A Trip to the Berlin Zoo to Brighten Our Day
It was a Sunday, shortly after lunch, and we were sitting in our gloomy apartment. We still weren’t sure if we were going to commit to staying in the apartment until New Year’s or move someplace else for November and December, and the decision was wearing us down. Finally we realized the only way to improve our moods was to get out of the apartment and go do something. Andy really likes zoos, and Berlin has two, so we looked up how to get there and we were on our way.
Sometimes zoos are sad
I’m normally not a big fan of zoos. I prefer to see animals in their natural habitat, and the lions certainly reminded me of this. They are kept in an area that is both inside and outside, with a little door they can use to get from one side to the other. But it was too cold that day, and the doors were closed. We noticed one of the female lions scratching at the door that goes outside, and it was just so sad. (Apologies for the not-so-great photos. I obviously still need to work on how to get my camera to focus past things like cages.)
The male lion she shared her cage with was so bored from not being allowed outside, he had to find other ways of entertaining himself.
But sometimes they’re not so bad
Aside from the sad lions, we saw several other cat varieties, including some younger ones that were super cute.
Seriously, doesn’t that guy look cute enough to take home as a pet?
We also this adorable mongoose. Who knew they were so cute? I didn’t even know what a mongoose looked like before the day we went to the Berlin zoo.
And we saw very entertaining meerkats.
After seeing a lot of the animals that were kept indoors, Andy wanted to find the otters. Unfortunately the otters were not out, but we did get to see some seals, sea lions and penguins.
My favorite animals at the zoo
One of the first animals we saw after passing through the gate were the Siberian ibexes, which looked like some kind of mountain goats. I was fascinated by how quickly they jumped and climbed all over the rocks and cliffs without tumbling down the sides.
As much as I enjoyed seeing all those animals and more, my favorites are the classics. I still love seeing the elephants, giraffes and zebras. I really hope to see them someday in the wild on an African safari, but until then this will have to do.
The zoo might not be my favorite tourist attraction, but I did have fun that day. It was also just what we needed to get us out of our funk. Looking at cute animals can improve anyone’s mood.
Visiting the Berlin Zoo
As I mentioned, Berlin has two zoos. We visited the one on the west this time. To get there using public transportation, use the S5, S7, S75, S9, U2 or U9 and get out at the Zoologischer Garten station. You can also use the U1 or U9 and get out at the Kurfürstendamm station.
We spent about three hours at the zoo and still didn’t see everything. The animal houses close earlier than the zoo itself closes, so if there are animals you want to see that are inside, go there first. Opening hours vary depending on day of the week and time of year, and feeding times for certain animals are posted online, so check the website and plan accordingly: Zoo Berlin
Tickets for adults cost 13€ per person. We also bought a guidebook in English for 5€.
You might also enjoy:
- Best Christmas Markets in Berlin
- Berlin International Restaurant Project
- Views From the Berlin TV Tower
- Bernauer Strasse Wall Memorial in Berlin
Lindsay @ Where Is Your Toothbrush
November 26, 2013 @ 12:16 PM
Hi Ali, Just discovering your blog via The Journey Itself. Yay for us travel bloggers! I really love zoos and aquariums, but my husband doesn’t (he will sometimes tolerate them for my sake). But I took a day-trip to Vienna to visit their zoo by myself in August while we were staying in Bratislava. What a great zoo and what a great way to decompress, being around animals. I could sit and watch the giraffes for hours. We’re in Istanbul, and I’m trying to convince my husband to go to their great aquarium with me 🙂
Thanks for the great post and I look forward to reading more.
November 26, 2013 @ 4:27 PM
Thanks Lindsay! We’re kind of flipped, I’m not a huge fan of zoos, but my husband really enjoys them. He went to the zoo in Amsterdam while I went to the Anne Frank House. The animals at the Berlin Zoo really were fun to watch though! Have fun in Istanbul, such a great city!
November 28, 2013 @ 11:58 PM
I like to visit zoos sometimes, but I agree that they can be sad. A lot of displays in places give the animals a lot of room to move around, but some don’t. The worst for me are always the aviaries. Even in the larger cages there is rarely much room for birds to fly around, and it’s very sad to see. If you’re ever in Cologne, I really enjoyed the zoo there. http://amandapoverseas.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/cologne-part-5-sights-on-the-way-to-the-zoo-some-animals-at-the-zoo/ I went there while my husband was at Games Day lol.
November 30, 2013 @ 12:04 PM
Thanks Amanda, I haven’t been to Cologne yet, but we live about 3 hours away when we’re home in Freiburg, so I imagine we’ll get up there eventually and I’m sure my husband would enjoy the zoo. We planned on going to the other zoo here in Berlin, but it’s so cold and dark now, it doesn’t seem worth it.
November 29, 2013 @ 7:15 AM
Nice post Ali! We love seeing animals, especially ones we don’t have at home, so we have found it a pick me up to visit some of the zoos around the world (including Berlin). It always makes us feel better too!
November 30, 2013 @ 12:09 PM
Thanks Evan! Zoos aren’t always my favorite place to visit, but it sure was the right thing to do that day!