Taipei Zoo – Visitors Guide

The Taipei Zoo has over 377 animal species, is open 7 days a week, and costs NT$60 to enter for regular admission. Keep reading to learn more about this tourist hotspot.

I’ve been to the Taipei Zoo a couple times and want to share everything you’ll encounter. To help you determine whether it’s worth visiting.

Important Information for Visitors

AddressNo. 30號, Section 2, Xinguang Rd, Wenshan District, Taipei City, 116
HoursIndoor & outdoor exhibits: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Regular AdmissionNT$60
Number of Animal Species377
Closest MRT StationTaipei Zoo Station (Brown Line)
Included in Taipei FunPASS?Yes
Basic information about Taipei Zoo, Taipei City, Taiwan.

How to Get There

Here are all the different ways to reach Taipei Zoo:

  • MRT
  • City bus
  • Uber
  • Taxi
  • Driving: whether using your own vehicle or renting one

I’m not providing any information on renting a car/motorbike, hailing an Uber, or using a taxi. But I will talk about every other option.

1. Taipei MRT

Take the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) to Taipei Zoo Station via the Wanhu Line (Brown Line). A one-way trip will cost you NT$20–NT$65 per person. The amount paid will vary by the station you depart from.

And there’s no way to get a discount.

There’s one exit that’ll take you to the zoo. Upon leaving the station, take 101 steps forward and look right.

Then you’ll see the zoo.

2. City Bus

Here are all the city buses you could take to the Taipei Zoo bus station:

236237282294
295611676679
79312G1Br3
Br6Br11Br15Br16
Br18Br2115011503
1558
List of buses that depart at Taipei City Zoo

3. Shuttle Train

There’s also the shuttle train that costs NT$5 per person. But it only transports you to-and-from the following areas in the zoo:

  • Koala House
  • Bird World
  • Maokong Gondola South Station

While it may sound pointless, it’s not if you’re strapped on time. If I knew about this before going to the zoo, I wouldn’t have had to sprint through the zoo 10 minutes before it closed to see all the animals I want.

Or take a shuttle bus to the Maokong gondola. It departs from the Bird World Station and ends at the Maokong Gondola Taipei Zoo South Station. I’ll talk more about the gondola later.

Map of the Zoo

Here’s a map of Taipei City Zoo:

Map of Taipei Zoo
Map of Taipei Zoo

Some Critters You’ll Find

1. The Red Panda Exhibit

When visiting the zoo for the first time, the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) was shy and didn’t want to come out. This visit—when I took pictures—it felt a bit more social.

You’ll find around 3 different red panda exhibits.

My favorite one was with a catwalk. This red panda wanted to make an appearance and stroll down it:

Video of red panda at Taipei Zoo.

The other exhibits aren’t anything special. They have glass displays that allow you to see the red panda. The case with one of these active wasn’t hiding, but was in the middle of a siesta.

Let’s move on to a different type of panda.

2. The Giant Panda House

The giant panda house is home to 2 pandas: Yuan Yuan / 圓圓 (mom) and Yuan Zai/圓仔 (daughter). There was also Tuan Tuan / 團團, but he died earlier this year due to a brain tumor [1].

Fun(ish) fact: Tuan and Yuan (圓團) together mean reunion. And since the People’s Republic of China gifted these pandas to Taiwan, it sparked much controversy [2].

Anyway:

You’ll see the pandas in 1 of 2 spots; outside in an outdoor exhibit, and inside. You’ll need to line up outside this building to go inside:

taipei zoo - panda house
Taipei Zoo Panda House

And upon going outside, it’s a claustrophobic person’s nightmare. As people will squeeze by one another to snap a picture of either panda. Thankfully, I got these pictures:

Giant panda at Taipei zoo
Giant panda at Taipei zoo
Giant panda at Taipei zoo
Giant panda at Taipei zoo
Giant panda at Taipei zoo
Names of the giant pandas Taipei Zoo has

Once you’re finished seeing the panda/s inside, you’ll encounter a gift shop with panda-themed goods.

3. Other Notable Animals & Exhibits

Let’s talk about other exhibits.

