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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
Take tour ASAP!
Should have done the tour 7 years ago when we first moved to SD. Tour guide info was both massive and entertaining
Doug_D, May 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
Take tour ASAP!
Doug_D, May 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Should have done the tour 7 years ago when we first moved to SD. Tour guide info was both massive and entertaining
star-5
Easy way to tour San Diego
Mary_M, May 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Benjamin did an excellent job. The tour was informative and the pictures you get are beautiful shots of San Diego.
star-5
It was fun and convenient...
zaneta_b, May 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
It was fun and convenient way to check out the neighborhoods of San Diego and also learn some history along the way.Beth was very informative guide.
star-5
Chris, our driver and...
Kim_B, May 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Chris, our driver and guide was informative entertaining and made the trip worthwhile. It is amazing how much she actually knew about the area people places and events.
star-5
Worth the price
Susy_R, May 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Great way to see the city. We took the trolley all the way around and then planned our stops. Of all the drivers we had, Goose was awesome. Very funny and knowledgeable.
star-5
Your tour is waiting
Thomas_M, May 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Great opportunity to see San Diego area within a day. Drivers where very knowledgeable & professional & friendly.
star-5
Highly recommend this tour if you want tk get to know the area in very little time.
yamile_r, Mar 2022
San Diego GPS Talking GoCar: Best Value - All Day for the Price of 5 Hours
Excellent service from the staff. Got a little lost at one point and they redirected us immediately. Super fun and perfect way to see many important landmarks in such little time. We even got to stop at certain spots and enjoy the moment. We give it a 2 thumbs up.
star-5
Unforgettable family adventure
Thelma_M, Jan 2022
San Diego GPS Talking GoCar: Best Value - All Day for the Price of 5 Hours
Driving around downtown with talking GPS, with family and on the GoCar were so much fun. Their customer service was great and very accommodating. Thanks for our young adults in the group who keep us on track when lost (computer shabby). So follow the GPS if you're alone. We were late to pick up our whole day ride paid, but if not then we could have more fun... It's our fault. This is best way to visit San Diego tourist spot. What a great experience. Thank you very much
star-5
Great way to see San Diego
John_O, May 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Excellent knowledgeable tour guides easy way to get around town comfortable trolleys look forward to doing it again
star-5
The drivers were very...
Donna_R, May 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
The drivers were very informative and entertaining Thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Would definitely recommend
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

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: