Hamburg Zoo (Tierpark Hagenbeck)#8 in Best Things To Do in Hamburg
The Tierpark Hagenbeck (or Hamburg Zoo) is owned by the Hagenbeck family; Carl Hagenbeck, Jr. (who founded the zoo in 1907) was a wild animal trader and merchant. One of his innovations was to use moats instead of cages to enclose animals, a practice still used to this day. Today, visitors can encounter thousands of animals at the zoo, including one of the largest elephant herds in Europe. Of special note is the four-level Tropical Aquarium, an artificial habitat comprising more than 14,300 animals, including Nile crocodiles and around 13,000 fish. There are also several restaurants, playgrounds for kids, feeding demonstrations and a recreation park, among other attractions.
Recent visitors advised allowing plenty of time to check out all of the exhibits (some said they spent the whole day at the zoo) and said it's a great family-friendly activity. Reviewers were particularly fascinated by the walruses and polar bears. According to travelers, the zoo provides food to feed select animals (donations are encouraged).
The zoo is open daily, typically from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., though hours vary by season. The aquarium is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets cost 22 euros (about $24.50) for adults and 17 euros (about $19) for kids ages 4 to 16; children 3 and younger enter for free. To access the aquarium, you'll have to purchase separate tickets. If you'd like to visit both the zoo and aquarium, combo tickets are available for 34 euros (about $38) per adult and 25 euros (around $28) per child. The zoo is located near the Hagenbecks Tierpark U-Bahn station and also accessible via several bus lines, including Nos. 22, 181 and 281. Visit the zoo's website for more information.
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A stunning architectural marvel often compared to Sydney's opera house, the Elbphilharmonie is a concert hall and performance space designed by the Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. As soon as it opened in 2016, it became an instant architectural icon thanks to its wave-like rooftop and glass façade. Luckily, you don't need tickets to a show to enjoy the striking space.
A public viewing platform is open to everyone and offers breathtaking, 360-degree views of the city and the harbor – a particular highlight for recent visitors. While admission to the viewing plaza is free, you do need a ticket to enter. Advance booking is available and recommended by recent visitors, though a booking fee of 2 euros (or about $2.25) applies. Reviewers also recommended taking a harbor cruise to admire the building from the water.
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