Krakow Zoo is the 7th zoo Carl & I visited together. That’s how we (him especially) love animals! Nope, we do not condone the caging and abuse of animals. But if they are well-kept and well-fed, then, we thank the zoo for providing us with the opportunity to see them up close, learn more about animal & plant diversity, or even feed them. Our last full day in the old city of Krakow was spent discovering the zoo situated in the middle of a forest!
The time it took to get to the zoo was quite long, thanks to the traffic building up. But usually, it only takes about 20 minutes to get there. We were very curious on the way, because the taxi driver took us to a forest! The trip was spontaneous, so we didn’t know that the zoo was located on a hill, in the middle of a vast protected woodland – the Wolski Forest. There are other interesting things to see in the forest, such as mounds and historical sites, but our main purpose of being there was really, to visit the zoo.
Krakow Zoo had its humble beginning in the early 1920s. But even during the 1800s, the city already had its first small zoo, and there was a breeding site for animals on the same spot in the Wolski Forest. The present zoo opened in 1929, housing 94 mammals, 98 birds and 12 reptiles. Some of these animals had to be relocated to Berlin Zoo during WWII, but after that, Krakow Zoo was reconstructed and even expanded! (Read more about the history here.) Today, the zoo houses 1,400 animals from 270 species!
I could not tell if the location of the zoo was strategic, because only a few people visited on the same day. We were even the first one to be there! The front gate was being renovated, but on that day, no workers were present. So it was very quiet, very peaceful.
The first building we went into shelters reptiles from all over the world, including a Philippine Sail-finned Water Dragon, or lizard, some poisonous species of frogs, and some aquariums filled with colorful fishes.
Afterwards, we roamed around the bird cages. If there is any awful part of zoos, a part that I don’t really like, that would be bird cages. Some bird species in the zoo roam freely, but others had to be kept encaged unfortunately. They also have a special swimming pool for little penguins! Perhaps aiming to lighten up the mood of visitors, both children and adult alike! One penguin even swam and waved!
Here are some of the animals you’d meet at Krakow Zoo:
In addition, they also have a minizoo, where the farmy animals are, a playground for children, and a small house for nocturnal animals.
Now, every zoo has a sad part. Aside from the bird cages, I’d say it’s the monkey area which made me upset. It had a foul smell, the cages dirty and the monkeys looked miserable. I know it was winter time, but still. 😦 The pic below is still nice, but the floors and walls were really dirty in reality during our visit.
Overall, the visit to Krakow Zoo was worthwhile! The ambiance in the forest and the zoo itself was great, and it was a good way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. And oh, one more thing! Most of the signs were all in Polish, even the descriptions of the animals, so it was pretty confusing. I think it would invite more visitors if the signages have an English counterpart. 😉 After the long walks, we sat for a cup of coffee and some Polish sausage sandwiches, which I wouldn’t really recommend (pick a burger instead!), at the little restaurant by the entrance. 😉 Going back, you can take the bus right across the road, or order a taxi cab. No stress! (Krakow Zoo’s website is here.)