Vision - Zoo Berlin

In the thick of it – animal diversity and more

With experienced management, creativity, and style, the popular city oasis is becoming one of the most modern and respected zoos in the world.

1844 - the birth year of the Zoo Berlin. Making it the oldest in Germany with the richest tradition.

And with Tierpark Berlin Friedrichsfelde and the Berlin Aquarium, which are all incorporated together, it represents the largest zoo operation in Europe. It is the ‘green oasis’ of the western part of the city and is unrivalled in its diversity of species:  nowhere else in the world can we encounter over 20,000 animals and 1,600 species in one day, including numerous animal celebrities and personalities.

To continue to shape this future, to discover and develop potentials, and to present the unique history all the while setting new standards in animal care and research, species conservation, and visitor experience is a monumental and exciting task that the entire team led by zoo director Dr Andreas Knieriem will approach with great passion both now and in the coming decades.

This passion is expressed in responsible management and dedication and especially in sensibility, openness and creativity: sensibility for the historical value and unique character of the zoo. Creativity and openness to fuel the excitement of Berliners and tourists, children and adults about animals and nature embedded in a historically grown setting. In short: Conservation AND development, preservation AND

fresh thinking is the guiding principle. Fiercely exciting...


At least 60 million euros will be invested until 2035 to meet this challenge.

The goal: to stay prepared for the future and fulfill the zoo’s mission – conservation, recreation, research, and education – in a responsible and contemporary manner. That way, our guests will no longer just enjoy a traditional tour of the zoo, but will now have the opportunity to immerse themselves in an authentic world of stories and history.

The rhinoceros and tapir enclosure, the elephant house, and the panda pavilions as well as the already begun renovation of the lion gate are the first steps towards a Berlin zoo of the future and will soon be major attractions.



Enter a new world

Embedded in a tropically themed 12,000 square metre marshland, generous panoramic panes offer a view into the underwater world of Indian rhinoceroses, black rhinoceroses and tapirs. Towering in the background is the former ‘elephant pagoda’ with its ornamental Indian style. In addition, guests are invited to view the indoor enclosures of the fascinating colossi.

Tropical paradise for elephants and a year-round experience for young and old

Our wish: An expansive enclosure allowing Berlin to continue to house a large family of Asian elephants. The project: Around 23,000 square metres of the fascination of Asia, with lavish flora, bathing areas for the animals, a waterfall, and a near-natural exhibition house bathed in sunlight, which is certain to draw visitors in the winter months. In the summer, the pleasant southern terrace of a new restaurant will invite guests to linger and indulge themselves – view of the elephant family included. Pure relaxation and discovery.



Back again: Giant pandas in Berlin

Back again: giant pandas in Berlin 

An Asian-themed, approx. 5,000 square metre bamboo forest will be the giant pandas’ new home. As part of the reconstruction of the historical Chinese music pavilion, a new landscape will be created that is modeled on the animals’ natural habitat: the Chinese Qinling mountains. Surrounded by mystical mists, cool streams, climbing trees, and sleeping platforms, the new inhabitants are sure to feel right at home. Visitors will be able to experience the distinctive crowd favourites up close thanks to large panoramic panes.

The principle idea behind all these (re)designs is the fascinating interaction between humans and animals.

Playing with exciting and surprising perspectives, with closeness and distance, with invisible barriers and near-natural, vast landscapes is the thread running through all the projects. And the conviction that unforgettably wonderful animal experiences are precisely the key to raising interest in their protection, so people learn more about them and support their cause. Berlin is more dedicated than ever to move people into action for the conservation of our nature, for biodiversity and in its various contexts: education that entertains and entertainment that educates. 

With or without a smartphone, whether alone, as a couple or in a group, whether in English, German, or Mandarin: with our optimised orientation concepts and modern edutainment, guests will always find new ways to decide where and how far their curiosity takes them – even if it’s behind the proverbial scenes of the planned ‘transparent research centre’. A concept that will also truly do justice to Berlin's leading role in the field of wildlife research.

Of course it goes without saying that a lot of the investments are made ‘backstage’ – almost invisibly – in the latest in animal care, housing, and enclosures.

Tip: Stay up to date about individual projects related to the renovation with our free zoo newsletter! (newsletter link)