Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo: Hours, Address, Edinburgh Zoo Reviews: 4/5

Edinburgh Zoo
4
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Edinburgh Zoo is set in 82 acres of sloping parkland and is situated three miles to the west of Edinburgh city centre. It is home to over 1,000 rare and endangered animals, including chimpanzees, sun bears, Indian Rhinos, the UK's only koalas and the first Giant Pandas in the UK for 17 years. You can experience a busy programme of educational events and activities from keeper talks to hands-on animal encounters. There is also a wide-range of eating experiences, several play areas and a fantastic gift shop.Viewing for the Giant Pandas is currently free flow and booking is not required. Please check our website for any daily updates or closures.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
8,884 reviews
Excellent
3,734
Very good
2,454
Average
1,368
Poor
738
Terrible
590

Tori S
Belford, UK30 contributions
May 2022 • Family
We visited at the weekend and had a fantastic family day. Our 3 year old loved all the animals, especially the giraffes and the play parks dotted around the zoo were a welcome break from lots of walking! The dinosaur exhibition was a brilliant addition.

Taking a 3 year old and a 6 month old, we were a bit nervous regarding the reviews that stated the zoo is based on a hill. It is but all the paths are buggy friendly and I had the baby in a carrier and managed them no problem, my 3 year old walked the majority of the hill and just got in her brothers buggy for a rest close to the top, so please do not let that put you off! I think there were also mobility buggy’s available at the entrance for those unable to manage the walking. The view of Edinburgh at the top is breathtaking and worth the climb! All areas of the park were clean and the animals are clearly well looked after. We thought the price tag of just over £50 for the 4 of us (baby free) was very reasonable. We’ve visited farms and much smaller zoos closer to home for a very similar price and we few we got much more for our money here!! Thank you for a fab day out!
Written May 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi TorSNorthumberland, Thank you for taking the time to leave us a wonderful five star review and sharing your experience! We're delighted you and your family enjoyed your visit and were able to see so many of our amazing animals and our new Dinosaurs! exhibit. We appreciate that the hill can be a challenge for some but agree that the spectacular views over Edinburgh from our giraffe habitat at the top of the hill make the climb worth it! As you said, we have mobility scooters available for hire for those who need it and we also run a free mobility vehicle service too so that visitors can hitch a ride to the top of the hill if they don't feel up to the hike. Our dedicated expert teams work hard to ensure our animals receive the highest standard of care and that our zoo is clean and well maintained. They will all be so glad to hear your kind feedback! Thank you for supporting our wildlife conservation charity. The cost of your ticket helps us feed and care for all of the animals here at Edinburgh Zoo, and supports vital conservation projects here in Scotland (like Scottish wildcats and pine hoverflies) and around the globe. from chimpanzees in Uganda to giant anteaters in Brazil. Thanks again for your support, we hope to welcome you back again soon! 💛
Written May 9, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Caroline
Aberdeenshire, UK19 contributions
May 2021 • Friends
We visited with my two young children who were so excited to visit the zoo but sadly I was a little let down. The place is looking run down. The new park area was quite good but I felt the place lacked any real wow factor overall. The food is overpriced and the quality is really poor so would definitely recommend taking a picnic with you. We barely caught a look at any of the animals as the enclosures were very over grown and the glass was so dirty. I understand this isn’t the easiest to maintain but sadly meant viewing the animals was very hard. In terms of covid 19 - sanitizer was provided all over the zoo which I was glad to see. The one way system to us was very clear and signage remind the public about the rules was all over the place. Unfortunately due to the high number of people in the park crowding was unavoidable and I didn’t feel very safe. I didn’t see much social distancing which is the responsibility of the individuals, however I would urge the zoo to look at this as we visited on a Monday during the school term so I hate to imagine what it would be like at the weekend. Overall an average family day out. Wouldn’t rush back.
Written June 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi ctaitx, thank you for taking the time to leave us a review and for sharing your feedback. We're sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your visit. As a wildlife conservation charity, every ticket and purchase in our cafes helps feed and care for our amazing animals and protects threatened species around the world. We're sorry to hear you found the signage confusing and we'll be sure to pass this along to the relevant teams. There are still limited visitor numbers, though we have been fully booked due to English school holidays the past couple of weeks which is why it may have felt busier than usual on a Monday. There are over 2,500 amazing animals living here at the zoo, with natural enclosures full of foliage to provide organic coverage, as well as private areas to give them privacy should they choose it during the day. We always recommend visiting different areas of the zoo at different times to have the best chance of seeing particular animals. We are working hard to revamp areas of the zoo and appreciate your feedback. Once again, thank you for sharing your experience with us. If you have any questions or further feedback please do get in touch via info@rzss.org.uk
Written June 8, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

