When you have one of the oldest zoos in the world in your city, would you go?
That’s what we decided to do one Saturday in Budapest. So off we went to the Budapest Zoo!!!
We were lucky on the day of our visit. The Budapest Zoo was hosting the Allatszeretet Festival, which was a festival for educators in Budapest. However, there were local environmental groups, artists, crafters, and games set up around the zoo, which was available for all visitors. But when we first walked in, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was surprised at the scale of the zoo. The Budapest Zoo may not be as big as the San Diego Zoo, but perhaps it felt like the size of Basel Zoo in Swtizerland.
Sea Life and Water Animals
We first took notice of the all the close up views of vairous sea life. Seals were easily visible at the top of the water as well as from below. I don’t think you can get that close in the States, which was a nice surprise at the Budapest Zoo.
They have quite a nice selection of aquarium fish as well. I knew many of these fishy creatures, like gouramis and angel fish, from my childhood, which you could find at any pet store. And isn’t it always relaxing to watch fish swim by?
The Hunt to See a Koala
I assumed that I would find the koala exhibit at the Koala House, but no. I made the boys search high and low only to see lizards, alligators, and other cool desert-friendly creatures, which were featured from South America and desert environments in the southwestern parts of the U.S. like Arizona and New Mexico. But when we arrived at the Australia House, that’s where we found the koala bears. The zoo map website said the best time to go was around 1:00 pm, but we found them to be pretty sleepy then, or perhaps a bit too cold to be playful outside on a windy fall day.
Other Really Cool Creatures
I have to admit that there is quite a large selection of animals from hyenas (also at the Paphos Zoo in Cyprus), tigers, zebras, funny and clever orangutans, and sloths. Of course, there was a house dedicated to different lemur species, but we didn’t have the energy to walk through that exhibit. There was so much to see…
Little Rock and Great Rock Magic Mountain
Not to be confused with the Magic Mountain ride at Disneyland, this is a small rocky area that you can walk up to see around the zoo park. We walked up both Little Rock, a smaller built-in staircase up the rock, as well as Magic Mountain. Both are quite doable with active children. And the view is quite lovely when you get to the top.
The zoo also offers a petting zoo exhibit to get really close. However, you will find that staff will bring various animals out for a walk around the zoo.
And if animals of all kinds are not your thing, or if your child needs a break from all this learning, you can visit a small playground area or go to the big playground located at the back of the zoo grounds. It’s got a little kiosk area to buy snacks too.
Food and Drinks
You can find little kiosks of the less healthy snack variety all around the zoo. However, in the center of the zoo is a cafetria-style restaurant to eat a hot meal. You can have coffee and drinks at the cafe at the front entrance, but now sandwiches or snacks. Cakes and tortes only.
TRAVEL TIP: You can bring your own snacks and drinks to save a bit of money.
Overall, the Budapest Zoo offered a lot of more visual opportunities that I don’t think you would find in the States. We spent 4.5 hours at the zoo, which tells you just how much fun we had. It felt like you could get really close to the animals, which might be alarming for some families. But with some careful instruction and guidance, you can help your children to enjoy the zoo and feel safe while walking through the exhibits.
TRAVEL TIP: If you have the energy, go to the City Park, the largest park in Budapest, across the street. Enjoy the rest of the day at Vajdahunyad Castle. Plus, we were at the zoo on the weekend of the Chimney Cake Festival and the Budapest Marathon. That’s plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy in the early to middle of October.
For More Information:
TRAVEL TIP: If you are in Budapest at the end of October or the beginning of November, you might be able to get kids in for free! The zoo is hosting an event for guests to celebrate Halloween events/All Saint’s Day holiday weekend. Check out their website to see if the free entrance is still available when you plan your trip. (Source)
Pin it for Later: