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Recommended Reviews

    • Qype User kynare…
    • Belfast
    • 1 friend
    • 5 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    5/8/2010

    Have loved going to this zoo since I was very little, some of the animals have changed since then, no more polar bears but love that the tigers are here to stay.

    Long uphill walk but well worth it for the views of Belfast and tiring the kids out to sleep in the car on the way home.

    Best time to go I think is in the cold and damp, bring a raincoat and a pack lunch. You avoid all the crowds and 99% of the animals are out as it's not roasting outside.

    Make sure you have plenty of water and that the raincoat is light as you'll still get quite warm walking up the hill.

  • 4.0 star rating
    27/7/2010

    Right, so my problem here is that I'm torn between my left-leaning-gut that tells me zoos aren't the greatest thing mankind ever invented, and my heart that just screams at me "But I love this place! Look at the monkeys!".

    As zoos go, Belfast Zoo is probably somewhere middle of the road. On one hand, the staff and management do some really great conservation work here. There are lots of breeding programmes with other zoos around the world, so they're doing their bit. The zoo itself is also great for visitors. Beyond the actual animals, there is a playground for the kids and two restaurants (one at the bottom and one at the top).

    On the other hand, the facilities themselves sometimes leave a lot to be desired. In fairness, most of the animals have enough space and company to keep them from going insane, but there are a few notable exceptions. The cheetah, for example, has very little space to run around in and I can't imagine that this is too healthy for an animal that's built for speed.

    It's also not the most relaxing day. Being built on the side of Cavehill has scenic advantages, but it's a beast of a walk on a warm day!

    Overall, I do love the zoo. The penguins are my personal favourite - there's nothing a penguin does that isn't comical - and I'd recommend it for a good day out. I think I just have trouble escaping my own guilt over the whole thing. Hopefully you'll do better!

    • Qype User honey_…
    • Belfast
    • 18 friends
    • 64 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    4/10/2008

    The zoo has always been one of my favourite places in Belfast. The underwater viewing is pretty cool for watching the penguins which are always happy to put on a show unless its feeding time. There's a park for kids, and a small café.
    It is a bit hit and miss though, seeing as half the animals are nocturnal; some days you go you will see loads of animals and other days you will see barely any which is a bit rubbish especially as there is so much walking.

    • Qype User heathe…
    • Belfast
    • 0 friends
    • 59 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    16/11/2008

    Belfast Zoo isn't a bad zoo although a bit in a time warp. Some of the animal enclosures could do with updating as they look tatty and the toilet facilities leave a lot to be desired - there is no mother and baby room just very basic loos. There could also be better catering.
    When we went there were a few shows going on that were great for the kids and they have events throughout the year. The climb is tiring but worth it and the views are spectacular.

  • 5.0 star rating
    21/6/2010

    No good city is complete without a zoo and Belfast does not disappoint.
    Located well out of the city centre (there are plenty of wildlife already there!) the zoo is perfect for a family day out.
    With prices at 8.50 an adult and 4.50 a child (under 4 goes free) the zoo is not only fun but also not too expensive.
    There are opportunities for children to get their own experience, with an array of fun facts littered throughout the zoo.
    If you bring any younger children, be prepared to carry them as the zoo does boast an incredible walk as well as some wonderful sights.
    It has everything you want from a zoo, giraffes, penguins, lions, monkeys... And with the walkway so close to the animals, you really feel like you are getting a special experience.
    Upon entry you also receive a map which has specific walks on it so you can see each animal, but if you are at all rebellious you can certainly devise your own route.
    When going, make sure to bring a packed lunch as, depending on the route and the size of your legs, the trip can take a few hours and when you get a hungry tummy the exit seems miles away!
    My particular favourite is the sloth walkway. It is like a greenhouse where there are a few sloth and a variety of birds that walk around whilst you can get as close (or as far!) from them as you can. It is fascinating to see the sloth lying asleep whilst bats flew around. If you are easily scared, you may want to run towards the exit!
    As with all zoos there is the opportunity to visit a tuck shop and the fantastically stocked gift shop which has everything from postcards to jigsaws.
    The zoo also runs adjacent to a mountain walk which is fantastic for the trekkers amongst you.
    My only drawback is where the zoo is situated and if you want to get back to Belfast city centre, be sure to bring your sat-nav because there are not as many signposts as you would have liked.

