We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“An unbelievable zoo!”
Review of San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo
Book In Advance
Ranked #4 of 470 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Founded in 1916, the Zoo has been an icon in San Diego for nearly 100 years—and an absolute must-see in Southern California. Spend the day monkeying around in our tropical oasis as you visit beautiful habitats that are home to gorillas, eagles, tigers, sun bears, Asian leopards, rare reptiles, a palette of colorful birds, and more. Visit the Australian Outback to delight in our colony of 24 koalas, and travel along Panda Trek to experience giant pandas and other animals that share their bamboo forest habitat. Go back in time through Elephant Odyssey to discover what animals used to roam Southern California and see what the elephants are up to. Enjoy a guided tour on a double-decker bus or the scenic view from the Skyfari aerial tram, and dine in the peaceful surroundings of Albert's Restaurant. Discover the wonders of wildlife with animal encounters, interactive experiences, and keeper chats. A leader in animal care and conservation, the San Diego Zoo is at the heart of the San Diego experience.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed March 21, 2016 via mobile

Take your kids, or go as a couple....but go, go, go to the San Diego Zoo. A beautiful setting and all kinds of transportation in the most natural of settings!!

Thank JuliaN303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (24,767)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"panda exhibit"
in 547 reviews
"sky tram"
in 495 reviews
"kangaroo bus"
in 369 reviews
"guided bus tour"
in 303 reviews
"big cats"
in 233 reviews
"safari park"
in 539 reviews
"polar bear"
in 445 reviews
"walking shoes"
in 230 reviews
"wear comfortable shoes"
in 280 reviews
"day pass"
in 353 reviews
"behind the scenes"
in 236 reviews
"free parking"
in 235 reviews
in 10,813 reviews
in 615 reviews
in 472 reviews
in 276 reviews
in 271 reviews

8,827 - 8,831 of 24,773 reviews

Reviewed March 21, 2016

I have been to many zoos...Dallas, Washington DC, Ft Worth, San Antonio, Tyler. The San Diego Zoo has always been my favorite. Not only are the animal exhibits beautiful, and the animals easy to see, but the landscaping and flowers are like exhibits themselves. The only draw back was the hills. The hills are part of what makes this zoo so beautiful, but with my mom in a wheel chair, and my daughter with a broken arm it made navigating the paths quite a challenge. The nice thing was that the workers were always very kind and quick to help us out when we needed it, but it would be nice if they had a smaller cart to take handicapped people from one location to the next without having to get on a large handicapped bus just to go a short distance.

Thank Laurakat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2016

You never realize how good a zoo is until you start visiting other zoos and comparing! Having grown up in San Diego, our family maintained a zoo membership. It was common to hear "Oh noooo, not the zoo again!"! But then the folks would bribe us with something special we could do there and we never wanted to leave once we stepped inside.

The best thing about San Diego Zoo is the habitats. They really go overboard to improve the quality of experience for the animals, particularly Panda, Polar Bear, Hippo, Orangutan, Ape, Tiger. I also really enjoy the shops...they have great things to buy from beautiful sun hats, to tourist San Diego Zoo logo-wear. You will find items from around the world. An exceptional feature of the San Diego Zoo is the terrain and climate. If you are in good health, it is a pleasure to walk and navigate your way through the park: you WILL need to use the map...it's a very big property. My least favorite thing is the food. It's not bad...just your typical over-priced captive audience food, but they get points for offering healthy options and diversifying the menu greatly as you travel to the different parts of the world. But, then, I don't go there for the food!

There are bus tours if you are short on time or have a companion/family member in a wheelchair or needing assistance.

If you have young children: do take them to the children's petting zoo, and know that there is mating season (Spring I think) as the animals get quite active.

Some of the most fascinating places are the reptile house, and the Komodo Dragon exhibit.

I have been to zoos in several states, London and Germany. Absolutely nothing compares to what the San Diego Zoo experience has to offer.

Plan to spend an entire day. Hydrate often. Wear sunscreen and a hat or umbrella! You may need to layer by the end of the day, depending on the time of year!

Thank Ann R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2016

Truly one of the best zoos in the country! The natural vegetation in Balboa Park makes you feel like you are in a jungle instead of an urban area with thousands of other visitors. Go early, and straight to the Panda exhibit to avoid the afternoon lines.

Thank Brettson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed March 21, 2016

Great place!
The zoo is very well maintain, the have shows, easy to navigate. More expensive than other Zoo that I have been, but the money is worth to spend. To save some bucks, book in advance with go card San Diego or look for hotel brochures for discounts.

Thank Marisabel K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed San Diego Zoo also viewed


Been to San Diego Zoo? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing