Escape to the Edinburgh Zoo for a few hours of animal-based adventures. Spread over an 82-acre (33-hectare) site, the zoo has a collection of more than 1,000 animals representing almost 200 species.
A popular first stop is the Budongo Trail, the zoo’s vast chimpanzee facility. Observe chimps climbing, stretching and exercising in their outdoor enclosures and network of indoor rooms. Explore the similarities and differences between chimps and humans with interactive digital games and mock skeletons.
Among the most famous zoo residents are the two giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang. To view them in their enclosures you need to book in advance. Tickets are free, but places are limited. Groups are led through the viewing areas every 10 minutes.
Look up as exotic bird species fly overhead in the walkthrough aviary. The exhibit houses birds from all over the world. They include the critically endangered Bali starling and the Nicobar pigeon, the closest living relative of the dodo. Every afternoon there’s a talk about the zoo’s collection of birds.
Jump aboard the zebra trailer for the 30-minute Hilltop Safari. Starting at the duck pond, the tour takes about half an hour and travels past baboons, antelopes and big cats as the driver provides a running commentary.
Visit the Physics Garden where some of the medicinal plants have been planted in such a way that they resemble parts of the human body.
You can have preview glimpses or post-trip memories of your visit by viewing the live zoo-cams on the website. Year-round there are cameras focused on the pandas, penguins and squirrel monkeys. For some months of the year there is also a bird-box cam.
Located approximately 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) west of the city center, Edinburgh Zoo is easily reached. Four Lothian Bus routes stop outside the front entrance and limited paid parking is available.
Edinburgh Zoo is open daily but opening times vary throughout the year; check the zoo website for times. The zoo is situated on a hillside and visitors are advised to wear comfortable footwear.
This family-friendly Edinburgh hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Edinburgh Zoo and Spire Murrayfield Hospital. Murrayfield Stadium and Tynecastle Stadium are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Situated in the suburbs, this guesthouse is within 3 miles (5 km) of Edinburgh Zoo, Murrayfield Stadium and Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Napier University are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Located in Haymarket, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Royal Lyceum Theatre and Usher Hall are also within 1 mile (2 km).
Situated in Edinburgh, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Gyle Shopping Centre and within 3 miles (5 km) of Edinburgh Zoo and Royal Highland Centre. Heriot Watt University is 3 mi (4.9 km) away.
Located in West End, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Royal Lyceum Theatre and Usher Hall. Edinburgh Castle and Greyfriars Kirk are also within 1 mile (2 km).
Located in Murrayfield, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Edinburgh Zoo, Murrayfield Stadium and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Edinburgh International Conference Centre and Princes Street Gardens are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Located in Corstorphine, this guesthouse is within 3 miles (5 km) of Edinburgh Zoo, Murrayfield Stadium and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Gyle Shopping Centre and Edinburgh Corn Exchange are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Situated in Edinburgh, this apartment is within 1 mi (2 km) of Edinburgh Corn Exchange, Murrayfield Stadium, and Edinburgh Zoo. Edinburgh International Conference Centre and Napier University are also within 3 miles (5 km).