Today I am bringing you to the zoo in Schönbrunn Palace Park. My name is Ingeborg and I am the director of the Austria Classic Hotel Wien.
The zoo was founded by the Habsburgs in 1752 and is the oldest zoo that is still open. On an area of 17 hectares you will find around 7,800 animals from 700 species. A few years ago I rediscovered photography and I especially find photography of animals very interesting. That's why I bought an annual pass for the zoo and have been there regularly ever since. From the hotel you can first take the U1 to Schwedenplatz or Karlsplatz and then take the U4 directly to Hietzing. From there you go through the beautifully landscaped Schönbrunn Palace Park, past the palm house and you are right at the entrance. A day ticket currently costs EUR 22,- for adults and the annual ticket costs EUR 59,-
You have probably had a very good breakfast at the hotel. I like to treat myself to breakfast in the zoo in the Emperor´s Pavillon (Kaiserpavillon) and am always there right after it opens at 9 a.m. You can enjoy the quiet in the zoo and watch everything slowly wake up. You hear animal noises and try to assign them.
After the strengthening, I start my tour. Equipped with a Nikon D-3200 and a telephoto lens. There is so much to discover and you really have to go more often to see all the animals. For example, when the new polar bear enclosure was opened, it took 4 visits before I saw a polar bear there for the first time. Patience is the order of the day. The zoo is very nicely laid out and you can walk there for hours. Of course I have my “favorite animals” such as the big cats, the polar bears and the flamingos. The rainforest house is a must! It's built into the slope and the little otters are wonderful to watch. The brave can also walk through a pitch-dark bat cave and feel the little bats fly by very close to you.
I can still remember how small the enclosures used to be when I was out there with my parents as a child. All of this has been modernized and enlarged and the Schönbrunn Zoo has already been named the best zoo in Europe five times. At lunchtime there is a small snack in the Jumbo beer garden under the shady trees or in the Tirolerhof. At the entrance you get a schedule of when the feeding will take place. I especially love the feeding of the wolves and of course the “show” when the seals get their food. Then it goes on to the predators, rhinos, grasshoppers, rats and of course the gibbon monkeys, ring-tailed lemurs, ground squirrels and the lively meerkats. You keep discovering something new. For example, did you know what a kirk dikdik is? Neither dd I!
My tour usually ends at the exit to Schönbrunn Palace and here I go up to the Gloriette to drink coffee and enjoy the view over Vienna.
I wish you a nice day at Schönbrunn Zoo!