With the weather looking up, and after quite a few miserable, travel-filled days for Olivia, we designated today to find something fun and educational for her, and chose the Madrid zoo.
Our trip didn’t get off to the best of starts, with the free car park occupied by beggars (not homeless people, they had cars) who offered to look after your car for a Euro. We paid as it was easier than risking damage to the car. But the sun came out, and the animals were there to raise our spirits.
New Species to Discover
We were excited to see many animals that we’d never seen before, including a leopard, various bears, koalas and a few giant pandas! Olivia has always wanted to see pandas and was delighted to finally see some, although she thought they were going to be bigger.
I fell in love with a large male orangutang, he had so much character swinging and walking around. We even saw him carefully clean off a stick and poke it through the fence to reach some peanuts someone had thrown just short of his enclosure.
There was also a small aquarium at the site with three different types of sea turtles, many sharks and lots of other interesting fish, coral and crustaceans.
Walking around it was clear that this was an old zoo, but most of the animals seemed happy and well cared for. A lot of their animals are in international breeding programmes which is always good to hear.
We didn’t watch any of the shows, but we agreed that seeing dolphins and seals made to balance and perform wasn’t what we wanted to see at a zoo anyway.
We did struggle to find food, as so early in the season, only the main cafeteria at the entrance was open. Thankfully, we brought snacks and drinks and made it round before having food at the end.
Olivia got to play in the wonderful large park area and tried out her first Spanish on some children. They quickly switched to English (much better than our Spanish) and she enjoyed playing with them for a while before it was time for everyone to return home.
There were many storks around the site making nests in the tall trees and free to fly around. Whether they were actually the zoos or whether they were just taking advantage of the free food around the zoo I am not sure.
*Reduced Ticket: You can buy this ticket if you meet any of the following conditions:
- Children (3-7 years).
- Senior (+65 years).
- Large family Adults and children. You must prove it by showing a large family official ID.
- Disabled person + free companion. You must prove a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33% by presenting an official document. The companion accesses for free. Disabled persons can always choose the cheapest rate offered to the general public available at the time of purchase, as long as they meet the requirements of that rate. Check conditions on our website or at our Box Office.
Overall a good trip, though some of the enclosures were a little smaller than we’d have liked, this is part of being an old zoo built when standards were different. But it was nice that many enclosures used a ditch as a barrier rather than a fence, making you feel more connected with the animals you were seeing. Well worth a visit.