Monday, 22 January 2018

Tierpark Hagenbeck - Hamburg Zoo And Tropical Aquarium Review

A short ride on public transport from the centre of Hamburg is Tierpark Hagenbeck. Hamburg's popular zoo is privately owned by the Hagenbeck family since its opening by Carl Hagenbeck in 1907. Mr Hagenbeck was a pioneer in open enclosures surrounded by moats instead of fences and this is still the same today.

We were shown around by the lovely press relations lady Sabina, and this helped us understand more about the zoo or Tierpark as she preferred it to be called. 

In the 1890s Carl Hagenbeck created his first "panorama" exhibit which he patented a few years later. The tiered display had seals and walruses in a pool, a hidden moat then reindeer and then another hidden moat between polar bears. By hiding the moats, the animals appeared to be together in one landscape and so the 'tier park' was born.



So in 1907 Hagenbeck opened this zoo and decided to design it with his patented panorama system in mind. The open encloses were revolutionary at the time and can still be seen in Tierpark Hagenbeck today.

Today the park has over 1800 animals and you can get to know the animals at close range. 


When you buy a ticket you are given a map and a leaflet with feeding times. This is useful to have but you can also see a map with an up-to-date activity board at the front of the park. You can feed a number of animals including elephants and giraffes and small animals in the petting zoo.

The park is divided into two parts - one part zoo and one part tropical aquarium. The Tropen-Aquarium Hagenbeck was opened in 2007. Covering more than 8000 square meters it is the largest aquarium in Germany and the largest aquarium in the whole of Northern Europe.






The aquarium has a number of free-flying birds and free-roaming lemurs as well as some of the worlds most dangerous animals such as Nile crocodiles and venomous snakes.




We were very impressed by the huge panoramic tank with sharks and rays. It was hypnotic watching these large creatures dart in and out in this impressive tank. You can watch the sharks and rays being fed every afternoon, but we unfortunately missed this.


When we came out we wandered around the gardens. In 19 hectares of ground, the zoo is spacious and attractive.


It was lovely seeing the animals roaming free like the pelicans and capybaras.

Both the Tierpark and the Tropen-Aquarium help to conserve endangered species. At present, there are 46 species of animals that face a severe threat of extinction and that experts monitor and coordinate their numbers on an international level. 




Many animals threatened with extinction produce here including Sumatra orang-utans, Siberian tigers and North Chinese leopards. I know there is some controversy about zoos these days but you cannot fail to notice the work that places like Tierpark Hagenbeck do to conserve endangered species. 




In June 2017, four Siberian tiger cubs were born in the park, which is all the more amazing considering in 2015 there were less than 600 Siberian tigers considered left in the world.



Particular mention should also go to the Asian elephants as Tierpark Hagenbeck is one of the important breeding sites for this species and baby pachyderms regularly come into the world here. The births take place among the herd, just like they do in the wild.


The Eismeer area of the park is where you can watch creatures above and below water. 

The walrus tank is one of the deepest in the world and the only one in Germany. I love this photo that Mr W took of this walrus.

The penguins have a large enclosure that is both inside and outside and a large pool to swim. Watching these amazing creatures waddle together, then jump into the pool was utterly fascinating.

Tierpark Hagenbeck and the Tropen-Aquarium Hagenbeck are both an interesting day out for all the family.  The park is open 365 days a year and prices are reasonable considering you could spend all day here. In the summer there are events on including jungle themed nights and live classical music in the zoological gardens. 

Ticket prices 

per adult  -          14 Euros for the Tropical Aquarium 
                          20 Euros for the Zoo
combined            30 Euros
per child (4-16) - 10 Euros for the Tropical Aquarium
                          15 Euros for the Zoo 
combined            21 Euros

Family tickets are also available.


Pin for later

The animals appeared well looked after and the work that Tierpark Hagenbeck and the Tropen-Aquarium do to preserve endangered species and educate the public cannot be overlooked. If you do like to visit zoos then this, in my opinion, is a good zoo and tropical aquarium, with well looked after animals. Read more about Tierpark Hagenbeck from a family perspective from Zena's Suitcase here.

*We were guests of Tierpark Hagenbeck and Come To Hamburg * Aquarium photo Allie Caulfield Flickr CC
MummyTravels

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40 comments

  1. What a lovely looking zoo, I especially like all the architectural designs around that make it look like an interesting place for a day out.

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    1. The tiered concept is quite novel and a great way to see the animals. I also loved the openness of the botanical park

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  2. I love zoos so so much, the animals at this zoo look very happy which is great. Definitely a zoo worth going to.