tintin1702
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK105 contributions
Aug 2021 • Family
We pre-booked tickets for the 10am opening time as we knew we wanted to take our time & spend the full day at the zoo.

Visitor numbers are restricted so despite there being plenty of people around we never felt rushed or crowded, there were plenty of sanitising stations about.

We saw pretty much all of the animals (just be patient, be quiet and relax - patience is rewarded!) but particular h ighlights were the Pandas which we saw outside tucking into some bamboo and catching a glimpse of the elusive wildcat.

Watching the penguins and monkeys can't help but leave you with a huge grin and the chimps are simply mind boggling.

The keepers are wonderful, apologies to the giraffe keeper who indulged the interrogation our daughter subjected him to.

As mentioned in a lot of other reviews it's hilly so a solid pair of walking shoes is a good idea.

There were a few food places open, we grabbed ice cream rolls from near the kids play area and some hot food from the shack right up at the hilltop view. Both delicious.

All in all, a fab day.

Written September 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely review with great advice for other visitors. We really do appreciate it and your visit also helped our charity feed and care for the animals here at the zoo and support wildlife conservation work around the world!
Written September 5, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tamara
United Kingdom15 contributions
Nov 2021 • Couples
First arrival was good, zoo was easy to get to on the bus and opening at 10am was easy to get through and a good queuing system. The zoo itself was not lively at all, very dull experience.

Pretty much everything was closed, most of the walk throughs of the animals were closed, no shows were on, they didn’t do any penguin walks and I barely saw any staff all day. All the food stalls were closed there was only the penguin cafe open to the public which by the time we got there for lunch it had barely anything left, we left early as we were hungry and there were no options.

The animal’s , or should I say lack of had overgrown habitats. Some of the animals that were advertised weren’t there and there was a lot of empty habitats. The website specifically said that the pandas were best to be seen at 9.30am however their habitat wasn’t open until 10.30 which at that point the pandas weren’t out and you couldn’t see through the glass as it was that dirty.

The hand sanitiser machines around the zoo didn’t work i tried multiple times but none came out even though the tank was full. I was very excited to come and visit the zoo but was very disappointed definitely not worth £20 a ticket! The zoo has a lot of potential and with a lot of work could be amazing.

