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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
Classy
Very convenient, trolly picks up and drop off within 20 min. at every location. I recommend the tour to every visitor.
Riyaz_K, Jul 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-4
Good Intro to SD for First-time Visitors
Howard_L, Jul 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
As first-time visitors to San Diego, it was a good introduction to the more touristy parts of the city, and our first (of 3) drivers had a great sardonic sense of humor and told lots of interesting stories. Our favorite stop was at the beautiful Hotel del Coronado, where we got in some lovely time on the public beach. At times, at was a bit hard to hear the driver on these open-sided busses due to traffic noise, windy conditions (on parts of the route) and some loud-talking passengers.
star-5
Classy
Riyaz_K, Jul 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Very convenient, trolly picks up and drop off within 20 min. at every location. I recommend the tour to every visitor.
star-5
Hop off Hop on Trolly
AutumnBlueford, Jul 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
The narrator was excellent and made the trip fun and informative. The stops were fun. However, it would be nice it the trolley ran longer in the evening because we felt rushed when we got off at the different stops.
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
Best way to sightsee in SD
Kristin_K, Jun 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
The trolley was such a convenient way to get around and hear about historic spots in San Diego. All of the tour guides brought their own unique personality and humor which was a highlight as well. We really enjoyed it. Jessica, Scotty, Goose and Vinnie were all fabulous.
star-5
Fun times!
Michele_L, Jun 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
It was very informative and gave us an idea of where we wanted to go back to. Balboa Park, Coronado and Seaport Village and stroll through the gaslight district for some amazing food choices.
star-5
Loved it.
Deborah_G, Jun 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
We took our 2 kids 10 and 8 on this tour. They had a good time walking around. They loved Coronado bay and walking around the beach . There is a lot to see. We didn’t get to do it all in 1 day.
star-5
Learned so much!
Doug_A, Jun 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Great personality of each driver. Learned alot about the history of San Diego,..,.............=rrrfgjjjhhds d ujjj gf Thu jj gjjv tf f g
star-5
Fantastic
Michele_T, Jun 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
I would highly recommend going on this tour! It was fantastic! We enjoyed seeing all the sites along the way! I love the fact that you can get on and off at any time. I never realized that their was so much to see here! I would do it again in a heartbeat!
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
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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: