It's in the city, but it's also surrounded by greenery: Augsburg Zoo is beautifully located in a park at the northern end of the city's Siebentischwald green space. Birds and other beasts from around the world, such as green tree pythons, Persian leopards and flocks of flamingos, all share their home Augsburg home with European wildlife such as beavers and bears. The zoo also houses cuddly creatures such as kid goats and guinea pigs that are a real hit with children. All told, the zoo contains about 1,200 animals representing over 240 species.
Safari, Madagascar and the Alps – all on the banks of the Lech
Located at the southern end of the zoo, the Africa section is populated by large and small savannah animals: zebras, rhinos, meerkats and ostriches all live side by side, separated only by trenches. If you want to pay your respects to the king of the jungle, you need to go to the other end of the park. The zoo's lions have a special enclosure that features indoor and outdoor areas. Their neighbours are Alpine chamois and Daghestan turs who live on an artificial crag, where they spend their time climbing, grazing and simply sunning themselves. There is something to discover wherever you go in the zoo, such as the chimps' house, the tropical and nocturnal animals' hall, with its regulated temperatures and lighting conditions, and the reptile house, home to pythons, vipers, tortoises and lizards. The aviary is a great place to see different types of birds up close, such as plovers, herons and scaup ducks. The pride and joy of the zoo are its ring-tailed lemurs. These lively primates have their own enclosure where they can clamber about over the heads of the visitors, and some especially confident members of the gang even take to the paths for their playtime.
Seeing the zoo with experts
The zoo has a wide range of guided tours in German and English for visitors. Some are specifically for children, others for adults, but they all give visitors a great opportunity to learn about the work of the keepers and the history of the zoo. Interesting facts about environmental protection and conservation are part and parcel of the tours, along with entertaining stories and anecdotes about the zoo and the animals who call it home. There are also regular evening and morning tours that give people the chance to see the zoo's many crepuscular animals – Sumatran tigers and bushbabies are at their most active close to sunrise or sunset.
What animal's call does the Bible compare to the voice of God, and what do the many animal-related Bible stories mean? The zoo has another tour that focuses on biblical references to animals and what they mean. NB: The tours get booked up quickly, especially during the summer, so make sure you reserve your place in good time.
Visiting your favourite animal
Augsburg is great for anyone who wants to see their favourite animal at closer quarters than is possible at most zoos. The specially designed "Visit your favourite animal" programme makes it possible for you to take a look behind the scenes. Certain keepers have done extra training for this visitor service. The first stop on the customised tour is the food preparation area, and you then head for the enclosure where your favourite animal lives. Depending on the temperament of the beast in question, you can even get to touch it. The experience is incredible. The zoo does its best to get you as close as possible to your animal of choice, be it a seal, a tiger or a hummingbird.
A word of advice: this option is incredibly popular, and the visiting slots for some enclosures can be booked up several weeks in advance. Penguins and brown bears cannot be visited during nesting season and hibernation. The full range of information about prices and registration is available here.
You might not fancy the idea of feeding an animal yourself, but we can really recommend the show that the zoo often puts on for the public at feeding time. These take place during the afternoon. Keepers let themselves into the pelican and seal enclosures with buckets full of fish, and the animals perform their cute routines in return for a tasty morsel or two.
People need feeding too!
Several small kiosks with snacks and drinks are dotted around the zoo's grounds. If you would like a larger meal, there is also a restaurant. It serves food at good prices. The shady beer garden is open during fine weather: it's a great place to enjoy some coffee and cake or tuck into a plate of hearty local fare. On chillier days, the restaurant's interior is a cosy, welcoming place for diners. Right next door is a large adventure playground for kids, complete with a pirate ship and wooden climbing tower.
News, prices and opening hours are all available here.
One more thing: the entrance to Augsburg's botanical garden is located just opposite the zoo. It's a green oasis with some 3,100 plants from around the globe, so it's well worth a visit if you're already in the area.
Take the train to Augsburg Haunstetterstrasse station, a 20-minute walk from the zoo. When you leave the station, head south along Haunstetter Strasse. After approx. 300 m, cross the street and go left at the traffic lights. You are now on Frischstrasse. Stay on it for 500 m. The Siebentischwald green space is on the right: the zoo is located here. Enter the park at Professor-Steichbacher-Strasse. After 600 metres, turn left at Dr.-Ziegenspeck-Weg and follow this until you see the entrance to the zoo on your right.