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San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

star-4.5
954 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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San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
star-4.5
$44.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great Day on the Trolley
We had a great time and the trolley was a great idea for us. Scooter made our ride so much fun. He was informative, witty and personable. Mo was another one of our drivers who made our ride fun. At one point, we were nervous because we thought the trolley came by and we missed it but it was late due to traffic etc....Would have been nice to have some communication regarding the time table.
Kelly_N, Sep 2021

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
Great Day on the Trolley
Kelly_N, Sep 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
We had a great time and the trolley was a great idea for us. Scooter made our ride so much fun. He was informative, witty and personable. Mo was another one of our drivers who made our ride fun. At one point, we were nervous because we thought the trolley came by and we missed it but it was late due to traffic etc....Would have been nice to have some communication regarding the time table.
star-5
Fantastic!!! Worth it.
Buddhadev_M, Sep 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Fantastic tour around town. Well worth the two hours. Great way to get a high-level view of things to do around town.
star-5
Excellent tour!
VIN, Sep 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Dave from Viator provided excellent customer service and was able to squeeze our family in the tour. It was a wonderful experience!
star-5
The trolley ride
Elizabeth_F, Sep 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
I really enjoy the ride on the trolley and the ride helped us discover new places we haven't seen or heard before. The driver was really cheerful, funny and polite.
star-5
Great tour person.
John_C, Sep 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Our tour person was excellent, it was Jesica. Good history, good stories, fun music. Enjoy our tour very much.
star-5
Go for it. You will love it!
Phillip_B, Aug 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
The history narrative given by the drivers is awesome! Our favorite thing about the tour was riding around in the trolley and seeing the sites, without having to drive and deal with traffic. Highly recommend this tour!
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.

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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