An unforgettable day out, Edinburgh Zoo is home to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and more than 2,500 incredible animals from around the world.

Thomas Gillespie was the founder of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and a true visionary. A lawyer with a passion for zoology, Thomas opened Edinburgh Zoo in 1913 with support from the city council, four years after our wildlife conservation charity was formed.

All your favourite animals are waiting for you at the zoo - from paddling penguins and famous giant pandas, to a magnificent herd of giraffes. You won’t want to miss out on seeing Scotland’s only sloths either!

At the zoo we offer an exciting programme of discovery ranger talks throughout the day, a range of eating experiences, play areas to explore and a fantastic gift shop with lots of sustainable options.

Our mission: to save wildlife and empower people in Scotland and around the world to protect, value and love nature.

Edinburgh Zoo is one of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's gateways to the natural world through which people can experience nature. You can learn about the challenges facing wildlife and discover how we harness our expertise in conservation science and animal care to save species from extinction.

Find out more about our charity's pledges to reverse the decline of at least 50 species, create stronger connections with nature for more than a million people and empower one hundred communities to better protect nature at


One of Scotland's most popular visitor attractions

Open every day of the year, with the exception of Christmas Day, we have four stars from the Visit Scotland quality assurance scheme and work hard to offer our visitors a truly great day out. Please see our visitor information for more details about all our visitor facilities.

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