Top 4 Largest Zoos in Europe

Top 25: The largest zoos in the world you’ll want to visit

From Asia to Europe, North America to Africa, zoos around the world serve a remarkable conservation function. They protect the Earth’s wildlife and raise awareness among the public about how to help the planet.

Through various charitable donations, zoos protect the most vulnerable species from extinction and promote their health and reproduction.

Of course, most zoos cover just 1-2 acres (0.4-0.8 hectares), being home to a small number of animals. However, others are larger and are able to protect and house animals in a variety of habitats.

So, here are the 25 largest zoos in the world that you will surely want to visit!

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

25. Hogle Zoo photo: commons.wikimedia.org

Located in Utah, the Hogle Zoo is a 42-acre (17 ha) area. It is home to up to 800 animals of more than 249 different species. From elephants and tigers to monkeys and giraffes, there’s almost everything!

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

24. Como Zoo photo: Wikipedia Commons.com

Established back in 1897, the old Como Zoo is located in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA and is owned by the city.

A total of 17 acres (6.88 hectares) house 1,700 animals of 66 different species. The zoo has recently restored and expanded its collection of monkeys and polar bears.

The zoo is visited by about 1.2 million people each year, which is understandable because admission is free. The Como Zoo exists with government funding and charitable donations.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

23. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

Riverbanks Zoological Park & Garden in Columbia, South Carolina, USA, has a wide range of wildlife, including an aquarium and botanical garden. It covers about 68.8 hectares and attracts nearly one million visitors a year.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

22. Philadelphia Zoo photo: flickr.com/photos/jcapaldi/

The Philadelphia Zoo is located, as you might guess, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. It is a 42-acre (17 ha) wide area that is home to up to 2,440 animals of 340 different species.

Although the zoo was founded in 1859, its completion was delayed due to the Civil War. The Philadelphia Zoo was completed on July 1, 1874.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

21. St. Louis Zoo photo: Wikipedia Commons.com

This zoo covers 90 acres (36.42 hectares) and houses 18,700 animals of more than 603 different species. It was opened 113 years ago and is visited by 3 million people annually.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

20. Oakland Zoo photo: flickr.com/people/48741368@N00

The residents of the Oakland Zoo, spread over 100 acres (40.47 hectares), are kept in extended “natural” habitats.

It’s home to 660 animals, and in 2012 the zoo opened its own 17,000-square-foot (1,579.35 m²) veterinary clinic, the largest in Northern California.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

19. Los Angeles Zoo photo: en.wikipedia.org

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens opened in 1966 and is a 133-acre (53.82 ha) wildlife area with a variety of animals. The zoo is home to 1,100 animals of more than 250 different species.

Unfortunately, there have been several escapes at the zoo, including one involving a gorilla named Evelyn who tried to escape five times.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

18. Smithsonian National Zoological Park Photo: wikimedia commons

One of the oldest zoos in the United States, the national zoo is a 163-acre (65.96 ha) area with 2,000 animals of 400 different species.

The zoo charges no admission fee and aims to educate and agitate the public for wildlife conservation.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

17. Jacksonville Zoo photo: commons.wikimedia.org

Largely active in animal conservation, the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida is a 117-acre (47.35 ha) area that is home to 2,400 animals.

It was originally a small, modest zoo, but over the years it has greatly expanded, and it now draws about a million visitors a year.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

16. Memphis Zoo photo: commons.wikimedia.org

The Memphis Zoo is located in the city of the same name in Tennessee and, according to TripAdvisor.com, ranks number one on the list of the best zoos according to visitor reviews.

It is located on 76 acres (30.76 hectares) and contains 3,500 animals of 500 different species. In 2003, the zoo became one of those rare zoos with a giant panda.

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Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

15. Dallas Zoo photo: commons.wikimedia.org

Spread over 106 acres (42.9 hectares), the Dallas Zoo is just 3 miles (4.83 km) from downtown Dallas, Texas. It is home to more than 2,000 animals of 406 different species, which up to one million visitors come to see each year.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

14. Detroit Zoo photo: commons.wikimedia.org

The Detroit Zoo is a 125-acre (50.59 ha) land that is home to 3,300 animals of more than 280 different species. It is a nonprofit zoo that is visited by 1.4 million people each year.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

13. Brookfield Zoo photo: flickr.com/people/52877734@N00

The Brookfield Zoo in Chicago is home to 2,300 animals of 450 species spread over 215 acres (87.01 hectares).

