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San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

star-4.5
1,101 Reviews
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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Recent reviews from experiences in San Diego

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
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
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-5
Best experience
Christina, Apr 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
It was such a beautiful tour of the city. Runs every 30min due to Covid-19. The conductor was so energetic and that made the experience much more worthwhile.
star-5
Fun day!
Moena_A, Apr 2021
San Diego Zoo and Safari Park 2-Visit Pass Ticket, No Reservations Required!
Weather and service was great. Cleanliness of the zoo was very good. Felt very comfortable with mask requirement. The food was very good.
star-5
Touring with Jeremey is GREAT!
Augustine_E, Jul 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Jeremey is such a great host! They were able to keep the energy of the tour UP, and my friends and I appreciate them very very much. We highly recommend.
star-5
A Wonderful trip
Ruxandra_I, Jul 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Great trip! I took the first tour and stopped two times in different spots. I was lucky enough to take the tour a second time and it was just as good if not better since the driver told us different but very interesting things about San Diego. Very entertaining tour! I recommend it very much!
star-5
Were so friendly and very informative on the way there and coming back. They had a singing and laughing so I had a prett
Felicia_N, Jul 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
The tour guides Doc and Patricia Were so friendly and very informative on the way there and coming back. They had us singing and laughing so I had a pretty good time on the hop off hop on tour.
star-5
Highly recommend
ramlou, Jul 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Knowledgeble veey customer seevice will highly recommend to everybody especiallly in the midwest and east coast friends
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.
star-5
Awesome
DT_Simmons, Jul 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
The drivers information and humor. I enjoyed Coronado Island, the marina and the excellent restaurants.
star-5
Great service!
Linda_L, Jul 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
How quickly they arrived, and how pleasant and accommodate the drivers were. The drivers knew the areas we were going to and got us to our location very quickly. Loved the service would recommend using them when visiting the local downtown San Diego area.

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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