Korkeasaari or Helsinki Zoo is one of the nicest zoos I have visited so far. My husband is an animal lover, so zoos and parks have been an essential part of our itineraries when we travel, which is totally fine with me! During our short stay in Helsinki, we managed to take a day-trip to the city zoo located on one of the small islands dotting the Baltic sea. In summer, boats can carry visitors to the island from the Kauppatori market square or Hakaniemi, but in winter, Bus number 16 is your only option. The bus is pretty recognizable, with animal drawings and a “Zoobus” sign. 😀
Established in 1889, the zoo is one of the oldest in the world. At present, it is home to about 150 animal species and around 1000 plant species. It is open all year round, but with different schedules. More about it on their webpage: Helsinki Zoo. Entrance fee is at 12 euros for adults.
After about 30 minutes on the bus, we reached the entrance of the zoo, where we enjoyed some beverages before exploring the island. To get to the actual zoo, you have to cross a bridge! 😀 SO you’d need lots of energy. We gazed at the frozen sea and moved down the zoo island, or island zoo.. ?
A number of sections were closed during our visit, like the Bear, raccoon and Hen House, as the animals hibernate in winter. Nevertheless, we saw many animals having quite a good time in the cold weather. We started the tour around the 22-hectare rocky and hilly island at the Owls and Amazonia tropical house, where we saw beautiful species of birds!
There were also camels, goats and other land animals in the zoo. It’s very interesting to stare at camels as they slowly chew food and move from one point to another.
One of the disadvantages of visiting the zoo in the middle of winter? No cafes nor restaurants on the island, so you’d have to go back across the bridge to the entrance. haha So we just took a break by the frozen waters. I’d never stop feeling amazed by it!
Going back to the animals, the zoo also has nordic ones, like elk! And many of the animals we saw on documentaries like Planet Earth. We were truly amazed by the hillside tailored for mountain goats, wild cats and vultures. We even saw a cheetah being fed, tigers up close, solitary lynx, and peeing and pooping lion!
Ah! There were lots to see in the zoo! Bet there’s more in summer.. The last section we explored was an enclosure for turtles, fishes, frogs, insects and reptiles, fox and prairie dogs.
We had an amazing time in Helsinki Zoo, despite the cold! I had some childish moments as well, all wanting to have the camera to myself, but my husband has always been awesome and understanding. “It’s so much fun to be in the zoo with you, Maerose!” he said in a sarcastic manner. haha It’s amazing how we tolerate each other. 😉 ❤
Again, I do not condone the caging and abuse of animals. But zoos are a great way to get to know the world we live in and experience diversity without putting one’s self in too much vulnerability and danger. Also, Helsinki Zoo “participates in the work to protect the habitats in the original homes of the various species. Helsinki Zoo´s mission is to work towards preserving biodiversity.” I totally agree with that, seeing that the zoo actually puts an enormous effort to imitate the actual habitats of the animals.
This is all for now! Keep traveling! Cheers! 😉 #spreadlove