The zoo is widely recognized for its use of moats instead of cages to house animals. It also created the first imitation rainforest under a roof.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

12. Minnesota Zoo photo: flickr.com/photos/dharmabum1964/

Opened in 1978, the Minnesota Zoo pushed the boundaries in organizing enclosures by dispersing animals by habitat rather than by species. 2,351 animals of 447 species inhabit this enormous 485-acre (196.27 ha) zoo.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

11. The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium photo: commons.wikimedia.org

The Henry Doorly Zoo is located in Omaha, Nebraska, and is well known for its conservation efforts. It is also considered one of the best and largest zoos in the world. The 130-acre (52.61 ha) facility is home to 17,000 animals of 962 different species.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

10. Berlin Zoological Garden photo: flickr.com/people/53301297@N00

The Berlin Zoo in Germany may be 86 acres (34.8 hectares) in size, but it is home to 18,662 animals of 1,380 species. The zoo is also home to a giant panda, and collaborates with various universities in research and conservation. More than 3 million people visit the Berlin zoo each year.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

9. The Bronx Zoo photo: commons.wikimedia.org

Located in New York City, the Bronx Zoo covers 265 acres (107.24 hectares) with 4,000 animals of 650 different species. One of the largest metropolitan zoos in the United States, this zoo is visited by more than 2 million people annually.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

8. The Toronto Zoo photo: flickr.com/photos/mbowler/

The 710-acre (287.33 ha) zoo is the largest zoo in Canada. It has a total of 5,000 animals of more than 460 species, allowing it to house animals in a more natural habitat. Toronto Zoo is open year-round, except for Christmas holidays.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

7. Disney’s Animal kingdom photo: flickr.com/photos/kjgarbutt/

Opened on Earth Day in 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the world’s largest zoological theme park, covering 580 acres (234.72 ha).

It is home to animals of all species, including gorillas, Komodo gorans, and lions, among others. About 10 million people visit the zoo each year.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

6. National Zoological Gardens of South Africa photo: commons.wikimedia.org

Informally called the Pretoria Zoo, the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa covers 210 acres (84.98 ha) and contains 9,000 animals of 700 different species. It is one of the eight largest and most visited zoos in the world.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

5. Moscow Zoo photo: commons.wikimedia.org

Opened back in 1864, the Moscow Zoo is located on an area of 53 acres (21.45 hectares) with 8,270 animals of 972 different species. The zoo specializes in breeding rare, endangered species and studying animal behavior and reproduction.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

4. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium photo: commons.wikimedia.org

The Columbus, Ohio, nonprofit zoo is often cited as one of the best zoos. It is located on 580 acres (234.72 hectares) with 7,000 animals of 800 different species.

The zoo is actively involved in conservation, giving more than $3 million to 70 different projects over five years.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

3. The Beijing Zoo photo: Wikipedia Commons.com

Founded in 1906 by the Qing dynasty, the Beijing Zoo is one of the oldest in China. With only 220 acres (89.03 hectares), it is home to 14,500 animals of 950 species, half of which are marine animals.

The zoo also studies and breeds rare animals and has one of the most diverse animal collections in the world.

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Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

2. San Diego Zoo photo: commons.wikimedia.org

Another of those rare zoos that keep and breed giant pandas, the San Diego Zoo is one of the largest and most famous zoos in the world. Its 99 acres (40.06 hectares) are home to 3,700 animals of 650 different species.

Top 25: The World's Largest Zoos You'll Want to Visit

1. London Zoo photo: commons.wikimedia.org

Opened in 1828, London Zoo is the oldest scientific zoo in the world. It covers only 36 acres (14.57 hectares) and is home to more than 20,166 animals of 698 different species.

The zoo is also the first in a long list of accomplishments, including “the first reptile exhibit,” “the first aquarium,” and “the first insect house.”