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  3. Oh wow what a magnificent looking zoo. I am glad people are trying there best to help preserve animals for the future generations.

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  4. That walrus photo is brilliant! I love how much thought they've put into the layout of the park.

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  5. Such amazing pics! Especially of the elephants- my favourite animals EVER!

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  6. Tierpark Hagenbeck and the Tropen-Aquarium Hagenbeck looks an amazing family day out. I agree that (the well run) zoos play a part in conserving endangered animals. My daughter went to Hamburg with school in December and I've been dying to go myself after hearing about it and seeing her photos. I'll make sure I add the zoo to my to do list when I'm there.

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    1. You have to go to Hamburg, it's a lovely city, so underrated.

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  7. Oh gosh, that walrus photo is amazing! I'm loving the aquarium too - I can watch an aquarium for hours!

    C x

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  8. Wow imagine seeing some of the worlds most dangerous animals all in one place that must have been fascinating. I am glad that the gardens are spacious as well!

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  9. This looks a great day out, we have recently just come back from Hamburg but sadly didn't get time to see the zoo

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  10. You should definitely re-visit in summer. It's a fab day out and so so beautiful. My sister lives in Hamburg, so we have been a couple of times and it's definitely one of my all-time favourite zoos. It's also worth the relatively hefty price tag. Loved that you threw in a little history lesson for everyone who didn't know about the tiered enclosures x

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    1. Thanks for the comment Carolin. I love the fact that they have concerts in the zoo in the Summer too.

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  11. I love a good zoo, especially when it's spacious and the animals seem to enjoy it. I'll definitely add this to my to visit list for when I go to Hamburg x

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  12. I have visited Hamburg a number of times now but did not even know a zoo was that close away so its somewhere I will definitely visit next time I am there for sure

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    1. Its a short ride on the UBahn, which is really efficient and clean.

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  13. What a clever man, to design the tiered system with moats! I had no idea about that but I love the concept.
    Your photos are excellent and that one of the walrus could win prizes - isn't there an international funny animal photo competition? I've just looked it up - Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.
    #citytripping

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    1. The tiered concept was revolutionary at the time. I have to admit Mr W took the walrus photo. He was very pleased with your comment! I will tell him about the competition :)

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  14. The ticket prices look really reasonable - I was expecting it to be a lot more expensive. Caitlin and Ieuan loved the aquarium in Plymouth but this is on another scale altogether, isn't it. Don't suppose you saw any parrots? Caitlin is obsessed with them at the moment.

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    1. Yes I think there were parrots there Linda.

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  15. Your pictures are amazing! Which goes to show how well the animals are enclosed without obstruction. It sounds like a great zoo. x

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  16. Beautiful! I love that this park gives the animals unrestricted movement but it was so built to mimic life in the wild. I also love that they do a great job in saving animals who are in the endangered species list.

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  17. Good to hear of a zoo that is doing its best to preserve endangered species - I bet there were some impressive sights there.

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  18. I really do love trips to the zoo as I think it's the only way I will ever see these animals. The price is very reasonable as well and it's amazing that they are open all year round!

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    1. The zoo doesn't even close on Christmas Day.

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  19. Great photos, what a lovely day out. I really sounds like this zoo has a lot of history too

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  20. You got some great photos of the animals here. It's good that they are trying to preserve endangered species too.

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    1. I wouldn't go to a zoo that hasn't got that in mind these days.

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  21. Who wouldn't want to visit this zoo? I'm sure anyone will enjoy this place.

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  22. What a massive zoo with lots of history! We love the huge panoramic tank and the aquarium aspect would be our favourite area x

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    1. Watching the fish, sharks and other animals in the tank was very relaxing.

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  23. This looks like a great zoo, as the animals seem well cared for, with lovely habitats/ability to roam around. I do enjoy going to the Zoo, however, Like Hamburg I do look for ones that have endangered species work as well as educating people. This would be on my list if ever I am in Hamburg x

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    1. They do spend a lot of time educating the public. I think they have special sessions for school children for example.

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  24. I love visiting zoos! I'm hoping to visit Hamburg this year so I'll have to add this to my list! xo

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  25. I haven't been to a zoo in years and this makes me want to go. your photos are amazing!

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  26. Every time I see that walrus picture, it makes me smile. The perfect pick-me-up for January! And the zoo sounds a fantastic place, well designed and with conservation projects to help the animals inside - there's nothing more depressingly awful than a bad zoo but seeing the animals like this looks fantastic. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

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    1. Thank you! Mr W is very proud of this photo.

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