Tips for Visiting the Moscow Zoo + Photos of the Animals

Last Updated on May 28, 2020 by haveclotheswilltravel

The Moscow Zoo is home to more than 8,000 animals and nearly 1,000 different species. This zoo is also one of the oldest zoos in the world, as it opened way back in 1864.

Visiting the Moscow Zoo is a lovely way to spend a day in the heart of Moscow, Russia! This post will be explaining how to get to the zoo, the cost of the tickets, the best time to visit, the animals you can see, your food options for the day and accommodation suggestions.

I’m also happy to answer any questions anyone has about visiting the Moscow Zoo in the comments section at the end of the post. Enjoy! 

Please note – the Moscow Zoo is temporarily closed due to the recent world events. Travel anywhere is not recommended for anyone. Please use the CDC website to monitor the current situation. This post is meant for future planning purposes, and for my readers to enjoy some cute animal photos in the meantime! 

An adorable baby orangutan plays while holding its mother's hand - Moscow zoo in Russia
Watching the baby orangutan at the Moscow Zoo was the highlight of the trip for me!

Getting to the Moscow Zoo

The easiest way to get to the Moscow Zoo is by Metro. The metro station Krasnopresnenskaya is directly across the street from the zoo, and it’s only a couple of minutes walking from the from metro station Barrikadnaya.

Another option is to take a taxi using the Gett or Yandex Taxi app. (Uber does not work in Moscow.) 

Or, depending on where your hotel is, you can walk! Moscow is a lovely city to walk around and enjoy. Before we moved into our apartment in Moscow, we were staying at the Marriott Hotel Novy Arbat  – which is about a 15-20 minute walk from the hotel to the zoo. (We really liked this hotel as well!) 

Moscow Zoo entrance
The Moscow Zoo Entrance

Where to Buy Tickets to the Moscow Zoo

When we visited, we simply purchased the ticket at the entrance to the zoo. We visited on a Saturday afternoon during summer and the line was not terribly long. However, after speaking with other locals, it sounds this may have been luck. Normally the lines to get tickets can be very long! 

You do have the option to purchase the tickets online ahead of time via the Moscow Zoo’s website. Please note, the tickets are only available in the Russian section of the website (not the English version). Click here for the Moscow Zoo website.

Another option is to order your tickets online via an English travel site such as Viator. Click here for tickets via Viator. 

*Children under the age of 17 are free.

The crowds in the Moscow Zoo during summer

Best Time to Visit the Moscow Zoo

When we had visited the zoo it was a nice Saturday afternoon in the summer. Yes, there were many people, but the zoo spans over 50 acres! So, it never felt overly crowded. 

We spent around 3-4 hours at the zoo, and saw many of the exhibits. We could have easily have spent more time, though!

That being said, if you go during the week there will be far fewer people here. But please be aware that the zoo is closed on Mondays!

During the summer months, the zoo is open from 10 am – 9 pm. However, it is always best to check the Moscow Zoo website for their current hours, as they do change, especially given the recent events in the world. Click here for the Moscow Zoo website.

Judging by the lines to enter the zoo in the mornings (we would use the Krasnopresnenskaya metro station frequently), it does not seem that it is a good idea to get there are right as the zoo opens (at least on weekends). I would wait until 10:30 or 11 before going (unless you purchased your ticket online). 

The Animals at the Moscow Zoo!

An adorable baby orangutan plays while holding its mother's hand - Moscow zoo in Russia

The highlight for me was watching the orangutans – specifically the baby orangutan!! (Don’t worry, another baby was just born on Christmas of 2019, so there will be another itty bitty orangutan to watch the summer of 2020!)

I seriously took a hundred photos of this little guy, and I think we sat here for a full hour just watching the orangutans. Below, are 4 more photos from the 100 I had taken!

Another very popular exhibit at the Moscow Zoo is the Panda habitat. There will be crowds of people here watching the pandas, no matter what time of day you visit!

When we went, not only were there tons of people, but it was the panda’s feeding time, and he had buried himself in his bamboo and was laying on his back eating it very, very slowly. So, we didn’t get a very good shot, haha.

The Panda at the Moscow Zoo during feeding time
Can you spot the Panda? Haha.

The Panda at the Moscow Zoo during feeding time

It is really cool to be able to watch the animals’ during their feeding times! We were fortunate to see several animals during this time.

  • Click here for the Moscow Zoo’s schedule of feeding times. 

I also enjoyed the Polar Bear exhibit, as we had lucked out and were there at their feeding time too. (It was around 1:30 in the afternoon on Saturday.) Again, lots of people, but it was neat to see! I also enjoyed seeing the Polar Bears getting out of the water, as you could see their black skin through their fur before they shook themselves off. 

Check it out in the little video below!

The Brown Bear had live trout in the water of his enclosure, and we were able to watch him hunt for his food as well! He wasn’t the greatest at catching the fish, though, so for his sake, I didn’t take a video!

The Brown Bear fishing at the Moscow Zoo
The Brown Bear fishing at the Moscow Zoo

We were also lucky to see the Elephants during their feeding time. They were indoors for this and we were able to see them very well from a viewing platform. 

Please feel free to check out the photo gallery below of the other animals I snapped photos of while at the Moscow Zoo! 

Food Options Near the Moscow Zoo 

There are plenty of cafes and dining options within the zoo itself (from Italian to French and more), sure they will be pricier than eating outside the zoo. But it can be fun to watch the animals while you eat and some of the food is pretty darn good!

The view from Coffeemania – just down the street from the Moscow Zoo.

For a casual and quick outdoor dining option near the Moscow Zoo, I always liked to pop into Coffeemania. It’s a chain restaurant, with decent food and a great view of one of Stalin Sisters located just outside the zoo. (The building and view pictured above.)

You’re also only a 10-15 minute walk away from 2 of my favorite restaurants – Grape and Choice! Click here to read more about the best restaurants in Moscow.

Where to Stay in Moscow – My Suggestions 

  • Metropol Hotel – If you’re a fan of the book “A Gentleman in Moscow” then you must stay at the historic Metropol Hotel! It’s located directly across from the Bolshoi Theatre as well. Click here for my experience here. 
  • Moscow Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel – My friends stayed at this hotel for a few weeks and said it was in a fantastic location and the staff are great – but the rooms are quite dated.)
  • Marriott Moscow Hotel Novy Arbat – As I mentioned above, this hotel is close to the Moscow Zoo and is the hotel I had stayed at when I was in between apartments. It’s a little further away from everything, and would likely require a cab to get to most of the other attractions in Moscow. However, the rooms here are very nice and the breakfast and lounge are fantastic as well. I also really like the spa and gym at this hotel. 
Inside the Moscow Zoo.
Inside the Moscow Zoo.

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about visiting this zoo in the comments section at the end of the post.

Travel Insurance

It’s a good idea, no matter where your adventure takes you, to have travel insurance. You never know what might happen! Whether you get sick before your trip and can’t go, or you become sick or injured while on your adventure – being covered with travel insurance is a must. Some credit card companies do provide this service (check with yours), or you can get a free quote from travel insurance companies such as RoamRight. Get your free quote by clicking here

Visa Requirements

To check if your country requires a Visa for traveling to Russia, click here.

Tips for Visiting the Moscow Zoo + Animal Photos

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6 Comments

  1. Oh that baby orangutan is adorable! 🙂 I’d love to take my kids back to the zoo when it opens again, they love animals and it would be a place you could really social distance! We will see when they reopen again 🙂

    Hope you are having a great week 🙂

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