Warsaw Zoo is a great way to spend a few hours in Warsaw whilst learning about all the adorable animals and other creatures they have there! Thinking of going? Here’s my full review:
Warsaw Zoo – History
Warsaw Zoo first opened in 1928 – almost 100 years ago! In the seven weeks alone, around 24,000 visitors came to visit the zoo. There were more than 70 species of exotic animals, that were all grouped on a small, one-hectare plot of land in the beginning.
Around 1937, the zoo was booming and starting to become even more successful than ever before. There were lots of new animals, such as hippopotamuses, giraffes and the famous elephant Tuzinka – the twelfth elephant born in captivity and the only elephant born in Poland to this day still. Unfortunately, just as things were taking off at the zoo, tensions from Germany started to grow…
In 1939, World War 2 broke out, and on September 1st 1939 – Germany announced an attack on Poland. Sadly, on the 3rd of September, bombs were dropped on the zoo and the Nazis killed a lot of the animals. They gave some of the slaughtered animals for meat to the residents of Warsaw, and the other animals, such as Tuzinka – were transported to Germany.
Although this is very sad, fortunately, there was still something going on at the zoo. Jan Żabiński and his wife Antonina hid some Jewish people who had escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto. This led most of the people who managed to escape the Ghetto into surviving the war – something that would’ve been very hard to do if they had not escaped. In 1965, Jan and Antonina were awarded the title, ‘Righteous Among The Nations’ – which is a huge honour. In 2017, there was also a film made about the situation, called The Zookeepers Wife – which is well worth the watch!
After the war, the zoo slowly recovered year by year, and in the 2000s, the zoo was home to the first Cheetah cubs born in Poland! Throughout recent years, many developments have been made to help the animals conservation and encourage learning for everyone who visits!
What are the opening hours of Warsaw Zoo?
What are the opening hours of Warsaw Zoo? Luckily, Warsaw Zoo is open every day apart from Christmas Day. The opening hours of the zoo are:
9.00 a.m. till –
- 3:30 p.m. (December – January) and 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and holidays,
- 4:00 p.m. (February and November),
- 5:00 p.m. (March and October),
- 6:00 p.m. (April – September) and 7:00 on Saturdays and holidays (May – September).
If you’d like to avoid the crowds, I’d suggest getting there as early as possible – however, when I visited in June, it was quiet even at mid-day, but there were mostly school groups.
How much are tickets at Warsaw Zoo?
How much are tickets at Warsaw Zoo? Tickets at Warsaw Zoo are very cheap compared to other zoos I’ve visited!
In peak season, April to September, the ticket prices are:
|Adult||30 PLN – £5.50|
|Reduced||20 PLN – £3.60|
|Under 3> Over <75||1 PLN – £0.18|
In the off-season, October to March, ticket prices are:
|Adult||20 PLN – £3.60|
|Reduced||15 PLN – £2.70|
|Under 3> Over <75||1 PLN – £0.18|
*A reduced ticket at Warsaw Zoo is for children above 3 years old, students under 26 and retirees and pensioners under 75. Please bring a valid ID – when I visited, they wanted to see my student ID and another form of ID, such as my driving licence or passport.
What animals are there at Warsaw Zoo?
What animals are there at Warsaw Zoo? There are so many interesting animals – and they will probably have one of your favourites! Here are just a few of the animals that call Warsaw Zoo their home: Elephants, Lions, Giraffes, Gorillas, Chimpanzees, a Polar Bear, Otters, Red Pandas, a Hippopotamus, Zebras, Jaguars, Snow Leopards, Red Kangaroos, Penguins, Bison, Cheetahs, Crocodiles – and plenty more!
There are also regular feeding times for some animals that you can watch, such as the seals and penguins. You can check out the feeding times here.
My full review:
I visited Warsaw Zoo in June, around mid-day and it was fairly quiet – apart from some school groups, which can be expected in June especially as that is when the majority of schools break up in Poland.
I bought a ticket at the door which was fairly simple, and there were also machines to buy a ticket from if you can’t speak Polish or would just prefer to buy one from there. There is also the option to buy online in advance, but I don’t think you need to do that often as there was no queue at the ticket office.
Once you’ve got your ticket, all you need to do is show it to the security man at the gate – who might make a funny comment if you’re on a date 😉 – and you’re in, free to explore the zoo! I’d say you would need about 2.5 – 3 hours to explore Warsaw Zoo fully as there are lots of animals to see, especially if you want to see the animals being fed.
The zoo is a bit confusingly laid out, so I would recommend that you stop for a moment and have a look at how you want to plan out your route around. There are lots of food places in the zoo, but they are a bit expensive, so you could bring your own food if you’d rather save some money.
What I liked the most:
I really liked that Warsaw Zoo was very accessible for people using wheelchairs and prams, as it was very flat and wide, with plenty of space for people to get past each other. It was also very reasonably priced to visit, especially if you’re a student and need to save money!
I feel like there were a nice range of animals at the zoo and are being treated very well – which is so important to me! All of the enclosures looked very clean and the animals looked healthy. It was great that visitors also had the option to watch an animal get fed, and there were lots of feedings throughout the day so it was almost always a feeding going on.
There were also plenty of places to sit, these were great if you wanted to relax for a bit, eat or simply just watch the animals and take in the surroundings. I really liked that there was a place to sit inside the aviary with the birds – it was so nice to just watch them walk around my feet and hear them chirping. There is also another great place to sit, away from the animals and a little more peaceful, at the end of the zoo which is right next to a fountain and away from people.
If you’re worried about food options, then don’t be – as there were also lots of different places to eat and get smaller snacks from, like Mini Melts Ice Cream! The prices can be a bit expensive but the portion sizes did look very big and the food smelt and looked equally delicious too.
The staff at the zoo were also very helpful and informative, and the security guard was really funny and kind. If you had an issue or wanted to know more, then the staff at Warsaw Zoo will definitely be sure to help you!
Warsaw Zoo was also very easy to get to! It was in walking distance of all the major attractions and its very easy to get the tram, a bus – or even a boat over the river to get to Warsaw Zoo!
What I liked the least:
There’s not much that I didn’t like about Warsaw Zoo as it was really good! If I had to critique a few things, then there were a few things that were a bit annoying. For example, the layout of the zoo was a bit weird, and you had to walk a lot – like I did around 20,000 steps in the zoo! However, this wasn’t really too much of an issue – but it did sometimes get a little bit confusing, so maybe in the future, some signs could be put up directing on the best way to go around the zoo!
I did also find it a bit disappointing that most of the major animals – such as the elephants, lions, red pandas, the polar bear and a few other, were nowhere to be seen, even after coming back an hour or so later. I totally understand that this is best for the animals welfare, but it’s just something to bear in mind if you are visiting to see a specific animal only. It wasn’t too bad though as I’m happy that this means the animals are being taken care of and also there were plenty of other animals too! Additionally, some of the enclosures also seemed a bit small and bland for some of the animals, especially given how big the animals are compared to the enclosure – but I’m not an expert on what’s good or not.
Warsaw Zoo – Overview
Overall, Warsaw Zoo is a great place to visit if you’re into animals and you’re looking for great things to do in Warsaw. It is also the perfect place to go on a date if you’re looking for date ideas in Warsaw! I would love to go back to Warsaw Zoo the next time I get the chance, and I’ll always remember my visit!
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