Newest Review: ... The zoo is fairly expensive, especially if you are taking a whole famly: an adult costs Euro15.50, and age 3-16 cost Euro11.00. Senio... more
Member Name: tiaw
Date: 26/05/10, updated on 26/05/10 (34 review reads)
Advantages: Nicer wider area and good also for a bit of a walk
Disadvantages: Price, lack of animals on display, access from city centre
Dublin Zoo is located in the pleasant surroundings of Phoenix Park, a few miles to the west of the city centre. It can be reached via bus or possibly via Hueston station with a bit of a walk. Bus is definitely the best option if you're not already nearby. Just ask your hotel or tourist information exactly which one to get, and ask the driver to tell you when you should get off if you're not sure - they're usually ok with this.
The Zoo itself is a further little walk in from the entrance to the wider park. The entry fee is really rather expensive indeed at 15 euros for adults and 10 euros for children. There are special family deals that can be had, but there are a number of these - so check their website.
As for the overall experience, I have to say I was a little disappointed with Dublin Zoo. The layout is perhaps more attractive than the likes of Belfast, because it's very spread out with some nice lakes and walkways. This gives the feel of there being less people around even when it's quite crowded. Even so, the animals on display left a feeling of disappointment.
Granted, it was winter when I visited, and a lot were hiding, but there was also a whole half section of the Zoo still under refurbishment, and hence closed off to the general public. I feel like they should have made this more obvious to people on the way in, or even offer it for half the price. But no chance! This is Dublin after all, and everything is extortionate.
Don't get me wrong, it's probably opened up now, and you are now surely likely to see a greater variety of animals than I ever saw (again, check their website for more thorough list), but I think this was slightly dishonest of them.
What I can say is that the animals that were on display were very nice to see. There was certainly a decent amount going on in the way of shows, feeding etc. This zoo gets a lot of visitors, so naturally it's better funded than the likes of Belfast.
Even so, if in Dublin my advice would be to give it a miss, unless you or your children are really keen on seeing some animals. Check beforehand that every section of the zoo is open, and rememeber that it is going to set you back a hefty amount getting in with a few people. Also bear in mind that the gift shop and in house cafes are of a similar level of expense, so you may want to prepare for that. In total the whole experience could cost you 70 or more Euros, and do you really want to spend that on a ZOO?
Summary: Needs improvement. Do your research before going.
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