Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo: Hours, Address, Chester Zoo Reviews: 4.5/5

Chester Zoo
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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We're the UK's number one charity zoo, with over 21,000 animals and 500 different species, including some of the most endangered species on the planet. With 1.9 million visitors every year, the zoo is an all-year round, full-day visitor attraction for everyone. We're open daily from 10am, except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Car parking is free and on site. Facilities for disabled visitors, including self-drive electric scooters and wheelchairs.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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16,128 reviews
Very good

Mel Wadsworth
Mirfield, UK1,006 contributions
We received gift vouchers for Chester Zoo for Christmas and waited until we could book to go as a family.

Tip 1: Gift vouchers cannot be used to 'pre-book' tickets online. You will need to email the zoo to book the date and exchange them on the day for your tickets.

Tip 2: Entry fees automatically include a 10% charity donation. You must state if you do not want to pay this.

We entered the zoo on Saturday 14th August (Peak school holidays) and genuinely though we would be there 2-3 hours and get around it all...we were actually there over 6 hours and still did not get to see everything, so definitely prepare a list of what you want to see so you don't miss out!

There is so much to see and do, with the extra summer activities to get involved in.

Our daughter enjoyed having her face painted (£6) and joined in with the bird feeder making activities and hula hooping.

There were also several woodland play areas and obstacle courses for the kids, which were a welcome rest stop for a coffee.

June's Food Court was open to serve fish and chips, pies, burgers, sausage rolls etc - this was OK with a 30 minute queue. (I would recommend signage for customers at the entrance to state 30 minute queue from here to manage expectations).

The animals were beautiful and well looked after, I would highly recommend a visit!
Written August 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Wolverhampton, UK301 contributions
We had pre-booked our tickets so we could go straight through the gates after being directed to a free parking space not too far from entrance however on busy days this might be a distance away.
It great to enter and immediately see the elephants. As we were visiting whilst still under Covid restrictions it meant that we were easily able to get to see the animals.
We did have to queue to get into a few of the animal houses but these queues were never very long but that may be different when numbers inside the zoo are not capped.
You need to be prepared to walk a long way on your visit as the grounds are extensive which is good in as much as it means the animals have a reasonable amount of space and are not confined to small areas as in some zoos. The down side of this is that the animals have space to hide from you and we were unfortunate that most of the big cats had decided to do that. There is no set route to follow and signs are not always great. There is an app you may download to get a map to follow and there are some boards with maps to check your position.
There are a lot of stalls with food/drinks/snacks but they tend to be very repetitive and as a captive audience quite expensive especially if your on a family day out, so perhaps wise to take your own picnic.
Written August 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

uk146 contributions
We had a great day here, the zoo is large and well laid out. Lots to see and the different areas of animals are interesting and cleverly landscaped. We also noticed how well kept all the plants and paths were, clean,tidy and beautiful plants everywhere. We particularly enjoyed the boat ride, it was a hot and sunny day and we actually felt like we were somewhere abroad, it was bliss! Our favourite area of the zoo was the indoor bat forest, that was amazing.
We had some really good stree5 food at the street kitchen which are a nice change from the usual burgers and fast food choices ( although those options were there too ).
We spent the whole day at the zoo and really enjoyed it, and would definitely come back.
Bt the way you can still buy paper maps, they cost £1 and you can buy them in the cafe near the entrance- this was the only niggle as we had to queue in a food place just to buy a map.
Written August 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

York, UK2 contributions
1. Parking was excellent and well organised
2. Face painting was a lovely touch for little ones and the people doing it were brilliant with the kids. It was also reasonably priced
3. The kids had a really great day
4. Lots of areas for picnics

Negatives (we went bank holiday Thursday so appreciate this may have been much busier than normal)
1. Map and signage system really needs to be rethought.
2. Queues for food was horrendous. After queuing 20 mins for an ice cream I got to front of queue for it to be closed due to technical problems with electrics. Second time I queued for a burger at BBQ stand to be told they had run out of food. I didnt bother again after that
3. There were so many people in the zoo after lunchtime that it felt like I was on a human conveyor belt being pushed around the zoo and not really able to see or enjoy the enclosures.
4 . It is very expensive - why is there no family ticket?
5. I think its a shame monorail has gone given how large the zoo now is.

Overall our trip was not as pleasant as previous visits - I am not sure if this is purely because of the time of year we visited or because of the changes in the zoo over the years.

I would highly recommend prebooking a pushchair- even if your child is usually pretty good at lots of walking and a little too old for one. Even my 6 year old was struggling half way through day but they had run out of pushchairs on the day.
Written June 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Glasgow, UK80 contributions
Been to Chester Zoo numerous times (both in school holidays and term time) pre-Covid, and always enjoyed a good day out. This time though was hard work. The place was overcrowded, we heard a woman who was a member commenting about how she’d never seen it that busy. In my opinion they don’t seem to be limiting numbers, I’d go as far as to say that the opposite is true and they are trying to recoup income lost during the lockdowns. Whilst I empathise with their lost revenue, and understand that a zoo still needs to function even if they cannot open, making visitors feel miserable due to vast numbers isn’t all that great.

The monorail seems to have disappeared altogether, and there were no maps to be had. The signage round the zoo isn’t the best either, so navigating is sometimes an issue. They recommend you download their app to access the map on there, which is fine if you’re tech savvy or have a smart phone!

