Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • elaineo441
    Greater Manchester, United Kingdom19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Brilliant day
    All the animals are well cared for. We had a fantastic day and saw quite a lot of the zoo. We also visited the shark experience. We saw the lions, jaguar and orangutans. Our 3 year old loved seeing Bing and Flop. The flamingo and lemur walk through areas are brilliant and a highlight of the day. Next visit will be to the islands.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written May 23, 2023
  • Nimmy37
    Chester, United Kingdom806 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Tiger cubs !!!
    We have recently rejoined as member’s after a short break and have already visited four times. This is to see the tiger cubs and all the other changes that are going on at the zoo. Although difficult to spot at times we have been lucky to see them on most visits and they are amazing. Great to see conservation work successfully being carried out so close to home. Looking forward to many more visits to see them grow and also enjoy the other animals.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 29, 2023
  • Barbara S
    Bexhill-on-Sea, United Kingdom32 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see place
    Absolutely brilliant place to visit. The animals have lovely large enclosures, and other than the Tiger, who is an illusive creature anyway, we managed to see nearly every exhibit. You do need to allow 5 to 6 hours for your visit, though. There's plenty of food outlets and snack places around the park. Lots of free parking and situated very centrally.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 30, 2023
  • Beccy
    Freckleton, United Kingdom77 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great family day out
    Great day out with kids. Need 5/6 hours to walk around everywhere. Lots of animals in big enclosures to see. Loads of food outlets and icecream shops scattered around the park. Worth the money. Kids really enjoyed their day out
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 1, 2023
  • sazzy6
    Newport -Trefdraeth, United Kingdom17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Busy but a lovely day.
    The animals looked well looked after and had spacious enclosures. Was very busy but that was not a problem as plenty of food places and toilets (the important things!) and also plenty of places to sit if you brought your own picnic. Quite a few of the animals were not in sight, but it was a hot day so understandable, maybe they would be more visible on a quieter, cooler day.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 1, 2023
  • sarahevansse
    Southport, United Kingdom116 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great day, well cared for animals and a wide range of species
    Public transport to the zoo could be better organised. Last time we were able to get a bus from Bache station on a combined train and zoo ticket but these no longer seem available. A few enclosures we couldn’t see any animals inside and sadly no tiger cubs. However, the ones that did emerge saved the day and provided good entertainment. Elephants, giraffes, rhinos, orangutans and lions all great. June’s Food Court very good. The informal atmosphere and seating very suitable for my autistic adult son. Free admission for carers much appreciated.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written June 2, 2023
  • Indeana
    Harpenden, United Kingdom227 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Really enjoyable experience
    Fairly compact area, compared to say Whipsnade Zoo, I believe around 15 acres, although being expanded. There is a lot to see in a relatively small area. The animals and displays are excellent. Refreshments okay, toilets good. Entry for a couple was £71, but worth it, no concession for OAPs.
    Visited May 2023
    Written June 3, 2023
  • Emily H
    Southampton, United Kingdom52 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best Zoo!
    We booked “breakfast with the lions” experience and it was amazing! It was for our 2 year old and he loved it. Food was really good, plenty there and drinks too. Didn’t feel rushed and the staff were brilliant, so friendly and knew so much. The zoo itself is incredible, so much to see. We ate lunch at the oakfield and again was so good. The animals all look like they are thriving it’s lovely to see. This was only our second time to this zoo and wish we lived a little closer to be able to visit all the time. Would highly recommend, faultless!
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 3, 2023
  • PNBurrows
    Wrexham, United Kingdom15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Batty Experience
    Excellent time at the Bat Experience today. One of our favourite experiences ever. Big thanks to our gracious guides, Georgia and Brittany, they were extremely helpful, passionate about animals and enjoyed passing on their knowledge.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 6, 2023
  • Gareth Davies
    70 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive Zoo.
    The collection of animals and the habitats for them to live in are both amazing (albeit I didn't see quite a few of the animals). In particular, the Islands area and boat trips was really well done. The only 3 drawbacks I had were that the opening hours are too short - we arrived very shortly after 10am and didn't really get enough time to see the whole zoo by the time it closed at 5pm (which is due to its sheer size), some of the ramps are rather difficult to get up in a manual wheelchair (and the decking was very bumpy), and that we couldn't get a map as we booked online (and a good map is needed for a place of that size), but overall it was a lovely day out and it is a very impressive zoo.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 11, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5 of 5 bubbles16,776 reviews
Very good

