What’s special about the Schönbrunn Zoo?The Tiergarten Schönbrunn is the oldest continuously operating zoo in the world, founded in 1752 as an imperial menagerie by Francis I, Empress Maria Theresia’s husband. At the center is a stunning baroque pavilion, initially intended to be used for imperial breakfasts - today it’s a cafe for guests! The zoo originally had 13 enclosures, but it’s grown and is now home to 8,500 animals from over 700 species. The zoo is also one of the few in Europe that has giant pandas, and it’s also the only zoo in Europe to successfully breed pandas naturally.
Can we meet the animals?There are talks from zookeepers about the animals throughout the day, where you might also get to see the animals being fed, and, for children, there’s also a petting zoo with miniature goats. For those who desperately want to meet a particular animal, you can book an experience, from giant turtles to rhinoceroses, where a keeper will teach you all about how they care for the animals. You might even get a chance to feed them! Experiences must be booked via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long does it take to visit the zoo?It takes between 2 and 4 hours to walk through and see most enclosures, although those with children can easily spend a whole day roaming the zoo. If you also intend to see Schönbrunn Palace and the Gloriette, you should plan to spend a whole day in the zoo, park, and gardens.
Are there guided tours?There are a limited number of guided tours available, though you can’t book a place on the day of your visit. Themed tours are available for groups, then there are evening and night tours during summer and backstage tours which focus on the design and maintenance of a single enclosure at a time. Guided tours need to be booked in advance via an email to email@example.com. For those who speak German, there are frequent talks from zookeepers at the individual animal enclosures, these occur at fixed times which can be found in the map of the zoo handed out at the entrance. Some of the talks include feedings and will probably be interesting to you even if your German isn’t quite up to the challenge of the talks!