One thing that makes the Zoological Gardens in Karlsruhe so special is their structure. The zoo is divided into different theme worlds which are all meant to recreate different parts of the world, such as Australia, Africa or South America. Visitors can discover these worlds on their own or during different thematic tours, courses and workshops. While snow leopards await them in the "Himalaya Mountain World", they will be able to discover elephants and hippopotamuses or seals and penguins elsewhere.
Beside the traditional zoo, the gardens also contain a petting zoo, home to alpacas, donkeys and ponies. The petting zoo as well as the playground nearby are especially popular among children. Gondoletta boats on Lake Schwanensee can be rented to get a different view of the area surrounding the lake and the fish swimming in it.
Another attraction worth seeing are of course the actual gardens. The rose garden contains as many as 200 different types of roses, while the Japanese garden regularly hosts traditional tea ceremonies, organized by the German-Japanese society.
Founded in 1865, the Zoological Gardens in Karlsruhe are one of the oldest zoos in Germany. Initially operated by a private society, the gardens were given into the hands of the city of Karlsruhe in 1877. In 1899, the rose garden was built and in 1918, the zoo added the Japanese garden, making it one of the country's oldest Asian gardens.
After its destruction in WW II, the area was used as a vegetable field during the years after the war. Reconstruction was started in 1947. Today, the gardens are growing steadily: The snow leopards moved into the zoo in 2012, while a group of coatis represent the most recent addition to the zoological gardens.
How to get there
Getting to Karlsruhe:
1. Coming from the North or South, take the BAB 5 and exit at Karlsruhe-Durlach or Karlsruhe Mitte.
2. Coming from the East, take the BAB 8.
3. Coming from the West (France, Rhineland-Palatinate), take the Rhine bridge and the South tangent.
Once in Karlsruhe, follow the signs leading to Zentrum, then Hauptbahnhof and then Kongresszentrum (with an polar bear icon).
Parking spaces can be found in the underground garage of the Kongresszentrum.
By public transport:
The zoo can be reached with the urban railway lines S1, S4, S11 and S41 (Get off at Hauptbahnhof). You can also take the bus (number 10) to the Kongresszentrum.