More than 130 different animals from all over the world, a garden palace and an art museum, Herberstein zoo offers something for everyone to enjoy. With lots of shade it’s a perfect destination for sunny days. Here’s how to plan your visit.
Something to do around Graz
We regularly visit Klagenfurt in Austria, because it’s closest to us, but for a change of scenery we wanted to find something interesting for the whole family around Graz.
We discovered Herberstein zoo, which stands next to a castle and that was intriguing enough for us to head for a visit.
I fell in love with the idea of the castle, while the kids were thrilled about exploring a zoo.
From moo to the zoo
According to the Wikipedia the beginnings of the zoo at the Herberstein castle go way back, to the 17th century. It started off when count Johann Maximilian I abandoned the idea of keeping cattle around the castle, because of the steep surrounding hills. Instead he brought deer from Italy.
Today over 130 animals from all over the world call this zoo their home.
During our walk we spotted bears, lynx, tapirs, red panda, wolves, different monkeys and lots of farm animals. Yes, there’s a petting zoo as well.
While the zoo can never match natural environment, this one makes all the effort. I loved how much greenery and water there is, the animals have lots of space to roam or hide if they need some peace. There’s also plenty of shade, so you can visit even on the hottest of days.
Where is Herberstein zoo?
As mentioned, it’s in vicinity of Graz, which puts it in the South East part of Austria. It’s easily accessible by car, just type the location into Google maps, Waze or…
There’s a big free parking lot right in front, so you don’t have to worry about where to leave your car.
A family ticket (2 adults and 2 kids) will cost you 47 euros. For other prices please check the official website of the zoo.
The good news is that the entry price also includes Herberstein Garden Palace, Gironcoli Museum (art exhibition of steel & plastic constructions), Historic garden, Sigmund’s garden, Circular path through the Feistritzklamm gorge, where you’ll spot the Herberstein garden palace.
Best tip for planning your trip to Herberstein zoo?
We naively thought we could do it all, see everything that’s included in the price. But the zoo is beautiful, very big with lots of playgrounds for kids. Once we checked every nook and cranny, we were too tired to explore further. Sadly, we only reached the lovely gardens.
Our tip for you is: plan to spend well over 3 hours here or more. It can easily be a trip for the whole day.
You don’t have to worry about getting hungry, since there are restaurants inside and they offer a welcome respite from all the walking.
‘Wait, til I see this. Wait, can I see that. Mum, we aren’t done yet….’
They had no problems walking around for two hours straight. Yet when we make them walk for 15 minutes to the store, then they can barely move their feet.
Like zoos? How about visiting the zoo in Ljubljana.