Edinburgh Zoo

Price guide: Mid-range

Costorphine Road, Edinburgh, EH12 6TS

Price guide: Mid-range

The Penguin Parade
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#3 of 22
expert-rated things to do in Edinburgh
Expert overall rating:5.0 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Couples, Families with younger children, First-time travellers, Seasoned travellers, Education, Great views / scenery, Nature / wildlife

Expert review of Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo: 82 acres of animal heaven.

Only three miles from Edinburgh, it's ideal for when you need to get away from the urban landscape and the kids need to let off steam. No matter what age however, it is hard not to be impressed at the impressive scale of the zoo and the variety of species on display. Conservation is a big part of the ethos of the zoo and, along with over 1,000 species of animals spread out over this huge area, there are lots of hands-on things for the kids to try, plus talks, specific feeding times to watch and a great play-park where, from a distance, you can't tell if you are watching children or chimpanzees - doing pretty much the same thing in their jungle jim right next door.

There are two places to eat: the cafeteria which is basically a vast canteen selling the standard chips, burgers and dodgy-looking sandwiches. But there is also the original house in the centre of the zoo where, whether you are a member or not, you can go and have a much more grown-up eating experience. But if it's all about the wee kids, then stick to the canteen. There are also lots of booths around selling drinks, ice-cream and sweeties.

The shop in the entrance hall of the zoo is huge and offers all sorts of thing from toy animals to books, games, stocking fillers and lots of great souvenirs.

Oh and don't miss the penguin parade at 2.15pm when the zoo keepers open the enclosure and march the little critters right past you and your amazed toddlers in one long comedic line. It never fails to enchant.

The Zoo Safari will collect you from the entrance gate and drive you up through the zoo if the thought of all that walking is too much.

Price advice: 

Ticket prices: adult £15.50, child £11, concession £13. Family tickets vary in price, from around £33 (one adult, two kids).

Expert tips: 
You can book ahead.
Easy parking but on main bus routes too.
Mainly outdoor but there's enough to do inside if the weather isn't great.
2.15pm is the penguin parade, which I recommend highly.

More information on Edinburgh Zoo:

Price guide:
Playground, Science / technology, Zoo / wildlife park / aquarium
Costorphine Road, Edinburgh, EH12 6TS
0131 334 9171
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Opens 9am every day (except Christmas) closing at 6pm Apr-Sep, 5pm Oct-Mar, 4.30pm Nov-Feb.
Free tags / Keywords:
kids, conservation, animal lovers

Have you been to Edinburgh Zoo? Would you recommended it?

Community comments (2)

A scenic zoo with a great variety of animals. We enjoyed a lot in Edinburgh zoo, the main attraction was the penguin parade and Bundongo Trail. All the animals are having a bigger cages and seemed comfortable. Overall this is one of the best zoo I’ve been to.

Don't miss the opportunity to see one of the world's rarest big cats, the Amur Leopard, when you visit. There are only about 40 pairs of this beautiful wild creature hanging on in the wild