Innsbruck’s innovative zoo lies along the sunny slopes of the Hungerburg plateau to the north of the city and is the only zoo in the world to feature animals indigenous to the Tyrol region – so if you’re after lions and tigers, this is not the place for you –along with amazing Alpine views. It opened in 1962, the brainchild of Professor Hans Psenner, who toiled for much of his adult life to establish a zoo dedicated purely to Alpine animal life.
The Tyrolean region has incredible diversity and the zoo’s animal head count reaches 2,000 from 150 different Alpine species, from ibex to brown bears and birds of prey such as Golden eagles and owls.
For anyone with a keen interest in conservation, the Alpenzoo has enjoyed great success in breeding rare and endangered Alpine animals. The last 10 years have seen much expansion, with the zoo now covering an area of 4.1 hectares (10.1 acres) over six levels; the birds are housed in vast aviaries, mammals in free-running enclosures, and fish in cold water aquariums. The zoo also offers a petting farm for kids; a brand new aviary housing bearded vultures, partridges, marmots and snow hares; and a newly enlarged enclosure for the otters.
Innsbruck’s Alpenzoo is accessible on foot in 20 minutes from Innsbruck city center or by the Hungerburgbahn cable railway from Congress, which brings with it amazing views of Innsbruck and the Alps. Public transport also includes bus lines M and W from Innsbruck’s main station and Marktplatz.
The zoo is open daily year round. The animals are active all through the winter months and spring sees the courtship displays of the birds and the birth of young mammals, so a visit in any month will delight. Take comfortable shoes and be prepared for walking up hills.