Warsaw Zoo

The Warsaw Zoo opened in 1929. Before that for almost 60 years there was a traveling exhibition of animals in the city. Gradually, it developed: the number of inhabitants and the territory grew, but the Second World War changed everything. When German troops came to Warsaw, many animals had to be killed, as they posed a danger to the townspeople. The Germans sent rare animals to Germany, and the rest were hunted. After the war, the zoo restored. Since then its area has increased significantly, and the number of inhabitants today exceeds 3500.

What animals in the Warsaw Zoo?

Rhinos, hippos, kangaroos, brown and polar bears, tigers, lions, pandas, monkeys, elephants and camels. This not a complete list of animals, near the enclosures of which many spectators constantly gather. Someone wants to see how elephants pour water from the trunk on each other. Someone playing panthers or giraffes begging for food.

Most animals in the summer live in spacious enclosures on the street and only in winter move to cozy enclosed spaces. Constantly in closed pavilions there are only an aquarium and a serpentarium. If you are a fan of all sorts of jumping and crawling creatures, here you will find blue frogs, chameleons of all colors of the rainbow, monitor lizards, crocodiles, frightening-looking spiders and all kinds of snakes. In total, their serpentaria are about 50 species.

Sometimes on the aviary you can see a strange plate with the name. It means that the animal is under the care of some person or organization. Anyone can become such a sponsor. It thanks to this opportunity that the Warsaw Zoo does not have problems with finances and kept in perfect condition. This applies to the animals themselves and the adjacent territory.

Warsaw Zoo: ticket price

For an adult, the ticket price from March to October is 20 PLN (7.75 euros). from November to February. 10 PLN (2.35 euros). The same will cost a ticket for students and pensioners. (pensioners over 70 years old can visit the Warsaw Zoo for free).

For a child, the ticket price from March to October is 15 PLN (3.55 euros), from November to February – 7 PLN (1.65 euros). Children under 3 years old are admitted free of charge.

Every first Thursday of the month, admission to the Warsaw Zoo is free.

Warsaw Zoo Opening hours

Depending on the season, the opening hours of the zoo may vary. The Warsaw Zoo is open daily from 9 00 to 17.00, but tickets end up selling an hour before closing. Children under 12 years of age cannot enter the zoo unaccompanied by an adult.

How to get to the Warsaw Zoo

Address: Warsaw, Ratushe str., 1/3.

Near the zoo there is a railway station “Warszawa Zoo”. On the other hand – the metro station “Dwoziec Wileński”, from the city to go about half an hour. If you have a ticket to the zoo, you can park for free. At the Galeria Wilenska shopping center (Targowa, 72).

You can get to the zoo by public transport, reaching the stop “Helskie” by buses No. 60, 127, 190, 512 and 527 or trams No. 1, 4, 16 and 28.

Warsaw Zoo History

Tourists visiting Warsaw Zoo today may not be aware of its historical significance. During the Second World War. The zoo provided shelter to more than 300 Jewish people who sought refuge away. From the inhumane living conditions they subjected to by the Nazis. The zookeeper opened the door of its residential villa to many Jewish individuals and families. Its empty animal shelters served as the perfect hiding place for its ‘illegal’ residents. 

It all started when the zoo appointed a new director in 1928, Zoologist Jan Żabiński and his wife, Antonina. As at the time of appointment, the pair never knew they would become. The all-time most celebrated directors of the Warsaw Zoological garden. 

The zoo saw thousands of visitors from different parts of the country. Who come to explore the exotic animals sheltered here. It grew in popularity in 1937 when the first Polish-born elephant named, Tuzinka introduced. Jan and Antonina were passionate about taking care of animals. Injured animals adequately cared for. 

Not only that, but they both also love impressive pieces of artwork. The zoo owners connected closely with the local community, opening its doors for concerts. Artists, entertainers, and musicians visit the zoo regularly for some inspiration.

Zoo Destroyed

 The zoo was a thriving spot for locals until WWII when the Nazis took over Poland. It destroyed during the Second World War. Most animals couldn’t survive the bombings. Some of the surviving animals, which the Nazis deemed invaluable, rounded up and shot dead, while those animals. That considered useful captured and transported to a German reserve, located right next to Berlin. 

The first Polish-born elephant, Tuzinka, transported to Konigsberg Zoo. The remaining animals served as a perfect meat source for both locals and the German military. Sadly, the Zookeepers were helpless and had no other choice than to witness the gruesome killing of their beloved animals. 

However, all these happenings didn’t deter Jan and Antonina from rendering humanitarian services. An act that will be remembered till eternity. They used their position to save many lives. Even before the war, Jan Żabiński was an activist and continued this even after the invasion. He became the superintendent of Warsaw’s public parks. And with his new position, he was able to rescue the Jews. 

As a municipal employee, Jan has unrestricted access to the Warsaw Ghetto. He saw the Jewish community’s horrible living conditions. Jan used his position as an opportunity to lend a helping hand to his Jewish friends. He began rearing pigs in the zoo’s ruins and smuggled the meat to his Jewish friends in Warsaw Ghetto.