Get face to face with giant pandas, chase peacocks, explore a tropical rainforest, and more - all in the oldest zoo in the world; the Vienna Zoo.
Founded as an Imperial Menagerie (aka a royal Zoo) in 1752 the Vienna Zoo, or the Tiergarten Schönbrunn is the worlds oldest Zoo and probably the most elegant. Located on the grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Zoo is every bit as regal as I would have imagined.
Walking in, I immediately felt like I was taken back in time. I could imagine ladies meandering around with their parasols while the kids chase the roaming peacocks. The Holy Roman Emperor, Francis and I eating an imperial breakfast in the pavilion while admiring the animal enclosures around. Although now modernized, there are still remnants of the grand baroque architecture.
Elegance aside, the Zoo is just as spectacular as it is scientific. The Vienna Zoo is a wonderful and unforgettable experience. Along with the historic complexes of the former "menagerie" visitors can discover more than 700 animal species (some endangered) and enclosures that take you back in time. Some of the other attractions include a rainforest house, which makes you feel as if you're actually walking through the Amazon Rainforest. There is also a large aquarium and a polarium for animals of the Arctic region.
Tiergarten Schönbrunn is home to 4 Giant Pandas, and is one of three Zoos in Europe that China has entrusted their pandas to. This was my first time ever seeing a Giant Panda so close and active! During your visit, be sure to seek out Nonja, a female orangutan has her own facebook page and actually takes pictures of herself -- and if you're lucky, perhaps you'll even spot the peacock that roams freely through the zoo.
Make sure to check out their website for more information and to get the various schedules for feedings and special talks.
How To Get To Vienna
Vienna is a pretty central European city, bordering some of our favorite countries like Germany, Hungry and the Czech Republic. Getting around by train is pretty easy and comfortable but can be a bit long. For an easy alternative check out Let's Fly Cheaper, who offers business class flights to Vienna, at a great discount!
For more information about the Vienna Zoo, follow the link below