Tips for a great day out at Edinburgh Zoo
Edinburgh Zoo is a firm favourite on a visit to Edinburgh no matter what age you are! It’s open every day of the year – including Christmas Day, so whenever you stay at Craigwell Cottage, you’ll be able to pay a visit to Edinburgh Zoo during your stay. You’ll find admission charges here.
Your Day at Edinburgh Zoo
Before you travel to the Zoo, take a look at their day planner which will give you details of what’s on throughout the day. It’s a good idea to take a few minutes to read this and plan your day’s activities as there are often interesting talks on, or chances to see animals up close.
Our recommendation would be to arrive early in the morning and climb to the top of Corstorphine Hill on which the Zoo stands. Then you can take a leisurely stroll back down throughout your day.
It’s quite a good idea to take a picnic with you as this keeps the cost of the trip down, and is usually a favourite option for young children. There are plenty of picnic benches and grassy areas throughout the Zoo where you can picnic. But don’t worry if you haven’t brought your picnic with you, there are places where you can buy a picnic, or cafés and restaurants throughout the Zoo park too. You’ll find further information about Eating at the Zoo by following the link.
Don’t forget your camera – if it’s a clear day you’ll get wonderful views over Edinburgh and particularly towards the Pentland Hills to the south.
Since 2011, the star attraction at Edinburgh Zoo has been the Giant Pandas Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine). Please note that viewing of the Giant Pandas is best booked in advance as access to the viewing area is by ticket only and tickets must be booked and printed off before your visit. Should you decide to go to Edinburgh Zoo at the last minute, you might just be lucky enough to obtain one of the small supply of tickets which are released daily, but our top tip is to be at the Zoo at 9.00 am when it opens, and make sure that you book your Panda viewing appointment immediately on entrance.
Getting to Edinburgh Zoo from Craigwell Cottage:
The most frequent bus service which passes the Zoo is the Lothian Buses 26 which you can catch by walking up Abbeyhill from Nether Craigwell, and catching the 26 on London Road near the junction with Easter Road. It takes around half an hour dependent on traffic.
Timetables for Buses to Edinburgh Zoo:
Edinburgh Zoo, located on Corstorphine Road, is well serviced by public transport. With bus stops located directly outside the Zoo, it makes it easily accessible by the following buses;
All the following Lothian Buses go from Princes Street, Edinburgh city centre;
12 – The Jewel – Princes Street – The Gyle. Timetable link: here
26 – Tranent – Princes Street – Clerwood. Timetable link: here
31 – Polton – Princes Street – East Craigs. Timetable link: here
Bus fares are exact change only and are currently Adult fare £1.70 Child (under16) 80p You can buy a daily ticket which will cost you £4 for an adult and £3 for a child. These day tickets allow you to travel anywhere in the city but only on Lothian Buses. Please note you cannot use credit cards on buses, it’s exact change only.
See our blog Things to do on a break to Edinburgh for details of other top visitor attractions.
Any top tips for future visitors to Edinburgh Zoo?
Did you visit Edinburgh Zoo while in residence at Craigwell Cottage? We’d love to hear what you enjoyed. If you have any top tips gained from your visit. Just leave a comment below.
We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about a city break in Edinburgh. Take a look inside the cottage if you wish, or if you’re ready to book, just follow the link:
Revised: February 2019