Budapest Zoo is located within Városliget Park, in the center of Pest side of town in Hungary.
The park is one of the oldest zoos in the world, opened its doors on August 9, 1866 and has some valuable art nouveau buildings designed by Kornél Neuschloss and Károly Kós.
Nowadays the Zoo is home for 1072 animal species and receives more than 1 million visitors every year. There’s a lot of animals from every continent of the world but the most notable species are the Komodo dragon and from December 2011 the Wombat. Special for us was to touch several baby kangaroos that room around freely. Last year Vali, one of the parks female brown bear became an international superstar, thanks to an interesting video on YouTube, where the animal ’saves’ a drowing hooded crow from the basin of bear’s enclosure.
The Zoo is large, beautiful and well-kept during our visit on December 2014 but we didn’t like to see animals in small enclosures. In full honesty there were some of the poorest conditions I have ever seen in a zoo.
Whilst some parts of the zoo did seem good and suitable for the animals such as the areas for the lizards and birds there simply wasn’t enough space for the larger animals. The crocodiles were kept in a small enclosure, 3 elephants were being kept in an enclosure that was about two elephants in size so it just paced back and forth in a tiny space. There were five tigers in a very compact space too. The poor wallabies were absolutely freezing and were huddled together in a small space whilst unable to get to their food because seagulls were eating it instead. During our visit in December 2014 there was also an awful smell in several of the buildings. It was a freezing cold day when we visited and of the animals were inside but this could only partially explain the animal conditions inside and outside the buildings.
The park is huge (17 ha) and now annexed the old Vidam theme park that was closed on 30 September, 2013 and use the space to display subtropical fauna and flora in a spacious glasshouse. A roller coaster and some minor attractions are still there but only open during summer season.
The newest attraction of the zoo is The Magical Hill, found in the Great Rock. It presents the diversity of flora and fauna, the evolving of the diversity and the relationship between humankind and nature. It features more than 100 species, interactive games and illustrative models
The Zoo is located in the city center, can be reached by Line 1 (Budapest Metro). Official city card (Budapest card) owner gets a 25% discount for a single ticket into the zoo. Be careful because the map provided at the entrance is not totally accurate.
In sum, if you are in Hungary’s capital reserve 3/4 hours to see this Zoo. The architectures is wonderful but the animals don’t look happy or well treated. It’s sad but this park have seen better days!.
Location: Budapest, Állatkerti körút 6-12, 1146 Hungary
Tickets: Adult: 2500 HUF (5€) Children: 1800 HUF (4€)
Opens all year.