Leipzig Zoo is considered the best of its kind in Germany. Huge grounds, large enclosures, state-of-the-art technology and attractions that do more than just look at animals crammed into cramped cages. And although we have a few comments, it is good with these neighbors of ours :)
Nowadays, zoos, in order to attract visitors, have to change and develop, having as their main goal the provision of a better livelihood for animals. It’s not enough just to bring animals in, squeeze them into an enclosure or a small cage. People are becoming more and more aware, they see that the zoo is not only about animals, but also about education, an opportunity to move to other parts of the world.
The bar we give to zoos is really high. In the course of our travels, we have seen many of them and generally try to choose them consciously. Unfortunately, we have happened several times to zoos focused on maximum profit at the expense of the animals.
However, we will focus here on these positive aspects. We have already seen some really great facilities, such as the Singapore Zoo, which was number one for us until our visit to Leipzig. Willy-nilly, it is the Singapore zoo that is now the benchmark for us when we visit and evaluate such facilities. So will the Leipzig Zoo push it lower in our subjective ranking? Answer at the end of the post :)
What is the first impression of the Leipzig facility? At first it does not delight, and in fact scares and annoys…. And this is due to a rather unfortunate beginning and first run. Walking into a room where a crowd of people are trying to see koalas can be easily discouraged. However, it is worth exploring further nooks and crannies of the place to see that the zoo can look better, animals can have space, and people can learn a lot. Animals here live together, side by side in shared enclosures just like in the natural environment.
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Leipzig Zoo tour
At the outset, we will immediately write that it is worth setting aside a whole day for the Leipzig Zoo. It is a very large area with many enclosures, restaurants, gardens, playgrounds and additional attractions.
It is interesting to note that the space is not just catwalk by catwalk. It is a sizable area, which included passages to various themed lands, gardens, lots of greenery, sculptures. At times you can even forget that you are at the Zoo.
Below are some must-see places.
It is impossible to pass by this 34-meter tall glass dome indifferently. Gondwanaland is a relatively new pavilion, as it opened in 2011, and is the most interesting in the entire Zoo. Be sure to take a look inside, as it is the entrance to a completely different world.
There are zones of different continents (Africa, Asia and South America) where we can meet their inhabitants. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to strain to find them among the greenery, but maybe it’s a good thing when the animals have a place where they can hide from visitors. We really hoped to meet the sloths, but they hid too well ;)
Gondwanaland is one big rainforest. Under the dome it is humid and warm to best reflect the prevailing climate in such a forest (inside a constant temperature is maintained – about 26 degrees and humidity – about 65%). We can admire the tropical plants from different levels, but the most interesting is the highest one, which is a special path in the treetops. Bridges are mounted on the highest parts, from which we can view Gondwanaland in all its glory.
It is a place full of intense colors, sounds and smells. Here you will find about 100 exotic animal species and 500 plant species. At times you can get nystagmus from the excess of stimuli, but fortunately there are also places where you can sit and relax in peace (and wait for those lazy sloths, for example ;-)).
It is worth taking a boat ride here (extra charge – 1.5 euros), and this attraction is available even for the smallest children, but beware: at the beginning you enter the caves, where there are shows, a lot of lights, sounds, so it can be quite an intense experience for toddlers. Fortunately, later it is idyllic…. The boat glides peacefully among greenery, beautiful flowers and free-running animals.
In Pongoland, we can almost walk among the monkeys. The area is quite a bit smaller than Gondwanaland. This pavilion hides a space prepared for several species of great apes. Inside, the climate is most suitable for these animals.
Of course, there is also an outdoor enclosure, quite well prepared and interestingly arranged. There is plenty of room and space for the chimpanzees, orangutans or gorillas peeping here.
One word: elephants – nowhere have we seen such a large elephant enclosure! It is named for the elephant temple of Ganesha Mandir. It is like several large enclosures connected together and is considered one of the most modern in Europe. There’s even a special glass-enclosed water tank in which, if you’re lucky, you can peep at swimming elephants. In addition, the enclosure is away from the railings, so the animals have at least some peace and quiet ;) We were particularly captivated by the baby elephants tangling between the legs of the adults.
