Cologne Zoo Guide (Review, Tickets, Opening Times)

Updated on September 8, 2023  


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Are you looking for more information about the Cologne Zoo?

Want to read about a visitor's experience of the Zoo?

This blog post will give you a detailed overview of the third oldest zoo in Germany, which is home to over 10,000 animals from more than 850 different species. Read on for a journey through this fascinating animal kingdom teeming with biodiversity!

Overview of Cologne Zoo

Oldest and most popular zoo in Germany

Cologne Zoo is a remarkable wildlife sanctuary, founded in 1860. [1] It proudly stands as the 3rd oldest zoo in Germany and has consistently been a beloved attraction among locals and tourists alike.

Stretching across more than 20 hectares of land, this impressive establishment hosts over 10,000 animals from various species. This diversity contributes significantly to its status as one of the most popular zoos in the nation.


With its deep commitment to preserving biodiversity and advancing conservation efforts globally, it remains at the forefront of such important initiatives while simultaneously offering an unforgettable experience for all visitors.

Home to a diverse collection of over 10,000 animals

Cologne Zoo takes pride in being home to a diverse collection of over 10,000 animals. You'll find an astonishing variety here- ranging from stealthy predators to playful primates and everything in between.

Our menagerie includes some of the rarest species on Earth, each hailing from different corners of the globe.

The zoo thrives not only as one of Cologne's beloved tourist destinations but also as a haven for wildlife preservation. Walk around the expansive grounds and you're bound to come face-to-face with a remarkable diversity of life forms.

From the majestic elephants at Europe's largest elephant park to their cherished collection of ring-tailed lemurs - every creature has its own story waiting to be explored by curious visitors like you.

Dedicated to preserving biodiversity and promoting conservation efforts

Cologne Zoo stands as a beacon of hope for endangered species, putting immense effort into preserving biodiversity and promoting global conservation initiatives.

As part of its commitment to the environment, it supports over 20 worldwide projects aimed at maintaining natural biodiversity.

Renowned internationally for these efforts, Cologne Zoo also focuses on breeding endangered species and ensuring their genetic diversity is maintained.


It's like a modern ark providing a sanctuary for more than 100 threatened species! [2]

While walking around the expansive grounds and beautifully manicured parks filled with diverse collections of animals, visitors are encouraged to adopt pro-environmental behaviors that contribute towards biodiversity conservation.

What better way to enjoy an outing while actively supporting sustainability efforts and ecological preservation?.

Expansive grounds and beautiful parks for visitors to explore

The Cologne Zoo offers visitors an incredible experience with its expansive grounds and beautiful parks. Spanning over 20 hectares, the zoo is situated in a historical park that provides plenty of space for leisurely strolls and exploration.

As you wander through the grounds, you'll come across scenic views of the Rhine River and even catch glimpses of the iconic Cologne Cathedral. The lush botanical garden adds to the natural beauty and enhances your overall visit.


Soak in the tranquility as you discover various animal houses, biotopes, and guided tours throughout this captivating zoo.

Impressive animal houses showcasing various species

The animal houses at Cologne Zoo are truly impressive. They feature a wide variety of species and provide an up-close look at their natural habitats.

From the spacious adventure house that showcases an African river landscape to the Rainforest House with animals and plants native to rainforests, there is something for everyone.

The zoo specializes in primates and has an excellent collection of lemurs, making it a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

These unique exhibits allow visitors to learn about different ecosystems while promoting species conservation and biodiversity preservation.

Boasts the largest elephant park in Europe

The Cologne Zoo proudly boasts one of the largest elephant park in Europe. This expansive enclosure is specially designed to provide a comfortable and natural habitat for these magnificent creatures.


With both indoor facilities and a vast outdoor landscape, the park offers the perfect environment for the ten Asian elephants that call it home. As you explore this incredible exhibit, you'll be captivated by the sight of these gentle giants roaming freely in their sanctuary.

Don't miss the opportunity to see this remarkable attraction during your visit to Cologne Zoo.

