I can’t really think of anyone who visits local zoos when they travel abroad these days. Zoos are slowly becoming a thing of the past, as animal cafes slowly take over as more enticing tourist attractions.
If you’ve never been to an animal cafe before, it’s basically a place where people go to view, pet, or even play with the various animals that live there. Eating or drinking in the cafe is usually a side activity that is made mandatory by some places, in order to keep the profits rolling in.
There’re only cat and dog cafes in Singapore, so here are 13 animal cafes in Asia that you need to visit the next time you travel.
Thanks Nature Cafe in Seoul is quite literally a hidden gem, being tucked away underground. This sheep cafe gets plenty of natural air though, and houses two friendly sheep that will follow you everywhere (as long as you have some hay with you).
The owner takes care of the sheep very well, and it’s clear that he loves them dearly from how he plays with them. You’re gonna have a fun and relaxing time at this cafe, so grab some bingsu and enjoy your day playing with these adorable sheep.
Thanks Nature Cafe: Seogyo Prugio Apartment store B121) 121 B1, 486, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul-si | Opening Hours: (Daily) 11am – 11pm | Tel: 02-335-7470 | Facebook
The TrueLove at Neverland in Bangkok houses a large pack of friendly huskies that can be played with in two-hour sessions. Buy a ticket for THB350 (approx. SGD14) to interact with these fluffy guys.
Their warm personalities and cute expressions are sure to melt your heart. Be sure to check out our guide and review of TrueLove at Neverland before you visit!
TrueLove at Neverland: 153 Soi Ari Samphan 2, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand | Opening Hours: (Tue to Thu) 12pm – 4pm, (Fri to Sun) 12pm – 6.30pm, Closed on Mondays | Facebook
Rockstar Cafe is known for its large collection of reptiles, especially its chameleons and iguanas. However, it is also home to various snakes, tarantulas, centipedes, and lizards.
This is really not for the faint-hearted as you need to have nerves of steel to caress these creepy crawlies. If you’re extremely daring, try the Centipede Alcohol which comes served with a dead centipede ready to be consumed.
If you’re pretty grossed out by these things like I am, you can play with the pretty chameleons instead. Also, be sure to grab some delicious omu rice or crepes after you’re done playing with the reptiles.
Cafe Rockstar: 2-7-7 No. Namba FK Building 3F in Naniwa-ku, Osaka-shi | Opening Hours: (Daily) 12pm – 10pm | Tel: 06-6586-9538 | Website
The Falconer’s Cafe is quite badass, because how often do you get to see these majestic birds up close? Visitors are not allowed to feed or touch the birds, and permission is required from the owner before you can snap a picture.
Despite these stringent restrictions, it’s good to know that the welfare of these birds are taken into consideration, to a certain extent. The staff at Falconer’s cafe encourage that you simply appreciate the presence of these calm yet fearsome predatory birds while enjoying a cup of tea.
Falconer’s Cafe: 11-8, Shimorenjyaku 1, Mitaka-Ci, Tokyo, Japan | Opening Hours: (Wed to Sun) 12pm – 7pm, (Closed on Mon & Tues) | Tel: +81-422-57-7762 | Website
Neko no Niwa (Japanese for cat garden) is Singapore’s very first cat cafe. A three-hour session at Neko no Niwa will set you back $24 and give you ample time to mingle with these felines.
Neko no Niwa has a notable variety of cats that will melt your heart, with all sorts of fur coats and eye colours. You’ll have a great time hanging with these felines and taking photos of them.
Check out our review of Neko no Niwa for more pictures of these lovely cats, as well as for more information on the cafe.
Cozying up to a snake and letting it slither all over you may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you find that fun and exciting, you need to visit Tokyo Snake Centre.
Upon entering you can choose one of 35 unique snakes to be your ‘attendant’. What this really means is that you can have a snake sit on your table as you drink your beverage. For an additional fee of JPY540 (approx. SGD7), you can have a petting session with various snakes.
This experience may send chills up your spine, but it may be worth it since it’s not often you get to select and play with snakes so freely.
