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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  • 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, Missouri844 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, Michigan14 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
  • plgarlepied
    New Orleans, Louisiana2,385 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Free great zoo & parking in a safe area
    I love that the zoo is free & you can pay for the extras if you want them. We had a cool snap the other day & we saw TONS of animals out! The bird building had extremely close up viewing (see pics). We spent 4 hours there & could have stayed longer. Clean grounds & bathrooms(the one on the lower level of the primates building; sort of hidden/unsigned). Plenty of shade & seating. We parked for free along the side of the road in Forest park maybe 2-3 blocks from the north entrance. There were also $15 lots also about 2 blocks from the same entrance. Would love to return if in the area again. Staff were friendly & informative. I am from New Orleans & I went to our zoo about 3 mo ago & it isn’t nearly as good as this zoo & its $27!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 18, 2023
  • Carol H
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best zoo I’ve been to
    We love the St Louis Zoo and visit annually. The animals always seem very well cared for and happy. It doesn’t smell so you know the zookeepers are on top of keeping the habitats clean. They always have interesting exhibits. The best part is admission is free! There are some special exhibits that require a small fee as well as train and carousel rides that will cost you, but as these things are all optional a family can have a great day out for little to no money. Our favorite exhibits are the puffin and penguin habitat - the penguins really seem to enjoy splashing visitors - and it’s a great spot to cool off in the summer, the gorilla house; watching them scale their play structure effortlessly was fun, and the sea lion show is was great, just to name a few. We’ve been to zoos all over the country and hands down, St Louis is our favorite. It’s nestled in a large, beautiful park and close to the art museum which is also worth a visit.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 16, 2023
  • GiddyUpNGoTravel
    306 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great place for a walk
    Zoo is a great, interactive place to visit. There are tidbits for all ages - music playing, animal shows, train rides. Exhibits are very clean. Animals are well tended and content. Staff is helpful.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 29, 2023
  • AZ to MO | Adventure Mom
    Missouri361 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Absolutely Amazing FREE Zoo!
    Couldn’t believe it when a St. Louis local told us this zoo was free as well as awesome, so we had to check it out. The park is gorgeous and well-kept. Tons of incredible animals with large enclosures, yet still allowed us to easily see all the animals! Our favorites were the penguins, grizzly bears, polar bear, elephants, apes, and red panda! Bring a lunch and make a day of it! (Note, parking was not free. We paid $15 cash)
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 6, 2023
  • rickbrennanrn
    Trinity, Florida632 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A great free attraction
    Free attraction that makes for a great half-day trip. Parking is $15, but much better than paying an admission fee for 6 people. Well maintained landscaping on the pathways makes for an enjoyable walk. I would not recommend showing up right at.or shortly after opening. We went in Oct and the mornings were a bit chilly. There were a lot of empty enclosures, and I'm guessing the cold was keeping the animals hunkered down a bit more into the afternoon range. Several other a la carte activities that are available for around $3 to $8. If you avoid those, makes for a very cheap outing. They have lot of elephants and the set up gives you plenty of options for good viewing. The sea lion exhibit is awesome. Had several come right up to the glass and interact with us. A definite stop if you're looking for something to do.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 17, 2023
  • travelpurplemonkey
    Madison, Alabama85 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    It was all wonderful in a pretty location
    For just $15 for parking this was a great experience. We only had a little less than two hours since we got there at 2:15 and they closed at 4. We got to see the grizzly bears very active, one jumping in the water. The reptiles were active too. The big cats were all asleep other than the jaguar. Some of the monkeys were entertaining but not all. Penguins were adorable as expected.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 5, 2023
  • JJW
    17 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Free, fun place for kids and adults
    Even though it was really cold, we still had a great time at the zoo. Beautiful grounds to walk around and it's all free! Would definitely come again on a warmer day so we can see more animals. The zoo staff are very knowledgeable, friendly and willing to answer all questions and talk with you as long as you would like.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written January 13, 2024
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

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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, NJ597 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, CA1,120 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, SC1,043 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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