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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
$46.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
I enjoyed every minute....
I enjoyed every minute. We stared with Benjamin and ended win Goose! Thy were both great. Kept us engaged they gave so much information. Definitely doing it again.
Jamie_A, Aug 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in San Diego

star-5
Lovely San Diego
Jean_G, Apr 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
San Diego, it’s people, architecture, scenery, cleanliness. I loved it and it is definitely a must come back destination
star-5
I enjoyed every minute....
Jamie_A, Aug 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
I enjoyed every minute. We stared with Benjamin and ended win Goose! Thy were both great. Kept us engaged they gave so much information. Definitely doing it again.
star-4
Great overview of the area
Margaret_L, Aug 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
I really like learning about an area I’m visiting and this gives a great overview with the ability to get off and explore.
star-4
Hop on bus, should have taken an uber back
Donna_E, Aug 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Our first driver was excellent, funny & informative. We thoroughly enjoyed our journey with her, from old town to Coronado. However, our return trip from Coronado Island, a separate bus was called for a full bus, and the driver, also female, was rude, not a safe driver, running multiple red lights, and did not seem to be enjoying her job at all. Maybe it was because she was called to make a special run or pickup, but she really ruined the trip for all involved.
star-5
Great SD Zoo & Safari
Debora_M, Jul 2022
San Diego Zoo and Safari Park 2-Visit Pass Ticket
Had a great time at the SD Zoo & Zoo Safari. The animals were great, especially in the bigger areas at the Zoo Safari! My family really enjoyed it!
star-5
Explore!
Roni_M, Aug 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
For 2 days we used the Reilly to visit and explore a variety of places in San Diego. The tour guide was fun and I’ll of great, interesting information.
star-5
Nice introduction to many areas.
Jack_M, Aug 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Denny was the best driver/guide. Informative and entertaining. He personalized the history and described the various places in an interesting way.
star-5
Zoo and safari park
Thomas_H, Jun 2022
San Diego Zoo and Safari Park 2-Visit Pass Ticket
Beautiful and well kept for the animals! So spacious for them to roam. Best park in the USA. Workers are friendly and so helpful and knowledgeable
star-5
Yay for the Trolley!!
Debbie_K, Aug 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Hearing the history of the city. Being able to see the sights without having to drive or worry about parking.
star-5
Great way to see the neighborhoods!
Aimee_C, Aug 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
The hop on/hop off tour was great, even though we didn’t hop off! Our guide, Vinnie, did a great job narrating and driving, keeping us entertained all the way!
star-5
Great way to see the city!
Kathleen_P, Aug 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Loved the ease of picking up the trolley at different spots and seeing everything we wanted to see. You cannot see everything on the list in one day so we recommend choosing a few stops that you know you want to make so you don’t feel rushed.
star-5
Awesome tour with Benjamin
Sukhi_B, Aug 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Benjamin was a great tour guide with a great sense of humor. We saw all the basic places in San Diego as we were short on time this tour was perfect
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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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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to San Diego Zoo?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in San Diego?
A:
As well as visiting the San Diego Zoo, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: