Rome’s only zoological garden opened in 1911, though rennovations have brought this historic zoo up to speed with modern habitat and conservation science. Today, more than 1,000 animals populate the zoo, and you can follow a number of paths that wind through the park and around a small lake to observe lions, elephants, tigers, monkeys, and giraffes, among others. The small barnyard area has goats, pigs, cows, and other livestock; the bioparco is also home to a rare Kleinmann’s tortoise, rescued from a smuggler's suitcase in 2005. The Bioparco is one of the most popular sights in the sprawling Villa Borghese park, and you can visit as part of a Villa Borghese bike or Segway tour that also includes the Galleria Borghese, the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre, and the Pincio Gardens.
Things to know before you go
- The Villa Borghese gardens are free to the public, but you must purchase a ticket to enter the Bioparco.
- With a restaurant and a number of refreshment stands and picnic areas inside the zoo, there are a range of family-friendly dining options.
- Footsore visitors can hop on the Bioparco Express zoo train.
- You’ll be spending most of the day outdoors, so dress for the weather and wear a hat and sunscreen.
- Most of the zoo’s exhibits are accessible to wheelchair users.
How to get there
Bioparco is located on Viale del Giardino Zoologico inside Villa Borghese, an easy walk from the Spanish Steps or Piazza del Popolo. The nearest metro stop is Spagna.
When to get there
The zoo is open daily, but can be very crowded on weekends, especially in the summer. Try to visit on a weekday from May through September, keeping in mind that it can be very hot during the midday hours in Rome, so arrive first thing in the morning to enjoy the zoo before temperatures soar.
Rome’s Historic Villa Borghese Gardens
Rome’s third largest public park, the Villa Borghese gardens were built in the 17th century for Cardinal Scipione Borghese, though the estate was reworked two centuries later as an English-style garden. One of the most popular outdoor spaces in the city, Villa Borghese covers almost 200 acres of lawn, woods, and lakes; inside the park, visitors can see Bernini’s sculptures in the Galleria Borghese, works from the 19th and 20th centuries in the National Gallery of Modern Art, Etruscan artifacts in the Villa Giulia, and animals from all five continents at the Bioparco.
- Pietro Canonica Museum (Museo Pietro Canonica)
- Borghese Gallery (Galleria Borghese)
- Villa Medici
- Pincio Gardens (Pincio)
- Quartiere Coppedè
- Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo)
- Rome Leonardo da Vinci Museum (Museo Leonardo da Vinci)
- Hard Rock Cafe Rome
- Piazza del Popolo
- Via Veneto (Via Vittorio Veneto)
- Trinità dei Monti
- Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (MACRO)
- Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna)
- Church of Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins (Santa Maria della Concezione dei Capucchini)
- Keats-Shelley House