Zoological Garden, Berlin Building the Zoo First opened to the public in 1844, the Berlin Zoo was built upon a gift bestowed to the city by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. The king provided animals from his menagerie to fill the cages and open habitats at the zoo, which was designed by Peter Lenne. The idea for the zoo was the brainchild of Alexander von Humboldt and German-born African explorer and zoologist Heinrich Lichtenstein. It occupies the southwest portion of the Tiergarten, a popular public park where Berliners gather when the sun is shining and the weather is warm. The zoo stood steadfast for nearly 100 years until World War II. Literally thousands of animals had taken up residence there by the early to mid 1900s and the zoo was a popular attraction for those visiting the city, but after the destruction caused by the war, less than 100 animals remained. The Zoo Today These days, as you enter the Zoologischer Garten through its Elephant or Lion Gates, you’ll be treated to more than 15,000 animals representing about 1,400 species. Cages are rare. Most animals roam free in re-creations of their natural habitats.turkeyarena.com Pandas and more The pandas are the most popular residents of the Berlin Zoo, attracting an amazing amount of attention from local media whenever they hit a landmark birthday or other occasion. The Birdhouse is one of the most modern in Europe, boasting more than 500 species of birds, many of them quite rare. There’s also an excellent aquarium adjacent to the zoo (you can buy a combo ticket) where you’ll find not only fish but also insects, amphibians, and reptiles. Kids love the Children’s Zoo, where they can pet the animals, as well as the onsite playground, providing lots of room to run around after a long day of sightseeing.