The 10 Biggest Zoos in Europe

Hosted both indoors and outdoors, these large zoos attract millions of visitors every year – kids and adults included. Some of these zoos manage to save animals at risk of extinction, giving them a large role in the world of animal care.

From marine animals to exotic birds, you can see all types of animals in Europe’s oldest zoos. Plan at least a few hours for each of these zoos; you can spend an entire day in many of them.

Keep reading to learn more about the 10 biggest zoos in Europe that are allowing visitors today.

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1. Prague Zoo, Czech Republic

You can spend days with your entire family Prague Zoo, located in the capital of the Czech Republic. Check out some of the many featured daily activities when you purchase your ticket. They change from one day to the next, which is great for return visits.

The zoo hosts a wide range of wild animals and domestic animals in its farm area. Children can get up close to chickens, rabbits, and even a few ponies.

2. La Palmyre-Les Mathes, France

This French zoo is known for its natural settings and long list of endangered animal species. The zoo was built in 1966 in a forest spanning over 18 hectares. Animals are as close as possible to their natural habitat – and you can enjoy the fresh air, far from busy cities.

Endangered animals include the famous white rhinoceros and the scimitar oryx. These animals live a unique habitat, which is often described as more of a park than a zoo.

The natural habitats also include high waterfalls, and the 1,600 animals living there feel right at home.

3. Artis, Amsterdam

Established in 1838, Artis is one of the oldest zoos in the world and has one of the best outdoor spaces for animals to live in. Visit the zoo’s planetarium and arboretum, and check out its unique 19th-century buildings.

Giraffes are popular at the zoo, as they enjoy wide-open spaces. The zoo is also home to a wide variety of marine creatures that you can see with the whole family.

4. Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland

Since 1913, Edinburgh Zoo is known for its active role in protecting endangered species, including breeding giant pandas – which isn’t an easy task. It is also one of the first locations in the world to host and breed penguins, which enjoy large open spaces and daily visiting hours.

International travelers can see these pandas and much more for free, as there is no entry fee for this area of the zoo.

5. Palmitos Park, Spain

Situated in the Gran Canaria islands, Palmitos Park is in one of the most interesting locations in the world. Right between high mountain peaks and amazing tourist beaches, the zoo is an incredible place to visit with lots to do for the entire family.

Multiple amphitheaters and a world-famous dolphinarium are the zoo’s main attractions.

6. Loro Parque, Spain

Located on the Tenerife Islands, Loro Parque is another must-see zoo in the Spain.

Birds and marine life are the main attractions of the zoo. It’s one of only a handful of European zoos to host over 4,000 species of parrots. Visitors can also see orcas, piranhas, sharks, and exotic fish in the Spanish zoo.

7. Chester Zoo, England

Known for its wild animals, trees, and plants, Chester Zoo is very impressive for every visitor. Running purely on donations, it still manages to host a wide variety of rare animals including the Ecuadorian Parrot, the Madagascar tree boa, jaguars, and buffalos.

Its modern buildings and large wooden structures create a unique learning space for kids of all ages.

8. Basel Zoo, Switzerland

With a history dating back to 1874, the Basel Zoo is the country’s main tourist attraction. It has been estimated that more than 2 million visitors have been to Basel Zoo in 2019 alone.

Basel Zoo plays a huge role in protecting and breeding endangered species including the Okapi and Indian rhinos and a wide range of apes.  All are well taken care of, with the highest standards, and are well protected.

9. Berlin Zoo, Germany

The Berlin Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the world, hosting over 20,000 animals from over 1,000 species. Visiting this zoo in the capital of Germany might be an experience that can be spread over a few days.

The zoo also plays an important role in breeding and protecting endangered animals such as various pig species, and a Knut polar bear (who also became a social media sensation!).

10. Vienna Zoo, Austria

The Vienna Zoo, also known as “Tiergarten Schönbrunn”, is the world’s oldest zoo; established in 1752, it is boasts impressive architecture, with a castle on its grounds.

Elephants and giant pandas are popular attractions at the zoo. Its unique records include being the first place to naturally breed panda bears on the continent and  hosting the first elephant born in a zoo.

With multiple restaurants and nature conservation areas, the zoo is a great place to visit on a day out with the family, relax, and eat tasty local food. The zoo also hosts several kids’ events, so adults can enjoy a cup of coffee while the kids are educated in the mysterious world of wild animals.