I enjoyed looking at the Penguins and the monkeys, these were the only animals that the zoo had a lot of, if they weren’t there it would’ve definitely been a lower rating. The hills in the zoo are ridiculous it’s a constant incline and a lot of steep hills so bare that in mind. Personally I would not recommend this zoo definitely one of the worst ones I’ve been to.
Written November 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Tamara, thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We're sorry to hear you felt disappointed with your visit overall but glad to hear you did enjoy seeing our cheeky penguins at Penguins Rock! In total, we are home to over 2,500 animals here at Edinburgh Zoo, who each have access to private areas should they choose. Many enclosures have lots of natural foliage so it may take a few moments to locate the animals and we always recommend visiting them at various times throughout the day for the best chance to see everyone. Our team regularly clean areas but as we're sure you can imagine with animals, these can get messy pretty quickly, especially our glass viewing areas if it has been recently raining. We still have added safety measures in place to keep everyone safe, and while most of our animal viewing points are open to the public, there are limited exceptions. These include our primate walkthroughs where our amazing animals may be at more risk from Covid and our postponed Penguin Parade in line with Scottish Government guidance. We will also certainly pass along your feedback regarding faulty hand sanitiser stations to ensure these are fixed as quickly as possible. We’re asking everyone to read the FAQs on our website ahead of their visit at https://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/we-are-open. The stands currently located throughout the zoo are for our evening Christmas Nights events and opening times are set out by the individual outlet. Usually visitors can choose from Penguins Cafe, alongside Grasslands restaurant and Giraffe Cafe where with options to sit-in or take away. Additionally, visitors are welcome to bring their own picnics if they would prefer. As a wildlife conservation charity, every visit helps care for our animals and protects threatened species around the world. Thank you for your support and if you have any questions or further feedback, please get in touch via info@rzss.org.uk 💛
Written November 25, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kylie
Nottingham, UK1 contribution
Aug 2021 • Family
We (2 adults & 8yr old) visited during the summer holidays so as expected there was a queue to get in but it did seem to move relatively quickly. Firstly there was torrential rain for several hours when we visited so make sure you wear waterproof shoes. Given the rain we were pleasantly surprised to see the majority of the animals but we did have to look carefully for them. We did have to visit the rhinos & the sun bear twice to see them but was worth it. A lot of other visitors took one glance & moved on so didn't see half of what we saw so take your time looking. If you take the straight route to the top of the zoo it is extremely steep, we went in a zig zag to see other animals & this was much more manageable. The view from the top was fantastic especially as it stopped raining whilst we were up there. My only issue was the rain made a few areas like the steps near one of the cafes feel a bit unsafe as they practically turned into a waterfall! As mentioned it was torrential rain for most of the day so I don't think the keepers could have done anything except maybe close those steps. Overall a great zoo with a huge variety of animals with interesting facts but definitely take your waterproofs!
Written April 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi 89kylien. Thank you for taking the time to leave us such a kind five star review. We're delighted you and your family enjoyed your visit (despite the weather!) and were able to see so many of our animals. We agree, the view from the top of the hill is quite the reward for making it up the hill! Being based on a hill is a challenge and we appreciate that some visitors may struggle which is of course why we offer our free mobility vehicle service for those who feel they need a wee helping hand. We also recommend plenty of breaks and breathers along the way! We'll certainly pass on your feedback about our paths and steps in bad weather. As a wildlife conservation charity, every visit helps feed and care for all of our wonderful animals and supports vital conservation projects in Scotland and around the globe. Thank you for supporting us, we hope to welcome you back soon!
Written April 29, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AzzaMarazza
2 contributions
Jul 2021 • Couples
