14 Kasy Oszczednosci Miasta Krakowa Street, open daily from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. - ticket office; visiting the zoo till 6.30 p.m.
Krakow's Zoological Garden is located in Lasek Wolski (Wolski Forest), so an excursion there can be combined with taking a walk through the forest. Moreover, not far away from the Zoo there is Pilsudski Mound, which is open to the general public. You can get to the top of it, which will require a little physical effort, and admire the panorama of Krakow. Anyway, those who intend to visit the Zoo on Saturday, Sunday or on a holiday should be prepared for a longer walk, as on these days cars are not allowed into the area of Lasek Wolski. Otherwise, those who don't feel like walking may choose to use public city transport (134 bus), or a mini-bus.
Having solved the problem of transport, the visitors may expect next "hindrances" - which are, however, fully justified. It is forbidden to take pets into the premises of the Zoo, which means that we have to leave our dog at home. Moreover, you are also not allowed in with a bicycle, scooter or a skateboard. These rules have to be obeyed, as they ensure that the inhabitants of the Zoo have proper conditions.
The history of breeding wild or exotic animals at the area of Krakow goes back to the times of Middle Ages, when there were here menageries and the so-called " zwierzynce królewskie" - "Royal animal parks". Historical sources say, for example, that in 1406 a lion couple was brought to Krakow. However, the first zoological garden in Krakow was a little animal park founded in 1895 in Park Krakowski. It existed, however, only for a few years. Other attempts at setting up a zoo brought results in 1929 when a Garden was opened in Lasek Wolski, where, as we know, it has been situated until now. Since that time the Zoo has been enlarged and modernized, it has also acquired many exotic species.
Those who associate the zoo with watching animals behind the bars of cages or behind glass screens should know that many zoological gardens (including Karakow's Zoo) actively takes part in protecting endangered species, which no longer live in their natural environment. Apart from this, popular science activities, such as biology lessons and educational programmes are organized here fostering protection of environment.
Yet, a visit to the Zoo is both learning and leisure. Main attractions surely come from outside Europe: two female elephants, a jaguar, a snow panther, antelopes, monkeys, a hippopotamus, condor, and many other species (although, unfortunately, there are no giraffas). A mini-zoo has been prepared for the youngest, where they can stroke and feed animals, such as ponies, donkeys, lamas, rabbits, guinea pigs, tortoises and Vietnamese pigs with fodder prepared by the workers of the Zoo. Such a direct contact makes the children happy and will certainly be long remembered experience.
As you can see, Krakow means something more than old churches and backstreets soaked in the spirit of historical past of the city. It is a place where culture blends with nature.