The 10 Best Zoos in Europe for Your Kids

For many parents, the zoo is one of their favorite places to spend time with their children. This is a special world where we become a little closer to nature and its inhabitants, where in one place you can see how diverse fauna of our planet. This is a great opportunity to acquaint children with our smaller brothers and demonstrate better than any book illustration, what a long neck of a giraffe or a beautiful tail of a peacock …

Here are 10 of the best zoos in Europe, a visit to which will be a real holiday for all members of your family.

London Zoo (UK)

Top 10 best european zoos for your kids

This is the first zoo in the list because it is not only one of the best but also the oldest in Europe, founded in 1828 by the Zoological Society of London. At first it was available only for scientific research, but in 1847 it opened its doors to the public. Nowadays the zoo is home to about 755 species of animals with more than 16,000 specimens.

The London Zoo was a pioneer in many ways. Here appeared the first aquarium, serpentarium and “children’s zoo”, where children can get acquainted and communicate with pets and visit the most exciting classes. Today you can find these sections in almost any good zoo.

London Zoo is a very cozy and even comfortable place to walk around and get to know its inhabitants. Minimum of cages and nets, spacious aviaries and pavilions that allow you to get up close and personal with non-dangerous animals, exciting educational programs and performances – all this is the famous London Zoo.

Not to be missed : the B.U.G.S. (Biodiversity at the Heart of Global Survival) pavilion featuring a variety of interesting insects and small animals; elephant bathing, penguin feeding, aquarium, Butterfly World.

Address : Outer Circle, Regent’s Park London, NW1 4RY Official London Zoo website : www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo

2. Berlin Zoo (Germany)

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Germany’s oldest and largest zoo (in size and number of animals) opened in 1844 in Berlin’s Tiergarten district on the site of a former royal pheasant court. It covers an area of 35 hectares, which is home to 1,500 species of animals (about 17,000 specimens). The spacious and beautiful park, buried in verdure in the warmer months, is one of the most popular places for recreation as the inhabitants of the city, and tourists. In addition to interestingly decorated and easy to see enclosures, visitors are offered a lot of figures and scientific information on the stands next to the animals.

In the three-story building adjacent to the park is an aquarium with three exhibits: a marine world, a terrarium and insects. Because the zoo in Berlin is enormous, you can rent a special cart for your child to make getting around easier.

Not to be missed: the “kids’ area” where you can feed goats and sheep, the nocturnal animals pavilion, the monkeys pavilion, the Indian elephant Bully, and the aquarium.

Find out more about the Berlin Zoo on our website.

Address: Hardenbergplatz 8, 10787 Berlin

3. Vienna Zoo (Austria)

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The Vienna Zoo is located on the grounds of Schönbrunn Palace and is considered one of the oldest in the world. The history of this attraction in Vienna dates back to 1752, when Emperor Franz I ordered to organize a menagerie on the territory of the residence. Despite its respectable age, the park is considered one of the most modern in terms of technology and the best in terms of living conditions, which are as close as possible to the natural environment of the animals. In addition to the aforementioned advantages, the zoo, as well as the entire park area of the palace, is well maintained and imperial-style beautiful.

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Today, Schönbrunn Zoo boasts a collection of over 600 animal species. This is one of the few zoos where you can see pandas in captivity. You can ride the sightseeing train through the zoo, and for small children you can rent a handy mini-trolley.

Don’t miss the feeding and weighing of the koalas, the sea lion show and the main attraction, the panda family.

Learn more about the Vienna Zoo on our website.

Address: Schönbrunner Tiergarten, Maxingstraße 13b, 1130 Vienna

4. Prague Zoo (Czech Republic)

10 best european zoos for your kids pics 4

It is not surprising that in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe you can visit one of the best zoos not only in Europe but also in the whole world. Prague zoo is located in a picturesque part of the city, in the territory of the Troja Park. Next door is the Botanical Gardens and the Castle of Troy. For the first time the zoo opened its doors to visitors in 1931. The park has a total of 113 species of mammals, 159 species of birds, 34 species of reptiles, as well as about 300 species of plants.

When you enter the zoo in Prague, you should pay attention to the local alley of fame – here you can see the footprints of the most famous people in the zoo throughout its history. The total area of the Prague zoo is 60 hectares, 50 of which are occupied by the territory for animals. Zoo is unusual in its structure: it is located on two levels connected with each other by a cable car. The Prague zoo specializes in the work on the restoration of endangered animal species, so you can see here representatives of rare species listed in the Red Book. Living conditions of animals are as close to natural as possible, there are practically no cages (except for raptors), and cages are mostly equipped with glass panels. Thanks to this there is the most free contact with the inhabitants of the zoo, which makes visiting the zoo even more exciting.