Attractions and Features of Cologne Zoo


The Elephant Park at Cologne Zoo is one of the largest in Europe. It is home to ten Asian elephants and has had great success in breeding them. The park features an artificial river, providing a natural environment for the elephants to thrive.

Considered the largest and most modern elephant park north of the Alps, it offers visitors a unique opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures up close and learn about their conservation. [3]


The Hippodom is one of the exciting attractions at Cologne Zoo. As you explore this unique area, you'll come across various displays and exhibits that showcase the wonders of hippos and other aquatic creatures.

The Hippodom features a large enclosure designed to resemble the natural habitat of these magnificent animals, complete with a spacious pool for them to swim in.


You can observe the hippos up close and learn about their behavior and conservation efforts through informative signage.

It's an immersive experience that allows you to appreciate these incredible animals in a captivating setting.


The Clemenshof is a typical mountain farm inhabited by livestock such as chickens, pigs, cows and sheep. Many of the heritage breeds here are threatened with extinction.

Clemenshof  also offers a chance to interact with domestic and farm animals in a natural setting.

With its agrarian atmosphere and engaging experiences, Clemenshof provides travelers with an unforgettable encounter that combines both nature and culture.


The aquarium at Cologne Zoo is an exciting and educational attraction that you won't want to miss.

As part of the Cologne Zoological Garden, the aquarium features a diverse range of aquatic species, including colourful paradise fish, anemones, corals, starfish, shells and crabs in about 70 aquariums arranged by geography.


It's one of the highlights of the zoo and provides an opportunity to learn about marine life in an engaging way. So dive in and explore the fascinating world beneath the surface at the Cologne Zoo aquarium!


As you explore Cologne Zoo, make sure to visit the fascinating Terrarium & Insectarium. This unique attraction allows you to get up close and personal with a variety of reptiles, amphibians, and insects from around the world.

Inside the terrarium, you'll encounter an array of creatures like snakes, lizards, and frogs. The insectarium showcases both native and exotic insect species, giving you a chance to appreciate their intricate beauty.

Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about these often-misunderstood creatures while enjoying your visit to Cologne Zoo.


As you explore Cologne Zoo, one attraction that truly stands out is the jungle house. This immersive exhibit, opened in 1985, is one of the first of its kind in Europe. Inside the jungle house, you'll find enclosures filled with swinging ropes that mimic the natural environment for its inhabitants.

The Jungle House transports you into a world of apes. You'll get to see the lady gorilla Kissa and her cub Kiano or the female orangutan Cori, amongst others.

It's an incredible experience being surrounded by lush greenery and intriguing wildlife. You'll also notice that the roof of the rainforest exhibit is made of modern greenhouse material commonly used today.


The Rainforest House at Cologne Zoo is an incredible attraction that shouldn't be missed. Built in the mid-1980s, this large building showcases a variety of animals and plants from the rainforest of South East Asia.

As you step inside, you'll be transported to a tropical paradise filled with exotic creatures like birds of paradise, rare lizards and bizarre flying foxes. It's a popular spot for families visiting the zoo, offering an up-close look at the incredible biodiversity found in these unique habitats.

The Rainforest House not only provides entertainment but also serves as an education center, promoting environmental awareness and conservation efforts. It's a must-visit destination for nature lovers and those interested in learning about endangered species and their habitats.


When visiting Cologne Zoo, one of the must-see attractions is the Baboon Rocks exhibit. This exhibit is home to a troop of over 50 hamadryas baboons. As you explore the zoo, you'll come across this fascinating wildlife attraction where you can observe these playful primates up close.

The baboons are housed behind a rock face, which unfortunately has experienced some deterioration over the years. To ensure visitor safety and maintain their habitat, a moat acts as a natural barrier between the baboons and visitors.

It's an incredible opportunity to witness these amazing creatures in action while learning about Cologne Zoo's history and commitment to maintaining their exhibits for both animals and guests alike.


