Hotels near Dublin Zoo, Dublin

Dublin Zoo

Officially Ireland’s biggest family attraction, Dublin Zoo is the largest zoo in Ireland and houses some 400 animals from around the world, many of them endangered species which are part of international breeding programmes.

The 69-acre zoo is a registered charity and heavily involved in conservation and education, working with other zoos to preserve endangered species and financially supporting conservation projects in Ireland and internationally.

History

The zoo was opened in 1831 by the then Royal Zoological Society of Ireland, with mammals and birds donated by London Zoo, and was a private attraction for the first nine years of its life. In 1840, it opened to the public on Sundays, with entry just a penny; this was the start of a lifelong affection between the zoo and the people of the city, who even donated food for the animals to help them survive during the Second World War. The zoo now attracts around a million visitors a year – although it has never topped the high of 20,000 visitors in one day on its open day in 1838 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s coronation.

Animals

The zoo is divided into different habitats which have been painstakingly created with the needs of the animals in mind. The thick vegetation of the Kazaringa Forest Trail houses a family of five breeding elephants, while the 12,000m2 rainforest conceals a group of seven breeding gorillas. Admire zebras, chimpanzees and rhinos in the African savannah, parrots, sloths, macaws and pygmy marmosets in the South American House, and critically endangered Asian lions (only 400 remain in the wild) and Sumatran tigers in the Asian Forest. Plus there’s an aviary with bats and birds, a reptile house with lizards, tarantulas, crocodiles and Gila monsters, a Penguin Habitat with 13 Humboldt penguins and a family farm where kids can watch the dairy cow being milked. Each day from March to September, and every weekend between October and February, you can listen to talks about different animals or watch them being fed.

Education and events

The zoo organises regular events, including workshops for schools, birdwatching mornings, Easter egg hunts, parent and toddler mornings, awareness events and summer camps, and offers a wide variety of educational opportunities for all ages, with sessions and programmes for pre-schoolers, schoolchildren, students, teachers and senior citizens. And after you’ve gone home, you can carry on being involved with the zoo by watching the animals on the webcam and even adopting one of them.

Hotels near Dublin Zoo

You’ll be spoiled for choice for hotels near Dublin Zoo thanks to its superb location – it’s in Dublin’s lovely Phoenix Park, which was created as a royal deer park in 1662 and is still home to a herd of fallow deer, as well as a wide range of other mammals, birds, trees and flowers. Áras an Uachtaráin, the residence of the President of Ireland, which dates from 1750, is in the centre of the park, next to the United States Ambassador's residence. Other features include the Victorian People's Flower Gardens, Ashtown Castle, a picnic area, playgrounds, a visitor centre, a café, a Victorian tea room, a bandstand and several other historic buildings and monuments.

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