The management of the zoo in Prague pays great attention to its little visitors. Do not forget to visit the “children’s zoo” with the little ones, which contains domestic animals (children can feed them, some of them can even ride), see one of the free performances of animals. There are also a number of playgrounds scattered around the area and a children’s railroad.

Don’t miss: the one of a kind Indonesian Jungle Pavilion, the Gorilla Performance, the Hyenas Performance, the Children’s Zoo, the African Panorama, the Polar Bear Pavilion with a waterfall and the underwater view.

Learn more about the Prague Zoo on our website.

Address: U Trojského zámku 3/120, 171 00 Praha 7

5. Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, Germany

10 best european zoos for your kids pics 5

Photo: wilhelma.de

Wilhelma Zoo is a harmonious combination of flora and fauna in one place. The zoo, the botanical garden and the chic palace and park complex are located on the same territory, so fascinating walks through the picturesque places and a lot of positive impressions are guaranteed. Zoo and botanical park with numerous greenhouses and pavilions was founded in the mid-nineteenth century by order of King William I. A trip here is especially interesting in the warm season, when the entire park is a riot of colors and fragrances. Today the zoo is home to about 9,000 animals, including camels, waddling hippos, colorful parrots, penguins, rhinoceros, giraffes and zebras – the most interesting specimens.

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A large pond with a variety of aquatic plants, frolicking fish and free-ranging herons makes Wilhelm’s Zoo especially charming. The zoo is very popular with both Germans and tourists and has 2.4 million visitors a year.

Not to be missed: the rainforest with butterflies, the aquarium, the greenhouse with exotic plants.

Address: Wilhelma 13, 70376 Stuttgart Official website: www.wilhelma.de

6. The Basel Zoo (Switzerland)

10 best european zoos for your kids pics 6

Photo: facebook.com/zoobasel

The Basel Zoo occupies a leading position in the ranking of the best world and European zoos. Despite its relatively small size (the area of the park is about 11 hectares, the number of represented animal species – 600, the number of animals – about 6000), you can see many interesting animals living in quite comfortable conditions, as evidenced by their peaceful and contented look. The successful location of the park near the railway station and the city center make Zolli (as locals call the zoo) one of the main attractions of the city and just a wonderful place for walks and recreation with children. Every year the Swiss Zoo holds an open house night where visitors can learn and see many interesting things about the nocturnal behavior of animals.

Don’t miss: feeding sea lions, bathing elephants, “bird house”, “monkey house”, vivarium.

Address: Binningerstrasse 40, Basel Official website of the Basel Zoo: www.zoobasel.ch

7. Zurich Zoo (Switzerland)

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Photo: facebook.com/zooh.zuerich

Another nature park that is definitely worth a visit with kids. It is located in a very picturesque place, pleasant to visit at any time of year. The animals in the zoo in Zurich are divided into several zones that best represent the natural and climatic conditions of the zoo habitat and are kept in spacious aviaries for the animals and the visitors to the zoo. In all, the zoo has about 2,000 animals of 300 (mostly exotic) species.

The main pearl of the zoo is the artificially created reserve “Tropical Forest of Masoala” with an area of 11 000 square meters, which has managed to fully recreate the climate of the national park of Madagascar. Thanks to the “aerial trails” – a system of observation decks located up to 20 meters high – visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the tropical atmosphere and see the world in all its glory.

Not to be missed: the “Masoala Tropical Forest” with its aerial trails, the Zoolino pet farm, the royal penguins.

Address: Zürichbergstrasse 221, 8044 Zürich Official website of the Zurich Zoo: www.zoo.ch

8. Bleidorp Zoo in Rotterdam, Holland

10 best european zoos for your kids pics 8

Photo: Facebook Diergaarde Blijdorp/Rotterdam Zoo

The oldest zoo in Holland, located on the outskirts of the city, impresses even the most demanding and experienced tourist. In 2007 the Bleedorp Zoo celebrated its 150th anniversary and three years earlier it had been given the status of a national monument. You rarely see cages here – all the animals live in spacious aviaries surrounded by greenery, so everything is done to make the park’s inhabitants feel comfortable and natural. The territory of Bleidorp, with a total area of 17 hectares, is divided into sections, which allows for a few hours to make a little fascinating journey to all continents of the world. On your way you will meet many representatives of fauna of Asia, Africa, South and North America, Europe. You can even visit a real ice cave, the master of which is a polar bear.

The zoo is also rich in rare animals, among which the Amur leopard, the Galapagos and Egyptian turtles, Komodo varans are worth mentioning. The Zoo Rotterdam is very proud of its enormous oceanarium with a luxurious gallery of many aquariums.

For children in the zoo, in addition to getting to know the animals, a lot of additional attractions in the form of equipped playgrounds, trains and special cars to move around the park.

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Do not miss: the oceanarium, the house of tropical butterflies “Amazonica”.

Address: Blijdorplaan 8 3041 JG Rotterdam, Nederland Official website of the zoo in Rotterdam: www.rotterdamzoo.nl

9. The Copenhagen Zoo (Denmark)

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Photo:Frank Ronsholt/Copenhagen Zoo

Copenhagen Zoo is located on the outskirts, in the small town of Frederiksberg. It was founded in 1850 by the Danish ornithologist Niels Kjerbelling in the garden of the former royal residence. Despite its respectable age, the zoo is considered one of the most modern and well equipped in the world. The area of 11 hectares is home to more than 3,000 animals. In recent years, the zoo has removed almost all the cages, creating comfortable, but at the same time safe aviaries, thanks to which you can get as close and examine the animals.

The zoo boasts a spacious and comfortable elephant house designed in 2008 by the famous British architect Norman Foster. Thanks to the unusual structure with glass domes, the room where these animals live is bright and very comfortable. Another fascinating place that causes a storm of excitement is the “Ring of the Arctic”. When you visit this section, you will find yourself in a tunnel with a 360-degree view of the pools, in which polar bears swim. In the “children’s zoo” young visitors will have the opportunity to pet and feed pets, ride ponies and visit the Rabbit Town.

Not to be missed: the butterfly pavilion, the Arctic Ring, the Elephant House, the feeding of sea lions and chimpanzees and the Børnezoo Kids Area.

Address : Roskildevej 32, 2000 Frederiksberg Copenhagen Zoo official website : www.uk.zoo.dk

10. Zoo in Barcelona, Spain

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Photo: zoobarcelona.cat

In 2012 this zoo celebrated its 120th anniversary. Over its long history, the Barcelona Zoo has become one of the most popular vacation spots with children in Barcelona and an important destination for tourists. Located almost in the center of the city, in the Citadella Park, it delights and impresses visitors with the diversity of flora and fauna, whose representatives have been collected from all corners of our planet.

About 400 species of animals live on 12 hectares. There is a lot to see here: tamarins, gorillas, tigers and cheetahs, ostriches, penguins, lions, Madagascar lemurs, African ungulates and marine animals. There are also a lot of flamingos in the zoo in Barcelona, which are clustered in several ponds. Unfortunately, the symbol of the zoo, snowy white albino gorilla named Snowball, who lived more than 40 years and for which thousands of visitors came here over the years, is no longer alive. Even today you can buy a souvenir of his memory.

The pride of the Barcelona Zoo is one of the best terrariums in Europe, with about 500 amphibians and reptiles. As in any good zoo, most of the enclosures in Barcelona are arranged in such a way that guests can comfortably watch and observe its inhabitants. As a rule, the fence between the animals and people is a moat or small fences. For the convenience of moving around the zoo you can rent a small electric car or use the services of a steam train.

Don’t miss: the terrarium, Aviary Bird House, Komodo dragons, baby panda, children’s zoo, dolphin show.

Learn more about the Barcelona Zoo on our website.

Address: Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona

Zoos are just a small part of the interesting things you can introduce your child to on a trip. For a richer and more informative vacation, discover more about the other family activities in the Kidpassage collection. On the pages of our portal we collect only those places and entertainment that are suitable exclusively for holidays with children: water parks, amusement parks, attractions, oceanariums, aquariums, as well as many other exciting places around the world. Read on from us about what to do with the kids, and your vacation will not be boring!

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