lesley l
manchester26 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Newcastle, UK5 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
My husband and I had been planning this visit for a while for our 2 year old who had never been to a Zoo. We booked the 12-5pm slot on Tuesday 26th August. When arriving I was was extremely surprised by the amount of people arriving and the cars parked. I had assumed as the zoo would have been practicing COVID measures there would be a reduced amount of people.... I was very wrong. It became very obvious very quickly that the zoo was completely over subscribed with visitors. Although the zoo has attempted to put certain measures in place (one way systems, additional sanitising stations) it was a very flawed system as the amount of people visiting was ridiculous. My main concern and disappointment was all the que’s you had to join to see any of the animals. I don’t mind queuing, however you were queuing for an average 20-30 minutes per animal area which was a real issue as in the end we didn’t get to see many of the animals, I was so disappointed for our son who was really looking forward to seeing a lot of his favourite animals. The que to see the orangutans was over 45 minutes which I completely refused to do - eating up precious time and also I knew my son wouldn’t have tolerated it being a 2 year old. For the most part he was so patient for the animals that he did get to see. For those animals which were situation in closed spaces, it all felt very rushed as you knew you were part of the que to see the animals and we felt under pressure to rush through the exhibits because of the people behind us. The other issue which was the amount of exhibits that were closed. Understandably I had assumed this would be the case, however there was quite a few which again if I had known this I wouldn’t have bought tickets and made the 3 hour drive from Newcastle. This was the chimpanzee’s, aquarium, the bats, to name a few. By the time we had seen a few of the animals we had only seen a quarter of the zoo in total. For 2 x full priced adult tickets £56, I think this was completely shocking. There was also no indoor dining facilities at all. The zoo had a few snack stations dotted around the park but if you wanted to eat it had to be outside on a picnic bench. On the day we went it was heavily raining and windy, which again I don’t mind, I knew this would be a risk, but as we travelled so far we hadn’t bought a picnic or food to eat so again this is something that you will need to consider.
I’ve visited Chester Zoo several times before and never have I experience the shambles like it was on this day. One staff member was so rude and didn’t even want to knowledgeable how disappointed we were. If you’re thinking about visiting I would really consider if you’re willing to que for a long time to see the animals. Not great if you have very young children.
Written August 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bradford, UK33 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Family
I'm ever so sorry to say that I would not recommend a weekday visit during school holidays during the coronavirus restrictions.
Having paid very close to £100 for a family of 4 we found there were queues of 30-50 minutes outside the major indoor exhibits, given we'd opted for an after 12pm ticket as we had a long drive to get there, we were really disappointed. Access to some enclosures was stopped well before closing.
Given the awful weather, most things were inside or visible only from a one-way system with... another queue.
It was made harder to see what we wanted due to a lack of maps, sign posts and map boards (luckily I'd printed one), and a hard to use app. You follow one sign to a junction, then you have no idea where to go next.
We barely saw anything in the 5 hours.
I feel robbed.
Written October 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Oswestry, UK193 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Family
We booked our tickets well in advance because we were reassured by the website that the numbers would be limited and distancing enforced. We visited the zoo at the same time last year so were able to compare how busy it was. Last year there were fewer people, it was crowded with people disregarding the zoo's 2m distancing rule and even the 1m+ law. The only area enforcing the separation was the glass penguin viewing area but the queue was bunched together.
We decided to get a coffee and something to eat at the coffee house. We queued for 20 minutes and were next in line when the server shouted that the coffee house was not serving coffee. The food choice was gourmet hot dog, chilli dog or veggie dog. I thought a hot dog with onions and sauces would be nice. What we got for £4-50 each was (see picture) a dry roll and a bratwurst. Ketchup sachet provided the sauce. Cans of drinks were £1-50 each.
To the chimps! It was hard to see the chimps as they were all against the wall of the house and the viewing area that allows you to see that part was closed (picture). There were several animals and areas that couldn't be seen.
All in all a frustrating and expensive day.
Written August 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jonny S
Middlesbrough, UK62 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
This is my third visit to the zoo, but first under Covid restrictions. Normally my review would be nothing but a 5* one but thought I would put this up just to pre warn people as I wish I’d listened to reviews before booking..