  • 4.0 star rating
    24/7/2010

    The Belfast Zoo holds tonnes of amazing memories for me. It was always a place we would go on a sunny day with the whole family and it never gets boring. The Zoo is quite large and boasts many open plan areas for the animals. It's not just a bunch of cages housing miserable animals from all other the world. They are really taken care of. There's an adventure park and cafe as well as a gift shop. It can be quite pricey, especially in the summer months but it's worth it. The Elephant house is the my personal favourite, even though it might just be the smelliest place on earth! A great day out for the family or for a date or just to look at a monkey, which is always awesome.

  • 4.0 star rating
    7/8/2010

    I love the zoo. Any zoo and all Zoo's, and what I love most about Belfast zoo is that it was the first one I ever went to.  When I was younger I was amazed by the scope of animals that they had here, from peacocks roaming around scaring everyone, to the massive elephants stinking up the place. It really is an incredible day out. Who doesn't love going to the zoo? Many stories I hear from people reminiscing over their childhood trips are from the Gorilla enclosure. It seems that we all had the same experience. You would sit and watch the gorilla for a couple of minutes while it did nothing, luring you closer and closer to the window, then at the last moment, it would jump up and run towards you, terrifying the life out of everyone watching.
    I have great memories of this place and would advise it to anyone looking a fun day out.

    • Qype User frog…
    • Wallingford, Oxfordshire
    • 1 friend
    • 68 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    15/11/2008

    This is my favourite zoo. I find zoos usually quite boring, but the way Belfast Zoo is layed out is really amazing. You are steadily climbing up the hill until you reach the top of the zoo with some nice views over Belfast. There is also a little cafe at the top for you to have a break and enjoy some ice cream. The underwater viewing is the best place of the zoo I think!

    • Qype User hgibso…
    • Enniskillen, Fermanagh
    • 2 friends
    • 53 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    15/11/2008

    Belfast zoo is great if you are up for the walking challenge! Located in north Belfast it is easy to reach on the metro bus. The steep climbs in parts of the zoo make for an energetic afternoon, but it is well worth it. The penguins are always a highlight, but the elephants were awesome last time I was there - babies with their mothers was a moving experience. Some of the animals hide in the far edges of their areas, but this is the same in any zoo. This place has a nice -ish cafe and a lovely gift shop and is well worth the visit.

    • Qype User kitacl…
    • Antrim
    • 5 friends
    • 182 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    21/11/2008

    The zoo is a great place to take the kids there are more than enought animals to amuse them. There is a petting part with rabbits etc for the children to stroke. Also throughout the year there are different events so worth looking up online whats on. It is a little pricey and the walk to the top is very very steep so not for anyone who has difficulty walking and pushing a buggy is hard going! Can aslo be pretty cold being on the hill so wrap up warm. Its not on par with other big zoos like dublin or london but thats to be exepected still worth visiting. Take a packed lunch as the cfe is very over priced.

    • Qype User Olive_…
    • Belfast
    • 2 friends
    • 15 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    18/11/2008

    Belfast Zoo provides a reasonably wide variety of animals in mostly spacious enclosures.

    There is quite a hike up a steep hill. At the top of the hill, is the Rainforest cafe (which i found to be over priced) and panoramic views over Belfast.

    My favorite animals in the zoo where the gorillas and the white tiger.

    Overall i found the Zoo to be a fun day out for all the family.

    However those with limited mobility may find the walk up the hill difficult.

    • Qype User freddi…
    • Lisburn
    • 0 friends
    • 45 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    24/11/2008

    Went to the Zoo for my childs birthday. I remember going as a child and it was a brilliant day out, not a brilliant day out as an adult.
    Many cages/pens were empty, it was a very hot day so many were staying inside where it was cooler. Those that were out had names we couldnt say! and we really wernt sure what they were. Very steep climb to the top.
    Cafe at the top but best to take your own food, not much choice in cafe icelollies, crisps and biscuits.
    Prob best for older children and not a very hot day.

    • Qype User Jeebee…
    • Belfast
    • 2 friends
    • 11 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    11/12/2008

    The Belfast Zoo is always a fantastic day out. It's clear to see that the keepers are very dedicated to their jobs and keep the animals content at the zoo, and happy animals are the making of any Zoo.

    The 'Petting Zoo' is a particular highlight. During peak season, there are often small activities run by the zoo here. If your lucky, they will bring the Ring-tailed Lemur's out to play. A group of around 15 Lemurs (which are part of the monkey family) will usually be found siting on top of the reptile building, and some will mingle among the vistors. If your lucky you'll spot a baby clutching to its mother. Keep dangly bits away though, as I've seen some make a grab for them.

    Feeding time at the zoo is a timeless treat, so try to catch the animals, particularly the chimps, receiving their dinner. From time to time, you'll spot the Elephants getting their feet attended to while the vet explains to onlookers what's going on and obligingly takes questions after.

    A fantastic family outing, although I would make note of a few things.

    The Zoo was built on a very steep gradient. The 'recommended route' pretty much takes you on a hike up a mountain. There are mobility scooters available however for those with limited mobility.

    The restaurant is typical of most situated in major attractions in developed countries and represents appalling value for money. The food is of a microwave meal standard although you'll pay more than you would in an outside restaurant. It's not always possible for parents with several young children in tow to avoid spending money here or at the shop, however there are several picnic areas in the zoo, so bringing your own food is welcomed. I would certainly recommend making the extra effort and packing a picnic.

    • Qype User weight…
    • Belfast
    • 0 friends
    • 6 reviews
    2.0 star rating
    29/1/2010

    Befastzoo is ok but its the walk up those hills,its a bloody nightmare.....They have got it done up well though and the restaurant is nice but a bit pricey,i love the wee monkeys ...they are beautiful and my wee ones lov ethem too

    • Qype User laceyp…
    • Newry
    • 2 friends
    • 34 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    24/10/2008

    We decided this year to do the zoo twice on easter monday where it snowed and was packed to a hot summers day in july guesswhich was best. the summer is def the best time to go on a warm day its worth the climb up the hill and its all uphill only advantage being the stops to see the animals my eldest is 14 and we thought he would be too old for the zoo thing but he stills loves it and its all about conservation now i still remenber the old zoo from my childhood of cages and no room for the animals. now its far better and the children learn more. only disadvantage is if your not a grwat walker then this could be quite a strenious hike. bring a pinic plenty of places to picnic as the food inside can be very expensive.at the top there is fab panoramic views of belfast not worth missing

  • 5.0 star rating
    17/6/2010
    First to Review

    I hadn't been here for years, and I mean YEARS. So, when I recently went on a school trip with my pupils, I really began to wonder what had kept me from visiting such a fantastic attraction that was quite literally on my doorstep. It's a fantastic day out for the whole family, or even a group of friends, or a school trip, like we were on. Its set in the gorgeous woodlands on the back of the Cavehill, and doesn't feel like you are in the city at all. There is a bit of a hike up the hill, but it is worth it as there are lovely views, and gorgeous surrounding areas. There are lots of walking tours suggested, as well as an audio tour and they have an incredibly wide range of animals - our pupils were quite charmed by the lemurs, and really loved seeing the majestic Asian Elephant, which really was impressive. Children under 4 and senior citizens can go free and an adult ticket is £8.50 which is so reasonable when you realise what is on offer.

    • Qype User ZeldaL…
    • Belfast
    • 0 friends
    • 34 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    22/5/2009

    Belfast Zoo is a great place for a fantastic day out. Recently I went with all the family to this place and all the kids came along. They absolutely loved it. We found the keepers and staff to be really friendly and knowledgeable about the animals and they talked at length to us about their care, habits and daily routine. The kids were not interested in this and were off running around the various enclosures. They seemed to love the penguins the most and it was fantastic to be able to view them underwater. My favourite was the beautiful white Tiger. You can get some great snaps of the animals. The monkeys here are really fun but a little cheeky. If your eating crisps they will probably come up and take them off you. You can watch them for hours. The elephants were also great and we arrived just in time to see them being fed. All in all a great day out and the price was quite reasonable. The zoo is easily reached by the good transport links.

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