Situated on a height of 750 m (2,461 ft) altitude, Alpenzoo Innsbruck is the zoo with the highest location in Europe. The zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals from 150 different species endemic to the Alpine world, making it the world's largest zoo keeping animals from the Alpine area. All animals are kept in nature-like enclosures, aquariums and terrariums. Elks and wisents can be found in the zoo too as they were endemic to Tyrol until shortly after the last ice age. The bear, the wolf and the lynx are the crowd-pullers in the zoo, but animals traditionally endemic to the Alps such as Alpine ibexes, chamoises and bearded vultures can also be seen.
On a relatively small surface, the Alps present various kinds of biospheres, such as valleys, lakes, rivers, wetlands, moors, forests, inner Alpine islands of heat and regions of ice. These natural features make the Alps a habitat offering perfect conditions to thrive in for 30,000 animals and 4,500 plants, in total. In the Alpenzoo, one can witness a small but representative spectrum of the Alpine flora and fauna, including different kinds of the following Alpine species: 20 out of 80 mammals, 60 out of 200 birds, 11 out of 15 reptiles, 6 out of 21 amphibians and almost all fish species occurring in the Alpine world.
Visiting the Zoo
One can experience a special impression of animal life in the Alps in the accessible enclosures of the zoo. There is also a little farm showing endangered pet species. Children will love the so-called “Bären-Kinderspielplatz” playground. You may also go for a stroll through the park. It might take up to two or three hours. In order to keep the animals calm, dogs are unfortunately not allowed inside the park.
Just next to the park's entrance, you'll find Weiherburg Castle that, from 1460 onwards, used to be the residence of an Innsbruck local. Later, even Emperor Maximilian I was a guest here. Archduke Ferdinand II had his imperial zoo built at Weiherburg Castle in 1591.
Foundation of Alpenzoo
In Tradition of the Renaissance zoo, the modern-day Alpenzoo was opened in 1962. It instantly became a crowd puller and has remained popular among visitors up to this very day.
Prof. Hans Psenner is known to be the “founding father of the zoo”. Thanks to his aspirations to found the zoo, wild animals endemic to the region can nowadays be kept in the park and reared.
- Alpenzoo Innsbruck – Tirol is among the 5 best rated Tourist Attractions in Austria.
How to get there
You get to Innsbruck by taking the A12. Once in Innsbruck, you may reach the Alpenzoo via Weiherburggasse and Richardsweg.
All parking facilities are fee-based.
From the central train station in Innsbruck you continue your journey by bus line M which takes you to the market square. Once there, you carry on using bus line W via Innstraße – Villa Blanka to get to the Alpenzoo.
Starting in the old town of Innsbruck, the Alpenzoo can be reached within 20 minutes of walking.