So I heard there was a reduced amount of guests allowed into the zoo because of Covid. For me this isn’t true upon arriving the car park was probably more full than the times I’ve been without the restrictions, I feel the zoo have just said this to encourage people to come.

Upon entering the zoo, there is one way systems in place which are generally well managed but that’s all that is. Soon as you hit an animal enclosure it’s every man, woman and kid for themselves. No social distancing is observed and no instructions either, they asked for people to stand behind yellow lines at viewing windows and not to touch glass and I lost count at how many people flaunted these rules.

Lots of enclosures where closed for obvious reasons, every single indoor attraction had a que of about 30-60 minutes long, now after paying nearly £60 for a 12 o clock time slot and having 5 hours in the zoo some of these was kind of a decision of, que and miss other things or carry on. Once you enter these indoor areas the social distancing goes again, people stood inches behind make you feel rushed to move on.

Overall I love going to the zoo and paying for the conservation of the animals, and like I said at the top every other visit has been brilliant. But while under these restrictions I won’t be back, unless changes are made from the zoo’s side. Reduce the number of guests, I wouldn’t even mind paying a bit extra by doing this just so you actually get to see animals
Written August 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sian G
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
Chester Zoo is always a lovely day out, I’ve been coming for most of my life and it’s my favourite place to go to. I do suggest getting an annual membership if you plan to come 3 or more times a year. I have a dual membership with my mum as we like to come regularly. With this membership you also get 1 free entry per year to a number off different zoos and you also get a 10% (I think) discount at the shops, cafes, restaurants and kiosks. The prices may be a little higher than normal shops but if you go to any attraction place, Like Alton Towers, you will find that things are way more expensive than Chester Zoo. Bear in mind, Chester Zoo is a charity and rely on the public and donations. I have found some nice keep sakes.

I also suggest bringing food with you if you don’t want to pay the prices in the restaurants. They have plenty of open grass spaces, picnic benches and indoor eating areas for you to sit and eat. If you do want to try the food, I recommend going to the Manado Street Kitchen where there is a range of South East Asian dishes.

On to the animals:
When Chester Zoo first opened, George (the founder) wanted it to be a zoo without bars and today it’s still true. You won’t see animals in tiny cages, they have large open area enclosures giving them room to move. My favourite animals are the African Painted Dogs, the butterfly house and the giraffes where there is a picnic area that you can watch the giraffes from and, if you’re lucky, they may come over to the fence to watch you.
The zoo is so big that you might not see everything on that day.

All in all, I highly recommend Chester Zoo to anyone, wether your a family, a couple or a photographer (you can get really nice shots here)
Written August 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sheffield, UK275 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Couples
I was startled by how overcrowded the zoo was today, considering limited tickets have supposedly been issued. Queues were long and there was little social distancing in unsupervised areas. The park is not fully open with many attractions still closed. Queues for food took nearly an hour and there were few kiosks open for drinks, resulting in very long queues.

The animals were mostly hidden away and we heard many people grumbling that it was a waste of time being there. We walked around and didn't see any big cats, the chimps were being fed so locked away, aquarium was closed and bat's not accessible.

I understand that the animals are bring kept in their natural habitat but the vegetation was so thick in places it hid the animals. We couldn't wait for them to come out as we were pushed along by the crowds of people with pushchairs all vying to see. We are in the midst of a pandemic and it's not practical or safe for so many to be crowded together.

