Jerusalem Biblical Zoo – Visitors Guide – Best Zoo in Israel

Bear at Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, with primary goals of wildlife conservation and public education.

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, as the name suggests, is located in Jerusalem. And it is open on Saturday and is one of my favorite zoos in Israel. On this note, let’s go over the essential information.

Note: if you want additional info about animals and wildlife, check out Zoos and Aquariums in Israel‎. Also, in Zoos and Aquariums in Israel‎, you can see the user ratings of all places. And according to it, Jerusalem Biblical Zoo has the highest zoo score in Israel. Basically, the best zoo.


The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens is located at 1 Derech Aharon Shulov, Jerusalem.

Directions for drivers: Link to Waze and Link to Google Maps
Directions for public transport: Link to Moovit

View TripHelp

Interactive map of the area:


  • Hotels, hostels, and apartments in this area:

And here is a map of the zoo.

Map of Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Israel
Map of Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Note: you can click on the map to enlarge it.

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is located on the slopes of a mountain. The entrance and the nearby lake are situated at the bottom, and for all of the rest, you will have to walk uphill.


You can see on the plan where each animal species is located, and the map also suggests three routes. The blue trail is the shortest, and it takes around an hour. The red route will take around two hours. And the orange way, the longest one, covers almost the whole zoo and will take three hours. Also, on the map, you can see black up/down arrows within blue circles. These are zoo train stops. Train tickets are available at an additional cost. And note that the train does not run on Saturdays and holidays.


If you are driving there, enter “Jerusalem Zoo” (or 1 Derech Aharon Shulov, Jerusalem) into the navigation app, and you will get there. There are several free parking lots. But keep in mind that on Saturdays, they will be filled quickly. Thus, I would suggest arriving at the opening time.

If you arrive by public transport, here is a link to Moovit, where the endpoint is already set, so change the start point to your location, and you will get the updated directions. Also, I want to mention a train station next to the zoo (which is named after the zoo). The zoo even offers a discount if you use the train. The downside is that it is part of the old line. Hence, getting there using this train line will take more time.

Opening Hours

Sunday – Thursday: 9:00 – 17:00
Friday and holiday eve: 9:00 – 16:00
Saturday: 09:00 – 17:00

Entry is allowed two hours before closing time.

Entrance Fee

You can purchase tickets either on their website or on-site. Here are the prices:
Adult – 63 NIS
Child (ages 3 – 18), police officer, student, soldier, and senior citizen: 49 NIS

Annual Membership

There are also annual memberships. Here are some of the combinations:
Adult: 300 NIS
Child, Police, Soldier, Senior Citizen: 220 NIS
Couple: 525 NIS
Couple + 1 child: 630 NIS

Note: opening hours and ticket prices were updated on November 2022. In any case, recheck the official site before visiting. Also, the amount of tickets per day is limited. Hence it is better to book in advance.

You can order tickets online here. But before doing so, check out the coupons section.


  • Matmon Card – 44 NIS per child and 57 NIS per adult
  • HTZone – 52 NIS per person and 42 NIS per credit card owner
  • 10% discount on the presentation of same-day Israel Rail train tickets.
  • Yerushalmi card – 43 NIS per child and 56 NIS per adult
  • Various clubs, like “Together for you” and Behatsdaa offer discounts. Check the full list here.

Contact Information

Phone: 02-675-0111

Feeding Times and Special Activities

Each time we visit the Jerusalem zoo, we join as many guided feedings, training, and other activities as possible. Here is the current timetable, and in any case, recheck the official site before your visit.

Sunday – Thursday

10:30 Small Animals building
11:30 Meerkats enrichment at Underground World
Peccary at the South American yard
Amazon exhibit at Wet Side Story
12:00 Penguins
12:30 Male Elephant
1:00 Giraffes at the African yard
1:30 Otters at Wet Side Story
3:00 Fallow deer at Bible Lands Preserve
4:00 Penguins
Lemur Land
4:15 Peccary at the South American yard
Red panda
4:30 Elephants
4:45 Kangaroo at the Australian Yard

Presentation on the naked mole rate at Underground Wolrd at 2:00 PM
At the children’s zoo:
The petting zoo, with goats and sheep, is open throughout the day.
Encounters with friendly animals take place between 2:30 – 3:00 PM at the petting zoo.


11:00 Meerkats enrichment at Underground World
11:30 Peccary at the South American Yard
12:00 Penguins
12:30 Otters at Wet Side Story
1:00 Giraffes at the African Yard
2:30 Tigris enrichment
3:00 Chimpanzees enrichment
3:30 Peccary at the South American yard
3:30 Red panda
4:00 Kangaroo at the Australian Yard

Unreal encounters with an elephant
Fridays at 1:30.
Elephant training
You feed the elephants, from hand to snout.
Drawing to win a selfie with an elephant.
Tickets cost 1 shekel, and proceeds benefit the elephant hospital in Lampang, Thailand.

At the children’s zoo:
The petting zoo, with goats and sheep, is open throughout the day.

Pre-Shabbat Music
12:30 – 3:00 with Pritzat Disk- a refreshing performance of hits.


