The Oldest Zoo in The World: Schonbrunn Zoo

Vienna zoo map schonbrunn zoo

A Journey Through the Oldest Zoo in the World: Schonbrunn Zoo

The oldest zoo in the world is Vienna Zoo or Schonbrunn zoo in Vienna. Nestled in the heart of Vienna Austria, Schonbrunn Zoo is not just a haven for wildlife enthusiasts but a marvel of cultural heritage. Holding the title of the world’s oldest zoo and consecutively named Europe’s best zoo six times, it stands within the prestigious UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, framed by the imperial grandeur of Schonbrunn Palace. This zoo isn’t just about animal sightings; it’s an experience where culture and nature dance in harmony, enriched by its imperial charm.

Schonbrunn Zoo is Home to 700 Species

Spanning 17 hectares, Schonbrunn Zoo is a mosaic of life, featuring an impressive array of 700 species, including some critically endangered. Imagine staring into the eyes of giraffes from a specially designed gallery, watching orangutans skillfully swing from rope to rope, or observing Siberian tigers in their peaceful slumber. The zoo also offers a glimpse into the quieter moments of koalas munching eucalyptus leaves and African elephants luxuriating in mud baths. Among these wonders, the playful meerkats, with their jovial sand antics, have become a visitor favorite.

The Star Attraction: Giant Pandas in Schonbrunn zoo

The zoo’s pride and joy are its giant pandas, symbols of conservation success. Schonbrunn is among the select zoos globally graced with pandas from China and boasts a unique record in Europe for natural panda breeding. The birth of pandas like Fu Long, Fu Hu, Fu Bao, and notably, the panda twins raised by Yang without human intervention, have put Schonbrunn on the global map for wildlife conservation.

An Indoor Adventure: World Tour of the Animal Houses in Schonbrunn zoo

A flock of pink flamingos standing by a water's edge with lush greenery and a classic building in the background in schonbrunn zoo

On days when the weather is less inviting, the zoo’s indoor attractions offer a delightful escape. The multi-storey rainforest house is a haven of tropical flora and fauna, while the aquarium terrarium dazzles with its array of fish and reptiles. The historic monkey house, the underwater world of the Polarium and Polardom, and the Tirolerhof with its rare farm animals, all provide a fascinating indoor journey.

Schonbrunn Zoo Experience: Beyond Animal Sightings

Feeding times at Schonbrunn Zoo are not to be missed. They offer an opportunity to learn intriguing facts about the animals, with the sea lion enclosure being a crowd favorite. The zoo also boasts an array of dining options, from the rustic Tirolergarten Tavern to the historic Emperor’s Pavilion, each offering a unique view and culinary experience.

The Schonbrunn Panorama Train: A Convenient Way to Explore

Penguins swimming in clear water, visible above and below the surface, with a rocky background

One of the highlights of visiting Schonbrunn is the Panorama Train. This convenient mode of transport links all attractions across the vast 160-hectare World Cultural Heritage Site, including the splendid Gloriette on Gloriette Hill. It’s an ideal choice for families, the elderly, or anyone who wishes to save energy for more exploration.

Restaurants and Kiosks in Schonbrunn Zoo: A Feast for the Senses

Tirolergarten Tavern: Rustic Charm Amidst Nature

Perched in the zoo’s upper level, adjacent to the historic Tyrolean Haidachhof, the Tirolergarten Tavern offers a rustic and cozy retreat. Here, amidst lush greenery, visitors can indulge in Tyrolean delicacies and grilled specialties, especially delightful in the summer. The tavern’s charming interior and the shady outdoor dining area provide the perfect backdrop for a sumptuous meal. [View Menu]

Emperor’s Pavilion: A Royal Dining Experience

In the heart of the zoo lies the Emperor’s Pavilion, an architectural gem from the baroque era. This exquisite venue serves up a blend of Viennese and international cuisine. Dine on the terrace and enjoy a panoramic view of flamingos, zebras, cheetahs, giant pandas, hippos, and antelopes. It’s a dining experience that combines history with the beauty of the animal kingdom. [View Menu]

Café Restaurant ORANG.erie: Modern Flavors Meet Nature

Adjacent to a delightful children’s playground, the ORANG.erie is a modern, light-filled café-restaurant. With its terrace offering a serene environment, guests can enjoy a diverse menu featuring Austrian and Asian dishes, vegetarian specialties, and an extensive tea assortment. It’s a perfect spot for a relaxing meal amidst the vibrant energy of the zoo.

Café Hietzing in Schonbrunn zoo

Situated near the Hietzinger Gate, Café Hietzing is the ideal spot for a quick coffee break. Offering a selection of cakes, pies, and coffee, it’s a quaint and cozy café perfect for a light snack or a moment of relaxation during your zoo adventure.

Jumbo Buffet: Casual Dining with a View

Enjoy a casual dining experience at the Jumbo Buffet, featuring an outdoor area with views of penguins, sea lions, and elephants. It’s a great place to grab hot dogs, snacks, and refreshments while watching the animals play and interact in their habitats.

Rhino Bar Ice Cream Parlor in Schonbrunn zoo

On warm days, the Rhino Bar Ice Cream Parlor, located near the Neptune Fountain entrance, is an oasis of cool delights. Here, visitors can relax on the sun terrace and enjoy a variety of refreshing, fruity ice cream specialties – a perfect way to beat the heat and rejuvenate.

