TripAdvisor has compiled a list of the top zoos in Europe, based on the results of their Travellers’ Choice Awards - so if you are planning a European holiday over the next few weeks, have a look at this selection of marvellous menageries.
The results were a resounding success for Spain, with Loro Parque in Tenerife winning first place, and with three Spanish zoos featuring in the winning ten.
However, if you aren’t leaving the country this summer then never fear, because votes show that we’ve got some of the best roaring, splashing, slithering and prowling right on our doorstep. In fact, the awards results – based on the reviews of travellers from around the world – shows that, in 2014, the UK boasts more show-stopping zoos than any other European country.
TripAdvisor's best zoos in Europe
TripAdvisor's best zoos in Europe
1/10 Loro Parque, Tenerife
The animals at Loro Parque aquarium and zoo have won the hearts of tourists, voted number one in Europe in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards. Witness the flurries of wings and rainbow shades thanks to some 4,000 specimen of parrot, ranging over 350 species, housed at this Canary Island hotspot.
2/10 Chester Zoo, Chester
If the famous Roman city walls are a little too static for your liking, Chester Zoo will probably be more up your street. There’s no shortage of life here - winged, furry, scaley or slimy – you can explore is all by foot, canal or on the Zoofari Monorail.
3/10 Prague Zoo, Czech Republic
Ecosystem-themed features, such as the Indonesian Jungle and Sichuan House, are amongst the must-see features at Prague Zoo, voted third best in Europe.
4/10 Tiergarten Schoenbrunn, Vienna, Austria
Explore the coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific or admire beautiful yet deadly jellyfish at the aquarium inside Vienna’s Tiergarten Scoenbrunn Zoo, in at number four.
5/10 Valencia Bioparc
In fifth place is Valencia Bioparc, an innovative zoo, designed with the aim to create an immersive experience as you explore the park by simulating the wildlife’s’ natural environment, benefitting both the visitors and the animals.
6/10 Palmitos Park, Maspalomas, Spain
Palmitos Park, at number six, hosts thousands of people every day at their dolphin shows – guests at the zoo can even pay to swim with these beautiful creatures.
7/10 Zoo Parc de Beauval, France
Huan Huan and Yuan Zi – resident giant pandas and the only two to be found in France – draw massive crowds at the Zoo Parc de Beauval, in at seventh place.
8/10 Colchester Zoo, United Kingdom
TripAdvisor’s international community have voted in another UK zoo at number eight. The lemurs that can be seen from on the Lost Madagascar Express might crack less jokes that Pixar’s King Julian, but are equally whimsical and a definite must-see.
9/10 Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, United Kingdom
Devon’s seaside town hosts the ninth best European Zoo – red pandas Mandy and Randy are amongst the rare and endangered animals housed by Paignton.
10/10 La Palmyre Zoo, La Palmyre-Les Mathes, France
Finally, in tenth place is La Palmyre Zoo in France, home to an array of marine mammals like sea lions, otters and the awe-inspiring polar bear.
Chester, Colchester and Paignton Zoo all feature in the top ten and, in the worldwide polls, the UK occupies three spots in the top twenty five – coming in at second place and losing only to the United States with nine.
Chester Zoo was voted second best in Europe, and sixth in the world. Managing Director of Chester Zoo, Jamie Christon, commented: “We are absolutely delighted” before thanking visitors to the zoo, a charity-funded establishment, for helping support the zoo’s conservational work.