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San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

Zoo, Park, and Botanical Garden · Balboa Park
2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
Closed until 9:00 AM tomorrow (Show more)
  • Mon–Sun
    • 9:00 AM–8:00 PM
Credit Cards:
Yes (incl. American Express)

The 100-acre Zoo is home to over 4,000 rare and endangered animals representing more than 800 species and subspecies, and a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants. It is located just north of downtown San Diego in Balboa Park.


Based on 2,910 votes

People like this place

  • On Hang With Baby Giraffes and Giant Pandas
  • What you need to know
    Dillon C.
    "First thing: take the bus tour and get the top right seats!"(36 Tips)
    Academy of World Dance n Arts
    "We love the giraffes and the Skyfari aerial tram."(23 Tips)
    Rachel M.
    "Hippo Pool, Panda Canyon, Polar Bears and Gorillas are a must."(19 Tips)
    S_J L.
    "Love this place♥ (guided bus tour was also great!!!!!)"(9 Tips)
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470 tips and reviews.

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  • Peter C.

    Very clean and has the friendliest keepers to answer your questions. Together with the Safari Park it is the best Zoo in the US, if not the world. Wear comfortable shoes. Check the map ahead of time.

    Peter Csanadi · October 11, 2014
  • Natalie S.

    If you can, do the inside look tour. Worth every penny. You get to feed the camels, giraffes and skip the 45 min. Panda line. Staci was our tour guide and she was awesome. You learn a lot.

    Natalie S. · December 22, 2013
  • Hannah C.

    The animals here are loved and cared for by the best zookeepers in the country. It's a place to go to spend all day or just relax quietly in one of the aviaries after a long day.

    Hannah Corriveau · January 23, 2015
  • Dwight Y.

    Best zoo in the world. Nothing else comes close. Well-designed exhibits present animals as they would be in nature. Research and education mission is evident in the information given.

    Dwight Young · December 29, 2014
  • Gilbert H.

    Nice zoo. They have transportation inside the zoo, which is good to move inside. Not recommended in high temperatures in the summer, as animals stay in shades and you can't see them.

    Gilbert Hernandez · July 28, 2015
  • Timmy L.

    Great zoo! The Kangaroo Bus is to get around faster. The actual tour bus you board near the entrance. If the hippos are sleeping, wait 5 minutes. They'll have to take a breath.

    Timmy Larson · July 14, 2014
  • Çağrı Mert B.

    San Diego Zoo is a "must-see" attraction not only in San Diego, but also in the world. It is amazing! The zoo is more than a "zoo". It is also a park that you can have fun and find many things to do!

    Çağrı Mert Bakırcı · September 7, 2012
  • Peter C.

    Awesome! Hands down one of the best Zoo's one the west coast (maybe the best). Great layout to get around to see everything and several options for transportation in the park (buses and sky tram).

    Peter Chin · February 21, 2015
  • Kimberly Q.

    If you're a San Diegan, it's definitely worth getting a season pass! You can bring a guest (with Diamond Level) every time you visit! Great place to bring visitors with no extra expense to you.

    Kimberly Q · June 21, 2015

    This zoo opened in 1915 & covers over 100 acres with more than 4000 animals. In the 80s an orangutan named Ken Allen became famous for repeatedly escaping from the 'escape-proof' orangutan enclosure.

    HISTORY · April 20, 2010
  • Jenny V M.

    Excellent park for families to enjoy. The animals healthy and well fed. Recommendation for the bus ride sitting on the right side as the animals look better. Recommended

    Jenny V Martinez R · January 19, 2015
  • Ignis Dalini E.

    Huge, beautiful, one of my greatest places! Hippos, Rhinos, Bears, Elephants, Gorillas, uff!.. Arrive early, don't buy during your visit (to walk free), you can buy yours presents in the exit store.

    Ignis Dalini Echeverri · September 30, 2013
  • Rachel M.

    Go on a Monday for the lightest crowds and easiest viewing of the Baby Panda. Many of the animals are most active between 10am and 1pm. Hippo Pool, Panda Canyon, Polar Bears and Gorillas are a must.

