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San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

Open daily 9am - 5pm, hours extended in some months
2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA, 92101

The Basics

The San Diego Zoo is nestled in Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre (486-hectare) urban park filled with loads of cultural and other attractions. Purchase admission tickets to San Diego Zoo in advance and in conjunction with other Balboa Park sights to avoid lines, or with transportation within San Diego or nearby parts of Southern California. Once inside, travelers typically explore the zoo’s bioclimatic zones and exhibits independently or take the 35-minute guided bus tour for an overview of the space. Free shows and presentations are offered throughout the day, while other experiences, including the 4-D theater and carousel, have additional fees to access. Many visitors combine a visit to the zoo with a trip to the San Diego Safari Park, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) away.

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San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
star-4.5
$46.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Awesome memories
Me and my friend was Tere were couple of nights and took one hour flagships one hour cruise and all day hop on and hop off trolley! Highly recommend, loved the service of the staff and all. Covered the whole island in two days!
Riffet_S, Jan 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in San Diego

star-5
Enjoyable tour
Cheryl_J, Nov 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
The guide was marvelous. Love the tour and the sights. San Diego is beautiful. The trolley is clean and safe.
star-5
Awesome memories
Riffet_S, Jan 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Me and my friend was Tere were couple of nights and took one hour flagships one hour cruise and all day hop on and hop off trolley! Highly recommend, loved the service of the staff and all. Covered the whole island in two days!
star-4
Give it a try!
Michele_C, Jan 2022
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
The tour is a great way to see the tourist sites in San Diego! Getting on and off the trolley is great - spend as much time as you like in one area. I would recommend riding it all the way around first, see what you want to do, then make your plans. It's a little corny (songs, singing along, jokes), but great history.
star-5
Great experience in San Diego
Charyl, Dec 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
We enjoyed narration from 3 drivers. They shared entertaining stories and interesting facts. We did have challenges navigating the app. Needed to find stop 1, and it was difficult to track down with the app. Great way to learn about San Diego and Coronado.
star-5
Great!
Kevin_E, Dec 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Lizz was awesome!! Of the three different tour guides, she was the best! Full of energy and knowledge. The tour was a great overview of San Diego.
star-4
Fun way to see the city!
Rachel_G, Dec 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
We were in town for a wedding and only had a short amount of time to see the city. This tour was a great way to see it all and learn some very interesting facts along the way. My favorite part of the trip was riding over the bridge to Coronado Island. I also enjoyed the music clips that the driver played throughout the ride.
star-5
Cool
Duane_T, Dec 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Wow great tour! Wished we had longer in San Diego to enjoy this more. Learned interesting facts and was fun! Driver Mark was awesome.
star-5
Very good experience. Well worth the money.
Bob_R, Nov 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Excellent way to get a snapshot view of San Diego. Our narrator, Jardel was very good, added humor in the proper places, spoke very clearly, no problems understanding him at all.
star-5
Great time
Mike_M, May 2021
San Diego Zoo and Safari Park 2-Visit Pass Ticket, No Reservations Required!
The zoo was very clean and the staff friendly and very helpful. Animals seemed to be healthy and content in they're habitats
star-5
Fun day!
Moena_A, Apr 2021
San Diego Zoo and Safari Park 2-Visit Pass Ticket, No Reservations Required!
Weather and service was great. Cleanliness of the zoo was very good. Felt very comfortable with mask requirement. The food was very good.
star-5
Great tour!
Jennifer_F, Nov 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
The tour guide was fabulous. I enjoyed the various sites on the tour, and I plan to bring a friend with me on my next tour.
star-4
Satisfied
Rubi_R, Nov 2021
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Learned interesting facts about the city. Good way to know where to explore when you're not from the area. Staff really friendly.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Most visitors spend three to four hours at the zoo.

  • The zoo offers services such as fee-based wheelchair rentals and free shuttle bus service for travelers with limited mobility.

  • As the San Diego sun is typically shining, it’s best to wear sunscreen if you plan to be outdoors for most of the day.

  • Fee-based stroller and locker rentals are offered.

  • Those with kids can head to the Children’s Zoo to spend time at the Petting Paddock.

  • Free Wi-Fi is available in the zoo and throughout Balboa Park.

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How to Get There

The San Diego Zoo is located in the northwestern corner of Balboa Park, near the San Diego Museum of Art. Parking is plentiful and free, but note that lots can fill on weekends. Once inside, you can walk, take a bus, or take the Skyfari cable car to easily get around the zoo.

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When to Get There

The zoo is open daily, typically from 9am to 5 or 6pm depending on the season. The best time to visit is in the morning, when the animals are most active. Feedings often also take place at this time. To avoid crowds, try to visit on a weekday.

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Can’t-Miss Sights at the San Diego Zoo

Highlights include the Tiger River bioclimatic exhibit, which realistically re-creates an Asian rain forest environment, and Gorilla Tropics, which does the same with an African rain forest. The koalas are some of the most popular animals to see—and the zoo says theirs is the largest colony outside of Australia. Polar bears and rare giant pandas are other favorites, as is the Absolutely Apes habitat, which has orangutans and siamangs climbing in lush forests. Finally, don’t miss the African Rock Kopje, where klipspringers (small antelopes) dash around the rocky landscape.

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