It was a Sunday, shortly after lunch, and we were sitting in our gloomy apartment. We still weren’t sure if we were going to commit to staying in the apartment until New Year’s or move someplace else for November and December, and the decision was wearing us down. Finally we realized the only way to improve our moods was to get out of the apartment and go do something. Andy really likes zoos, and Berlin has two, so we looked up how to get there and we were on our way.
Sometimes zoos are sad
I’m normally not a big fan of zoos. I prefer to see animals in their natural habitat, and the lions certainly reminded me of this. They are kept in an area that is both inside and outside, with a little door they can use to get from one side to the other. But it was too cold that day, and the doors were closed. We noticed one of the female lions scratching at the door that goes outside, and it was just so sad. (Apologies for the not-so-great photos. I obviously still need to work on how to get my camera to focus past things like cages.)
The male lion she shared her cage with was so bored from not being allowed outside, he had to find other ways of entertaining himself.
But sometimes they’re not so bad
Aside from the sad lions, we saw several other cat varieties, including some younger ones that were super cute.
Seriously, doesn’t that guy look cute enough to take home as a pet?
We also this adorable mongoose. Who knew they were so cute? I didn’t even know what a mongoose looked like before the day we went to the Berlin zoo.
And we saw very entertaining meerkats.
After seeing a lot of the animals that were kept indoors, Andy wanted to find the otters. Unfortunately the otters were not out, but we did get to see some seals, sea lions and penguins.
My favorite animals at the zoo
One of the first animals we saw after passing through the gate were the Siberian ibexes, which looked like some kind of mountain goats. I was fascinated by how quickly they jumped and climbed all over the rocks and cliffs without tumbling down the sides.
As much as I enjoyed seeing all those animals and more, my favorites are the classics. I still love seeing the elephants, giraffes and zebras. I really hope to see them someday in the wild on an African safari, but until then this will have to do.
The zoo might not be my favorite tourist attraction, but I did have fun that day. It was also just what we needed to get us out of our funk. Looking at cute animals can improve anyone’s mood.
Visiting the Berlin Zoo
As I mentioned, Berlin has two zoos. We visited the one on the west this time. To get there using public transportation, use the S5, S7, S75, S9, U2 or U9 and get out at the Zoologischer Garten station. You can also use the U1 or U9 and get out at the Kurfürstendamm station.
We spent about three hours at the zoo and still didn’t see everything. The animal houses close earlier than the zoo itself closes, so if there are animals you want to see that are inside, go there first. Opening hours vary depending on day of the week and time of year, and feeding times for certain animals are posted online, so check the website and plan accordingly: Zoo Berlin
Tickets for adults cost 13€ per person. We also bought a guidebook in English for 5€.