    Rachel Mercer · January 30, 2013
  • Social N.

    Beautiful, beautiful zoo, but it's gigantic. To fully enjoy the experience, get a two-day pass. Otherwise, you'll end up dragging your feet four or five hours into it. The pandas are a must-see.

    Social News Network · August 14, 2013
  • Benjamin S.

    Pay extra for a behind the scenes tour. Early access panda tour gives access during feeding time before zoo opens. Includes access to parts of zoo normally off limits and golf cart tour of whole zoo.

    Benjamin Szweda · April 23, 2015
  • Maina K.

    If you can go in a cool cloudy day you'll see animals in full action. You need a pass for riding the cable cars, hop on/off bus and for feeding giraffes

    Maina Khoja · July 6, 2015
  • Laura D.

    Best zoo in the country! See the pandas, elephants, gorillas, and polar bears. If you have time, you absolutely must drive up to the wild animal park (~20 miles) for an amazing safari experience. Read more

    Laura D · November 30, 2009
  • Christine B.

    Be sure to feed the giraffes! You need to buy your tickets early at the little hut near the exhibit. $5 gets your 3 biscuits. Spend some extra money to get more's worth it!!!

    Christine B · August 7, 2011
  • Chris O.

    The zoo is massive. Having been to many large zoos I will say that this is one of the more confusing we've been to & isn't very well marked at all. Coloured pathways and signs would be an improvement.

    Chris O · September 16, 2014
  • Shelley S.

    The month of October, kids are free. This in turn creates lack of parking and hundreds of people. We have come during regulars months and had more enjoyment, less crowds and plenty of parking.

    Shelley Sykes · October 17, 2015
  • Dawn A.

    The Zoo is a wonderful place to take a hike! My husband and I go to either zoo or the wild animal park every weekend for our two hour hike and we always see something unique and amazing!!

    Dawn Abbott · February 11, 2011
  • Bofus T.

    This guy was a character. Whenever someone would come up with a stroller, he'd take interest. When the stroller would leave, he'd go toward the back of his habitat.

    Bofus Teefus · October 2, 2012
  • Kacey Dillman C.

    San Diego's Nighttime Zoo China Celebration from 2-9 until September 3 is a really neat experience. It really feels like you are in the jungle and you get to see the animals act differently. Read more

  • Julie C.

    Head to the Panda exhibit early to miss a long line & to see their morning feeding. Parking is free. Pace yourself because there's lots of walking.... its huge. Best zoo we've ever seen!

    Julie Cummings · January 27, 2015
  • The Weather Channel M.

    For an African safari experience, try the Safari Park (www.sdzsafaripark), the zoo’s sister attraction located in Escondido (about 25 miles from the zoo): Lion Camp, Elephant Overlook, Hidden Jungle

  • Alyssa G.

    Take the guided bus tour, it's free with your ticket and you'll see practically the whole place. (Sit on the upper level.) Then you can go back to visit the most interesting parts up close.

    Alyssa Galella · June 15, 2012
  • Kelly M.

    Go early, soon as the zoo opens. See the pandas, polar bears, koalas, whatever you like most as early as possible. Loved the sky tram, great views!

    Kelly McQuien · November 12, 2013
  • Julia

    You'd better spend the whole day there! There are so many things to do and see. Too many animals, shops, and the summer festival performances. Amazing!!

    Julia · August 15, 2013
  • Hollie B.

    Back stage pass is definitely worth it! Pictures with the animals, feeding, education... Not to mention cutsies in the guided tour and express bus lines! And discounts on purchases!

    Hollie Benincosa · March 31, 2013
  • Lloyd A.

    Always purchase the bus tour that gives you all day access to "Express Buses". Worth every penny, but you still have to do a lot of walking. Strollers ARE allowed on Express Busses. :-)

    Lloyd Austin · April 6, 2014
  • Kelsey W.

    If you take the bus tour sit on the passenger side. Whether seated on the top or the bottom most if not ALL of the exhibits are on the passenger side of the bus Uuuggh!

