A Day out at Lisbon Zoo

One of the biggest highlights of our recent trip to Portugal was a visit to Lisbon Zoo (Jardim Zoologico de Lisboa). The last time I'd been there was many years ago when I was thirteen years old. If only my old family photos weren't all packed up in the boxes we have in storage I could have shared with you...

Our visit was courtesy of my niece Vanessa who is responsible for the PR of the Zoo, she delighted in taking us round sharing her extensive knowledge of the numerous conservation projects they are currently investing in. The Zoo sees itself as less of a Zoo and more of a centre for preservation as well as the reintroduction into their natural habitat of more endangered animals. Their latest focus being on the Iberian Lynx that is facing extinction, a huge area has been constructed imitating their usual homes where they will breed until eventually they will be released back into the wild.


Cherished by the nation the zoo has been a part of the Portuguese capital Lisbon for over 130 years. There are 2000 animals belonging to 330 different species currently residing here, alongside an impressive collection of Iberian Flora and Fauna. This was sadly not at it's best given that we were there in the Winter, it didn't nevertheless take away from the beauty of the space. The animals have space to roam, are well cared for. We spoke to some of the staff who are clearly passionate about their vocation, most of whom have been working here for years, they treat the residents with compassion and love.

We had a lovely day wandering around, reading all the very informative descriptions whilst observing the animal's behaviour. Like most zoos around the world they struggle for finance which is further compounded by it's family run philosophy so they do rely heavily on the numbers coming through the gates and generous donations. Therefore if you are thinking of visiting Lisbon do consider spending some time here especially if you have children. Education plays an important part of any visit with many learning activities and entertainment including a rather wonderful Dolphin show which was a huge hit with Matilda.

For more information on location, tickets and events do check out the website here.