There is also the aforementioned Koala House, although the koalas have been here for a short time, more precisely since 2016. At that time, renovation work on the pavilion was completed and it was fully adapted to welcome Australian visitors. As we wrote earlier, the place is quite popular and crowded.
Also noteworthy at the zoo is the Tiger Taiga with a special circular pavilion with a platform from which to observe tiger life. The place for tigers is well arranged, they have shelter, although the enclosure seems too small for an animal that travels many kilometers a day in its natural habitat.
Instead, we liked the sizable enclosure for African animals. There is a large terrace with a restaurant, from where you can observe giraffes, antelopes, zebras living together in one area. Right next door is an enclosure for wild cats and another well-prepared enclosure – for rhinos.
>> We also recommend our post about
Orientarium Zoo Lodz
What’s more for children?
It is known that for children, peeping at animals, learning about their lives is already fun, but as we mentioned zoos should go a step further.
Leipzig Zoo is a place where families spend time together. Here you will find cafes, restaurants but also (or even more importantly) playgrounds – including the interesting Bear Castle: there used to be a bear enclosure here, and now a fantastic playground has been prepared, from which it will be hard to take the little ones out ;-)
Children will have fun sailing on a boat in Gondwanaland, riding a small train, or entering a mini zoo where you can touch rabbits, pigs, goats….
We were positively surprised by the choice and arrangement of places to eat at the zoo. There are several restaurants, bars and cafes, and the cuisine relates to the land in which the restaurant is located. We ate at Gondwanaland and were able to taste here, among other things. Asian dishes. Some dishes are available as part of the buffet, while others are made to order at individual small stands. There is something for everyone.
The most interesting place with a view is the restaurant next to the African animal enclosure. All the tables right next to the railing were heavily occupied.
Leipzig Zoo prices
Ticket prices vary depending on the season. In winter, that is from November to the 20th. March prices are as follows: adult – 17 euros, child (6-16 years) – 10 euros. In other months: an adult – 21 euros, and a child – 13 euros.
Is it a lot? It may seem that way, because, however, nearly PLN 90 per adult for admission is a big expense for the average Pole. The Singapore Zoo has similar prices. Ba, 50 zlotys for entry to the Wroclaw Zoo is already quite a lot, but in fairness it must be written that looking at the number of enclosures and attractions and the quality of these facilities, these are amounts worth considering.
We look at such tickets from the perspective of the time we spend there. Leipzig Zoo is the place to spend the whole day. Even when you’ve seen all the catwalks, you can enjoy the gardens, sit in the restaurant, and the children will enjoy spending active time in the playgrounds.
Also recommended in a similar topic:
– Orientarium Zoo Lodz,
– Zoo Wroclaw and the Afrykarium in Wroclaw,
– Gorlitz Zoo (Tierpark-Zoo),
– Singapore Zoo,
– Vienna Zoo,
– Loro Park, Tenerife,
– Beijing Zoo,
– Great pandas in Chengdu, China.
Location and access to Leipzig Zoo
The zoo is located not far away, less than one kilometer from Leipzig’s Market Square. It will take you about 10-15 minutes to get there on foot.
If you come to the zoo by car, you can take advantage of the multi-level parking lot, which is located opposite the garden. All day parking costs 6 euros.
There is also a Zoo streetcar and bus stop just outside the entrance.
And if you would like to commute by bicycle, there is ample bicycle parking at the Zoo :)
Our opinion about Leipzig Zoo
So how does the Leipzig Zoo compare to the Singapore Zoo?
It must be said that both facilities are of a very high level, in each there will be some elements that could be done better, and they complement each other well. If one were to pick the best of them and combine them into one it would create the perfect garden ;)
The garden in Leipzig surprised us with a great Gondwanaland, large enclosures, space, all very close to the center and, more importantly, close to Poland. So if you want to see a decent zoo then you should consider Leipzig for the weekend.
P.S. For the time being, however, Singapore still leads ;)
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