The Prague Zoo was absolutely devastated in the floods of 2002, the damage that I witnessed and the heartbreaking stories surrounding the flood were significant. But as I now happily wander around the lower areas I often find myself forgetting just what this place looked like during that tragic time. It really is amazing how this little Zoo has gone from strength-to-strength in such a short period of time to the point where it is now officially recognised as the 7th Best Zoo in the World (Forbes Magazine, February 2008).
All credit must go to the Zoo’s management who have allocated significant resources towards many new enclosures replicating the animal’s natural habitats thus vastly improving their living conditions. At the same time the public can experience these diverse environments and learn more about the animals that inhabit them.
Of special note is the Indonesian Pavilion (if you’re home sick for the Asia Pacific region, particularly in Winter, this is the place to go!), the Monkey Island, Gorilla Pavilion and African Pavilion (Giraffes, Lions and my favourites the Mearkats).
For families the Children’s Zoo area is fantastic fun. Kids can hand feed the goats, ride ponies, pat sheep, pigs and rabbits and have close encounters with other domesticated animals. There is also a cute train ride for kids, a fun playground, a small pond for paddling on hot days and an outdoor theatre for regular performances. Some girls I know come to the zoo almost every week just to take their kids to the playground and experience the lovely environment, this is particularly affordable if you buy annual membership.
There are many restaurants and snack bars scattered about the park, the best of which are down near the Children’s area, the food is much healthier. You may also be surprised to see that dogs are allowed to visit Prague Zoo as long as they pay the 20 CZK entrance fee, remain on a leash and do not enter certain pavilions.
Prague Zoo hires out strollers and wagons for families, this is advisable if you do not bring your own, it’s quite a large area and you find yourself going up and down the hill quite a bit. The train rides around the zoo are quite worthwhile especially if you have young kids or tired feet, you can also hop on the chairlift to get up and down the hill.
One of the best value passes for families in Prague must be the Zoo's annual pass (1200 CZK for 2 adults and 2 children). This allows you entry at any time for 12 months plus a range of additional goodies. You may also like to consider sponsorship of an animal which is very reasonably priced. Further details can be found on the Zoo’s website.
Please note that the Zoo is very busy over the summer holidays and on warm weekends so try and visit during the week or get there early if you want to avoid looking over people’s shoulders at the more popular pavilions. An alternative is to take the Night Zoo Guided Tours held during the month of August. The tours run at 20.30, 21.00, 21.30 every Saturday and Sunday night in Czech.
Prague Zoo Prices:
|Daily Ticket||Annual Ticket|
|Adults:||150 CZK||500 CZK|
|Children 3-15 years, students, retired and disabled people:||100 CZK||300 CZK|
|Family (2 adults and 2 children):||450 CZK||1200 CZK|
Prague Zoo Opening Times:
Prague Zoo is open every day
- March: 9.00am to 5pm
- April, May, September, October: 9.00am to 6pm
- June, July, August: 9.00am to 7pm
- November, December, January, February: 9.00am to 4pm
ADDRESS: U Trojskeho zamku 120, Prague 7
DIRECTIONS: By Metro and Bus: Take line C (red) to Holesovice then catch bus 112 or the free ‘Zoo Bus’ to the final stop right at the Zoo entrance. By Tram take 14 or 17 to Trojska, you will then need to walk approximately ten minutes to the Zoo entrance. There are three paid parking areas at the Zoo, the fee is a flat 50 CZK.
FURTHER INFORMATION: http://www.zoopraha.cz/en
If you would like to take a scenic boat ride from the centre of Prague to the Zoo then please click Prague Steamboat Company and look for the Prague/Troja, Troja/Prague boat rides under ‘Link Sails’. Here you will find pricing information, location and departure times.