10:30 Small animals building
11:00 Lions (enrichment)
           Meerkats at Underground World
11:30 Chimpanzees
           Yellow marten (enrichment)
12:00 Penguins
12:30 Female elephant training
1:00 Ibex and fallow deer at the entrance to the Bible Lands Preserve
1:30 Giraffes at the African Yard
        Asian otters at Wet Side Story
2:00 Meerkats at Underground World
3:00 Chimpanzees enrichment activities
3:30 Peccary at the South American Yard
4:00 Penguins
          Lemur Land
4:30 Female elephants enrichment
4:15 Red panda
4:30 Elephants (enrichment)
4:45 Kangaroo at the Australian Yard

At the Children’s Zoo:
The petting zoo is open all day long.
Encounters with friendly animals take place in the living classroom between 11:00 – 4:00.

Note: all the activities we attended were in Hebrew. Contact the zoo for more information if you are interested in other languages.

Why do I love Jerusalem Biblical Zoo?

It is probably my favorite zoo in Israel, and that is because:

  1. It is located in Jerusalem. Thus it is a little cooler there.
  2. Pricing Strategy: Pricing is very simple – 63 NIS per adult. There are almost no deals and coupons. Thus you do not waste time searching and printing coupons. And you do not feel cheated since everybody pays the same. Like many other attractions in Israel, Ramat Gan Safari has the opposite pricing strategy. The spontaneous visitor will pay a lot, and if you belong to various clubs or find good deals/coupons, you can pay as low as 20 NIS per visit.
  3. Within regular working hours, there are short explanation sessions. You can use the timetable given at the entrance and visit such an event. For example, we went to bear feeding. There was a short explanation, about 10min, and then the feeding itself. Total of 20-25 min. The explanations are nice, and you always learn something new. And the bears are active (usually, when it is hot, they will lie in the shade somewhere in the back, and you can barely see them).
  4. In many cases, there is no steel fence between you and the animals. For example, you are walking above the animals. It allows a clear view and better photographs 🙂

The downside is that the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo opens only at 9/10 am. In summer, at this hour, it is already quite hot. But, most attractions in Israel opened only at 9/10 am.

Overall, according to the rating, it looks like most people agree with me. You can see ratings and additional details at Zoos and Aquariums in Israel.

At Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

We started our visit with the Penguins. Penguins in Israel? When most people think about Penguins, they think of Antarctica. Though most penguin species are native to the Southern Hemisphere, they are found not only in cold climates. Only a few species of penguins live in the far south. For example, the Galapagos penguin lives near the equator.

Penguins in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Parrots in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Bear Feeding

As I mentioned, one of the activities we attended was bear feeding. It started with a short explanation about the Syrian brown bear, and the guide threw vegetables at them. Thus, the bears were active and searched for where the food landed.

Bears in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Historically, the Syrian brown bear occurred in the Middle East from Turkey to Turkmenistan. Today, the brown bear is extirpated in Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Territory, and survives only in Turkey, Iran, and Iraq.

Source: Wikipedia

Where did you hide it?

Bear at Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

And after the feast, they started …


Not sure what those parents are telling the toddlers 😉

And when there is no food involved, then high chance that you will find animals in the following state 🙂

Sleeping monkey in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

But sometimes they get up for a drink, and then I can get this:

Monkeys in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Elephant Workout

Later, we went to an elephant workout. The following photo was taken before the training. They let each elephant splash some water and play with a tire.

Elephant in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Elephant playing in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

This is how it looks from the side:

Elephant in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

At this point, they started to show their daily routine. As it turns out, elephants in the wild walk 20-30km a day. And they need to walk such distances to be healthy. Each day before the zoo opens for visitors, the elephants walk around its premises with their trainers.

Elephants in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

When they are walking around the zoo, they hold “hands” in the following manner:

Elephants in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Elephant Workout

Also, there is a daily health inspection. They are checking mouth internals for diseases.

Elephant checkup
Elephant checkup
Elephant in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Checking all feet
Elephant in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

As it turns out, it is very hard for elephants to lie down. Not all elephants can do this:

Elephant in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Elephant in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Ooo, right there

And in the end, some more exercise, like walking and moving weights.

Elephants in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Bible Land Wildlife Preserve And African Savannah

Then we reached the Bible Land Wildlife Preserve And African Savannah. A wooden bridge with viewpoints crosses over this area. The bridge is about 1km long, and you walk above the animals.

In Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Rhino in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Rhino taking a mud bath

Hey, maybe you will throw some food down here?

Oyster in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

The bridge has some viewpoints, and here is one of them.

In Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

A Submarine 😉

In Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

At this point, our time was nearly out (almost my daughter’s nap), so we headed towards the exit.

In Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

This man was hypnotized for several minutes, and I wonder whether they have special powers 😉

In Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Flamingos in Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

That was the end of that visit. But do not worry. In 2017, we returned to Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. And as in previous visits started at bear feeding. Note how the bears use the backside of their palm as a plate.

Visiting Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Israel

Feeding Loriini Parrots

Then we went to visit lory parrots.