Beer Garden: Relax Under the Chestnut Trees

Adjacent to the lion pen, the Beer Garden invites guests to unwind in a shaded outdoor dining area under the chestnut trees. Offering beer specialties, smoked pork chops, grilled delights, and fresh salads, it’s an ideal spot for a leisurely meal in a relaxed atmosphere.

A Day at Schonbrunn Zoo: Culinary Adventures Await

From the rustic charm of the Tirolergarten Tavern to the historical ambience of the Emperor’s Pavilion, the culinary offerings at Schonbrunn Zoo cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. Whether you’re seeking a quick snack, a relaxing coffee break, or a full dining experience, the zoo’s restaurants and cafés promise to enhance your visit with delightful flavors and memorable settings.

Schonbrunn Zoo: A Schedule of Fascinating Feeding Times

One of the highlights of a visit to Schonbrunn Zoo is the opportunity to witness various animals during their feeding times. These sessions offer insights into the eating habits and behaviors of the zoo’s residents, making for an educational and entertaining experience. Here’s a schedule of the feeding times you can catch during your visit.

Panaroma tours in Schonbrunn Zoo price: 

Rental price per train

Palace Park tour within regular operating hours (60 mins): € 350
Palace Park tour outside regular operating hours (60 mins): € 380

Daily Feeding Schedule in Schonbrunn zoo

  • 10:00 am: African Elephant
    Experience the majesty of the African elephants during their training session. Note that this is not a feeding session, but rather a display of their skills and routines.
  • 10:30 am: South American Sea Lion
    (Except Tuesday) Watch these graceful creatures during their feeding time, a display of agility and appetite.
  • 11:00 am: Humboldt Penguin
    (Except Tuesday) Observe the charming Humboldt penguins as they enjoy their meal.
  • 11:30 am: Northern Rockhopper Penguin and Arctic Wolf
    (Except Tuesday for penguins; Arctic Wolf on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays) A unique opportunity to see these distinctive species during their feeding.
  • 1:00 pm: Northern Bald Ibis
    Witness the feeding of the Northern Bald Ibis, a bird known for its unique appearance.
  • 1:30 pm: Barbary Sheep & Barbary Macaque
    A chance to see both these animals during their feeding time.
  • 2:00 pm: Indian Rhino
    (Daily, April-October) Observe the Indian Rhino, a mighty and majestic creature, during its meal.
  • 2:30 pm: Animals of the South America Park
    (Daily, April-October) This includes anteaters, capybaras, vicunas, rheas, and seriemas.
  • 3:00 pm: Siberian Tiger and Western Black-and-White Colobus
    (Siberian Tiger on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays; Colobus on Wednesdays and Saturdays) Get a glimpse of these magnificent creatures during their feeding sessions.
  • 3:30 pm: South American Sea Lion
    (Except Tuesday) Another opportunity to see the sea lions at mealtime.
  • 4:00 pm: Queensland Koala
    Daily viewings of the koalas during their feeding time, an adorable and tranquil experience.

Please note that feeding sessions may be subject to change or cancellation without prior notice. It’s always a good idea to check the zoo’s official website. You should inquire at the entrance for the most up-to-date schedule and any possible changes.

In Conclusion

A visit to Schonbrunn Zoo is a journey. It is a world where the past and present, culture and nature, exist in beautiful symbiosis. It’s a place where every corner tells a story, every animal encounter is unique. Every moment is imbued with the imperial elegance of its surroundings. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or seeking an experience, Schonbrunn Zoo awaits you. If you still try to decide which city is better Salzburg or Vienna, read our blog. If you are wondering how much to tip in Vienna, Here is the blog tipping in Vienna.

How to get to Schonbrunn Zoo in Vienna?

Getting to Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna is convenient, with multiple options available to suit different preferences:

By Public Transport

  • Underground (U-Bahn): Take the U4 line to the “Schönbrunn” station. The zoo is a short walk from the station, following the signs.
  • Tram: Tram lines 10 and 60 stop at “Hietzing/Schönbrunn Zoo”. From there, the zoo’s entrance is easily accessible.
  • Bus: Buses 51A and 56B also stop at “Hietzing/Schönbrunn Zoo”, close to the zoo entrance.

By Car

  • If you’re driving, navigate to the address: Maxingstraße 13b, 1130 Vienna. The zoo has parking facilities, but they can be busy, especially on weekends and holidays. It’s advisable to arrive early or consider public transportation. From Vienna to Schonbrunn Zoo.

By Bicycle

  • Vienna’s extensive bike paths make it feasible to cycle to the zoo. There are bicycle stands near the entrances for parking your bike.


  • If you’re staying nearby, walking to the zoo is a pleasant experience, especially through the beautiful gardens surrounding Schönbrunn Palace.

Tips for Visitors

  • Check the Zoo’s Website: Before your visit, it’s a good idea to check the zoo’s official website for any updates on directions or transport options.
  • Consider a Vienna Pass: If you plan to visit multiple attractions in Vienna, a Vienna Pass might be useful, offering free public transport and entry to many sites, including Schönbrunn Zoo.
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