    Kelsey Williams · August 4, 2013

    Cannot say enough about this zoo, which rivals (so far) only Singapore in terms of zoos visited across the world. We would, however, like to know more about those diabetic monkeys. · October 22, 2011
  • Ros47 D.

    Appears to be a location where non-human species of the planet are exhibited. Human species are exhibited on something called "Facebook." Humans enjoy petting non-humans but not the other way around.

    Ros47 Delta · August 17, 2014
  • Mothsquatch

    great zoo... cheap for the year too... we got 2 passes for under $100 bucks and it came with 2 guest passes and good for both this park and the wild animal kingdom too. Read more

    Mothsquatch · January 24, 2010
  • Tiffany W.

    When you get lost in the zoo, don't think that just because the path is leading downhill that you are headed toward the entrance. We ended up at the top of the park near the polar bear exhibit

    Tiffany Winman · July 1, 2013
  • Allison S.

    Amazing animals, take the sky tram! So much fun to walk around with friends or on your own and see the animal kingdom.

    Allison Spivack · December 24, 2015
  • Antonia W.

    Take the skyride to top of the park and work your way down the hills! It's a great way to save some energy and avoid uphills. Also, the top of the park contains a lot of the most important exhibits.

    Antonia Wolf · June 14, 2012
  • Julie W.

    Yes this zoo is huge but you will spend most of you time looking at the map trying to navigate it all. A lot of walking to see small exhibits. Not too impressed.

    Julie Woodward · July 29, 2010
  • Shermans Travel

    Watch polar bears swim at the Polar Rim exhibit; meet the zoo’s newest panda, or experience an “eye-to-nostril encounter” with massive hippos through the underwater-viewing window in the Lost Forest. Read more

    Shermans Travel · August 9, 2012
  • Khaleedzi

    Welcome to San Diego Zoo! One of the world's most popular zoos. The zoo has Skyfari and offers a guided tour double-decked bus and I highly recommend you to start with it. Enjoy! 🐯👍 Read more

    Khaleedzi · April 11, 2014
  • Kya M.

    Best zoo in the country. I would suggest to take the bus tour because it is quite big, and you can get on and off the bus at the bus stops.

    Kya Mootoo · November 8, 2015
  • S_J L.

    Skyfari tram was great!!!! I've been wanting to come here for a long time :D best zoo ever! Love this place♥ (guided bus tour was also great!!!!!)

    S_J L · October 8, 2014
  • San Diego

    Take the Skyfari Aerial Tram and give your feet a rest! Ride to the other side of the zoo while taking in views of the zoo and surrounding Balboa Park area.

    San Diego · July 17, 2012
  • Julie

    Save a lot of time because this zoo is big and needs time to walk around. The only zoo I've bee to and the pandas are actually awake and moving/eating.

    Julie · August 22, 2015
  • Ryan K.

    Bring a pen so you can track your path through the park on the map. Also bring plenty of cash, the b of a ATM is near the tour bus if you forget cash.

    Ryan Koziel · August 21, 2010
  • Homeless Bill

    First, the good news: I found a hole in a fence at the zoo that's big enough for a homeless person to sneak in. Bad news: It's big enough for elephants to sneak out.

    Homeless Bill · June 20, 2010
  • Visit San Diego

    Take the Skyfari Aerial Tram and give your feet a rest! Ride to the other side of the zoo while taking in views of the zoo and surrounding Balboa Park area. Read more

    Visit San Diego · July 20, 2010
  • Ninja C.

    The best zoo in the world! Bring your own food and drink coz it's expensive here and the food sucks! It's only worth paying for a soft serve ice cream. ;)

    Ninja Central · August 19, 2014
  • Aleksander P.

    Great too see but don't take the bus tour-it just consumes your time and you do not see anything from it

    Aleksander P · October 25, 2014
  • Olga D.

    Hop on the bus tour and the skyfari to see most pf the zoo. Use a map to see the animals you like the most, because it's impossible to ser everything in one day!

    Olga Diniz · March 10, 2013

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