Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden
Fun-Filled Trip for the Whole Family at the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden
1. Magic Mountain
The latest addition to the Budapest Zoo is located in the Great Rock area, just past the Monkey World and before the Savannah enclosure. You can find hosts of animals from antelopes to mountain goats here. It also features an interactive games and illustrative models that will surely be loved by your kids, or who knows, maybe you yourself!
2. Litte Rock
This is probably the first section every visitor will see as it is located just right in front of the entrance. You can find some marine animals such as seal, sea otters, and penguins here. Some parts of the zone also feature birds of prey such as vultures and owls. This section is especially popular for kids, due to the penguins. Every kids love those cute little birdies. There's also a small restaurant nestled in-between the rocks so you and your family can have a meal while watching the animals around the rock.
3. The Great Lake
Found near the entrance just next to the Little Rock, the Great Lake is home to many water-based birds such as pelican, flamingo, etc. There is also a crocodile enclosure nearby on the far left of the lake. It's the perfect time to enjoy the mesmerizing scenery of a lake filled with exotic birds, creating the illusion of a paradise on earth.
4. Australia Zone
True to its name, this zone is home to many Australian-based animals, such as koala, kangaroo, cassowary, and others. Pretty interesting if you never see them up-close and personal, but since they can be found on most zoos in the world, you might probably want to skip this one.
5. America Tropicana
Originally known as the Palm Tree House & Aquarium, this section of the zoo features the inhabitants of a tropical rainforest in the American continent, such as exotic birds, reptiles, fishes, and the lush tropical plants as well. You can find it to the left of the entrance, just past the Japanese Garden. Feel the wilderness of a verdant jungle shrouded in scent of adventure growing inside you!
6. Monkey World
Now this is the place that everybody was referring to when they make a joke about visiting your relative in the zoo. Occupied by myriads of monkeys from various sizes and species, the Monkey World is definitely a must-see as it is pretty entertaining to watch those monkeys doing funny things. Next to the section, there is a small petting zoo for if your kids want to experience touching the animals from up-close. Note that the animals in the petting zoo is obviously the tame ones such as sheep, otherwise it would be too scary to visit.
7. Savannah House
Have you packed your safari gear? Located in the far-right section of the zoo, this zone contains animals native to the African savannah, such as rhinoceros, giraffe, gazelle, zebra, and the likes. Although it's not the real safari, at least it offers the experience and you can roleplay a safari adventure with your kids to double the fun. The zone also features several small mammals, insect, and birds from the African continent.
8. Elephant House
Situated just before the Savannah enclosure, the Elephant House offers a beautiful panoramic view of the whole zoo that can be seen from the small tower at its top. The Elephant House itself contains large African animals such as elephant (obviously) and hippopotamus.
9. Gundel Confectionery
If you feel a bit peckish after treading around the zoo, stop by at the Gundel Confectionery near the entrance and order some snacks or other refreshments. Their delicious desserts and ice cream is highly recommended by many. If you want something heavier or more gratifying, head to the Bagolyvar restaurant next door.
10. The Fairytale Park and Pannon Park
These two parks are the newest attraction of Budapest Zoo that is planned to be opened in two phases during 2018 and 2019. The Fairytale Park is targeted for kids to play and learn with various animals, much like a petting zoo but with a bigger setting and a backstory to help them learn about the animals. While the Pannon Park is an exhibition space that displays the local flora and fauna of ancient Hungary. Pannon itself refers to the name of Pannonian or Carpathian basin, the geomorphological name for a large basin in Central Europe that covers Hungary and other neighboring countries.
How to Get Tickets?
Visitors can buy tickets at the ticket booths in the zoo. Alternatively, you can also book the ticket online to save you from waiting in a long line. Annual pass is available as well; it is valid for 365 days since the purchase with a limit of one entrance per day.
How To Get Around?
Most of the attractions in the park can be reached on foot. The pathways are relatively large, providing easier access to wheelchairs and the likes.
What Should I Wear?
There are no strict rules regarding apparels in the zoo. However, visitors should dress accordingly to the season when visiting Hungary, as it can be very cold during the winter. Also, as you will be walking for most of the time inside the zoo, wear comfortable footwear and clothes to save you from pain and fatigue.
Best Time to Visit
There is no best time to visit as Budapest Zoo tends to be the same no matter what time of the year is your visit. It is always crowded all year long. However, some people prefer warmer climate so they visited during the summer and it is a holiday season so you might want to avoid it if you don't want to visit a crowded zoo.
Hungary Forint (HUF)
Will I Need a Guide?
As there are plenty of information in forms of plaques and signs, you don't really need a guide to get around the zoo. However, if you prefer to be accompanied by someone who's familiar with the animals to provide you with a better insight and information, you can hire a private tour guide.
How To Get There?
Budapest Zoo is located smack dab in the heart of the city, so it is easily reachable. The most preferable method is by bicycle as to avoid the traffic and parking difficulties. The zoo offers an ample space of bicycle storage for free and it is guarded so visitors don't have to worry. If you want to take the metro, you can take the M1 underground metro and stopping at the 'Szechenyi Furdo' stop. Buses are available as well, with bus number 20E, 30, 30A, 105, and 230 all stopping at the nearby Hosok Tere stop. Alternatively, you can get there using a car, but it is not recommended as there are limited parking spaces and the busy traffic of Budapest will slow you down.
As the zoo is considerably large, visitors might require a full day to fully explore the zoo and enjoy all of its attractions without feeling rushed. There are plenty of vendors inside the zoo, but if you want to save cost, you probably want to bring your own meals and snacks.