Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa (Lisbon Zoo) is a zoological park situated the heart of the city. Established in 1884, this zoo was the brainchild of Dr. Pedro Van Der Laan, Jose Thomaz Sousa Martins, and the Baron of Kessler. King D. Fernando II and zoologist Jose Vicente Barboza do Bocage also supported the establishment of this park.
In 1905, the zoo was shifted to its current location in Sete Rios. With over 2000 animals of 300 species residing here, the park is considered the largest and most diverse in the world. Roughly, 114 types of mammals, 157 types of birds, 56 types of reptiles and 5 species of amphibians reside here making Lisbon Zoo one of the more fun and kid friendly places to visit in Lisbon.
I came did the obligatory visit to Lisbon Zoo within the first few days of arriving to visit here. It is all it’s cracked up to be and you will need a day to explore. My favorite experience was a skylift that travels around the entire zoo from above providing a totally unique view of the zoo. The skylift travels right over the lions den which is a little disconcerting. On this occasion the lions where keeping out of the heat and having a rest.
Monkey Island was another favourite of mine, these cheeky chappies swing from rope to rope and are not at all concerned about our presence. They actually play up to it in the hope you will feed them. Please don’t! After a good tour, I took some time to relax in the outer perimeter of the zoo where you can find plenty of places to grab a bite to eat before continuing on.
Other Day Trips:
- Alfama: One of the oldest districts in Lisbon, Alfama, with its narrow and steep streets, covered in cobblestones is a definite heart stealer. Alfama is more on the traditional side of Lisbon. With a beautiful village atmosphere, this place is must visit. You can visit many a café, sip on a Ginjinha or two while enjoying some iconic Fado music!
- Sintra is a place of gothic fairytale fantasies. A bit farther from Lisbon, this place oozes romance and mystery with its lofty mountains, alluring forests, mesmerizing palaces and gorgeous gardens. An entire day spent at this place is well worth the time.
- Belém: another district in Lisbon, is a fantastic place to visit and explore. This district oozes colonial culture in its architecture. This riverside place has lots to explore. One can visit the mesmerizing Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and eat the famous custard tarts at the historic Antiga Confeitaria de Belém.