I feel really disappointed by the Chester Zoo experience. Too many people, closed attractions and animals hidden away by overgrown or inappropriately placed vegetation. Yes, they need to feel that they are in natural surroundings but if you're charging so much for the public to see animals then at least give us a chance to see them. Sell fewer tickets so people feel safer and don't feel rushed to move along. Open more kiosks. I won't be returning for a very long time.
Written September 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sunshine by the shoreside 1987
Exmouth, UK56 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
We have had the most fantastic day at the zoo. The staff there have gone above and beyond to make sure everything is safe and organised, of course, they cannot account for the very few dross covidiots that have no regard for others and break the rules no matter how hard they try.

I am shocked to read the review by Keegan96, stating that they did not know that pre booking was required when the website clearly states this, as the zoo needs to limit numbers that enter on a daily basis in order to maintain social distancing to some degree. To be fair, you shouldn't need to be informed in the middle of a pandemic to plan ahead, and perhaps this is why the COVID rate is so high amongst some, as they lack forethought. Furthermore, there is a big sign at the entrance stating the same, but for anybody who does attend without a ticket, there is no need to be out of pocket, Chester has a wonderful heritage, a cathedral, and isn't too far from lots of wonderful places including some wonderful beaches.

Anyway, back to the actual star if the show. Chester zoo. The animals are well cared for in spacious and clean enclosures. There are some exhibits that are closed in order to protect the animals and guests, however we still saw lots of animals and made a mental note of the few we didn't so that we can revisit when the attractions are open. The staff are EVERYWHERE. They ensure everyone keeps to the one way, that hand sanitiser and face masks are used and give helpful advice on the best routes to take.

Not fussed about having to wear a face mask in the toilet like other people, it is an indoor area with lots of people coming and going so it makes sense to me. They are cleaned regularly. We did not really have to queue for anything, though there were long lines for the orangutans, jaguar's and lions later in the day so it is advisable to do those as soon as you get there.

We did not find social distancing to be an issue. For the most part people were respectful and even in the bottle necks we were really nowhere near anyone. There were a few people who were a problem, you get this everywhere and it isnt the zoos fault. 99.9% of people were being sensible. It did get busier in the afternoon due to the afternoon ticket holders coming in but by this time we were ready for the off.

We had a picnic lunch by the camels. There were plenty of bins. No litter anywhere.

It was great.If you do anything during this pandemic, spend that bit extra and support this great zoo that does so much for conservation and animal welfare. It is by far the best zoo we have visited and we cant wait to return in the future.

Just ahead.
Written August 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wiltshire, UK22 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
My son has been wanting to come here for a long time, so we booked and stayed nearby. Our expectations were set high, due to watching this on TV and because, well it's the best zoo ever isnt it???

Arrived, straight through no problems. Saw the elephants yay, but we peaked too soon!! From that point on we hardly saw any animals. Lots of enclosures are closed, more than we expected. Add into the mix the tannoy going off about COVID all the time we KNOW!! Then for good measure the grumpy staff barking to keep 2 metres or 1 metre apart, not stepping over the yellow line and for people to "keep moving" was NOT enjoyable.

We took a picnic as did lots of others did too. The food outlets were open but hardly anyone buying it seems. Take your own anti bac gel and wipes with you, theirs had run out ( but the enthusiastic tannoy says otherwise)

Paid £97 and Bristol Zoo is better in our opinion and that's saying something. Will not be returning not sure how people can stay for 6/7 hours when it's only about 60% open. Such a shame.

Download the map onto your phone and you will join the other stressed and frustrated dads (and mums) we saw trying to navigate their families around 🤣 us included.
Written August 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ben W
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Family
Poor experience. Not worth the money at the moment.

Many areas were closed, with no notification on the website or in the lead up to the areas. My kids wanted to see the meerkats, the aquarium and the fruit bats, all of which were closed. What was more annoying was that there were no notices on the lead up to these areas stating that they were closed. We queued for 20 minutes to see the monkeys and were then hurried through the enclosure and spent less than 1 minute in there.
The member of staff at the Lemur enclosure was rude and unhelpful. There is a brief statement on the website stating that children over 3 have to wear a face mask, but nothing in the zoo itself stating that which means we queued but then got turned away.

I understand that things are different at the moment, but COVID-19 is not an excuse for charging full price and then closing off most of the open air areas of the zoo.
Written October 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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