I can't help but compare this zoo to my local Colchester zoo, and Edinburgh zoo just felt very underwhelming. Currently no talks or shows, food v expensive, tired decor. There are fewer animals (e.g no elephants, leopards or cheetahs, sealions), the viewing space to see them is much smaller than Colchester, and the glass was so mucky could barely see in! The queue for the pandas was long and unfortunately due to some other selfish visitors (I do feel the staff could have encouraged them to move along) the pandas went out back out of view by the time we and many other families got to the viewing areas. We could only book an afternoon slot but there is no price reduction, and we ended up missing out on the koalas due to the panda queues.
Written July 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi AzzaMarazza, Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We have over 2,500 amazing animals here at the zoo, including tigers, lions, a brand new giraffe herd and the UK's ONLY giant pandas! We recommend visiting some areas more than once during your visit to have the best chance of spotting all of our animals. We're sorry to hear you felt some of our other visitors were not following the new 'rules of the road' and our stewards are working hard to make sure everyone has a safe and fun visit. We'll be sure to pass along your feedback regarding this to the relevant teams. Every visit helps our charity care for our animals and supports conservation projects around the world. If you have any questions for our charity please do get in touch via info@rzss.org.uk.
Written July 18, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Becky C
Durham, UK14 contributions
Jun 2021 • Couples
We were visiting the area and decided to book tickets in advance to visit the zoo. On arrival the queue was absolutely massive, we had booked arrival time for 11am, we arrived at 10:50am but didn’t actually get into the zoo until 11:25. Not sure what the point of booking arrival times if you’re going to have to stand in a massive queue anyway, seems pointless booking in advance. Once in the zoo it was quite disappointing, a lot of enclosures empty and the one way system I felt meant we missed out on seeing some animals. Enclosures looked dirty, the glass on some were so smudged and dirty you couldn’t barely see in (I understand that they’re animals and going to be dirty but what’s the point in it being a zoo if you’re unable to see in). We got 2 ice creams and 2 waters from one of the kiosks this totalled £9 which seemed a bit extreme. We we’re heading out the gate by 13:30. I felt the ticket prices were very high for what was actually in the zoo. We visited Blackpool zoo not long ago and this seemed much more organised and more animals to see.
Written July 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi beckyk432, Thank you for taking the time to review and share your feedback with us. We're sorry you didn't enjoy your experience. As there is still a limited number of people allowed in indoor areas, our team works to get everyone through quickly but it does mean queues in busier areas of the park including admissions and popular animal indoor viewing areas. We're asking everyone to book in advance and are using a timeslot system to help protect our visitors and staff by staggering arrivals to help avoid large gatherings. There's more information about what to expect when visiting this summer, which we would encourage everyone to read ahead of time on our website at: https://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/news/article/19529/visiting-edinburgh-zoo-this-summer/ In total, there are over 2,500 amazing animals living here at the zoo, with natural enclosures full of foliage to provide organic coverage, as well as private areas to give them privacy should they choose it. We always recommend visiting different areas of the zoo at different times to have the best chance of seeing particular animals. Although, we appreciate your feedback about the one way system. These measures are constantly under review and it's something we will share with the relevant teams. Our keepers work hard to care for our animals and clean enclosures including viewing glass regularly but as they can only access these areas at certain times, things can get dirty in between. Especially on the animal side of the glass and if there has been rain or bad weather. As a wildlife conservation charity, every ticket and purchase made within the zoo helps feed and care for our amazing animals and protect threatened species around the world. Once again, thank you for your visit and for sharing your feedback. If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please get in touch via info@rzss.org.uk.
Written July 9, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ames_6
Oxford39 contributions
Apr 2022 • Family
We had prebooked tickets but there was still a huge queue to enter the zoo, even with an alloted time. Once inside it was ok as people spread out. We used the kids for a quid rail ticket to get free entry for the kids - see Scotrail for details.

