Edinburgh Zoo

Things to do in Edinburgh | Edinburgh Zoo

Set over 82 acres of parkland and home to over 1,000 animals, Edinburgh Zoo is perfect for a family friendly day out. Whether you want to meet the giant pandas or feed the penguins, get the lowdown with our quick guide.

Formerly the Scottish National Zoological Park, Edinburgh Zoo was opened in 1913 with a design that provided a spacious, natural environment for the animals. Over the years, the public has flocked to see penguin parades, Animal Antics shows and an array of brilliant birds, just to name a few of the creatures on display. Still staying true to its original charter, the Zoo has a strong focus on breeding, biodiversity, conservation, sustainability, environmental education and scientific research. You can get involved and support this mission on your visit with zoo membership, donations and animal adoption.

Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo

Essential information

Spread across 82 acres, the Zoo has all the facilities you need to make sure your trip is a success.

From monkeys to meerkats, an extensive collection of creatures as well as daily animal talks and encounters mean you’ll find lots to see and do at Edinburgh Zoo. Its most famous inhabitants, Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine), are the only giant pandas in the UK. Entry to see these two is time ticketed so make sure you book to avoid disappointment. Ticket prices to the Zoo are £19 for adults and £14.55 for children, with under 3 year olds getting in for free. If you book in advance online, you’ll get tickets at a discounted price.

With plenty of picnic and play areas, as well as toilets and baby changing facilities, the Zoo is the perfect place for a family day out. If you’re not travelling light, make the most of the lockers available.

With disabled parking, wheelchair hire and an accessible route, as well as free admission for carers and registered assistance dogs being welcomed, Edinburgh Zoo works hard to ensure that it’s fully accessible to everyone.

Eating and drinking

A trip to the Zoo is a brilliant day out, so make the most of all the great dining and drinking options on offer.

Several kiosks around Edinburgh Zoo offer hot and cold food, snacks and drinks. If you fancy sitting down to something more substantial, try the Jungle Food Court for hot food including burgers, fish and chips and pizza, Grasslands Restaurant for deli sandwiches and salads or the Penguins Café for coffee and cakes.

If you want to head outside the Zoo for a bite to eat, you’ll find a range of international eateries. Cool Jade and Sampans offer excellent oriental cuisine. If you want to spice things up with a curry, try the Eastern Pavilion.

Getting to Edinburgh Zoo

Located to the west of the city centre, Edinburgh Zoo has lots of great travel links.

By car
Car parking spaces at the Zoo cost £4 (cash only), but they’re limited so you’ll need to get there early to find a spot. Alternatively, you can park in the city centre and jump on a bus.

By bus
There are plenty of buses heading to the Zoo from Edinburgh city centre. You can take the 12, 26 or 31 and jump off at a stop just outside the zoo.

By train
If you’re getting to Edinburgh by train, you can hop on the 12, 26 and, 31 bus at either Waverley or Haymarket station and arrive at the Zoo within 15-30 minutes.

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