Szeged Zoo is sign posted, but blink and you will miss it.
After the zoo sign is a street on the right, where the billboard is, called Szél utca. It is the pathway to the zoo's main entrance.
The zoo always opens at 9am, but closes at different times of each month:
The Daily Travel Pass is great for visiting tourist locations and other places of interest.
It is valid on the trams, trolley buses and local buses in and around Szeged city centre.
The Correct Change Bureau De Change, located at Tisza Lajos Körút 57 (Szeged city centre), has excellent exchange rates. They have branches in Budapest too.
It's worth taking a tram/bus into the city centre because you will still receive more money than outside the city centre.
Szeged Zoo is a member of the World, and European, Association of Zoos & Aquaria. Covering a land space of almost 45 Hectares, making it the largest zoo in Hungary (in terms of territory), it boasts a unique collection of animals, conducts various nature conservation and educational activities, and participates in several international species conservation programmes (EEP, ESB). A quarter of all of their species take part in such programmes, which is the highest ratio in Hungary.
Szeged Zoo has plenty going on - It has a rescue centre that treats almost one thousand injured or orphaned wild animals each year, most of them birds, with a quarantine area that houses birds, reptiles and small mammals confiscated from smugglers and illegal keepers as well as educational programmes, lectures and shows that teach children and other visitors about animals and animal welfare. Guided tours are in Hungarian and English.
The zoo is split into five geographical regions of the world according to the animals native land, namely: Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and South America. As you walk around, which may take between two and four hours (depending on whether or not you are a family, interested in viewing every animal and/or like viewing every description board), it is very important to investigate every nook and cranny of the zoo because what looks like a shed, storage room or empty pathway usually has an enclosure of some sort. Certain bird and reptile houses are examples, but also certain areas of the Europe zone too. So look everywhere, basically.
As you walk around you instantly see well looked after, clean, animals that have plenty of space to move around. The park itself is also very clean and tidy with facilities such as toilets (for people with disabilities too), parenting rooms, snack bars, park benches/seats and children's playgrounds. I found the snack bars a tad expensive, and even if you say "the zoo has to make money somehow" I do not think families would agree; especially as I noticed that many local families bought drinks and sandwiches with them.
The 3pm seals show is a favourite, so make sure you arrive early.
TIP: Hold the map as landscape so that Asia is on your right. Also, as there are not too many arrow signs (directions) as you walk around it is best too follow the Paw Prints! I think the zoo did this on purpose so you get a feeling of exploration, and I think it works beautifully. Great idea.
As said above: The animals are well looked after and clean, living in modern, natural and spacious enclosures. With 600 specimens from about 140 species it must be a huge and difficult task to keep the zoo at such a high level of maintenance. For this, the zoo must be congratulated.
The old favourites still entertain, excite and fascinate the visitors of Szeged zoo
Some of the animals sleep during the afternoon while others are difficult to spot in their enclosures either because they are too far away (their enclosure is huge) or hidden within the greenery/trees. So I highly recommend you take a zoom lens camera with you if you can. Digital Cameras are okay, but you will get better results from a dedicated zoom lens camera.
Another problem with taking photos is the wired fences around the enclosures. Sometimes a digital camera's 'auto-focus' mode picks up the wired fence as the foreground whereby it blurs out the animal(s). So poke your digital camera's lens through the wire if/when possible for better results.
Some of the rarer zoo animals and creatures, including the cute meerkats!
Among the animals are curiosities such as the wolverine, bat eared fox, North Chinese leopard, Chinese water deer, silvery marmoset, red-cheeked gibbon, giant anteater, maned wolf and jackal as well as the old favourites such as giraffes, monkeys, lions, cheetah, tigers, birds, insects and reptiles (including the Taranchula). No elephants though. That is the nice thing about Szeged zoo though. It has unique, unseen, animals as well as old favourites, which makes it a worthwhile trip just for this reason alone. The otter and meerkats were very popular with the visitors when I visited.
Some animals and insects are harder to see, so look in every nook and cranny.
As you leave the zoo you are presented with a gift shop, with reasonably priced goods inside. If you prefer to bypass the gift shop for whatever reason(s) you can use the push-gate, just before the gift shop entrance, on the left to exit the zoo.
Although the zoo caters for everyone including single people and couples, I would say the zoo is best enjoyed as a family/friends with young children or as a group tour; preferably on a hot day. There is nothing about the zoo that states 'no single people' or 'no couples' of course, but on my visit the majority of visitors were either with family or a group. On top of this I would recommend taking one the zoo's guided tours or special programmes. They have an 'evening zoo tour' for example that is held once every summer month.
Don't be afraid to explore the zoo, but don't get lost either...Follow the Paw Prints!
Unfortunately, like many other Hungarian attractions (i.e. sightseeing tours), all the zoo description boards were in Hungarian only. The names of the actual animals, insects, etc were written in German, English and Spanish for example but not the main description. If they would of been in English for example I would of enjoyed the trip even more.
With the just said: The animals etc are the main attraction of course, so the descriptions are secondary. Nevertheless, from a tourist business point of view I think Szeged and Hungary in general are losing a lot of money just for the sake of not printing a few more signs and description boards in other international languages.
