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Dublin: Tips for visiting the Dublin Zoo

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Lion around at the Dublin Zoo. Photo: Tambako
Lion around at the Dublin Zoo. Photo: Tambako

By Jessica Colley—

You might not expect to see elephants, penguins, or giraffes during a trip to the Irish capital—but as it turns out, the zoo is one of Dublin’s most visited attractions.

First opened in 1831, Dublin Zoo is one of the world’s oldest zoos and today is home to over 600 animals, many of which are endangered. The zoo is located in Phoenix Park, outside of the city center, but is easily accessible by bus or the LUAS tram (plus a short walk).

The eyes have it... (Photo: Musical Photo Man)

Ready to see the African Savanna or witness a sea lion feeding? Here are some tips for visiting Dublin Zoo:

Planning a Visit
Web site

Dublin Zoo is open all year long, but opening hours vary depending on the season. Make the most of your admission ticket by arriving early—the zoo opens every day at 9:30 a.m. and the last admission is one hour before closing time.

Tickets can be booked in advance online (receive your e-ticket by e-mail and print it out). In advance of your visit, you might want to check the zoo’s Twitter feed for deals and current updates.

Who doesn't love an elephant? Photo: Sean MacEntee

Ticket costs

Adults: €15.50
Children age 3 – 16: €11
Children under 3: free
Family of 2 adults and 2 kids: €44.50

Daily talks and activities

Dublin Zoo is spread out over about 69 acres (28 hectares), a large enough size that a strategy for visiting is essential.

Begin with checking out the schedule for daily talks and feedings. You might only attend one or two of these daily talks, and looking at the schedule in advance will make sure you don’t miss the Chimpanzee Chat or Rhino feedings.

These daily activities can also help you map out your day at the zoo, directing what you see and when.

No vexing the animals! Photo: Mlle Peterson

Time for a snack

When it’s time to sit down for a snack, there are several options. One of the most fun is the Meerkat Restaurant, where inquisitive little meerkats watch your every bite.

For Cheapos who are pinching their euros, there are lawns and picnic tables where you can sit down for a picnic. On a sunny day, pick up some sandwiches or other picnic supplies while in the city center. The zoo map will easily direct you to picnic areas.

What to see

Every zoo visitor will have a list of favorite animals to see. From the baby piglets to the peacocks, the sea lions to the penguins, this zoo is full of interesting animals you can see up close and learn about too.

To help you narrow down what to see, check out the webcams on the zoo’s Web site prior to visiting.

Your zoo tips?

Do you have a tip for visiting the Dublin Zoo? Have you visited the Zoo? Tell us about your experience in the comments section.

Also in our guide: Planning a trip to Dublin and looking for an inexpensive place to sleep? Stop by our Dublin city guide, where you can read our reviews of the best affordable hotels in Dublin, all visited, inspected and reviewed by our editors.

About the author

Jessica Colley is a freelance travel writer and poet. She blogs about Dublin and more at www.thegreatamericantraveldream.com.

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