Visiting Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Israel
Lorraine Parrot

And there, we saw something similar to Gan Garoo. You can feed the parrots. But, unlike at Gan Garoo, it was not free. Feeding nectar drink costs several Shekels.

Visiting Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Israel
Feeding one of the parrots

Lion Workout

One of the reasons for returning to different attractions is changing over time. Not only that, the attraction change but also as kids grow older, and you get to see more. And this year, my daughter had more stamina, and we saw more.

One of the other things we saw was the lion’s workout. Not sure if exercise is the best word, but it was some entertainment for the lions.

The young lioness walked near the glass, but the two other older lions lay in the shade.

Visiting Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Israel

So they lowered this kind of rope for the lion to play with.

Visiting Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Israel

You can also see a carton box they threw in. A special feromone, which the lion loves, was added to the box. So after the lion finished playing with the rope, it lay on the box and started twisting on it.

Visiting Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Israel

Chimpanzee Feeding

Visiting Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Israel

Another event that we visited this time was Chimpanzee Feeding. But they were not cooperative and turned their backs.

Visiting the birds of prey:

Visiting Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Israel

Elephant Training – Rerun

As in previous visits, we went to Elephant Training. They still have three elephants there, but since one is pretty old and has vision problems, only two were training.

Visiting Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Israel
Going hand in hand, sorry, trunk to tail
Visiting Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Israel
Regular checkups

And all feet are checked as well.

Visiting Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Israel

We visited many more animals, but my favorite photo from that day is of this chameleon.


Before I end this post, I want to mention another nearby animal-related attraction, the Israel Aquarium.

Israel Aquarium

The Israel Aquarium is adjacent to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, around 1 km from the zoo’s entrance gate. You can drive or walk along the access road that begins at the end of the zoo’s parking area. Moreover, public transportation reaches only the zoo’s main entrance.

You can find additional information in my guide about the Israel Aquarium.

Note: purchasing a ticket for the Israel Aquarium does not provide entrance to the zoo. Likewise, buying a zoo ticket does not provide entry to the Aquarium.

History of the Zoo

The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo was originally established in 1940 as a small children’s zoo on Harav Kook Street in central Jerusalem by the late Prof. Aharon Shulov, one of the pioneers in the field of zoology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In 1941, a somewhat larger zoo was established on Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem. This one covered an area of 4.5 dunams (0.45 hectares, or just over one acre). In 1947 the zoo was moved to the Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus. As a result of the hardships caused by Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the zoo was transferred once again to a larger area of 60 dunams (6 hectares, or just under 15 acres) in Givat Komuna, adjacent to the neighborhood of Romema.

The zoo remained there for 41 years, from 1950 to 1991. During this time, it gradually developed into a well-known and beloved attraction. By 1991 it was evident that the zoo’s location could no longer serve the purpose of a modern zoo. It required new facilities to improve animal welfare conditions and establish wildlife conservation and education programs. The old zoo closed in 1991 and moving to the new location begun, which culminated in the current zoo being opened in 1993.

Today, the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, as it is still unofficially known, stretches across an area of 250 dunams (25 hectares or 62 acres) in a lovely valley surrounded by green hills and new neighborhoods. It is considered one of the most beautiful parks in Israel and has become a meeting place for all of Jerusalem’s diverse communities.

Note: unless stated otherwise, all quotes were taken from the official site.

The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is also known as the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens.

The establishment of the zoo in its present form was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Tisch family of New York, under the auspices of the Jerusalem Foundation. The dedication ceremony took place in the presence of the President of the State of Israel at the time, the late Chaim Herzog.


Usually, I do not mention organizations` missions, but in this case, it will help you better understand zoological gardens.

We believe that zoos and aquaria have a strong role to play in protecting nature and wildlife, and we are working to achieve the following goals in this regard:

  • Ensuring the highest standards of animal welfare to maintain viable populations of animals in human care so that their survival over the long term is assured.
  • Emphasizing species from the land of Israel, with special emphasis on those mentioned in the Bible.
  • Establishing and participating in both in situ and ex-situ wildlife conservation projects to protect animal populations and their habitats.
  • Educating our visitors about animals and their habitats and providing them with the knowledge and opportunities they need to live sustainably as part of nature.

It is not the complete mission, but it represents the spirit. I want to mention two fundamental values. First of all, wildlife conservation, especially animals mentioned in the Bible. It is even reflected in the name. And secondly, public education is another top focus of the zoo. And hence, there are many explanations, feedings, and workouts.


Jerusalem Biblical Zoo holds a range of events. There are temporary exhibitions, special events on holidays, and tours. You can find additional information on the official site.


For now, my opinion has not changed. The Special Activities upgrade the visit, which is still one of the best zoos in Israel. If you love animals, it should be on your places to visit list.

Have you ever been to Jerusalem Biblical Zoo? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!

For additional points of interest nearby, check out Jerusalem.


Additional Resources

Here are several resources that I created to help travelers: And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.  
Did not find what you were looking for? Leave a comment below, and I will do my best to answer your questions.

Lev Tsimbler

Lev from You can contact me at

2 thoughts on “Jerusalem Biblical Zoo – Visitors Guide – Best Zoo in Israel

    1. Мозно купить билет на официальном сайте:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts