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Zoo Sofia, Sofia

2.0
#3 of 8 in Zoos & Aquariums in Bulgaria
Zoo / Aquarium Nature / Park
Sofia Zoo in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, was founded by royal decree on 1 May 1888, and is the oldest and largest zoological garden in southeastern Europe. It covers and, in March 2006, housed 4,850 animals representing 840 species.HistoryInitially, the zoo was located in the park of the former royal palace, with the primary attraction being a Eurasian black vulture caught in Bulgaria and exhibited in a cage in the garden. Later, pheasants and deer were added to the collection, but since the exhibits and facilities of the time proved inadequate to accommodate a pair of brown bears, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria ordered a grant of land to be awarded to Sofia Zoo on the grounds of the former botanical garden, then in the outskirts of the city.Sofia Zoo's exhibition of animals constantly increased, with both local and foreign species being added, most notably a pair of lions in 1892, which were housed in a former stable and a lion cub was born the same year.Between 1893 and 1895, new cages and buildings were constructed to accommodate the ever-increasing collection of birds and mammals, including a solid three-room stone building in the back of the terrain designed to be inhabited by bears (1894), a pool where a few pink-backed pelicans lived, a building to accommodate pheasants and another one for eagles (1895).
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Where to stay in Sofia

Set yourself up for easy and convenient access to Sofia's historical core and its most popular tourist sites by staying in an upscale hotel in the city center. While you'll find some hotels on the main boulevard, look for modern hotels off the main streets to keep costs lower. Staying outside the center in the outlying neighborhoods means you'll need to use public transportation, but the network is extensive and accommodation prices farther out are lower. For a real budget-friendly option, consider staying in a hostel; the city boasts a wide array of these, many of which include breakfast.
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106 reviews
Google
4.1
  • In this zoo you can find a lot of different animals from all around the globe. It is very organized and for foreigners and there are signs everywhere. However I was kinda disappointed by the condition...  more »
  • I was curious about this establishment based on the reviews I read on here, having seen other eastern block animal treatment. I went with an open mind, and you need to (remember you are experiencing a...  more »
  • The zoo is built in old socialist time with no respect to animals. Do not recommend to go in not open air buildings without gas mask - too smelly. Some renovations are under way and hope this will be ...  more »
Google
  • Pros: Quite a big zoo. Cons: Far from the best zoo I've visited, and I've been to quite a few around the world. Too much concrete and caged animals. Feeling sad for all of them.
  • Very good place for kids. It's educational. There is no activities with animals.
  • Animals look healthy and happy but the zoo is not pretty. Loads of concrete and not much shade while wandering around.
  • Some parts have been recently renovated wich makes it a more pleasant place for a walk plus it is probably the most affordable zoo in Europe. Can't beat it for the price
  • Great place to take the kids on a long summer day. Lots of lovely animals and green spaces. Lots of refreshments for the whole family.