What kind of building is the Haus des Meeres?The Haus des Meeres is a unique building - it’s a flak tower which was built to defend Vienna from air raids during World War II. It originally stood 154 feet (47m) high and has concrete walls which are 11 feet (3.5m) thick at their strongest point. In the 1960s the underground floors were used as a youth hostel, while other floors were used by volunteer firefighters. The Haus des Meeres moved into 1 and a half floors of the building in 1957, and has slowly been expanding to fill the rest of the space ever since.
Can we feed the animals in the zoo section?Please don’t feed the animals! Their diets are strictly controlled by their keepers to make sure that they’re healthy. The monkeys are also especially good at stealing any food which is in open handbags or in the hands of visitors, so make sure any food you have with you is safely closed or wrapped up and hidden from view. You can also check the timetable for the times the keepers feed the animals so you can learn more about what they eat.
How long does it take to visit the Haus des Meeres?A swift walk through the Haus des Meeres can take slightly less than 2 hours, but those who want to see everything up close, or visitors bringing smaller children, might want to take 3 or 4 hours walking through all the floors slowly.
Do we need to take a guided tour?Information is given on boards and digital screens in both English and German, so it’s unlikely you’ll need a guided tour of the zoo or aquarium areas. Groups of 20 people or more can arrange a guided tour free of charge (regular entry fees apply). The only part of the tower you need a guided tour to visit is the exhibition “Errinern im Innern” (Remember Inside), which is led by a historian who will teach you all about the building of the flak tower and its uses during World War II.
What’s there to do in the surrounding area?The Haus des Meeres is in Esterházy Park, which has a playground for children and a rock climbing gym which is open in summer. In the park, you’ll also find the Torture Museum (Foltermuseum). The Haus des Meeres is a 10-minute walk from the Museumsquartier, where you’ll find the Children’s Museum (ZOOM Kindermuseum), the Leopold Museum, and MUMOK.