Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo is a great family day out in Edinburgh if you are ever wanting something to do. We visit at least once or twice a year depending on when the kids ask to go. Be warned, it is built on a hill and can get steep in places. Which means pushing a pram or carrying a baby/toddler can require a great amount of strength and stamina! Depending on the weather it can get pretty cold, so make sure you wrap up warm and have some proper footwear.

View over Edinburgh

View over Edinburgh

All About Edinburgh Zoo

Getting to Edinburgh Zoo

Getting to Edinburgh zoo is pretty easy, there are bus stops right outside the zoo and the train station (Haymarket) isn’t too far away (maybe 30 minute walk) or just catch the bus from the train station, which may be easier if you have younger children. You can also get to the zoo from Waverley train station by bus too.

Edinburgh Zoo Parking

Once you arrive you will go drive up quite a steep hill into the car park. The car park does get full on busy days. There is a charge for parking which is currently £4 for non members. On busy days when the car park does get full and you will have to find parking elsewhere. Normally this is along the main road in the red lines.

Pond at Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo Prices

Edinburgh Zoo is open all year round so it is a great day out if you are looking for something to do. Although if it is very bad weather check to make sure the zoo is open as sometimes it has to close for health and safety reasons. Opening times vary depending on the time of year so check out their website.

Ticket prices currently stand at £19 for adults and £14.55 for children over 3. Children and babies 3 and under are free. It is cheaper to book tickets online for a discount. Check the Edinburgh zoo website for up to date prices.

Bamboo at Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo Animals

The Giant Pandas are one of the biggest attractions at the zoo. However, there are a lot of animals to see at Edinburgh Zoo, and various talks at set times during the day which means you can be constantly on the move.

One of our favourites is the penguin parade that is normally at 2.15pm each day. However, the Zoo leaves it up to the penguins to decide if the parade will go ahead so you may wait to see the parade but then it will get cancelled. It is good that they don’t force the penguins to do the walk especially if they don’t want too.

Giant Panda at Edinburgh Zoo

The tigers have recently been moved to a new section up near the lions. It is a nice big enclosure (it looks a lot bigger than the old one) so make sure you head up to that section. Just head up towards the penguins and you will find the way.

I would say the zoo is pram friendly although it can get rather hilly especially on the top section towards the Zebras…and remember if you get up to the top, you have to get back down and if it has been raining then the paths can sometimes get slippery.

There are also a couple of play areas around the park. We have been for a whole day before and not seen the whole Zoo so it is best to take your time and miss animals out so you don’t tire the kids out too much.

Panda at Edinburgh Zoo

Penguins at Edinburgh Zoo

Food & Drinks

There is a great selection of places to eat; 2 restaurants, and a café near the penguins. There are also snack bars around the park (not open year-round though).

The Grasslands restaurant has recently been updated and is now table service. The menu is more meals and not snacks, so if you are looking for snacks head to the Penguins Café or the Jungle Food Court.

There are also picnic facilities available if you are looking to take your own food.

Tip: If you have food intolerances, ask for the allergen menu. They were very helpful in the grasslands restaurant, making sure my son’s food was bought out separately from the rest and kept away from any allergens.

Play Area Edinburgh Zoo

Koala at Edinburgh Zoo


Edinburgh Zoo is a really good day out for all the family. It’s the biggest down point is that it is built on a hill. It can be rather tiring pushing the pram around, not that it puts us off visiting. If you don’t want to visit because of the hill try the Five Sisters Zoo instead. It certainly is worth the visit!

Play area at Edinburgh Zoo

Toddler with Birthday cake

* Reviews are my own opinion. I haven’t been paid in any way for writing this.

First published in 2016. 

Visiting Edinburgh Zoo - Edinburgh Zoo Review - All You Need To Know

About Author

I have always had an interest in travel and now I have My two boys I want them to see more than just the UK. I hope to give advice and tips to other parents who are anxious about travelling with their children.

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    1. Hiya Lindsay, thank you for commenting. Yeah the zoo is a great place to visit, you can spend all day there and not see everything. Your daughter will have a blast. I updated the walking times from the train station as I was thinking bus journey times when I wrote it! Catching the bus would be easier if you are wanting to make the most of your day xx

  1. Sam,

    I didn’t know there’s a zoo in Edinburgh. I haven’t visited Scotland yet (even though I have lived in England for many years) but I have plans to visit hopefully sometimes next year with my family and you have just given me another activity to consider

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