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The Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden, City Park

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The Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden (Hungarian: Fővárosi Állat- és Növénykert) is the oldest zoo park in Hungary and one of the oldest in the world. It has 1072 animal species and is located within the beautiful City Park (Városliget)

The zoo opened its doors on August 9, 1866. The park has 1–1.1 million visitors every year. The area is a nature reserve, and has some valuable art nouveau buildings designed by Kornél Neuschloss and Károly Kós. More than 1000 species are living here. János Xántus, a zoologist, ethnographer was the first director of the zoo. 

After him, in1873 Károly Serák was mandated zoo director. He hired several artists, such as fire eaters, sword swallowers and tightrope dancers in order to attract people. The revenues increased and the zoo was able to buy several special or rare animals such as the Sumatran rhinoceros. The zoo housed about 2000 species. However, as the authorities increased the rental fee and the financial situation of the zoo deteriorated. The company went bankrupt after the Millenium in 1896.

In 1907 the zoo was auctioned and taken over by the capital city, Budapest. Supported by the mayor of Budapest, István Bárczy and his city developing program, a complete reconstruction took place between 1909 and 1912. The zoo was reopened on 20 May 1912. A botanical garden was created. The historic buildings of the zoo are mainly from this time too. 

The development was interrupted by the First World War. The zoo was almost entirely destroyed in the Second World War. At the siege of Budapest the zoo was bombed and most buildings and animals were destroyed. After the siege the remaining animals were eaten by the starving people of Budapest. From 2000 specimen only 15 survived.

In 1945 the zoo reopened with a few dozen animals. The damage was restored slowly. In the 1950s and 1960s there was a major modernisation. Between 1956 and 1967 the Director General of the zoo was dr. Csaba Anghi. Under his guidance the zoo became once again one of the most modern zoos of Europe. In 2007 the first rhinoceros ever to be born with artificial insemination was born in the zoo. In 2012 the General Assembly of Budapest introduced a Pony Park, a family game park as well. On 14 February 2013 the zoo welcomed its first elephant calf since 1961 since then many baby calves were born in the zoo. Asian elephants are now an endangered species and zoos are taking an active role in breeding them.

Beside the animals we can enjoy subtropical fauna and flora in a spacious glasshouse. 

The Magic Hill‘s permanent programs, unique animals, aquarium, and 3D screenings also provide entertainment.

Open every day between 9.00-16.00

Ticket prices:

Adult: 2800 HUF

Children: 1900 HUF 

Address: 1146 Budapest, Állatkerti körút 6-12.

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