The Madagascar House is a fascinating indoor exhibit at Cologne Zoo. It may not be very big, but it is adequate and well-lit, allowing visitors to see the animals clearly. One of the highlights of this exhibit is the many climbing frames that are available for the animals.

These frames provide a stimulating environment for them to play and explore, mimicking their natural habitat in Madagascar. As you walk through the Madagascar House, you will have an up-close encounter with some unique species from this extraordinary island.


The South America House at the Cologne Zoo is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in exploring the diverse wildlife and ecosystems of this vibrant continent.

As you step into the South America House, you will be greeted by a stunning display of various species found in South America, including Tapirs and capybaras.

This immersive experience allows visitors to observe and learn about the biodiversity and conservation efforts specific to South America. You'll have the opportunity to discover the cultural richness and habitat preservation initiatives that make this region so special.

Come and explore the wonders of South America right here at Cologne Zoo.


One of the fascinating attractions at Cologne Zoo is the meerkats.

These social species of mongoose have been extensively studied in terms of their behavior and endocrinology. Visitors can observe these adorable animals in their enclosure, where they are regularly fed.


Meerkats are known for their unique social structure and cooperative behavior, making them a delight to watch among the 10,000 animals housed at Cologne Zoo.

With a space of around 500 square metres, the Meerkat domicile in Cologne offers the lively little mammals great opportunities for digging, observing and playing.

So don't miss out on the chance to see these playful creatures during your visit.


The Air Show at Cologne Zoo is a thrilling spectacle that you won't want to miss. Watch in awe as birds of prey soar through the sky, demonstrating their incredible hunting skills.

Marvel at the acrobatic displays of trained parrots as they perform daring tricks and entertain the audience with their playful antics.

Get up close and personal with majestic bald eagles during interactive demonstrations, where you'll be impressed by their wingspan and agility.

The Air Show is a perfect blend of entertainment and education, providing visitors with an unforgettable experience that showcases the beauty and grace of our feathered friends.

Cologne Zoo Tickets and Visitor Information

Pre-booking entry tickets for convenience

To make your visit to Cologne Zoo even more convenient, I highly recommend pre-booking your entry tickets online. By doing so, you can skip the long queues and save precious time upon arrival.

Not only will you have easy access to explore over 10,000 animals, but your entry ticket also includes admission to the impressive aquarium.

Plus, when you pre-book online, your entry ticket serves as a VRS travel ticket, making it a convenient option for combining travel and zoo admission.

So why wait in line when you can secure your tickets in advance and make the most of your time at Cologne Zoo?

Cologne Zoo Ticket Price

The Cologne Zoo Ticket Price for adult is 23,00€ and 11,00€ for children. However, websites like GetYourGuide (linked below) sometimes offer special offers or promotional discounts.

Group rates are also available if you're visiting with a larger party of more than 15 pax. Group tickets for adults cost 19,50€ and for children 9,00€.

For added convenience, pre-booking your entry ticket online not only guarantees your spot but also includes access to the aquarium as part of your visit.

So make sure to check out the website for all the pricing details and available discounts before planning your trip to Cologne Zoo!

How to Get to Cologne Zoo

Cologne Zoo is located in the heart of Cologne. From the main railway station, Cologne Zoo is conveniently and comfortably accessible by underground railway (line 18); from Ebertplatz by bus (route 140). The stop is called Zoo/Flora

Cologne Zoo Opening Time

The Cologne Zoo has slightly different opening times in summer and winter.

In summer, Cologne Zoo opens from 9 am to 6 pm. The last entry is at 5:30 pm.

In winter, Cologne Zoo opens from 9 am to 5 pm. The last entry is at 4:30 pm.

On Christmas Eve and New Year's eye, Cologne Zoo opens from 9 am to 2 pm.

Events and Engagements at Cologne Zoo

Hosting special events and programs for visitors of all ages

Cologne Zoo is dedicated to providing a memorable experience for visitors of all ages by hosting a diverse range of special events and programs throughout the year. From interactive activities to educational workshops, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you're interested in animal encounters or entertaining shows and demonstrations, the zoo offers engaging experiences that are sure to leave lasting memories.


