Beijing ZooA ~ Z

Introducing the Beijing Zoo (Dong Wu Yuan)

Beijing Zoo is a zoological park in Beijing. It is situated to the west of Beijing Exhibition Center and was known for a short time after the founding of the People's Republic as the Western Suburbs Park (Xijiao Gongyuan). The zoo occupies an area of 89 hectares (220 acres), including 5.6 hectares (14 acres) of lakes and ponds. It is one of the oldest zoos in China and has one of the largest animal collections in the country. The zoo and its aquarium have over 450 species of land animals and over 500 species of marine animals. In all, it is home to 14,500 animals. More than six million visitors come to the zoo each year. Like many other Beijing parks, the zoo's grounds resemble classical Chinese gardens, with flower beds amidst natural scenery, including dense groves of trees, stretches of meadows, small streams and rivers, lotus pools and hills dotted with pavilions and historical buildings.


In the 18th century, the zoo was known as the Sanbeizi Gardens, supposedly named after the third son of Emperor Kangxi, Prince Cheng Yin. In fact, as early as the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), an imperial mansion called the Garden of Happiness and Friendship constructed for Prince Kang stood here. And during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), part of the Sanbeizi Gardens called the Garden of Continuity (Jiyuan) became the private property of an official in the Bureau of Palace Affairs. In 1906, during the reign of Emperor Guangxu, the park area became an agricultural experimental farm and a zoo. Known as the Garden of Ten Thousand Animals (Wanshengyuan), it opened to the public in 1908. Under the successive rule of the Northern Warlords, the Japanese and the Kuomintang, the park became increasingly desolate. The only elephant died in 1937, and the Japanese, under the pretext of protecting themselves against air raids, poisoned the remaining lions, tigers and leopards. On the eve of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the park housed only 12 monkeys, two parrots and a blind emu. The park was reopened to the public in 1950, and on Apr.10th, 1955 formally named the Beijing Zoo.

The Beijing Zoo is best known for its collection of rare animals endemic to China including the Giant Pandas, which are zoo's most popular animals, the golden snub-nosed monkey, South China Tiger, white-lipped deer, Pere David's Deer, Crested Ibis, Chinese Alligator and the Chinese Giant Salamander. Other endangered or threatened species include Siberian tiger, yak, Przewalski's horse, snow leopard, Tibetan gazelle, and kiang. The zoo also has a broad collection of mega-fauna such as lions, jaguars, clouded leopards, Asian and African elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, black bears, polar bears, tapirs, sea turtles, penguins, gorillas, chimpanzees, kangaroos, muntjac, addax, zebras, otters, bats, flamingos and lemurs. The Beijing Zoo has 13 of the world's 15 species of cranes. The zoo is also a center of zoological research that studies and breeds rare animals from various continents.

Featured Spots

Panda House

The Panda House in the Beijing Zoo was built in 1990 for the 11th Asian Games, and was listed as one the top constructions that year for its unique design. It covers an area of 1 hectare and with the main building in the shape of twisted bamboo. The southeast corner is the entrance for visitors and northwest as the exit. There are 3 main exhibition rooms with 12 giant glass balls in the ceiling for special acoustic effect in the lobby. Also, there some facilities made of wood in the outside for the pandas to play. In 2008, a new panda house called Olympic Panda House was built nearby to accommodate the 8 pandas from the Wolong National Natural Reserve, Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries. The old panda house was then renamed as the Asian Game Panda House, and both of them are opened to public now.

Beijing Aquarium

Located inside the Beijing Zoo, the Beijing Aquarium is the largest and most advanced inland aquarium in China which covers 12 hectares. It is designed in conch shape with orange and blue as theme color, symbolizing the mysterious sea and eternal vitality of marine life. It has seven main halls: Rainforest Wonder, Feel Pool, Bailing Town, Chinese sturgeon Hall, Seabed Travel, Whale and Dolphin Bay as well as Ocean Theater. Whale and Dolphin Bay is the home and school for whales, dolphins and sea lions. It is here that they are being trained by professional trainers for performances to entertain visitors. The Ocean Theater is a venue where animals perform their tricks. It has a capacity for 3,000 viewers, with hot and romantic Hawaii scenery in the background.

Boat ride to the Summer Palace

Beijing Zoo→National Library→Purple Bamboo Park→Ziyuwan Dock→Wanshou Temple→Wuta Temple→Changhe River→Summer Palace Beijing Zoo The Beijing Zoo is the largest zoo in China with hundred year’s history and million’s visitors each year. It is also known for its biggest and most advanced inland aquarium in China. National Library Built in 1910, the National Library of China is the largest library in Asia, and one of the Top Ten Constructions in 1980s. It has a storage of more than 20 million volumes of books. Purple Bamboo Park It is a world of bamboos and perfect destination to escape the scorching heat in Beijing in summer. Ziyuwan Dock Located inside the Purple Bamboo Park, the Ziyuwan Dock was an imperial dock with traditional design and decorations. During the Qing Dynasty, Empress Dowager Cixi used to take a boat here to the relatively cooler Summer Palace in summer. Wanshou Temple Built in the fifth year of Ming Emperor Wanli (1577), the Wanshou Temple is also nicknamed as the small Forbidden City in the west of Beijing. It was the place where the Ming and Qing emperors came to worship Buddhist Statues. Now it is a museum with a collection of artifacts from different dynasties. Wuta Temple Also named Zhenjue Temple, it is the largest stone sculpture museum in Beijing. It was built in 1473 with several oldest pagodas in China. Changhe River It was famous during the Ming and Qing dynasties for appreciating the beautiful willow trees on both sides of the river. Qing Emperor Qianlong wrote a poem to sing high praise of the beautiful scenery of the river. Summer Palace The last stop and the destination of the Imperial Cruise Route is the South Gate of the Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved imperial garden existing in China.

Opening Hours


07:30-18:00 (Apr.-Oct.)

07:30-17:00 (Nov.-Mar.)



Boat to Summer Palace:

Every hour between 10:00-16:00 (Apr.-Oct.)


Entrance Fee:

¥ 15 (Apr.-Oct.)

¥ 10 (Nov.-Mar.)

Through Ticket:

¥ 20 (Apr.-Oct.)

¥15 (Nov.-Mar.)


No.137 Waidajie, Xizhimen, Beijing


Getting There


Line 4 Beijing Zoo Station Exit A



(Please take me to the Beijing Zoo)

Travel Tips

Boat ride to the Summer Palace would change the boat in the Purple Bamboo Park, just follow the crowds.

Last Updated

2018-05-03 22:56:41

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