For the animal fans, Berlin has two zoos and one aquarium to offer! Together, these three venues make the city home to a very diverse and rare animal population, which you won’t find in any other city.
A cooperation agreement signed by both zoos after 1989’s German Reunification aims to maintain each zoo’s special and distinctive character.
The Zoologischer Garten Berlin -Berlin’s Zoological Garden- is the oldest zoo in Germany. It opened in 1844 to accommodate all animals that the former Prussian King Frederick William III had taken to his private zoo in Pfaueninsel.
Nowadays, some 15,000 animals of 1,500 different species gather in 35 hectares of Berlin’s Tiergarten. With almost 3 million visitors every year, the nocturnal animal house, the aquarium and regular animal feedings are some of the Berlin Zoo’s main attractions. Worldwide famous animals like Knut, the polar bear, or Bao Bao, the Giant Panda, are some of the Berlin Zoo’s inhabitants.
A zoo in itself, the Aquarium was built in 1913 as part of the Zoologischer Garten complex. Its three stores are home to over 9,000 animals, making it one of the world’s aquariums with the greatest biodiversity.
Crocodiles, insects, tropical and native fishes, jellyfish breeding, amphibians, reptiles -the Komodo dragon among them-, 250 fish tanks, a shark tank and twelve basins of corals -including a Great Coral Basin with a reproduction lagoon- are some of the main features of the Aquarium. Visitors can choose to go only to the aquarium, or buy a joint ticket that allows them to also visit the zoo.
The largest zoological garden in Europe, Berlin’s Tierpark Friedrichsfelde hosts about 8000 animals from 950 species on its 160 hectares. Founded in 1955, the zoo is located on the historic parklands that were once the grounds of the Friedrichsfelde Palace.
Tierpark Friedrichsfelde is famous for its several rare species, like the muskoxen and unique hooved animals, together with its successful elephant breeding program and the Bärenschaufenster: some sort of shop window where European Kamchatka brown bears can be seen from the street at no charge.
Spacious enclosures are another characteristic of the Tierpark Friedrichsfelde. Not to miss are the wild cats in the Alfred Brehm Building, the Indian flying foxes in the Tropical House, the African desert antelopes in “Africanum II”, the Snake Farm –with the largest collection of poisonous snakes in Europe-, the Hummingbird and Crocodile House and the Pachyderm House.
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