Wildlife in the middle of Budapest – the famous Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Tourists visiting the Hungarian capital will find it hard to believe that only a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, exists a true haven for wildlife. Located right next to the City Park and Heroes’ Square, the Budapest Zoo is home to more than 8000 species of animals from 7 different continents.
The first zoo in the entire country, it has endured world wars, revolutions and the stormy years of communism since it first opened its gates to the public in 1866. By 1950, the zoo had been damaged so badly that the the city council of Budapest considered shutting down the whole establishment. It took a lot of commitment and many years of hard labour to restore the zoo to its original splendour but all the efforts have paid off – today, it attracts more than a million people every year. According to the locals, it is the perfect place for a weekend family outing or a romantic afternoon with your sweetheart. You can gauge for yourself, as the Absolute Walking Tour; Yellow Zebra Bike Tour and the Segway Superior Tour all pass by the zoo.
The zoo itself has many other features that will take your breath away: designed in the exotic art-noveau style of the late 19th century,, the front gate and the elephant house are prominent pieces of Budapest’s architectural heritage.
Visiting the zoo can also give you a good opportunity to discover the cuisine of Hungary and mix with the locals. You can wander around the cages with a Hungarian pretzel or Lángos in your hands as long as you make sure the animals don’t get any. (Some animals can be fed by visitors but only with snacks purchased from the zoo staff).
The City Park is also home to the National Circus of Hungary, an Amusement Park and the largest wellness centre of the capital, the Széchenyi Spa so you can rest assured: with so many things promising fun, you will always have something to do whenever you decide to come!
BUDAPEST ZOO INFORMATION
Opening hours: 9:00-16:00, every day
Tickets: Adults – 2500 HUF; Students – 1900 HUF; Children – 1800 HUF
Public transportation: Metro Line No.1 (yellow)- stop: Széchenyi-fürdő
Trolley Line No.72 – stop: Fővárosi állatkert