exotic animals such as elephants and giraffes came to the Zoo.
With the end of the monarchy, the Zoo became the property of the Republic of Austria. However, supply bottlenecks and hygienic deficiencies caused by the First World War meant that the number of animals fell by almost 85 percent.
Under the direction of the biologist Otto Antonius, the number of animals increased sharply again until 1930. He also introduced the idea of breeding endangered animal species.
Unfortunately, the Zoo was not spared from the bombing of World War II. Many of the animal residents lost their lives.
After extensive restoration work, the zoo found itself in dire financial straits. Only the privatization of the Zoo, higher admission prices and numerous sponsors ensured that the enclosures could be renewed and expanded.
The Zoo has been part of the Schönbrunn UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
Still today, the oldest continuously operated Zoo in the world exudes historical flair. Schönbrunn Zoo is now home to more than 750 animal species from all continents and is dedicated to the preservation and protection of endangered species.
- Address: Maxingstrasse 13b, 1130 Vienna
- U-Bahn: U4 Hietzing
- Opening Times: Schönbrunn Zoo is open daily. The current opening times can be found here.