I didn’t expect to find it in Prague.
Prague Zoo is one of the highest tourist attracting parts of the Czech Republic, voted No. 5 on Tripadvisor’s most popular things to do in Prague. Clearly I couldn’t have missed visiting the zoo whilst being in Prague for the year.
What makes Prague Zoo so exciting is just how Czech it feels:
- At only £4.90 for student entry, like many things in Prague, the zoo is very cheap. Compared to London Zoo, which is almost triple the price for entry. (And besides, you can see some of the best animals in London for free!)
- Of course it wouldn’t be any kind of public space in Prague without dogs running around and so, dogs are also admitted into the zoo for a price of £3.26. The little guy featured above highly recommends the zoo, he had the best day of his life.
- Cheap Czech beer is also flowing freely at the kiosks and you can walk around the zoo getting drunk if you so wish. But you can also do this in London when the season of “Zoo Lates” is on (every friday of June and July). I haven’t been myself, but I have been told by a friend that there was even a silent disco in the zoo. Tickets have to be purchased in advance at the London Zoo website, as they sell out fast.
- There’s an element of dodgy-ness and fearing for your own safety, so prolific to life in the Czech Republic (check out the recent gas explosion that saw many buildings included Charles University evacuated). I’m not saying the Prague Zoo management don’t know what they’re doing, but there’s something stomach-wrenching about having the cage where the eagles, hawks and vultures fly around overhead, open and allowing people to walk freely in and out of it, as “part of the fun”.
- But the openness of the zoo is impressive in other places. The rainforest indoor attraction is huge. You walk around a humid jungle spotting monkeys, winding around a gravel path with low hanging trees and waterfalls. Then move into a pitch black room where you watch nocturnal hares bouncing around and hear the shrill cry of the grasshoppers and other creepy crawlies. So spectacular is the tropical indoor exhibition that people were posing next to the plants and the waterfalls, and not taking pictures of the animals.
- Another important distinction about Prague Zoo from the others is that it’s vastness means there’s plenty of space for the animals to roam around in. I’ve visited many zoos in different countries and often left feeling depressed for the animals to be so confined. But in Prague they seem very happy to be there.
Prague Zoo is worth a visit if you are tired of the busy tourist hot spots, like Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Sometimes Prague can be too pushed for space. Especially around Old Town where you constantly weaving between tour groups. The zoo is big enough to get lost in and at no point do you feel too crowded. There’s even a chairlift to another side of the zoo, just to make sure see it all and don’t tire yourself out.
Prague Zoo, U Trojskeho zamku 120, Prague 7, http://www.zoopraha.cz/en.