The Moscow Zoo now serves as one of the premiere zoos in the world and, despite major financial issues in the past, is an interesting and educational center. In all, the Zoo hosts about 5,000 animals of 750 species in its 21.5-hectacre layout. It’s central location ensures that tourists and Muscovites alike pack into the zoo during the weekend.
Moscow Zoo Video & Photos
Highlights – Old Territory
- Giraffes – The giraffe enclosure is one of the highlights of the Old Territory of the Moscow Zoo. Enticed by the offer of food, zoo-goers can get up close and personal to the friendly giraffe family at the Moscow Zoo.
- Monkeys – The Moscow Zoo’s monkey enclosure is one of the largest enclosures in the Old Territory. The Zoo contains several endangered species and visitors can catch a glimpse of two rare monkey breeds, the mandrill and a black-handed gibbon.
Highlights – New Territory
- Dolphin Show – One of the highlights of the Moscow Zoo is the dolphin show. Offered several times a day, the dolphin show demonstrates the skills and tricks of these Russian dolphins. After a short, half hour show you’ll have the chance to get your picture taken with the dolphins (for a few hundred ruble fee, of course).
- Polar Bears – One of the most interesting parts of the new territory is the large area set aside for the polar bears. You can view the polar bears above ground, either lounging on their year-round snow pile or below ground through a view window as they swim in their spacious pond.
- Big cats – The Moscow Zoo has a large collection of big cats from around the world. Separated from their audience by only a chain-link fence, these cats can get up close and personal to zoo goers.
Moscow Zoo Map
Prices for the Moscow Zoo are quite reasonable.
|General Admission (adult)||300 rubles||300 / 500 rubles (weekends and holidays)|
|General Admission (under 18)||Free||Free|
|Dolphinarium (adult)||150 rubles||150 rubles|
|Dolphinariums (under 7)||Free||Free|
- Avoid peak hours – When the weather is good, the Moscow Zoo gets uncomfortably busy very quickly. To get the most out of your visit and a clear view of the animals, try to avoid peak times and go as early as possible. Peak times include the weekends, public holidays, and late afternoon.
- Stay for lunch – Although there are many fast foods restaurants and cafes located around the exit of the Moscow Zoo, try one of the cafes located inside the Zoo. While the prices may be a bit higher, you get to eat while enjoying a view of the animals.
- Crossover Bridge – The New Territory of the Zoo (not so new — it was opened in 1924) is connected to the main portion of the Moscow Zoo by the Crossover Bridge. The Bridge extends over Bolshaya Gruzinskaya Street and leads you to seals, sloths, and Polar World.
The Moscow Zoo first opened in the 1860s as a wooden, Russian-style complex. Unfortunately for the animals inside, the Moscow Zoo not only suffered financial problems but was also affected by fighting during the 1905 revolution. After the Soviet government came to power, the Zoo went into state control. For some time it received more funding and protection, though did go into decline during the tail end of the USSR. Despite its tumultuous history, the Moscow Zoo has remained opened since its foundation — even during the battles and bombings of World War II! The Moscow Zoo now covers over 20-hectacres of space in the center of the city.