The Barcelona Zoo was inaugurated on September 24, 1892, the day of La Mercè. The first animals came from the private collection of Lluís Martí i Codolar, a banker and businessman from Barcelona. The first director of the zoo was Francesc Darder, veterinarian, doctor, taxidermist and animal lover.
The Zoo, at that time, was created as an urban public space, whose priority mission was the conservation of wildlife. In 1931 it was conceived as a modern zoological garden for the study of nature, and the animal facilities were designed with the idea of reproducing their habitat. For this cages were eliminated and pits were built with a low wire fence. In 1966 came to the Barcelona Zoo its most famous inhabitant in the world: Snowflake, an albino gorilla that at that time weighed only 10 kg (he weighed 187) and was the cover of the National Geographic magazine in 1967. Snowflake died in 2003 at the age of 39.
Currently, Barcelona Zoo aims to prioritize native and the most endangered species on the planet. In addition, it focuses on animal welfare and sustainability, and strengthens opportunities to work in conservation, within international networks of zoos and aquariums. In this way, conservation, research and education are the main axes of its activity. The new Barcelona Zoo aims to become a reference center for biodiversity conservation.
Spaces of the Barcelona Zoo
Throughout the zoo you will find facilities with elephants, lions, tigers, hippos, rhinos, giraffes, gorillas, chimpanzees, kangaroos, red pandas, European bison, bears, camels, zebras, gazelles, and other species. There are also 9 delimited spaces dedicated to animals that share a specific habitat.
- Land of Dragons: this space is home to species from the Asia-Pacific region. Here you will see the world's largest saurian, the Komodo dragon, a small-sized deer called the Common Muntjak, and the world's largest bat, Lyle's Flying Fox, which can reach 2 meters wing-to-wing.
- Terrarium: here you will find one of the best collections of amphibians and reptiles in Europe. In its facilities also live reptiles and amphibians of all sizes: from small dragons, arrow frogs or iguanas, to the large spectacled caimans and several species of giant snakes, such as the python and the boa.
- Aviarium: brings together more than 70 species of birds from around the world, including endangered exotic species from the American, Asian and African jungles.
- Farm: this space is also known asChildren's Zoo, as it is one of the most beloved by children. It is inhabited by goats, sheep, cows, pigs, horses and donkeys, among them a Catalan donkey, a species that was on the verge of extinction.
- Primate gallery: an installation with small primates such as the Barbary Macaque or the Cercopithecus of Brazza.
- Marmosets gallery: This gallery is one of the most visited areas of the Barcelona Zoo. Here you can see a sample of the smallest primates in the world: the South American marmoset.
- Palmeral: thirteen aviaries housing colorful species such as cockatoos and macaws.
- Flight dome: a large oval-based dome where several species of marsh-dwelling birds fly or splash about.
- Garden of Biodiversity: a space created to favor the native fauna living in the city of Barcelona.
A wide variety of trees grow in the Barcelona Zoo. Almost 1200 of 96 different species have been counted, and some are more than a hundred years old. There are numerous plane trees, poplar (Populus nigra), Tipuana (Tipuana tipu), false acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) and others difficult to find such as Ceibo (Erythrina crista-galli) or Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba). Eight species of palm trees can also be seen.
The art at the Barcelona Zoo
As you walk through the zoo you will see up to 10 sculptural ensembles or sculptures. Some are part of a fountain, such as the Lady with the Umbrella sculpture, a late 19th-century work by Joan Roig i Solé, which is considered to be one of the symbols of Barcelona.
The terrestrial and aquatic world in a single pass: The Zoo and L'Aquàrium
If you want to enjoy twice as much, and meet both aquatic and terrestrial animals, you can buy this pass that will give you access to the Barcelona Zoo and L'Aquàrium. In addition, you will get a 10% discount on your next purchase.
Where is it?
How to get there
Metro: L4 Ciutadella Vila Olimpica.