St. Louis Zoo
St. Louis Zoo
4.5
8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Visitors are wowed by this zoo that has 6,600 animals and 15 major exhibit areas.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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Tours & experiences
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  • Bud
    Chicago, Illinois31 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wear Comfortable Shoes
    We drove in around 10am just in time for the 11am sea lion show. Plenty of parking within the 2 parking lots. There is 1 single line to enter the lots, which may take a little time. The temperature was in the eighties and most of the animals were inside or just lying down I guess due the heat. Didn't see any polar bears. Want to relax a little? Go the the Sea Lion and the Bird Show. (same location)
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 23, 2023
  • Christina M
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin97 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Staff and volunteers go above and beyond
    We took the behind the scene train your in addition to going to the zoo, and the staff and volunteers at the zoo went above and beyond to make the experience memorable for our kids. Train engineer Tim told us all about the history of the trains, got the kids special souvenirs, and made sure they enjoyed the train ride around the zoo. Volunteer tour guide Eric spent so much time with our family making sure we knew all about the zoo, its animals, and how to make the best of our day. The people at the zoo go above and beyond to share their love of this special place and made our trip so wonderful! Highly recommend signing up for a behind the scenes tour if you can!
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 26, 2023
  • Sarah F
    Ankeny, Iowa241 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must do for visitors of all ages
    This is a great attraction for guests of all ages. My husband and I visited last fall and were very impressed. The zoo is located in Forest Park, and has limited on-site parking, but it's easy to find free on-street parking nearby. It's a nice neighborhood to walk through on a beautiful day. The animal exhibits were amazing. We spent a ton of time watching the polar bear, the hippos, the kangaroos with a joey, and so much more! I liked how they did small groups at a time to walk through the penguin exhibit so it wasn't crowded. There is no admission, but we gave a freewill donation because it's very clear the zoo takes pride in providing a great experience for guests. We spent the entire day there!
    Visited October 2022
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 4, 2023
  • Katie A
    38 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the visit!
    Great zoo with lots to see. Very clean and safe place to visit. Some places in the city don't feel safe, but felt very safe at the zoo. Zoo is free. Parking is $15 but if you park on the street and walk a little ways you can park for free. Great experience there!
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 6, 2023
  • HP
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Free is better
    Amazing. Will go again and again. We took our parents and 1 yr old there for a visit this time. Park is free and you pay for parking only. Parents enjoyed a lot and it was a nice visit at the end. Our little cub got to see the bear which made the visit amazing despite really hot weather. lol
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 7, 2023
  • lovetoteach964
    Long Island, New York73 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    More space for animals than most Zoos
    We visited the zoo on a day where the real feel temp was going to approach 100 so we went early expecting to make it a quick visit. Despite the high temp, the animals were very active which is a good sign that they are well taken care of. The zoo does state that they are a research and conservation facility and it definitely showed as the exhibits were well done. Even the Polar Bear was outside and chomping on what looked like salmon frozen in a block of ice. Much of the park is shaded and there are several areas where people can get out of the heat like the penguin and puffin exhibit. It was actually quite cold in there, but felt great on that day. It's one of only a few free zoos in the country, and definitely worth a stop no matter how short. We wound up staying a couple of hours. Try a Pineapple Paradise frozen smoothie while you're there. It's worth every penny! (Located near the north entrance)
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 8, 2023
  • Tim L
    Chicago, Illinois11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    St Louis Zoo is FREar
    St Louis Zoo is FREE. The animals are plentiful and well cared for. We loved our visit. Leave plenty of time to explore this expansive place. Lots of walk My and kid friendly.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 10, 2023
  • starloard
    17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Most impressive!
    This is a must see stop for St Louis. The zoo is free except for a few experiences: the train, petting sting rays, children's playground, sea lion show and parking. They have an awesome children's tree house by the monkeys exhibit that is free.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 28, 2023
  • OutdoorKidz
    Saint Louis, Missouri845 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful zoo!
    This is a great zoo! Lots of species not normally seen in the zoos we have been to, so seeing these animals is a nice treat. The layout, enclosures, and exhibits make it very easy to navigate the zoo grounds. Great place to spend a few hours!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 11, 2023
  • Tina D
    Bruce Township, Michigan13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great experience
    My husband and I were pleasantly pleased with the Zoo. Great variety of animals and exhibits. The grounds are beautiful with plenty of rest areas, food pavilions, children areas and something for everyone. Great experience that we highly recommend.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 18, 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.

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50stateswithtwins
Saint Louis, MO772 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Family
It’s pointless to go to the zoo before 10am with the new restrictions. The first hour free activities have all been taken away and the majority of animals are not out for viewing yet. The primate, bird and reptile house do not even open until 10am. In addition look closely at the other top attractions that are CLOSED now: the penguins, sea lion tunnel, ape house, antelope house, insectarium and children’s zoo. While this is a large zoo, because there are NO free activities and very FEW animals out before 10am we walked through the whole thing in an hour and a half. The zoo is free but you must make a timed reservation which they scan at the entrance. Masks for ages 9 and up is enforced. My early morning birthday visit was a huge disappointment. We might try coming the last 2 hours on a Friday or Saturday from 5-7pm and see if that is any better.
Written June 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.

The Pidge
Wayne, NJ599 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
I've visited many zoos in my travels and this is one of the better ones. It's on par with famous counterparts in San Diego, Denver, and the Bronx.

