Play Around with Animals in the Oldest Zoo in the World
1. History of Tiergarten Schonbrunn
Tiergarten Schonbrunn was constructed in 1752 by the order of Francis I, the husband of Maria Theresia. The zoo was built around a pavilion for the imperial breakfast with only thirteen animals back then. The zoo was then open to public without any entrance fee in 1779. The first giraffe was then brought to the zoo in 1828 after the expedition to Africa and America and changed the style of fashion in Vienna. During the first world war, the zoo housed 712 species and 3500 specimens. However, the number down to 900 specimens as a result of the war. The number was down again to 400 during the second world war because of the bombing. The zoo was then managed by private in 1992 and the zoo was managed to be renovated and increase the specimens because of the sponsors and the increased entrance fee. The zoo also has new buildings to replace what is lost before.
2. Prepare to Walk Around the Lush Ground
When you are visiting Tiergarten Schonbrunn, one of the must do is to walk the Nature Experience Trail. Here, you will explore the lush grounds of the Palace of Schonbrunn that will take you through the natural wildlife. You can go up a tree-top walk to see through a different perspective from 10 m high, or you can go down below and pass the ponds filled with trout, carp, and pike. If you have sharp eyes, then you will spot the woodpecker. One thing not to miss is the terrarium that is a place for salamanders, cross adders, and even some of the most poisonous snakes from Austria.
3. See How the Orang Utan Swings from Tree to Tree
Orang utan has also been one of the most viewed animals in Tiergarten Schonbrunn. The habitat was designed to be as close as their own natural habitat in the forest, which give you the chance to watch them as the mammals swing from branch to branch up to 11m high. Here, you can also enjoy your dine in the adjoining coffee shop to have the unique experience as if you are really together in the forest with the apes.
4. Get Ready for the Heat of the Desert
The Tiergarten Schonbrunn is also a home for animals from Africa and Australia. You can see them in the Desert Experience House that was commissioned by Emperor Franz Joseph I to place his specimens that come from both continents. The botanical house has a pretty modern style, but on the inside, it is divided into some different arid areas that will give you the authentic desert experience. For examples are the area of Madagascar and desert of the Old and New Worlds.
5. Visit the New Rainforest House
One of the newest attraction in Tiergarten Schonbrunn that is opened in 2002, during the 250th anniversary of the zoo, is the Rainforest House. Here, you will be taken inside a huge glass house that resembles the rainforest, where the skies rumble with the sound of threatening storm. Inside, you can see a wide range of animals, including otters, Asian fairy-bluebirds, dark tiger pythons, and plenty of creepy crawlies. You can also visit a dark bat cave that will give you a better knowledge about the nocturnal animals.
6. Join the Animal Feeding
Animal feeding has been one of the main activities that the zoo has to offer. The great thing is that you can see the feeding process of most of the animals inside the zoo, including the orang utan, arctic wolf, giant panda, and the koala. It will be a bit hard to see all the feeding process because of the schedule, however, if you are ready to spend a long time in the zoo, then it is an activity that you must join. For the complete schedule of the animal feeding, you can visit the official website of the zoo and choose whichever suits you.
7. Explore the Schonbrunn with the Panorama Train
Walking around Schonbrunn can be an exhausting activity to do because the place has so many things to see. If you are tired or if you just arrived in Schonbrunn, then you can also hop on to the Panorama Train that will take you around the wide park and see everything that is needed to see inside. The Panorama Train has nine stops, including the zoo, which is why it is considered as a nice way to relax before you continue to explore more of the park.
How to Get Tickets?
Tickets can be bought both online or on the spot. To skip the line, it is better to book tickets online. If you want to visit a lot of places in Vienna and Schonbrunn, then you can also check the combination ticket for a cheaper price. The zoo also offers annual ticket for regular visitors.
How To Get Around?
To get around Schonbrunn, you can ride the Panorama Train. However, inside the zoo, you will have to walk to explore the views.
What Should I Wear?
There is no recommended dresscode for visiting the Tiergarten Schonbrunn.It is better to check the weather as well before visiting the zoo and dress comfortably.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit the Prater is between April and September, but in August it will be the high season for tourists and the zoo can be very crowded. It is better to visit in the morning on weekdays to avoid the crowd and to make sure you get to see the animal feeding.
Will I Need a Guide?
You don't need a guide to visit the Tiergarten Schonbrunn.
How To Get There?
If you are travelling by public transport, Tiergarten Schonbrynn can be reached by using train number U4 and stop at Station Hietzing. You can also use tramway number 10, 58, 60 or bus number 51A, 56A, 56B, or 58A.
There are some visitors rules to be followed, including not to disturb the animal and not to feed them without supervision.