Hellabrunn is top attraction: Record number of visitors in 2014

Over two million visitors passed through the gates of Hellabrunn Zoo in 2014. The zoo in Munich is and remains the most visited cultural and recreational attraction in Bavaria.

Copyright Tierpark Hellabrunn/Marc Müller

2014 kicked off to a promising start: The first few days of the year were marked by pleasantly warm, sunny January weather, bringing in a far-above-average number of animal lovers to the Munich zoo during the first week - the later half of the Christmas holiday period. Attendance figures soared with the arrival of spring, particularly as for many visitors it was the first chance to see the polar bear twin cubs Nela and Nobby in the tundra enclosure. The cubs born in December had spent the first months of their lives hidden from public view in the maternity den with mama Giovanna and could previously only be seen in video clips on YouTube.

"We already had our one millionth visitor on 12 June," says zoo director Rasem Baban. "Never before had we achieved this mark so early. On 17 October, I had the pleasure of welcoming the two-millionth visitor to Hellabrunn. This is the first time in the zoo's 103-year history that the 2 million mark has been broken. The record attendance sends a clear message: Hellabrunn Zoo is a very popular attraction, which attracts visitors from near and far to a unique nature reserve."

The previous highest attendance record was for the zoo’s 100th anniversary year. "In 2011, our anniversary year, we had already celebrated a great attendance record with more than 1.8 million visitors," says Deputy Mayor and Chairman Christine Strobl. "But in 2014 we were able to top this achievement: Last year, nearly 2.3 million visitors came to Hellabrunn, thanks to particularly good weather conditions, especially during the holiday season, and our new visitors’ darlings, the polar bear cubs Nela and Nobby."

Last year's record attendance of 2.28 million is almost 33 per cent higher than the figure for 2013, when more than 1.7 million visitors passed through the gates of the Munich zoo, where more than 750 animal species currently live. In 2014, a sunny spring and the attraction of the polar bear twin cubs Nela and Nobby generated a huge surge in the number of visitors. In addition, a relatively cool summer saw visitor numbers for the season rise compared to prior years due to the fact that the normal summer rival attractions - such as lidos, lakes or beer gardens - became less attractive destinations for a day out in the mild summer temperatures and frequent rain.