Here are all the different areas you’ll find and the animals inside:

Special areas:

  • Insect Valley & Insectarium
  • Giant Panda House
  • Koala House
  • Pangolin Dome
  • Penguin House
  • Amphibian & Reptile House
Penguin Area Taipei Zoo
Penguin Area
Penguins at Taipei Zoo.
Penguins

Children’s Zoo:

  • Alpaca
  • Raccoon
  • South American Coati
  • Donkey
  • Pony
  • Lemur
  • Meerkat
  • Lanyu pig
pony at Taipei Zoo
Pony at Taipei Zoo
meerkats at Taipei Zoo
Pictures at Taipei Zoo, meerkats
meerkats at Taipei Zoo
Pictures at Taipei Zoo, meerkats
llama at Taipei Zoo
Llamas at Taipei Zoo

Bird World:

Red Crowned CraneCrane GardenCockatoosParrots
PheasantsBlack-Faces SpoonbillScarlet IbisPigeons
DovesFlamingoDucksSwans
Pelicans
pigeon at taipei zoo
Pigeon
Flamingos at taipei zoo
Flamingos
peacock at taipei zoo
Peacock

Temperate Zone:

Red PandaAsian Black BearMountain Lion
TomistomaAmerican BisonGray Wolf
Pzewalkski’s HorseBrown BearFormosan Black Bear
Formosan black bear at Taipei Zoo
Formosan Black Bear

Africa Animal Area:

Olive BaboonChimpanzee
Western GorillaWhite Rhinoceros
LionEland
ZebraLemur
BonboAfrican Elephant
Hippopotamus
Hippopotamus at taipei zoo
Hippopotamus
African Elephant at Taipei Zoo
African Elephant

Australia Animal Area

  • Koala
  • Southern cassowary
  • Eastern gray kangaroo

Desert Animal Area:

  • Camel
  • African wild ass
  • Addax

Tropical Rainforest Area:

Bengal TigerAsian ElephantLeopardMalayan Tapir
OrangutanSiamangSmall-Clawed OtterBlack-Headed Squirrel Monkey
CapybaraGiant Anteater

This is my favorite area (I’m biased). Since it has the orangutan and capybara.

A group of capybaras
Capybara at Taipei Zoo.
Capybaras
An orangutan swinging
Small-clawed otter at Taipei Zoo.
Small-clawed otter
Orangutan at Taipei Zoo
Orangutan

Formosan Animal Area:

  • Formosan pangolin
  • Formosan rock macaque
  • Formosan serow
  • Black bear
  • Otter
  • Sika
  • Leopard
  • Formosan wild boar
  • Clouded leopard

There’s a tortoise somewhere in this zoo. I can’t remember where he was. Nor can I find them on my map.

tortoise at taipei zoo
Tortoise

Amenities & Facilities

The visitor center has a breastfeeding room, hot water to drink, first aid, a broadcasting station, and multilingual folks to provide information about the zoo. And they’ll have wheelchair and stroller rentals.

Around the zoo’s entrance, you’ll find lockers to store your belongings.

They have AED machines everywhere.

Aside from the entrance, you’ll find themed gift shops in these areas:

  • Giant Panda House
  • Insectarium
  • Hippopotamus Square
  • Penguin House
  • Pangolin Dome

Let’s check out pricing and hours.

Ticket Prices & Opening Hours

I’ll cover pricing and hours throughout the following sections.

In addition to admission prices, you’ll need to consider food and souvenir prices. They aren’t unreasonable. Convenience store prices inside the zoo are the same as outside. And I believe the same goes for food trucks and stands.

You’ll find vending machines everywhere, but good luck getting drinks with electrolytes (e.g., Pocari Sweat). Literally, every vending machine was sold out on a crowded day. The zoo has no rules on bringing outside food, so you should consider outside drinks.

Just don’t feed the animals.

Taipei Zoo Ticket Price

Ticket PriceNT$60
Ticket Price (Discount)NT$30
Education Center Ticket PriceNT$20
Group Tickets (30+ People)30% off
Disabled IndividualsFree (proof required)

Buy a ticket at the counter, order your ticket online, or use one of the following smart cards to enter:

You won’t need to visit a ticket booth using the above cards. You go to the gate, tap your card against the scanner, and enter. Every person in your group will need a card, though. And you’ll need to add value to your cards at convenience stores or metro stations.

Read this if you buy a ticket from sites like KKday or KLOOK.

You’ll get a QR code when ordering your ticket online. Don’t visit a ticket attendant. Instead, find this machine:

taipei zoo kkday machine
Redeem online purchase tickets here

Scan your QR code on the machine, and it’ll print tickets. The number printed will vary by how many tickets you purchased. Don’t try to use these tickets at the entry gate.

You’ll find zoo staff standing by the gates. Hand them these printed tickets, and they’ll open the gate for you.

In addition to entry tickets, you’ll need to consider these fees:

  • Wheelchair rental: NT$1,000 refundable deposit
  • Stroller rental: NT$50 + NT$1,000 deposit

Taipei Zoo Opening Hours

Indoor and outdoor exhibits open daily from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The zoo area opens from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Don’t ignore this part.

