Discover San Diego's most famous animal attraction and family friendly visitor destination! From majestic African Elephants, exotic Komodo Dragons and endangered Giant Pandas to imposing Polar Bears, bizarre Cassowaries and hairy Tarantulas, this legendary zoo is home to more than 4,000 rare and endangered animals. Featuring cage-less exhibits designed around natural habitats, the zoo's animals enjoy unmatched freedom while visitors enjoy up-close animal encounters, all highlighted by a huge botanical collection of over 700,000 exotic plants.
Hours vary by season but are usually 9am to 5 or 8 pm.
Prices vary by season, please check website for current prices.
Sleepovers at the Zoo
Spring & summer camps
Live animal shows
Shopping & dining
Panda Breeding initiative and Exhibit
The zoo is home to four giant pandas, and the Panda exhibit is one of its most popular visitor destinations. Featuring trees, climbing structures, air-conditioned bedrooms, and a large panda viewing area, the exhibit offers plenty of opportunities to see the adorable black and white bears. Because these animals are endangered, the zoo’s Giant Panda Team works alongside Chinese panda experts to help increase the population with a state-of-the-art breeding program.
Animal Breeding and Conservation Efforts
Conservation is a major part of the zoo’s mission, and its Institute for Conservation Research has implemented active breeding programs for animals like the African Black Rhino, Giant Panda, California Condor, Koalas, Polar Bears, and many other endangered and threatened animals. More than 200 scientists and researchers work to help conserve and protect wild animals, reptiles and birds, prevent diseases, restore and preserve habitats around the world, and bank endangered animals’ genes.
What guided tour options are there at the San Diego Zoo?
The zoo offers a Backstage Pass tour, an Inside Look tour, a Discovery tour, and personalized VIP tours. Prices range from $45-$599 and up (plus regular admission), depending on tour choice.
What are the best times to visit?
The Zoo is most busy on weekends, especially during the summer and holidays. If you can, try to get there early and visit during weekdays. Avoid delaying your experience by buying tickets online or at our front desk. Check the schedule in advance for special Zoo events like the Dr. Zoolittle Show and Camp Critters. As always, arrive well before the shows start to claim a good seat. To get a unique view of the Zoo, ride the Skyfari aerial tram or take a guided bus tour.