We hadn't realised how steep the zoo is, so if you have mobility problems or young children be prepared! Great views from the top though.

Our main reason for visiting was to see the giant pandas, both of which were of course asleep!

Overall I have to say this isn't the best zoo I have been to. The chimpanzees looked bored and one looked distressed especially with people banging on the glass at them. I had to leave the area as I felt so sorry for them, I really don't think they should be in a zoo. There were a lot of penguins and it was interesting to see them making their nests but again people were shouting at them and banging on the glass and it was right next to a kids play area, hardly a calm environment for them.

I wouldn't return, mainly because the animals didn't look happy at all but also because it was so steep and hard to walk around and there were not many places to sit for a picnic.

There are much nicer wildlife parks in the UK, I wouldn't return.
Written April 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Ames_6, Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review, we're sorry you didn't enjoy your day with us. Our teams are working hard to get everyone through admissions as quickly as possible but in peak times, such as school holidays, visitors may still have a bit of a queue. We're still asking everyone to prebook due to limited numbers and our allotted slots are in place to spread out arrival times to keep any queues as small as possible. Being based on a hill is a challenge, we certainly recommend a few breaks along the way. We run a free mobility vehicle service for anyone who needs it to tackle some of our steeper paths so everyone can enjoy the stunning views from our giraffe habitat right at the top of the zoo. We also have mobility scooters and wheelchairs available for hire. Like us humans, many of our animals including our giant pandas enjoy a good nap! We always recommend visiting different animals at various times during your visit for the best chance of seeing them up and about. We ask visitors to respect our 'rules of the road' and not bang on the glass of any our animal enclosures. Thank you for flagging this with us and we will certainly pass thing along to the relevant teams. Our expert keepers and veterinary teams look after our animals every single day, ensuring they have the best possible care and attention. Budongo Trail is one of the world's most innovative and interactive chimpanzee enclosures, the different areas imitate the three levels of light they would encounter in the forest and our team ensure they have everything they need. As a wildlife conservation charity, every visit helps us feed and care for our animals and protects threatened species around the world. Thank you for your support. If you have any questions, please do get in touch at info@rzss.org.uk.
Written April 23, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gillian W
Kirkcaldy, UK35 contributions
Aug 2021 • Solo
I’m a regular at the zoo and took out a membership and I can recommend people to do so, it’s great value for money and helps the zoo care for all the wonderful animals they have also.
After a difficult year, it’s my favourite ‘go to place’ and one where I’m guaranteed to smile a lot so I love coming here! I never get bored of it.
My favorite animal in the whole zoo are of course the pandas! They are amazing and I’ve managed to get some great pictures of them both, we are very lucky to have them here and hope we can get to keep them a little longer. So envious of the keepers working with them! There’s a good variety of animals to see. The giraffe enclosure is very impressive and has been a good addition.
Great range of animals and enclosures, from Penguins Rock to the Budongo Trail, from the African Aviary through to the Magic Forest, there really is lots to see!
The staff are all so helpful, from the ones as you enter, in the shop and all the keepers have time to answer any questions you have, it’s lovely to see them so passionate about their job and the animals they care for.
It is quite steep and certainly gives you a work out!!
Written August 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Gillian and thank you so much for your support as a member! We are thrilled you enjoy your visits so much and really appreciate you taking the time to leave this lovely review. It is amazing to hear you recommend your membership to others as support from members makes it possible for our charity to care for all the amazing animals here at the zoo as well as supporting wildlife conservation work around the world - thank you 💛
Written August 15, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

12:
London, UK526 contributions
May 2021 • Couples
I visited the zoo 2 years ago for a day trip and thought we would try the after hours zoo visit.

We booked for 6pm on an adults only night, it was a sold out night so there was a large queue although the queue went quite quickly.

Food -
There were several food vans serving all sorts from chips, noodles, doughnuts, hot dogs etc. There was also a bar to buy alcoholic drinks and watch live music.

Layout -
The zoo is set on a hill, there is quite a lot of walking but they offer vehicles for those that struggle with mobility.

Animals -
Large variety of animals to see, few areas were closed off but this wasn’t an issue (koala house and female panda house). We saw the male panda outside however. I think sometimes people forget the animals are entitled to hide away, they don’t have to be on display for peoples’ entertainment. All animals we saw looked well and seeing them in evening was a different experience. The rhinos and monkeys especially seemed to have extra energy!
Written June 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi L0V3T0TRAV3L97, Thank you for taking the time to leave a review and share your feedback. We're delighted you spotted a lot of our amazing animals at After Hours and enjoyed our catering facilities - lots of these are local businesses and artists who our charity are thrilled to be supporting! You're right, our animals do have access to private areas should they wish to spend some time alone and we always recommend visiting enclosures more than once to get the best chance of meeting the species here at the zoo. Once again, thank you for this great review. If you have any questions please do get in touch via info@rzss.org.uk 💛
Written June 16, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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