Whenever we have a city card, we always study the opening times of attractions carefully — you have to plan your time to get the most out of these tickets. Many museums are closed on Mondays, others are open late one day a week. Still other attractions just open earlier and close later than everything else — and in Nuremberg, this attraction is the zoo.
Although we were originally enticed by its 8am opening, we soon realised that there was no way we could get up early enough to make the most of it. Instead, we set off from the central city at 6pm one evening and had an hour there before it closed at 7.30pm. For us, transport on the number 5 tram and entrance to the zoo was covered by our Nuremberg Card, otherwise entrance is €13.50 for adults or €31.50 for a family pass.
The zoo was eerily quiet so late in the evening, but we saw a few other families and even a guided tour group being shown around the grounds. We headed more or less straight to the manatee enclosure, where we saw the animals from above as we walked through a rainforest-like habitat, and also from below, through the windows of a large underground room. From here there was also a view into a pool shared by dolphins and seals — unfortunately though, they were hanging out in the smaller (warmer?) pools further back.
As we walked through the grounds, we were impressed by how much greenery there was. There are lots of grassy and forested areas that aren’t given over to animal enclosures, which gives the zoo a healthy green feeling. That said, it seemed like most animals had a reasonable amount of space to move around in — though we certainly didn’t have time to see them all. Signs are all in German, though the animal names are also printed in English in a smaller typeface — which is all you really need to know. And if you’re interested in the statistics, I’m sure you can work out which figure is “lifespan” and which is “height”.
The kids’ area with a playground and signs geared towards children looked like a nice place to spend an afternoon, and we’d been told that the zoo was a popular location for summer picnics — which was certainly understandable. There were lots of food stands and restaurants throughout the zoo — all closed when we were there though — and plenty of toilets as well.
Although I think the entrance fee is quite steep, the zoo is worth a visit if you have a Nuremberg Card, want to see manatees or if you’re travelling with kids who are animal lovers.