There is no reason to come to Wroclaw and not visit the zoo. This is the oldest zoological garden in Poland, founded in 1865, when Polish Wroclaw was German Breslau. The park has been closed and reopened several times, and now it is one of the most visited places in the city and the country.
The zoo is located near the center and can be reached by various types of public transport, including a boat. The basic ticket in 2018 costs 45 zlotys for an adult and 35 zlotys for a child (10.5 and 8.2 euros, respectively). There are also family rates and a combined ticket “Zoopark+Aquapark”, according to which the entrance for one person is significantly cheaper. So what are we paying for?
The Wroclaw Zoo is large in area, slightly smaller than the Prague Zoo. It is home to almost 7,000 animals, some of which are no longer found in the wild. And some are found, but you are unlikely to see them so close in the natural environment. For example, you can look at the tigers around Wrocław from the window of a special safari car – it is the body of an old bus, the windows of which overlook the enclosure.
The elephants roam in an enclosure nearby and are large enough to be seen clearly from any angle. By the way, they can’t get enough of this amount of hay, so the trail of dry grass hangs more for fun. The main lunch is brought to them in bags.
In addition to open aviaries, there are also whole aviaries-houses. For example, lemurs and monkeys live in the tropical pavilion, as well as sloths. To see them, lift your head up: they just casually climb the branches under the ceiling. A crocodile lives next door to them, but this toothy predator is hidden behind glass to avoid trouble.
The zoo also has unique animals. For example, okapi, judging by the map, lives in a small area in Central Africa. He looks like the fruit of love between a zebra and a giraffe. What does not happen in nature…
(The photo shows a plywood mannequin. The real okapi looks the same, but sits in a winter enclosure – a wooden house in the background).
The most unique pavilion of the Wroclaw Zoo is called the Odrarium. This is an aquarium that shows the underwater life of the Oder River, at the mouth of which the city of Wrocław is located. It turns out that the river has a very rich ecosystem, there are several hundred species of fish, amphibians and molluscs, lush bushes of algae grow. And when a common bream or a carp swim past a round porthole window, they look no worse than an overseas piranha.
In the southwestern part of the park, adjacent to the river bank, there are picturesque red brick ruins. These are the remains of one of the first enclosures – in the days when the zoo was still royal, bears were kept in a strong brick building. Then they were equipped with a more spacious aviary, and a counselor was placed on the vacated square. You can climb the spiral ladder to the ruins and test the owl’s hearing by whispering “Owl!”
The Wroclaw Zoo also has a petting zoo – a separate section of the zoo where domestic animals are kept. You won’t find exotic guests here, but you can chat with lambs, sheep, ponies and other trifles to your pleasure. A special machine dispenses food pellets for a couple of coins – it is not clear what they are made of, but the little residents are crazy about them.
Recently, another pavilion, the Afrikanarium, was built in the Wrocław Zoo. Inside the African pavilion, it is hot, so if you come in winter clothes, you will be offered to leave it in the wardrobe for one zloty. The Africanarium is so large that it is divided into different natural zones.
Be sure to visit the hippopotamus house – it is simply luxurious, with an artificial waterfall. There you should also visit the Oceanarium, where you can go inside the aquarium through a glass corridor and look at the fish from the bottom up.
There is also an educational pavilion where sharks and other sea giants are explained in detail. The text is in Polish, but in most cases it is not needed, it is clear and without words. And there is also a decent dining room on the upper floor. If you need to feed a starving child, something healthier than a hotdog will do just fine.