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“Enjoyable for young and old”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo
Ranked #44 of 394 things to do in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Edinburgh Zoo is set in 82 acres of sloping parkland and is situated three miles to the west of Edinburgh city centre. It is home to over 1,000 rare and endangered animals, including chimpanzees, sun bears, Indian Rhinos, the UK's only koalas and the first Giant Pandas in the UK for 17 years.You can experience a busy programme of educational events and activities from keeper talks to hands-on animal encounters. There is also a wide-range of eating experiences, several play areas and a fantastic gift shop.Viewing for the Giant Pandas is free but ticketed.(Included with entry fee) To avoid disappointment we are advising all visitors to pre-book their tickets through our website to guarantee viewing. Panda viewing tickets must be booked at the same time as you buy your entry ticket.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Enjoyable for young and old”
Reviewed 16 August 2014

We (family of 2 adults, 2 young kids) visited Edinburgh Zoo in July 2014. We aimed to make a whole day of visiting however we did get bored after just a couple of hours. There is a lot of walking up hills at this zoo and our youngest did find this very tiring. We did enjoy our visit but don't think we will visit again, or at least not for a couple of years. A lot of the cat enclosures seemed to be closed or being changed and we couldn't see them very well due to this. We did manage to view both pandas - I would advise booking this in advance as it was very busy! My only complaint is paying for parking considering you already pay approx £50 for a family visit.

Visited July 2014
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Thank HyperBunny86
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London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
108 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Panda & penguins parade”
Reviewed 16 August 2014

The main attraction to this zoo is it giant panda and penguins parade. And at that time Tian Tian's is pregnant so we are not allowed to book the time slot online and when we arrive afternoon was a bit disappointing to find out the booking slot if full.
There is limited parking parking space near the zoo so arriving early would be good idea. Alternative the zoo give information on the side street where you can park until 4:30 pm when the bus lane come in force. The queue is very long when we arrive, all the way to the top of the car park. It took us over half hour to get into the zoo. Suggest to book online the night before. They do not allow same day booking.
The penguins parade is at 2:15 pm so we wonder around the zoo looking at the animal. Most of the animal enclosure is big but with limited animal in them so it is hard to locate and see them. Only some of them have a lot of animal. The zoo is very hilly so require walking up and down the hill.
There are a lot of people wanting to see the penguins parade, so suggest to arrive early at Penguin's Rock. With all the anticipation for the parade, it is a little disappointing as only a few penguins were on the parade and with so many people around, it is hard to see especially with if you have young kid. At most you will have one or two minutes seeing the penguins walking in front of you.
When I went to the panda enclosure, we were allowed to walk in. Not sure if that is the outside of the enclosure and we were lucky as Yang Guang's was there for us to view.
So overall we are very happy to be able to see the two main attractions. So I would suggest to plan your visit properly knowing that the parade is 2:15 pm. You need about 2 hours to walk around to zoo. You doesn't want to come too early and finish everything and then have to seat around waiting for the parade. There are plenty of space for picnic if you are interested. The best place would be top of the hill where you have view of Edinburgh.

Visited August 2014
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Thank KimWee_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kinross, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
147 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“not the best zoo but ok for a day out.”
Reviewed 16 August 2014

We have taken out membership for the zoo 2 or 3 times in the past. Previous visits were in 2005, so this time we just paid on the day as we wanted to see what it was like before committing to another membership. Entry was very cheap we thought at just £56 for a family ticket 2 adult, 3 children. (it's advertised at £62.50 but that includes an optional donation to animals fee that we had deducted) no need to pay for parking, as plenty unrestricted close by.

the number of species seems much reduced since 2005 - gone are the giraffes, wolves, snow leopards, and thank goodness that sad polar bear is up at highland wildlife park. I think the kangaroos are away too. No longer do they run the bus to the top either (there is a vehicle for those with mobility needs)

our kids are older now, so past the buggy stage and we had no problem walking up the hill. We took our own food so can't comment on food outlets, though we had a cuppa at penguin express and the milk was on the turn. They changed it apologetically, no problem.

aside from all of the above, the primates were all fantastic to see, really entertaining and the highlight for us. There is only one lion (sleeping) i noticed others searching for the lioness but she died a while back.

we didn't do any talks as we missed them all due to our own disorganization!

to sum up: plenty to fill a full day. Great value family day tickets. If you're not a fan of zoos, you will hate it. If you've been to great zoos elsewhere in the world, you won't be impressed with this one.

based on our visit today, we won't buy membership as it can all be seen in one day now. It's a good day out if you're looking to fill a day.

Visited August 2014
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Thank tabelmabel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Risky as every ZOO”
Reviewed 14 August 2014

This ZOO is famous for it's giant panda. At the time I was there panda was closed inside cause Tian Tian’s likely pregnancy. So no main attraction. But there was a possibility that it would get out so maybe you can see it.

As I said in title every ZOO is risky. You never know are the animals sleeping or playing or will you see them or not. In this ZOO everything was kind of slow and a bit depressing. I climbed the hill to see the lion but couldn't see it anywhere. At the end I saw it in the distance lying around doing nothing. So you can take one photo and move on.
Same thing for a lot of animals.
And off course I didn't see panda.
But the penguin rock looks great. Beside that nothing extra special for the pricey 16,5 pounds ticket.

Visited August 2014
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Thank ico00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Not what we were expecting.”
Reviewed 14 August 2014 via mobile

We arrived mid morning expecting a animal packed, full day out. A lot if the animals were impossible to see or had moved enclosures. The animals we did see we're either sleeping it pacing. The big cats are in shockingly small cages, the leopard was pacing along the glass for the 10 minutes we were in the area, horrible to see. Some serious money needs spending on the enclosures, they seem tired and run down. We ate in grasslands restaurant and found the food excellent and reasonably priced. We had our 14 month old in a pushchair and didn't struggle too much with the hills.

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Thank Emz221
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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