Who doesn’t love a trip to the zoo? I know I do, and what better time to visit than on a weekend break. Europe is home to many fantastic zoos and aquariums all dedicated to making sure wildlife conservation is at the forefront of what they do. A day at zoo is the perfect place to learn about the world’s most fascinating creatures with plenty of ‘aww isn’t it adorable’ opportunities throughout the day. If you’re planning a trip away then make sure a visit to a zoo or aquarium is top of your list! Here’s my 10 favourites from around Europe.
1. Berlin Zoo
Hardenbergplatz 8, 10787 Berlin, Germany
As one of the most visited zoos in Europe, it takes first place on my list. The Berlin Zoological Garden is the oldest in Germany and home to more than 1,500 species and around 19,500 animals from across the globe. With a history of maintaining and promoting European breeding programmes, this zoo is paramount in safeguarding endangered species since it opened in 1844. Famous for enthralling animal feedings and Knut, the world-celebrated baby polar bear, I think this zoo is an exciting day out for anyone.
2. Schönbrunn Zoo
Maxingstraße 13b, 1130 Vienna, Austria
Situated on the grounds of the famous Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Schönbrunn Zoo first opened its doors in 1752 making it the oldest zoo in the world. Regarded as a centre for species and nature conservation, the zoo gave Europe its first baby elephant using artificial insemination techniques. Hooray for Europe and elephants everywhere!
3. Barcelona Zoo
Parc de la Ciutadella, s/n, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Once home to the world-famous albino gorilla, Snowflake, Barcelona Zoo is the perfect place for a family day out. Located in the stunning Parc de la Ciutadella, you can relax in the sun, enjoy picturesque gardens and see more than 325 species of animals spread out over an amazing 32-acres…that’s a full day’s worth of sightseeing and exploring.
4. Edinburgh Zoo
134 Corstorphine Rd, Edinburgh, EH12 6TS
With the news of a possible panda pregnancy at Edinburgh Zoo, I can think of no better time to visit. The buzz and excitement has spread across the park with all eyes on Panda Tian Tian in anticipation of a potential cute ‘ickle baby arrival…fingers crossed it all goes to plan.
If babies aren’t really your thing, then meeting the other 1,000 park animals or exploring the picturesque parkland might take your fancy instead.
5. London Zoo
Regent’s Park, Outer Cir, London, NW1 4RY
London Zoo first opened to the public in 1847 and is now home to more than 16,800 animals making it one of the largest collections in the UK…impressive! Originally intended for scientific study, London Zoo has gone from strength to strength since its creation, being the first to open a reptile house, public aquarium, insect house and children’s zoo, all between 1849 and 1938.
6. Dublin Zoo
Phoenix Park, Dublin 8, Ireland
As the largest zoo in Ireland, Dublin Zoo attracts more than one million visitors every year. Not only a great place to see the world’s most magnificent creatures, but also a great opportunity to learn about endangered species and the conservation work they do. I recommend putting time aside for the various animal talks on offer for a chance to see the animals at their best.
7. Acquario di Genova
Ponte Spinola, Area Ponte Antico, 16128 Genoa, Italy
This impressive aquarium is one of the largest in Europe with more than 500 different species of marine life from all over the world. Wandering around Acquario di Genova lets you discover each of the 70 tanks on offer, some with their own natural environments from the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. A favourite of mine at the aquarium is the spectacular dolphin and seal shows, perfect for entertaining the little ones!
8. The Deep, Hull
Tower St, Hull, HU1 4DP
Home to thousands of sea creatures, The Deep in Hull is a fascinating day out promising to entertain, interest and educate visitors on the world’s magnificent oceans. Ideal for a fun-filled family day out, this outstanding aquarium is home to an amazing 3,500 fish, the only pair of green sawfish in Europe, and the not to be missed sharks and rays.
C/ Eduardo Primo Yúfera, 1B, 46013 Valencia, Spain
Taking the lead as the largest aquarium in Europe, Valencia’s Oceanografic is as impressive on the outside as it is on the inside. The gigantic complex holds a mind-boggling 45,000 different fish, birds and mammals all housed in their own aquatic environments. From sharks and sea lions to walruses and beluga whales, both children and adults will enjoy this exhilarating day-out!
10. Chester Zoo
Upton-by-Chester, Chester, CH2 1LH
If you’re a fan of cute baby animals, then Chester Zoo is the place to be! This summer saw the arrival of two cheetah cubs and two tiger cubs (d’aww), giving you and the family an amazing experience you won’t forget in a hurry.
Adorable baby animal’s aside, Chester Zoo is a truly wonderful day out with award-winning gardens ready to be explored and more than 11,000 fascinating animals just waiting to say hello!
What’s your favourite zoo in Europe? Planning a Superbreak weekend break with a visit to the zoo? Get in touch with us today…we’d love to hear from you!