Updated Apr 21 2020
Opened in 1892, Barcelona Zoo was placed in one of the huge spaces available after the Universal Exhibition in 1888, specifically in one of the large spaces in the Ciudadela Park. The first animals in the zoo were given to the Barcelona City Council by Lluís Martí Codola, a banker and a collector of animals at that time. 100 years later and Barcelona Zoological Park went through significant changes and still undergoes a continuous transformation and evolution with the aim of becoming a modern zoo and a leader in the world of zoology. Since 1995, the zoo has shared the main stage in terms of the animal world, with the Barcelona aquarium.
What does Barcelona Zoo offer?
Barcelona Zoo is the ideal place to spend a morning or afternoon. You often see families with children, couples, tourists and some schools making a trip to combine a leisure activity with something educational, something that Barcelona Zoo always provides. Among some of its main goals is to conserve, raise awareness of and promote wildlife. There are also different plant species and various sculptures that give Barcelona Zoo a special charm.
Tickets to visit Barcelona zoo
You can buy your tickets for Barcelona Zoo online in advance, and in doing so you’ll receive a discount on the total ticket price. If you buy online, it’s essential that you print your booking confirmation or tickets, and show them at the entrance. If, on the other hand, you prefer to buy the tickets on the day of your visit, you can do so in the ticket offices at the zoo itself.
Tickets for Barcelona Zoo
12th October – 30th March: from 10am to 5.30pm.
30th March – 30th May: from 10am to 7pm.
30th May – 14th September: from 10am to 8pm.
15th September – 12th October: from 10am to 7pm.
25th December (Christmas): from 10am to midday.
The ticket offices close 30 or 60 minutes before the official closing time of the zoo, depending on the time of year.
Children aged 3 to 12 years: €12.95.
Children aged 0 to 2 years: Free.
Adults over 65 years: €10.50.
Card holders of “targeta rosa” reduced: €4.60.
Card holders of “targeta rosa”: Free.
Important animals and spaces
The garden and zoo has a huge variety of animal species, although there are always some which attract more attention among visitors than others. Among which you can find large animals; giraffes, elephants and rhinos, as well as some of the fiercest ones; lions, crocodiles and cheetahs among others. For each animal, as well as plant species, there is an information panel with a description in English, Spanish and Catalan which includes a QR code that offers even more information.
The historic centenary of Barcelona Zoological Park has left behind memories of two iconic animals in the city. Ulisses the whale and the albino gorilla Snowflake, who marked the different generations of those who lived in Barcelona through both of these periods.
Ulises the whale
For over 10 years Ulisses the whale astounded all visitors to the zoo with his spectacular shows. Due to the limited size of Barcelona Zoo’s aquarium, the zoo decided to give the whale to a zoo who had a larger aquarium. For many it was a real shame, and despite promises that someday he would return, he never did. Currently, Ulisses the whale resides in Sea World in San Diego.
He has been, until this date, the only known albino gorilla, discovered in Equatorial Guinea by Jordi Sabater Pi, professor and primatologist who in 1996 moved him to Barcelona Zoo. His name, Snowflake (in Spanish “Copito de Nieve” and in Catalan “Floquet de Neu”), refers to his white coat. After almost 40 years in the zoo, he died in November 24 2003, leaving a great emptiness in the Barcelona people who remember him with great affection. The city had a huge attachment to him, which still exists today as they sell his toys in the zoo’s shop.
In the zoo’s terrarium, separated by species, you can find a large variety of amphibians and reptiles of different sizes. Among them all, the caimans, crocodiles and snakes catch the attention of visitors the most.
With 1200 m2 in size and a total of approximately 70 species, the aviary is one of the most visited areas in the zoo.
Different species of small, medium and large primates are distributed across various separated spaces. There is a large window so that you can view the animals and to also ensure safety to visitors and to calm the primates.
The farm is the most favourite place in the zoo for children, as there you can see, touch and interact with some of the most popular farmyard animals including chickens, pigs, goats, donkeys, cows, etc.
There are some bars in Barcelona Zoo where it is possible to grab something to eat and drink. The prices are quite high so we suggest that you bring some sandwiches with you or buy some at a nearby bar, which will allow you to save some money. If you buy food or drink at one of the bars in the zoo or if you choose to do so outside, you can sit down to eat at any of the picnic areas throughout the zoo.
As well as enjoying a trip to Barcelona Zoo seeing all the animals, the zoo also organises activities alongside that are mainly aimed towards children to enjoy and keep them entertained as well as teaching and educating about the animal kingdom. Some of the activities are a one-off whilst others are regular, such as those they organise over summer or other holiday periods.
Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona.
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How to get there?
Metro: Ciutadella / Villa Olímpica (line 4).
Bus: lines 10, 14, 39, 40, 41, 42, 51 and 141
Tram: Wellington (T4).
By foot: it is a short walk from the area of Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera and from La Barceloneta.