An afternoon in Hamburg’s Animal Park


The Hagenbeck Zoo opened on May 7, 1907. It is one of the best-known representatives of its kind in Northern Germany (together with the Erlebnis-Zoo Hannover) and has always been family-owned. In this fairly long period of time, a lot of bizarre sights were offered, but luckily also abolished.

It is therefore hardly surprising that remnants of bygone days can be discovered in quite a huge number. From static dinosaur figures on the edge of the park or the vintage car ride into fairyland build by Ihle in 1952, Hagenbeck is full of suprises.

The park itself is wonderfully designed but does not show a consistent leitmotif, which is partly due to the completely arbitrary route in the park. The tour constantly encounters intersections of its own and the visitors wander from one themde area to another to the already visited and back. The exception is the Arctic Ocean Area, where a rather long tour is housed in a massiv mountain massif.

After the NDR (Northern German Broadcasting) mascot Antje died in 2003, the zoo lacked not only a walrus, but also a flamboyant showpiece. With the € 20 million expensive Eismeer, the gap was now closed. The area is featuring huge enclosures and of course a new walrus lady. It is definately worth a visit,  

Unfortunately, one of the park’s other attractions was discontinued some time ago. The ride on the back of an elephant was an unique experience and shaped the image of Hagenbeck, as like as the ability to feed the elephants. The latter is still possible today, albeit only with fruits and vegetables, which can be purchased for a small donation from the Friends of Tierpark Hagenbeck e.V.. Even if the elephant always strives to be as long as possible, it is advisable to have long arms to be able to feed the animals.

Other notable enclosures are the orangutan house, as well as the baboon rocks, where you can catch a really good view of the monkeys. Strangely unfamiliar is the view of the lions, which are located royally above the heads of the audience and thus can be seen without any problems at last. The generously designed bear enclosure is similarly spectator-friendly.

Although there is no uniform overall concept, the park itself is very convincing. The number of animals to be observed is large and there is no lack of interactivity. Hagenbeck is simply a great place and should not be missed when visiting Hamburg.