Adult - 1,750 HUF
Baby - FREE
Child (3-14 Years Old) - 1,150 HUF
Student (15+ with Student Card) - 1,300 HUF
Pensioner (with certificate) - 1,300 HUF
Family (2 Adults and 1 Child) - 4,200 HUF
Family plus Extra Children - 4,200 HUF + 700 HUF (Per Extra Child)
Adult Group (at least 15 People, all aged 15+) - 1,600 HUF (Per Person)
Nursery Group (at least 10 Children, plus 1 Adult) - 800 HUF (Per Person)
Student Group (at least 15 Students) - 800 HUF (Per Person)
Pensioner Group (at least 15 Pensioners) - 800 HUF (Per Person)
Annual tickets are also available for Adults (15+ Years Old, 8,750 HUF) and Children (under 14, 5,950 HUF) as well as guided tours in English (30 people or more, 18,000 HUF) and Hungarian (30 people or more, 15,000 HUF).
Szeged Zoo is located just outside the city centre, on Szél Utca - It's official address is on Cserepes Sor, but it's actual main entrance is on Szél Utca. If you go down Cserepes Sor you will meet a dead end where there is a gate stating the GPS coordinates for Szél Utca (GPS: N 46 15.100 E 20 07.088). Both Szél Utca and Cserepes Sor are parallel roads coming off the main road called Móravárosi Körút. You get to Szeged Zoo as follows:
TRAM #3 - Take Tram #3, from my apartment's tram stop at Rózsa Utca for example, to the tram stop called II Kórház. When you get off the tram walk down its platform towards the back of the tram. You will be facing the city centre, the way you came. You will also be on the left-side pavement, but need to cross over the road so you are on the right-side pavement. Immediately after crossing the road turn (face) right, so you are facing the countryside with the tram now on your right-side.
Walk straight down that road, which is called Kálvária Sugárút, until you come to the junction of Kálvária Sugárút and Móravárosi Körút (on your left). You will see a big Spar Supermarket on the left corner. Walk down Móravárosi Körút but stay on the spar supermarket side of that road (right-side of Móravárosi Körút) until you see a brown tourist sign for the zoo. The whole trip from the II Kórház tram stop to Szél Utca is approximately 10 Minutes. Once you are on Szél Utca walk down it and follow its dirt road for 90 Seconds until you see the zoo's main entrance.
You can get closer to the zoo by using its other entrance located on Kálvária Sugárút, but this is only really ideal for those taking Tram #3 - Take Tram #3 one more stop after II Kórház to the stop called Vadaspark (Wildlife Park), get off the tram and walk back towards the city centre (the direction you just came from). You will see a Opel car showroom on your left and a MOL garage on your right. Walk into the MOL garage forecourt and on its right-hand side you will notice a pair of old white gates. Go through them to get to the zoo's entrance and car parking area.
TRAM #4 - Another way to get to the zoo is by taking Tram #4, from my apartment's tram stop at Rózsa Utca for example, to the tram stop called Szalámigyár (Pick Salami Factory). When you get off the tram the platform exit will be facing the way you came; the city centre. Cross over the road, to the left-side, and you will see a junction and billboard advertising the Napfény Retail Park (Shopping Complex). Turn left down that street, which is Móravárosi Körút, and keeping going straight down it for 15-20 Minutes until you see Szél Utca on the left; the street that takes you to the zoo's entrance.
BUS - You can also get near to the zoo by bus - Bus route 36 stops right next to the Tram #3 stop called Vadaspark, but is only of real advantage to those living in Szeged's inner-city centre simply because that bus route's only valuable stops come from and go to the inner-city centre only. Bus route 13 stops just before the junction of Kálvária Sugárút and Móravárosi Körút and also stops on the far end of Szél Utca and far end of Móravárosi Körút. Meaning, a 10-15 Minute walk to the zoo's entrance. Bus route 90F stops right next to the Tram #3 stop called II kórház (see TRAM #3 notes, above).
BICYCLE - If you take the bicycle from my apartment, for example, you can get to the zoo via József Attila Sugárút - Makkosházi Körút - Rókusi Körút - Vásárhelyi Pál Utca - Móravárosi Körút (Journey Time: 26 Minutes). Alternatively, you could follow Tramline #4 from my apartment for example to Móravárosi Körút (Journey Time: 20 Minutes).
Below is an actual bus journey time recording from my apartment (not far from József Attila Sugárút) to Szeged Zoo. Bus 13 should arrive at the bus stop called Retek Utca, which is actually located on József Attila Sugárút (next to the TRAM #4 stop called Rózsa Utca), 33 minutes past the hour and 53 minutes past the hour; but may arrive slightly early or slightly late depending on traffic, etc.
Below is an actual bus journey time recording from Szeged Zoo to my apartment (not far from József Attila Sugárút). Bus 90F should arrive at the bus stop called II Kórház, located on Kálvária Sugárút (next to the TRAM #3 stop that is also called II Kórház), 4, 24 and 44 minutes past the hour; but may arrive slightly early or slightly late depending on traffic, etc.