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San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

Open daily 9am - 5pm, hours extended in some months
2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA, 92101

The Basics

The San Diego Zoo is nestled in Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre (486-hectare) urban park filled with loads of cultural and other attractions. Purchase admission tickets to San Diego Zoo in advance and in conjunction with other Balboa Park sights to avoid lines, or with transportation within San Diego or nearby parts of Southern California. Once inside, travelers typically explore the zoo’s bioclimatic zones and exhibits independently or take the 35-minute guided bus tour for an overview of the space. Free shows and presentations are offered throughout the day, while other experiences, including the 4-D theater and carousel, have additional fees to access. Many visitors combine a visit to the zoo with a trip to the San Diego Safari Park, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) away.

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San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
star-4.5
$44.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
The Hop-on Hop-off Trolley is great way to see the town and learn more, while leaving the car parked.
Thomas_D, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in San Diego

star-5
Excellent!
Hope_R, May 2021
San Diego Zoo and Safari Park 2-Visit Pass Ticket, No Reservations Required!
The San Diego Zoo was the best zoo trip I have ever experienced! The only downside was we didn’t get to see the Penguins..
star-5
Awesome Hop On Trolley
Rita, May 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
The whole experience was great. Clean trolleys, great knowledgeable tour guides and lots of stops at historical points of interest. Loved it!
star-5
Great time
Mike_M, May 2021
San Diego Zoo and Safari Park 2-Visit Pass Ticket, No Reservations Required!
The zoo was very clean and the staff friendly and very helpful. Animals seemed to be healthy and content in they're habitats
star-4
Beware
Jerryt_S, Oct 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Drivers great. Views great. MSP shows one stop no longer being used. We looked for stop site one hour.
star-5
Hop on hop off trolley
Thomas_K, Oct 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Great way to see all that a city has to offer and a great way to get around. Our driver Jack was awesome. Great information and great stories.
star-5
Jack was a great...
Alicia_B, Oct 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Jack was a great commentator and very knowledgeable about San Diego. We enjoyed listening to him throughout the tour.
star-5
Great value and service
Stewart_M, Oct 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Tour guides were knowledgeable and friendly. The history and views of San Diego make this well worth the money.
star-5
Really fun time! Had a...
Chintal_P, Oct 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Really fun time! Had a great time with family. This is a wonderful thing to do to learn about the history of San Diego and check out the town. You can do this with family friends or couples
star-4
Spot a Stop
Janice_B, Oct 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
The driver made the tour fun. She was knowledgeable and spoke very clearly. each stop had its charm.
star-5
Looney the driver made the tour so great!
Shelly_A, Oct 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Looney the driver was funny very knowledge about the tour sites and what to see on each stop. Highly recommend the tour.
star-5
Fun for all ages!
Regina_D, Oct 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Belle our driver is an enthusiastic San Diego native. She is so fun with sharing history and you can tell she loves her city. We had a fabulous day. I highly recommend it!!
star-5
See San Diego
WmDan_M, May 2021
San Diego GPS Talking GoCar: Best Value - All Day for the Price of 5 Hours
Take your time, relax, and see San Diego. Well done and stress free Fun Day it wants me to type more so now I’m changing this to everything was awesome but the review process.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Most visitors spend three to four hours at the zoo.

  • The zoo offers services such as fee-based wheelchair rentals and free shuttle bus service for travelers with limited mobility.

  • As the San Diego sun is typically shining, it’s best to wear sunscreen if you plan to be outdoors for most of the day.

  • Fee-based stroller and locker rentals are offered.

  • Those with kids can head to the Children’s Zoo to spend time at the Petting Paddock.

  • Free Wi-Fi is available in the zoo and throughout Balboa Park.

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How to Get There

The San Diego Zoo is located in the northwestern corner of Balboa Park, near the San Diego Museum of Art. Parking is plentiful and free, but note that lots can fill on weekends. Once inside, you can walk, take a bus, or take the Skyfari cable car to easily get around the zoo.

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When to Get There

The zoo is open daily, typically from 9am to 5 or 6pm depending on the season. The best time to visit is in the morning, when the animals are most active. Feedings often also take place at this time. To avoid crowds, try to visit on a weekday.

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Can’t-Miss Sights at the San Diego Zoo

Highlights include the Tiger River bioclimatic exhibit, which realistically re-creates an Asian rain forest environment, and Gorilla Tropics, which does the same with an African rain forest. The koalas are some of the most popular animals to see—and the zoo says theirs is the largest colony outside of Australia. Polar bears and rare giant pandas are other favorites, as is the Absolutely Apes habitat, which has orangutans and siamangs climbing in lush forests. Finally, don’t miss the African Rock Kopje, where klipspringers (small antelopes) dash around the rocky landscape.

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