Vienna Zoo at Schönbrunn Palace

Tiergarten Schönbrunn (literally means ‘Schönbrunn Zoo’), or ‘Vienna Zoo’. The zoo is located within the grounds of the UNESCO world heritage site at Schonbrunn Palace and is the world’s oldest zoo, established way back in 1752! It was constructed under the order of the Holy Roman Emperor Francis 1st. The zoo was centred around a pavilion where the Hapsburg Royals would have breakfast amongst the menagerie of animals. The animals were housed in 13 enclosures that were arranged around the centre pavilion to represent 13 slices of cake. A small zoo had existed at Schönbrunn since 1540 but was only opened to the public for the first time in 1779.

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 The beginnings of Vienna Zoo

Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II sent expeditions to Africa and the America’s to secure new species for the zoo. At the onset of World War 1, the zoo had 3,500 animals. A lack of food during World War 1 meant this shrunk to 900 animals by the end of the War. The zoo suffered even more so during World War 2 when Austria was aligned with Germany. Many buildings were destroyed and the zoo was on the brink of collapse with only 400 animals remaining. The zoo was slowly renovated and sold into private ownership in the early 1990’s. The new owners did their best to bring in animals that were rare and interesting such as Koala’s and giant Panda’s.

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Vienna Zoo today

The Schönbrunn Zoo of today has positioned itself at the forefront of animal conservation practise’s. The Schonbrunn Zoo is the most successful zoo outside of China when it comes to breeding Giant Panda’s. 3 Giant Panda’s have been bred at Schonbrunn Zoo. The first panda to be born was in 2007 which was the first Panda to be concieved naturally in Europe.

Vienna Zoo

The zoo currently has 8500 animals that represent more than 700 species that live throughout the complex. The most popular animals are the Giant Panda’s and viewing room to watch the Panda eat, sleep and play are at a premium. All of us just stood in complete wonder as we watched them eat and play in their enclosure. It was fantastic to see these amazing creatures happily relaxing and eating away on their bamboo! I could have stayed all day in that one spot watching them!

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We visited the zoo while staying in Vienna in the summer of 2015. We accessed the zoo via public transport from the city. This was a really easy way to get out to the Zoo and we also were able to look at the Palace and its gardens while we were there. The train takes you around 20-30 minutes to get to Schonbrunn depending on where in Vienna you are staying.

Vienna Zoo

Our impressions were that it is a great zoo to visit well set out with first rate enclosures for viewing the animals that are housed here. Our girls particularly loved the giant panda’s and we spent 10-15 minutes watching them play and wrestle. The Giant Panda was the highlight for all of us as it was our families first Giant Panda sighting. The koala’s were a favourite with our kids even though we are Australian and we can spot Koala’s in tree’s around our area at home. The elephant enclosure is amazing with an indoor and outdoor section. The elephants wander into the indoor enclosure at feeding time. Inside the viewing, area there is setting to sit and watch these magnificent animals. The zoo has lots of small kids playgrounds dotted around it, that will break up the animal watching. Look out for the animal sculptures that you can get some photo’s of the kids on. Another of the enclosures we enjoyed was the bird aviary. It was very tropical, with so many different plants and animals in there. The only thing is that the stairs may be an issue for any families with a pram and the bat cave if you are easily freaked out!

Vienna Zoo General Information

The main entrance “Hietzing” is close to the U4 underground station Hietzing. The Schönbrunn Palace Gardens are reached via the Hietzinger Tor and then you just follow the pathway between the Palm House and the Desert House.

The zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. – 365 days a year, also in winter and on public holidays. Closing times vary between 4.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m depending on the season. Please note that the Palace Gardens (Schlosspark) are closed shortly afterwards. Ticket office closing time and last entry time is 30 minutes before the end of visiting time. All the usual facilities such as toilets, food and drink stands, souvenir shops and a cafe is available.

Vienna Zoo

Entry Prices

Adults 16.50 Euro’s
Kids 8 Euro’s
Kids under 8 are free

Plan a whole day trip at Schönbrunn. You can visit the Palace, the Zoo and the gardens. It’s an amazing attraction for the whole family and one that our family won’t forget in a hurry. The Vienna Zoo panda’s were amazing. The kids were talking about our day at the zoo for weeks after the visit. If you are staying in Vienna we can recommend some great restaurants to eat at during your stay in the Austrian capital. Read our top 3 feeds in Vienna article HERE.

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mark wyld
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mark wyld

Father, Husband, Travel Planner, Savings Expert, Beer Connoisseur, Photographer, Social Media Tragic, Castle and UNESCO Seeker.

A full-time worker in Disability support and part time traveller when time, money and kids schooling allow.

Next up for Wyld Family Travel is 10 weeks in Europe from November 2016 till January 2017. We will be visiting Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, France, Poland, Iceland, Denmark, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia
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