What capital would Prague be without amazing zoo and botanical garden? Whether you have nothing to do, you want to discover the beauty of nature and also meet some exotic animals, those could become the places of your interest. It´s easy to get there, it´s not expensive and both the zoo and the botanical garden can be added to the list of your best life experiences.
History of the Prague Zoo dates back to 19th century. The very first proclamation of founding the zoo in Prague was published in the newspapers in 1881 on the occasion of the marriage of Prince Rudolf and Princess Stephanie of Belgium. During the next few years, more places were discussed as the potential area for the future zoo. In 1922 a landowner Alois Svoboda donated the land of Troja declaring the zoo was about to be built there. And so the work could have begun. The inauguration of the zoo came on the 28th of September, 1931, when the first visitors entered the nascent zoo. As the years passed, more and more pavilions were built. It´s important to mention Jiří Janda, a man who took the most credits for growing and improving the zoo. He later became its first director.
Pavilion of felines, gorillas, penguins, giant salamanders, ”African house”, cheetahs, Indonesian jungle, Sichuan, flamingos, exposure of Siberian tigers, Manchurian leopards, porcupines, lemurs, aviaries of owls and so much more, that all you can see in the Prague zoo. Europe, America, Africa, Asia, Antarctica or Arctic, rivers, lakes, sees or oceans, meadows, savannas, deserts, forests or rainforests, lowlands, mountains or the sky – all included. Prague ZOO can be proud of the amount of animals it offers. Therefore is this area suitable for everyone who wants to see his favorite animal or just to relax a little bit.
If you´re hungry, you can visit one of the restaurants with a wide selection of meals. There are special playgrounds for children, watchtowers and one chair lift as well in the zoo. And there´s a beautiful view all around it.
What is worth mentioning are the floods in 2002. A huge amount of water hit nearly the half of the zoo. This disaster caused a lot of damage and cost the zoo many lives of its animals.
The zoo is open daily – from 9:00 to 16:00 (Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb), from 9:00 to 17:00 (March), from 9:00 to 18:00 (Apr, May, Sep, Oct) and from 9:00 to 19:00 (Jun, Jul, Aug). On the 24th and 31st of December it´s open from 9:00 to 14:00. Basic fees: adults 200 CZK, children (3-15 years old), students, seniors (up to 70 years of age) and disabled people 150 CZK, families (2 adults + 2 children) 600 CZK, dogs 100 CZK.
Right next to the zoo lies Prague Botanical garden. The intention of building the garden in Troja was approved in 1968. Architects Josef Hrůza, Jiří Navrátil and engineer J. Jager were the authors of the winning project and the solution of the garden was implemented according to it. Nowadays the garden offers outdoor exposure, St. Claire vineyard, natural area and last but not least Fata Morgana tropical greenhouse, which is full of exotic plants from all over the world.
The greenhouse is open all year from Tuesday to Sunday – from 9:00 to 16:00 (Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb), from 9:00 to 17:00 (March and October), from 9:00 to 18:00 (April) and from 9:00 to 19:00 (May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep).
The outdoor exposure and vineyard are open daily and have the same opening time as the greenhouse.
Only the outdoor exposure: adults 50 CZK, children (6-15), students and seniors (up to 70) 25 CZK, families 125 CZK, dogs 20 CZK.
The outdoor exposure + greenhouse: adults 120 CZK, children, students and seniors 60 CZK, families 300 CZK.
The last question you may ask is how to get to the zoo or the botanic garden. It´s really easy – just use the metro line C (red line) and get to the station ”Nádraží Holešovice”. After you exit the metro station, get on the bus number 112 and then get off at the stop ”Zoologická zahrada”.