If you’ve heard anything about zoo conditions in China, then you might be apprehensive about visiting Tianjin’s zoo, and while there ARE parts of it that are difficult to see, the grounds are quite lovely and it is a great place to look at pandas without being crushed by crowds (except maybe at high volume days, but it’s usually better to avoid all tourist attractions on days like that).
It is really difficult to watch the locals feeding junk food to the bears, and seeing how the bears just park under the visitors and wait for food. It’s worst of all to see the small cages that the panthers and wolves are kept in, and the tigers and lions look so depressed. It’s a good opportunity to talk with your children about how wild animals should be cared for, and I would just avoid that part of the park altogether next time. You can look at the pictures and decide whether it’s worth your time. The monkey house has a black gibbon that is fascinated by the children standing at the window and comes up and looks right in their eyes and seems to put on shows for them and then comes back to see how the show was received. My children never want to leave his enclosure.
Behind the giraffe enclosure you can find a river that borders the zoo, facing Ao Cheng, and it’s an absolutely beautiful retreat from the city and from the other zoo visitors. I recommend packing a picnic lunch and having your picnic here.
Open Hours: 8:30-17:00
- 天津动物园 – Tiānjīn Dòngwùyuán (this is enough to get you there) – It’s located in the southern half of the Water Park (Shuishang Gongyuan) area.
- Line 3 to Zhoudengji’nianguang Station Exit and walk west on Yingshui Road until you reach an intersection, then walk south on Shuishang Gongyuan West Road until you reach the zoo gate, which is directly across from a Metro Transit Center (bus parking lot).
You can also walk into the park and right through the gates you can take a shuttle for 5 RMB or something and it will go all the way to the zoo gate through the park.
- Adults: 20 RMB
Children under 120cm: FREE
Reptile House: 20RMB additional if you want to go in (we didn’t)
Renting a 2-seater car to drive around the zoo: 90 RMB
The zoo has at least two gates, one east and one west, and you can buy tickets at both gates.