These exhibits close during certain days:

InsectariumClosed on the 4th Monday of every month
Reptile & Amphibian HouseClosed on the 3rd Monday of every month
Pangolin Dome & Penguin HouseClosed on the 2nd Monday of every month
Giant Panda HouseClosed on the 1st Monday of every month
“Cool” Eco House, Education Center, Animal Art WorkshopClosed every Monday

Accommodation Options Near Taipei Zoo

I’m not going to get your hopes up and say there’s anything close. There isn’t anything close that has decent ratings. I recommend spending your time in the city.

What to Do Near the Taipei Zoo

Here are nearby attractions to the Taipei Zoo:

AttractionTo Do
Maokong MountainTea houses & hiking
Zhinan TempleReligious site
List of activities to do near Taipei Zoo.

Taipei Zoo is in the middle of nowhere.

Between the zoo itself and Maokong (貓空) village, you’ll have a day trip, though. Then at night, return to Taipei City via the Taipei MRT.

I couldn’t find specifically what people pray for at Zhinan Temple. But it’s home to the immortal, Lu Dongbin. There’s a superstition that he’s jealous of couples and may try to break them up if they enter the temple together [3].

If you’re the least bit superstitious, consider avoiding the temple as a couple.

Let’s talk about the gondola.

Maokong Gondola & Cable Car

The Maokong Gondola starts at the Taipei Zoo Station and ascends to the following stops:

  • Taipei Zoo South Station
  • Zhinan Temple Station:
    • Zhinan Temple
  • Maokong Station:
    • Tea houses
    • Sanxuan Temple
    • Zhanshan Temple
    • Century-old banyan tree
    • Taipei Tea Promotion Center
    • Tianen Temple

A lot of temples.

The mountains also serve as an ideal place to watch fireworks on New Year’s Eve. So long as the weather isn’t cloudy.

Each trip will cost NT$70, 100, or 120. This number varies by the distance traveled. Pay for tickets to enter the gondola online, via a smart card (e.g., EasyCard), or through a ticket booth.

History

The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 by a Japanese man named Oe as a private zoological garden in Yuan-shan, when Taiwan was under Japanese rule.

The following year, the Japanese government bought the property and turned it into a public park. After World War II, in 1946, the Taipei City Government took over the Taipei Zoo.

In 1986, the zoo moved to its current location in Muzha, with a total area of 165 hectares, of which more than 90 hectares are open to the public.

The zoo has four main functions: conservation, education, research, and recreation. It is home to more than 350 species of animals, including giant pandas, koalas, penguins, and pangolins.

Is Taipei Zoo Ethical?

From my understanding, Taipei Zoo is as ethical as you can be with zoos.

Here’s the long answer:

Taipei Zoo is a member of several international zoo associations, such as:

  • WAZA (World Association of Zoos & Aquariums): Sets global standards & policies for zoos & aquariums & supports their conservation actions.
  • EAZA (European Association of Zoos & Aquaria): Accredits & monitors zoos & aquariums & coordinates their breeding programs & campaigns.
  • SEAZA (South East Asian Zoos Association): Facilitates communication & collaboration among zoos & aquariums in Southeast Asia & provides training & guidance for their staff & management.
  • TAZA (Taiwan Aquarium & Zoological Park Association): Represents & assists aquariums & zoological parks in Taiwan & advocates for their interests & contributions to society.

These associations have their guidelines and standards for animal welfare and care, which Taipei Zoo must follow.

WAZA has a Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare that states that,

“WAZA members must ensure that the animals in their care are treated with respect and are provided with conditions that strive to meet their physical, behavioral and psychological needs.”

WAZA.org

EAZA’s Animal Welfare Strategy outlines its vision, mission, goals, and actions for promoting and improving animal welfare in its member institutions.

Being a member of these associations does not guarantee that Taipei Zoo provides adequate space for its animals in its exhibits. The conditions and quality of the enclosures may vary depending on the species, the design, the management, and the resources available.

Some visitors may have different opinions on whether the animals have enough space. One way to assess this is to observe the behavior and health of the animals, and to compare them with their wild counterparts or other zoos

FAQs

What Is the Best Time to Visit Taipei Zoo?

The best time to visit Taipei Zoo is when they open (9 AM). Visiting this time will ensure you have enough time to see all the exhibits and allot plenty of break times.

Are There Any Guided Tours Available at the Taipei Zoo?

To get a guided tour at the Taipei Zoo, apply 10 days prior to your arrival by filling out this application form [5 PDF link]. The link also shows where to submit your application.

Can You Bring Your Own Food to the Taipei Zoo?

You can bring your own food to the Taipei Zoo.

Are There Any Restrictions on Photography in the Zoo?

The only restriction on photography is that you cannot use your camera’s flash function (under any circumstance).