Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  San Diego  /  San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo, San Diego

4.5
#1 of 21,311 in Outdoors in United States
Providing a home for 3,700 of some of the world's rarest animals, San Diego Zoo features pandas, gorillas, antelopes, orangutans, koalas, and much more. Noted for pioneering the concept of cage-free exhibits that recreate natural animal habitats, this zoo covers an area of almost 40 hectares (100 acres). Take guided tours on a bus, or hop on an overhead gondola to see the diverse habitats from the air. See different animals often found side by side in the wild, along with native plant life from places such as African rainforests and Arctic taigas. To view the collection of rare plants, visit the arboretum. Begin your visit at the visitor center, where you can pick up a free map. It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to San Diego Zoo and many more San Diego attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's San Diego trip planning tool .
Improve this listing »
Lowest price guaranteed
Create an itinerary including San Diego Zoo
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
San Diego Zoo Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
25,218 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • If you are thinking of spending a different day, visit the San Diego Zoo, but take a long time, the place is huge and has many attractions throughout the day. Short with family and friends, enjoy and buy the soda with refill for all day ... you will walk a lot and p recisar supplies.
    View original
  • After all of the hype about the San Diego zoo, I must say that we were a bit disappointed. That is not to say that the facility is not well run and interesting. However, we didn't find it as special a...  more »
  • We were very excited to visit the zoo and see all of the animals. We spent about 5 hours there. You can certainly get lost in there! So much to see!  more »
Google
  • This place is just fantastic. It's a world famous zoo for a reason. I think one of the best things to do is to start off taking the aerial tram. It gives you a great overlook of the entire zoo, and an idea of which animals might be most active at that time to go prioritize what you visit. It has a great view of the gorillas! The Kangaroo Bus is a hop on, hop off bus with four stops. This is great if you have children or someone who can't or won't walk much. It goes pretty much around the perimeter of the zoo. It also goes through some really popular areas with some children-geared shows and through some lesser traveled areas. Food is not too overpriced, expect about $15/person for a meal. They do allow you to bring in personal food and drink items (no coolers or glass). I recommend that. They also have a few water bottle refill stations. We got to chat with some handlers caring for a red hog that was feeling under the weather and watch some other handlers replace elephant feed. It's always nice to see how people care for the animals. All the exhibits were wonderful, but I especially enjoyed the polar bears as they were especially active.
  • I enjoyed visiting this zoo with my family. First of all the entrance was magnificent. The check in went really well with no wait time. We received great advice from the entrance staff to start our journey with the bus tour. The entire admission for our family was shy of $200.00 and was well worth every penny. The parking lot structure was huge and equip with handicap parking. There is a convenient drop off arch by the entrance to the zoo for cabs, limos and vehicles for hire. For me, I was able the see all the animals that was on my to do list even though I don't remember all their names. I saw 👀 the giraffe, zebras, lions, cheetahs, bears. Amazingly so was a polar bear, wow. Different species of apes and birds 🐦. My children were fascinated with the different species of birds 🐦. We had a stroller so it was very convenient for others who needed ramp access so without a doubt, that won't be a problem. It's surprisingly cooler at the zoo averaging temperates in the 80s compared to other areas of Cali. Bring some snacks and plenty of fluids. Be there early, we stayed for 5 hours and only covered a fraction of the facility.
  • Absolutely worth the admission. I was there for about 4.5 hours and I wish I had more time. The panda's were absolutely adorable as well as the rest of the animals. I recommend taking a ride on the tour bus to get yourself acclimated to the park. Then set off on your own adventure and explore what you like. I love zoo's and the San Diego zoo and their staff are just amazing at what they do. Have fun!!!
  • This is one of, if the THE best zoos in the U.S. I have been to several zoos and none come close to this one. There are a ton of different animals here and the exhibits are well organized. They offer several restaurants, carts and snack places with a variety of options and even 99 cent refills on drinks. If you want to bring in your own food, that's an option too. The service is great although some of the folks working in the food places didn't seem happy to be there. But, they were not rude or inconsiderate or anything like that. I've taken my family to this zoo several times and I'm guessing today was one of the busiest days of the year. The park is so expansive and varied that we got to the front of each exhibit without a problem. The place draws a good crowd of families so everyone is understanding of kids needing to get up front to see. Get there near opening time and you will find parking in the public parking lot. Get there a few hours after it opens and you might be hunting for a spot. Parking spots are tight, so drive a small car if you have that option. We found a new door ding when we finished the day. Parking is the biggest negative of this zoo, but that is offset by the price for parking,,,free. Which is unheard of at a tourist destination. All in all, this is a great place to visit, whether you have kids or not.
  • It had been years since I visited and I was very impressed with the staff and the quality of exhibits. I enjoyed the plant life almost as much as the animals! There were also some really cool life-size statues of prehistoric animals throughout the park and those were fun to see. The bus tour at the beginning is very much worth the wait in line and I recommend doing it first so you have an idea of what you want to see, especially if you are short on time. I spent a full day there and was able to see everything at a relaxed pace. I also recommend doing almost a counter-clockwise route when walking around. Wear good walking shoes. There are a lot of options for food, drink, and snacks all over the zoo with a pretty good amount of seating. The food prices are reasonable and pretty good quality for being in a park. The drinks and snacks/treats can be a little pricey but they have a refillable mugs for fountain drinks that gives you free refills on the day of purchase and for only $1 on return visits. Near the entrance there was live music which was really fun. It might have been a summer thing but it seems like they have different things happening throughout the year. The website looked pretty helpful for planning as well. I would recommend buying tickets online to avoid waiting in line for a ticket. Just an FYI, the Safari Park has some animals not featured at the zoo, so if you are hoping to see specific animals I would recommend checking the website.
Places to stay near San Diego Zoo

Plan your trip to San Diego

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to San Diego Zoo by other users

3 days in San Diego BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, romantic, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 4 days in San Diego BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in San Diego BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, museums, shopping, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in San Diego BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 10 days in San Francisco, Los Angeles & San Diego BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 4 days in San Diego BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, outdoors, beaches, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 14 days in San Diego BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 34 days in California BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in Western US BY A USER FROM IRELAND July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 4 days in San Diego BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 25 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 14 days in California & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM SPAIN May, romantic, historic sites, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced
View more plans