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Zoos and wildlife parks in Hungary

Szeged wildlife park
Szeged
Szeged region

Children are instinctively attracted to animals. Even if they find some scary, the interested gazes, silky fur and wet noses all provide an irresistible stimulus to the little ones. 

Based on this demand, there are nearly 50 larger and smaller zoos, wildlife parks, bird parks, animal farms and spectacular aquariums in Hungary. The wildlife parks basically present the wildlife of Hungary by ensuring that the animals can be observed freely in their natural environment. And in zoos and other facilities, you get a direct insight into the everyday life of countless animal species, by exploring the artificial habitats designed specifically for them. Let's see what special things we can find in the most popular ones.

Classic zoos

Budapest Zoo


Opened in 1866 in City Park, the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden is one of the oldest operating zoos in Europe. You can observe close to 1,000 species of animal. Its classic buildings are the Main Gate, the Owl Castle, the Magic Mountain, the Elephant House – which is covered with Zsolnay tiles – and the Palm House, but you can take an extremely interesting walk here from a botanical point of view as well. In addition to the animals, there are several local attractions, such as the hippos bathing in the thermal water from the Szent István Spring, which also feeds some of the pools of the Széchenyi Bath. However, we do not recommend sharing a bath with them, only a full-day tour of the zoo. In the future, it will be possible to visit the Pannon Park, presenting the world of ancient Pannonian wildlife, together with the Biodome belonging to it.


Nyíregyháza Zoo


Nyíregyháza Zoo was established in the oak grove of the Sóstó resort area, 5 km from the city. This is the least densely designed zoo in the country, so you won’t feel as though there are too many visitors. You will be greeted by a seal show right next to the entrance. But an adventure in the interactive rain forest of the 4,000-square-metre, three-storey Green Pyramid – a facility unique in Hungary and the Central European region – will also give visitors a lifelong experience.


You can see myriad different animal species in thematic walks, grouped by continent, in the vast area covered by the zoo. The rest of the zoo also offers hourly animal feeding demonstrations that you can participate in.


Veszprém Zoo


Veszprém Zoo covers a huge area, in a picturesque environment that is constantly being developed.

There are also several special areas to keep children entertained, such as the African Savannah Playground, the Adventure Park and the hugely popular Dino Park. In addition to the all-day events and activities, numerous restaurants, snack bars and ice-cream shops await the hungry little ones and their parents.


ZOO Győr – Xantus János Zoo


Among other things, Győr Zoo offers a Zoo Show, summer camps and various exhibitions for its guests. With their educational programmes, they place great emphasis on ensuring that today’s children gain an insight into understanding and protecting nature and endangered animal species.


Pécs Zoo


The main attraction here is the aquarium-terrarium in the contemporary main building, with a 100,000-litre pool, where you can observe countless species of fish, reptiles and amphibians. In the rest of the zoo, built on the side of the Mecsek, you can also see cougars, Persian leopards, warthogs, Bengal tigers, ring-tailed lemurs, zebra and reef sharks, lynxes, lions, zebras and mallards. Did you know that polar bears' hair is not white but transparent? Or that their skin underneath is black? And if you arrive with a baby, there is also a nappy-changing room and a playground in the complex.

 

Wildlife parks and nature reserves

Szeged Zoo


The Szeged wildlife park is famous for its nature conservation efforts, and its Nature Conservation Rescue Centre receives hundreds of endangered animals every year. The spectacular seal show is also a children's favourite. There is an Indian Elephant Project, as well as a Meerkat Club. In summer, you will have no problem coping with the heatwave, as there are plenty of shady areas in the park.


Budakeszi Wildlife park


The wildlife park offers the opportunity to observe specimens of native animals living in the Carpathian Basin. A forest school, a petting zoo, a farm and an event centre, as well as the endlessly interesting adventure park, also contribute to the diverse events and activities. In late summer to early autumn, at night, you can listen to deer roar as part of the guided tours.


Kecskemét Wildlife park


This is the smallest zoo in the country, so it is a great choice if you have less time, as it can be visited in as little as a few hours. You can get acquainted primarily with wild animals and domestic animals native to Hungary, but the park has recently been expanded with such special species as the Asian dwarf viper and the Siberian tiger.


Bear Farm Veresegyház


In addition to bears, you can also see wolves and reindeer in the 5.5-hectare Bear Farm in Veresegyház. The bears can even be fed honey with giant wooden spoons through the fence. When it comes to the wolves, the hierarchy of the herd and the behaviour of the individual members can be well observed here.


Buffalo parks


The best known is the Kápolnapuszta Buffalo Reserve. The Zalakomár area provides an opportunity to admire the wildlife of Kis-Balaton, in addition to individuals of other indigenous, but now almost extinct species. There are also wallowing buffaloes, grazing grey cattle and an area for petting household pets. You can also safely spot a few gentle goat kids freely grazing by the roadside. In addition, there are buffaloes and imperial donkeys kept in the Mátra, on the border of Szurdokpüspök. These can also be visited free of charge. In the southern part of the country, on Lake Nagyszéksós near Mórahalom, there is an area overgrown with reeds and rattan, which is slowly being reclaimed by animals. The Bullfinch Educational Trail is open all year around, so you can observe the native buffalo herds at any time, if you feel inspired.


Tropicarium and Oceanarium Budapest


Hundreds of tropical, marine, freshwater and domestic animal species can be seen in the eight rooms of the Tropicarium at the Campona Shopping Centre. The activities on offer include feeding monitor lizards or stroking stingrays. The perfect illusion is provided by the tropical rain pouring down every 15 minutes.

 

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