With expansive outdoor spaces and gardens, as well as impressive exhibits and animal habitats, Cologne Zoo is the perfect destination for family-friendly fun.

The zoo collaborates with conservation organizations to promote awareness and offer unique opportunities for learning about wildlife preservation.

These events aim to make the zoo an attractive place not only for animals, but also for visitors of all ages who are seeking entertainment and educational engagement.

Offering unique animal encounters and interactive experiences

At Cologne Zoo, you can experience a wide range of unique animal encounters and interactive experiences. Get ready to be amazed by the breathtaking bird shows where you can witness the beauty and talent of these magnificent creatures up close.

And if you're looking for something truly unforgettable, don't miss out on the penguin encounter, where you can get a chance to meet these adorable creatures face-to-face.

Plus, with one of the largest elephant parks in Europe, Cologne Zoo offers an incredible opportunity to observe these majestic animals in their natural habitat.

Prepare yourself for an adventure like no other as you explore this amazing zoo and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Collaborating with conservation organizations for educational initiatives

Cologne Zoo actively collaborates with both national and international conservation organizations to spearhead educational initiatives.

As a proud member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the institution maintains close ties with fellow zoos across Germany, collectively championing conservation efforts [4]. 

Their primary emphasis centers on breeding over 100 endangered species and enlightening visitors about the critical significance of preserving biodiversity.

Through strategic partnerships with various conservation entities, they have developed and implemented highly influential education programs, igniting a passion for wildlife conservation in their audience.

In unity, they aspire to craft a brighter future for the myriad of animal species that inhabit our planet.

Conclusion: Cologne Zoo

Cologne Zoo is a must-visit destination for animal lovers and travelers alike. With its impressive collection of over 10,000 animals and dedication to biodiversity preservation, the zoo offers a unique opportunity to learn about and connect with wildlife.

From exploring the expansive grounds to marveling at the largest elephant park in Europe, Cologne Zoo promises an unforgettable experience that combines education and entertainment.

So pack your bags and get ready for a wild adventure at Cologne Zoo!

Key Takeaways

  • Cologne Zoo is the oldest and most popular zoo in Germany, home to over 10,000 animals from a diverse range of species.
  • The zoo is dedicated to preserving biodiversity and promoting conservation efforts globally by supporting over 20 worldwide projects and breeding endangered species.
  • Visitors can enjoy exploring the expansive grounds and beautiful parks, witnessing impressive animal houses showcasing various species, and visiting attractions like the Elephant Park, Hippodom, Aquarium, Terrarium & Insectarium.


1. What animals can I see at the Cologne Zoo?

At the Cologne Zoo, you can see a wide variety of animals such as elephants, lions, giraffes, monkeys, snakes, and many more.

2. How much does it cost to enter the Cologne Zoo?

The ticket prices for the Cologne Zoo vary depending on age and whether it's a weekday or weekend. It's best to check their official website for current pricing information.

3. Are there any special events or shows at the Cologne Zoo?

Yes, the Cologne Zoo often hosts special events and shows throughout the year. These include feeding sessions, animal presentations, guided tours, and educational programs.

4. Is there parking available at the Cologne Zoo?

Yes, there is parking available at or near the Cologne Zoo. However, availability may be limited during peak hours or busy days.

5. Can I bring my own food to eat at the Cologne Zoo?

Yes, you are allowed to bring your own food for a picnic in designated areas within the zoo premises. However, some areas might have restrictions due to animal safety reasons


1: Zoo animal keeper – Cologne Zoo - WAZA, retrieved from
2: La Sierra University, Cologne Zoo Partner for Conservation | Adventist Review, retrieved from
3: Zoos & zoological parks: excursion destinations for families, retrieved from
4: WAZA Members - WAZA, retrieved from

About the Author

Stephan Drescher, founder of, is a German travel expert and insider, providing trusted tips and advice for a perfect trip to Germany. Born & bred German.