Our latest animal births and other news about Cologne Zoo




Born on the Rhine: Cologne Zoo is excited to welcome new residents every month. Here is an overview of our animal births – from A as in antelope to Z as in Zebra:


December 15, 2023
January 28, 2024

Daily from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM at Cologne Zoo.

(Except Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve)


All info at a glance

Back Again: China Lights at Cologne Zoo

The China Light Festival from December 15 to January 28 at Cologne Zoo 

75 light ensembles - over 10,000 LED lights - on 20 hectares of zoo grounds: the China Lights are back on the Rhine. It is the fourth edition of the illumination spectacle for the whole family. Previous editions attracted a total of more than a quarter of a million people. This year, you can once again see numerous light ensembles with atmospherically illuminated animal and fantasy figures in Asian style - spread across the entire zoo grounds.

New this year is the division into several themed zones: "Dinosaurs," "Jungle & Safari," and "Mystery." The light designers will set up a total of 75 light stations in the zoo from November, consisting of more than 1,000 individual exhibits. Approximately 10,000 LEDs will be used. The largest figures are the 40-meter-long and six-meter-high dragon on the zoo meadow at the main entrance and the dinosaur family, measuring 25 meters in total length and ten meters in height.

Moon swings and mirror courses - interactive fun for young and old. Also new this year are the many interactive figures - there are ten interactive stations for both adults and children. So China Lights guests can swing on the moon swings into the Cologne evening sky or illuminate themselves in the mirror course. Monkey, snake, or pig? In the zodiac course, everyone can check for themselves whether the character traits attributed to them correspond to reality or are just appearances. On the graffiti wall, visitors also have the opportunity to display their very own illuminated message.

The animal houses are closed during the evening China Light Festival.

At a Glance

China Light Festival at Cologne Zoo

When? December 15, 2023, to January 28, 2024; daily from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM (except on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve) Tickets at*:

Online Ticket (includes VRS transport ticket)

Dated Tickets (date of choice while supplies last)

Adults: €23; Children: €11 (4 to 12 years old); Children under 3 years old: free

Voucher Ticket (can be used once, flexibly, on any day during the entire event period)

Adults: €26; Children: €13 (4 to 12 years old); Children under 3 years old: free

 *All ticket prices apply exclusively to the evening China Light Festival after the zoo's closing time. The transport ticket must be booked separately.

Combo Ticket (without VRS transport ticket)
Additionally, there is a combo ticket (for zoo visit and China Light Festival visit) available until 4:30 PM daily only at the zoo ticket office on the same day:

Adults: €40; Children: €20 (4 to 12 years old); Children under 3 years old: free

On-Site Ticket (without VRS transport ticket)
Dated Ticket
Adults: €26; Children: €13 (4 to 12 years old); Children under 3 years old: free

Admission is not guaranteed if the event is sold out.

*All ticket prices apply exclusively to the evening China Light Festival after the zoo's closing time.

Annual pass holders and members of the Zoo Supporters Association receive a 15% discount (excluding combo ticket). All information is now also available online at

Tip: Those who arrive after 5:30 PM can save themselves unnecessary waiting at the entrance (especially on weekends and busy days around Christmas).

Ticket office closes and last admission is at 8 PM. On-site tickets are only available if there are sufficient remaining capacities (prices as above).

Side entrance, animal houses, and aquarium are closed during the evening China Light Festival.

The majority of the animals spend the night in their indoor enclosures. They are not disturbed by the installations from the China Light Festival.






There is always something happening at the Cologne Zoo – all year round: You can find all the current dates and events here.






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Knowledgeable experts report on exciting topics related to zoo life, current zoological research results and nature and species conservation projects. The lectures are free of charge. The lectures take place every second Tuesday of the month from October to March at the Zoo Event on "Alter Stammheimer Weg" (directly opposite the entrance to the Flora). Parking is available under the Zoobrücke.

The next lectures:


Tuesday, 9 October 2018, 7.30 pm

Peter Herkenrath, Bird Protection Unit at the North Rhine-Westphalia State Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection

Little Owl, Pink Flamingo & Co - Bird Protection in North Rhine-Westphalia“

Tuesday, 13 November 2018, 7.30 pm

Simon Bruslund, Zoo Heidelberg

"Silent forest - the Asian songbird crisis"


Tuesday, 11 December 2018, 7.30 pm

Prof. Dr. Christoph Scherber, Institute for Landscape Ecology, University of Münster

The decline of insect diversity in Germany - what do we know and what needs to be done?"

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Nora Weyer, Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremen

"Living on the Limit - Aardvarks in the Kalahari"

Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Alexander Sliwa, Cologne Zoo

"Black-footed cats - News from field research"

Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

Barbara Fruth & Gottfried Hohmann, Board of Directors Bonobo Alive

"Bonobos in the Congolese rainforest - measures for a sustainable coexistence of humans and animals"

The lectures will take place in the rooms of the zoo gastronomy on the "Alten Stammheimer Weg". Please use the "Zoo-Event" entrance (directly opposite the Flora entrance).


We regularly offer our visitors exciting art and environmental exhibitions with surprising perspectives and new insights into unfamiliar (animal) worlds.


Visit our regular lectures at Cologne Zoo!

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