As far as we could see, there was little to no social distancing in place, and the zoo was so crowded that there were queues for most of the enclosures. 30 minute wait for the orangutan, around the same for the Jaguars. The bath house wasn’t open at all due to Covid regulations, and be mindful that the lemur walk through requires everyone to wear a face covering, there are only exemptions for under 2’s, and nothing else. Not a big deal at all, just make sure you have a face covering :)

We took a picnic, found a nice spot by the large play park which was nice but there did seem to be a lack of benches to sit on. The food prices are pretty expensive but on par with similar attractions, so I’d recommend a picnic,although the ice cream was well priced! Avoid the slushes, they were very watery and expensive (£2.50 each)

We’d go again, but we’ll wait until the majority of people aren’t staycationing in the UK, as it was far too busy and didn’t make for a great day out. Chester Zoo really do need to look at how many people they’re cramming in.
Written August 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

25 contributions
Went for the Into the Night event on 30/07 and all I can say is we booked the tickets based on false advertising. The website states the full zoo is open and whist this may be the case, the same can't be said for the exhibits. Orangutans, giraffes, chimpanzees were closed and many animals had clearly been put to bed for the evening. The only food available was in the usual eating places and queues were 30 -45mins if you were lucky. There was certainly no'themed' food as advertised.
As for the exhilarating entertainment, there was no entertainment at all.
Written July 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

lesley l
manchester31 contributions
We visited the Zoo on August 19th, we booked tickets for a 12 o'clock entry. Due to Covid 19 we had read that the Zoo was limiting the numbers of visitors at the Zoo but that was not how it felt! the Zoo was very busy and social distancing was difficult. Unfortunately there was heavy rain during the afternoon which meant all the animals took shelter in their indoor enclosures, (sensible) so visitors then had to queue (in heavy rain) for 30-40 mins to go in to see the monkeys or Jaguar.
We appreciate that the weather is beyond the Zoos control but due to the high visitor numbers combined with the rain and no shelter it made for an uncomfortable experience.
We would not recommend pre booking tickets until you know what the weather might be like, as a rainy day and Covid restrictions made for a short expensive trip to the Zoo, with very little experience of the animals sadly.
Written August 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Warrington, UK14 contributions
A somewhat mixed review. We visited on a weekday in June with lovely weather and lots of school kids (the later I expected due to time of year) however the crowds didn’t bother me and actually the place is that big that it only really feels busy in the shops and restaurants or play areas!!
On the day the visibility of the animals was poor. No lions, tigers and most animals taking advantage of the shade so can’t really do much about that. My biggest gripe was the dining and restaurant offers. We headed for the food court and crikey no thought whatsoever has been given to healthy eating here…. It’s expensive and lacks any form of alternative to fatty fast food. I’d made the decision not to pack a packed lunch because I thought it would be easier to feed my toddler. Won’t make that mistake again! Toilets and baby changes on site were also grubby. For a £30 adult entry fee I’d expect some kind of map or guide…. No i was told I have to download the app. But then I got in the park and there were people with a map. Trying to navigate a map on a mobile whilst controlling a toddler I wouldn’t advise. I didn’t see a water fountain anywhere but they would sell you a £1.50 can of water. We had a lovely day but I left feeling really underwhelmed and after a visit to an expensive fast food cafe and expensive gift shop about £75 lighter for me and a two year old to visit.
Written June 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ripley, UK168 contributions
Fabulous zoo, well laid out with good size enclosures and an amaxing variety of animals as you would expect for the admission price.
The zoo is very large which whilr on one hand is a us, the negative is that it is nearly impossible to get around in a day,, especially with little people. Don't understand why there's not an option for a 2 day ticket for a small upcharge.
I've seen a lot of comments from people that the food is ridiculously expensive but to be honest, I thought it was reasonable/fairly standard pricing. We ate at the street food place, £7.95 for a meal deal with burger, fries and chips and think the kids option was £4.95. However, service there was incredibly slow and disorganised with several people there recieving the wrong item or had items missing whilst we waited for ours.
Although the boat trip is nice to do, unless the queue is short I wouldn't bother... It was a 45min queue when we went, only saw a couple of animals that we had already seen on it and wasted time getting to see other animals.
The app is a great idea and worth downloading pre-visit. Personally I found the directions difficult to follow on there (went in the wrong direction a few times and at one point checked a map board in the zoo which showed us as being in a completely different location to where the app map said we were) and would have preffered a paper map though understand the environmental reasons for not having those.
Written April 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

F033 💕
United Kingdom56 contributions
Had a great day at Chester Zoo last week! 😍 We arrived just before 10am opening and left just before closing time, with an absolutely packed day in between! We went to every area in the Zoo and saw most of the animals, however there were a few major animals that weren't on show when we visited. These were Tigers, Jaguars and Andean Bears which was a shame! 🥺 The prices at the Snack Posts were pretty pricey, but I did get a Slush for £2.75 which would be a size large drink at McDonald's for example. I would have preferred a range of sizes (Small, Medium, Large) as I didn't have it all, as you weren't allowed food or drink on the Island Lazy River Boats which was unfortunate. I enjoyed the Boat Trip which was a lovely break from the massive amount of walking we were doing 😂 We had a fantastic day and for just under £30 when buying a ticket in advance, this was well worth it. 9/10.. would have been 10 if we'd seen more of the main animals ☺️ Thanks Chester Zoo!
Written July 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Chester Zoo is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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