Tokyo Snake Centre: Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 6-5-6, Sanbo Sogo Bldg 8F | Opening Hours: (Wed to Mon) 11am – 8pm, (Closed on Tuesdays)| Tel: 03-6427-9912 | Website
In America, racoons are usually known for being vermin that scavenge from rubbish bins and destroy parts of your home when they decide to move into your attic or basement. In Seoul, racoons are fussed and cooed over for how cute they are in a cafe called Blind Alley.
Though ironic, you can’t deny how these destructive critters are adorable when they are not a pest which you have to deal with. The racoons here can be pet and are generally friendly. They are also well taken care of, have plenty of toys to play with and have beams and pipes to climb around on.
Blind Alley: South Korea, Seoul, Yongsan-gu, Cheongpa-dong, Cheongpa-ro 47-gil, 76 | Opening Hours: (Daily) 9.30am – 10pm | Tel: +82 2-701-6075 | More Info
Though some of the types of animal cafes on this list may be questionable (snakes and other reptiles), it’s hard to find fault with a bunny cafe like this one. The Lucky Bunny Cafe Restaurant in Chiangmai, Thailand, has plenty of adorable bunnies that you can cuddle with.
With their floppy ears and twitching noses, who could say no to holding one of these fluffy and cuddly bunnies?
Lucky Bunny Cafe Restaurant: 84/5 Moo10 Soi Wat U-mong Road, Suthep, Muang, Chiangmai 50200 | Opening Hours: (Fri to Wed) 10.30am – 6pm, Closed on Thursdays | Tel: 085 195 5465 | Facebook
This next cafe features animals that may not be as fluffy as bunnies, but are equally cute. Harinezumi Cafe (called Harry Cafe in English) has dozens of lovable hedgehogs to play with.
Holding one of these prickly little balled up creatures is bound to be a fun experience (I know I would love to try it). They have hedgehogs in a variety of different colours such as salt and pepper, cinnamon, and albino, so you can try taking photos with them all.
Just remember to handle them with care and of course, don’t stress them out.
Harinezumi Cafe: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Roppongi 6-7-2 IWAHORI Building 2F | Opening Hours: (Daily) 12pm – 9pm | Tel: 03-3404-8100 | Website
Located next to the sea, just like the seaside town of Oia, Greece, Oia Cafe in Taiwan has a beautiful location. What sets it apart though are its resident alpacas that roam freely around the cafe.
They are friendly and can be pet and fed by visitors. It is quite amusing to see these creatures amble around the cafe, but the cutest are the baby alpacas that just gallop around happily.
Oia Cafe: 252, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Sanzhi District | Opening Hours: (Mon to Fri) 11am – 8pm, (Weekends) 11am – 9pm | Tel: +886 2 2636 3766 | Facebook
Owl no Mori (Japanese for Forest of Owls) is a dimly lit but beautiful cafe where you can find many regal and fearsome looking owls. True to its name, the cafe looks a little like a dark forest, with plenty of fake leaves and branches that give it a very earthy feel.
The owls are trained and will perch on your wrist for photos too. All you need to do is wear a mitten (that is provided) and smile for the camera.
Owl no Mori: 4-5-8 Kotokida 5th Floor, Matsutaka Shoji Building, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan | Opening Hours: (Mon to Tue & Thu to Fri) 12pm – 10pm, (Wednesdays) 4pm – 10pm, (Weekends) 11am – 10pm | Tel: +81 3-3254-6366 | Website | Facebook
Sakuragaoka Cafe in Tokyo has adorable goats that stay in a pen on the cafe premises. There’s something so cute about goats though, and it’s not just the way they jump around, or their funny eyes, but also their perpetual smiles that make them look continually happy.
Order some Western cafe fare to fill your tummy after you’re done playing with the goats. They serve pasta, risotto, pannacotta and many more at Sakuragaoka cafe.
Pet Cafe may sound like an extremely ambiguous name, but there’s a good reason for it. Pet Cafe in Hanoi is home to numerous creatures like salamanders, flying squirrels, rats, and cats. However, reptiles make up the bulk of this cafe.
The owner has always been an avid animal lover and cares for their wellbeing deeply. All the animals he keeps are well suited to the climate in Hanoi, and he has spent many years studying how to raise and care for these animals responsibly.
Though the idea of reptiles and weird creatures might turn off some, I think it’s worth visiting, if just to see how an animal lover brings all these different kinds of animals to one place.