I planned a couple hours and probably could have benefited from a couple more, and that's even with some exhibits and buildings closed because of pandemic-related safety concerns. The St. Louis Zoo is big and fun to explore without being completely overwhelming. Pretty much all the expected animals are featured here, as well as some usually found in aquariums.

Equally intriguing is the fact the zoo is free, yet never feels like anything was accomplished on a strict budget. The enclosures are modern and spacious; the gardens and water features are impressive; the staff is friendly and genuinely happy to enhance the experience. Arrive early and park on the street (otherwise the parking lot will set you back $15); use the money saved on parking to buy tickets for the train, carousel, and some of the other exhibits within. You'll be glad you did.
Written October 19, 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.

ransom007
Anaheim, CA1,121 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
The zoo charges $15 for parking but admission to the zoo is free. You do need an appointment to enter. I made mine on my cell phone while in the parking lot. There is a train ride available for a fee. This is truly one of the great zoos of the United States. I only had time to visit one section and I observed an Andean bear, painted dogs, several bird species (including eagles, hawks, falcons, and vultures), fish, and a goodly number of elephants. It is moderately hilly with good paths. There are several gift shops and dining opportunities throughout the zoo. COVID-19: the staff wear masks and visitors are expected to do the same. The zoo requests visitors to follow social distancing protocols, but I think you can imagine what happens to that when a bear makes an appearance.
Written September 23, 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.

bekahchica
Baltimore, MD253 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
The Zoo was on countless lists of must-dos in St. Louis when I researched my trip. And it's free, hooray! That's about as far as the articles went, though, so there were a few surprises that are no issue at all if you know ahead of time:

1. Reservations are required to get in due to COVID. It is still free, but you need to register online. Most days there will be slots available that you can quickly sign up on your smartphone if you are caught by surprise in line. I did that in maybe 60 seconds while I watched plenty of other patrons get agitated and rude to staff when they couldn't walk right in.
2. Admission is free, but not all exhibits are. I was excited to see stingrays, only to find it was a paid interaction and you couldn't see them otherwise. A train and some other shows also require payment. Again, not expensive and not a big deal, but would have been nicer to know ahead of time.

Overall, still a nice time. If you can swing it on a weekday, it feels like you have the place to yourself. The only real bummer was that I visited during an especially hot week and couldn't see several animals as they were understandably "hiding".
Written August 17, 2021
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.

Rome M
Taylors, SC1,044 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Family
My wife and I met friends at the zoo so that we could walk, catch up, and see animals along the way.
It was horribly hot that day, not the fault of the zoo, and a lot of the animals were not visible.
The puffins, in their chilled shelter, was the best part for us. We did get to see bears, elephants, and hippos.
The train ride was nice, it was just horridly hot.
I would recommend this zoo to anyone, just pick a cooler day, and make sure you are ready for the high concession prices.
Written September 13, 2021
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.

AmyTrips27
Little Rock, AR61 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Family
So yes, the zoo is free and yes there is lots to see without paying anything. You can even Save $$ and Park on the other side of the freeway along the residential area and there is a safe large walkway across the freeway. Now all of that to say, we purchased the very reasonably priced Adventure Pass for 12.99/person, and that got us into the Sea Lion show, the Penguins exhibit, the Stingray exhibit, and as many train and carousel rides as we all wanted. The train is an excellent zoo train with lots of extra views of the elephants and tunnels too. Beware, the zoo is basically NO CASH usage, only your credit/bank cards are allowed for purchases.
Written July 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.

VintageFarmGirl74
Iowa237 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Family
Free to enter, you just have to make an online reservation of the day you want and then morning or afternoon time slot. Some of the zoo is closed off as is most of the drink and snack stations. There’s still a lot of animals to see and fun to be had.
Written November 14, 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.

Cb Sutcliffe
27 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
We had to make an unexpected overnight trip through Saint Louis and decided to visit the zoo since it was free and is outside with mask requirements for safety. My teen son and I were very impressed with the cleanliness, landscaping, exhibits, and staff helpfulness.

There were several exhibits we were keen to see, but the surprise for us was the prairie dog enclosure. Although we have seen them on Nature shows, we had never seen them live before and were enchanted. There were many pups and very active adults. We didn't seek them out or expect to be wowed by them, but we were. Definitely plan to take a few minutes there.

Grizzly bears, hippos, rhinos, Asian elephants and the orangutan were also highly memorable. We look forward to visiting again and enjoying one of the pineapple drink treats.
Written July 6, 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.

kotam32
Pearland, TX117 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Family
While visiting family, we went to the zoo and were intrigued that it was free. It’s free....but...for some of the more exciting attractions, you pay per person. It was $7.95 to ride the train. $3.95 to pet the stingrays. I think $3.95 to watch the sea lion show. During COVID, you are required to wear a mask if you are 9+ years old. This was miserable because it was so hot. And the employees WILL ask you to out your mask on, if you take a break.
However I think it is one of the most natural looking zoos I have been too. I am extremely impressed!
Written June 20, 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.

Geetha Pravalika
Saint Louis, MO669 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
We had been here at least 10-15 times and we take here little one in summer every other week. You do have parking lots to park your car with minimum $$$ and also you get to park on sides too for free depending upon audience on that day!! Free space gets full quicker. If you get quickly on weekends, you can find parking spot!!!

We got a chance to stay overnight at zoo for one of the community events which was different experience! We get to watch animals in the night and the animals that wake up early morning!!
Written February 2, 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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