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 – except Christmas Day, so whichever time of the year you visit Edinburgh you’ll be able to pay a visit to Edinburgh Zoo. You’ll find admission charges here.
Planning 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.
It is wise to Book in Advance if you want to see the Giant Pandas
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.
The most frequent bus service which passes the Zoo is the Lothian Buses 26 which you can catch (if you are based in the city centre) on Abbeyhill, London Road, Princes Street, Shandwick Place or Haymarket. The journey takes around twenty minutes to 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 £1.80 Child (under16) 90p You can buy a daily ticket which will cost you £4.50 for an adult and £2.20 for a child, family day ticket (up to 2 adults and two children) £9.50. These day tickets allow you to travel anywhere in the city but only on Lothian Buses. Recently introduced Tap Tap Cap get the cheapest Adult fare using the same contactless card or device all day. The price is capped at £4.40.
If you don’t want to use public transport there is a large car park at the Zoo with a daily charge of £4.00
See our blog Things to do on a break to Edinburgh for details of other top visitor attractions.
Any top tips for future visitors?
Did you visit Edinburgh Zoo during your trip to Edinburgh? We’d love to hear what you enjoyed. If you have any top tips gained from your visit. Just leave a comment below.
If you found the information in this blog useful and would like to read more of our blogs then click on the link www.2edinburgh.com which will take you back to our front page.
Revised: February 2020