The Budapest Zoo, in Hungary, is a fantastic way for guests to see animals from each of the seven continents without having to leave the comfort of their own city. With over 25 acres of animals from all over the world, visitors will spend all day learning about their favorites and finding more.
Not only one of the oldest zoos in the country but also in the entire world, the Budapest Zoo was opened in 1866. It houses over 1,000 different species of animals in the very heart of the city, having grown enormously from the original zoo population that included only animals native to Hungary. The zoo welcomes more than a million visitors on a yearly basis. Besides being a zoo, it also functions as a nature preserve and displays some beautiful, historic specimens of architecture that were designed by famed architects Kornel Neuschloss and Karoly Kos. It also features an elephant breeding program, welcoming its newest elephant calf in 2013 (the first elephant birth at the zoo since 1961).
Permanent Attractions and Exhibits
The main attraction at the zoo are obviously the animals. The animals that live at the Budapest Zoo are broken into seven different continents that live on the more than 25 acres than encompass their grounds. This allows guests to visit the entire world while not leaving the city of Budapest. Below is a selection of some of the fan favorite areas and animals that call the zoo home.
? Australian Zone - The Australian section of the zoo is often one of the most frequently visited. Housing a wide variety of Australian critters like vultures, kangaroos, egg-laying mammals like the platypus, collared lizards, and black swans, there are both indoor and outdoor exhibits. There is also a section that uses reverse lighting for guests to view the animals that are most active at night (nocturnal). There is even a volcano at one end of the exhibit, which is home to some beautiful large green parrots. Make sure to follow the path all the way around and see all there is to see.
? Large mammals - Another guest favorite are the large mammals, like elephants, rhinos, and hippos. They are impressive to see in person as it can often be difficult to understand exactly how large they are without physically being able to see them. The Asian elephants are the fan favorite.
? Primates - Amazing for how closely they look like humans, the primates at the Budapest Zoo are another must see area while visiting. The zoo is home to both orangutans and gorillas and the enclosures are huge in size.
? Savannah Zone - One of the newer exhibits, established in 2008, is a 5000 square foot area of the zoo that is home to animals who call the savannah home. These animals include gazelles, antelopes, and giraffes as well as a few different bird species.
? World of Waters - This exhibit is home to the aquatic animals and bird species that live at the zoo. Come see the adorable penguins, the huge polar bears, and the playful seals.
? India Zone - Starting with the India House, which was built in 2011, this exhibit focuses on animals that are indigenous to India. See the rare Indian lions, the striped hyenas, and more in the “House of Carnivores.”
The Budapest Zoo hosts a variety of educational program opportunities for schoolchildren and loves to host field trips to the zoo. The zoo tries to schedule these programs on both weekdays and weekends, so families of all types can attend. They even organize larger festivals, meant to bring in more young, curious guests. Three of the biggest are the Festival of Animals, the Summer Festival, and the Eve Festival. Admission to all three is provided free of charge to paying zoo guests.
There are also a handful of Teacher Open Days, mainly offered in October and April. These events are offered to teachers to come to the zoo and learn about all of the available programming, as well as receiving additional education about biology, nature, and the zoo in general. Full information about these days is available on the zoo’s website and they are offered free of charge to all teachers with a valid and up to date teaching certificate.
The Budapest Zoo has its own gift shop on the premises, which sells a variety of zoo and animal related merchandise. Guests can pick up a stuffed animal, a t-shirt, a poster, or a DVD while helping to support the daily functions of the zoo. Make sure to pick up a fun reminder of a visit to Budapest.
Budapest Zoo, 1146 Budapest, Allatkerti krt 6-12, Phone: +36-12-73-49-00