As we enter the Easter holidays, it is wonderful to see so many families and friends wanting to spend their time-off connecting with nature and supporting wildlife conservation around the world. We are so grateful for your support!

With even more of you coming to see our incredible animals and enjoy our outdoor spaces, it is really important to be aware of what to expect during your visit. Our triceraTOP TIP is to explore our new Dinosaurs! at Edinburgh Zoo - FREE with normal entry (and well worth climbing the hill!) 🦖

Very limited car parking

We are a city zoo based on a hill, so parking spaces are very limited and only available on a first come, first served basis. Our car park is currently free to use, very popular and filling up early in the day (before 11am during school holidays).

Travelling by bus is highly recommended where possible and our partners at Lothian Buses can drop you off right outside our gates with their regular services from the city centre (including Waverly and Haymarket train station) and surrounding areas.

We also have a handy webpage with information about alternative parking at

Queuing for entry and our most popular animals

With an amazing number of people hoping to visit the zoo during holidays, it means you will likely have to queue for entry and into popular animal viewing areas like our giraffes, giant pandas, koalas and Scotland's only sloths.

Booking a time slot in advance (more on that below!) helps to keep queues more manageable throughout the day, but it is usually quieter later in the day and outside of school holidays.

Members gate

Our members gate is usually open from 10am – 3.45pm on local (City of Edinburgh Council) school holidays and on weekends. We always do our best to have it open during these times, however it may be closed at short notice due to staffing.

When the gate is closed, members and their guests can enter through the main entrance with visitors who have booked time slots in advance.

Don’t forget, as an RZSS member you can get free entry to reciprocal zoos and so many other great benefits - find out more at

Covid restrictions are still affecting the zoo

Scottish government guidance means visitors are still being asked to wear masks in indoor areas and while most of the zoo is now open to visitors, our primate walkthroughs are closed because our lemurs and saki monkeys have an increased risk from Covid-19.

The Monkey House is also closed for development, but you can spot our primates in their outdoor areas, with other cheeky monkey species throughout the zoo too! 

Keeper talks and timed feeds are still postponed, with the return of our penguin parade on hold due to Avian flu. However, we are trialling new discovery talks around the zoo – watch this space...

And remember, sometimes we may have to close viewing for specific animals at short notice for their wellbeing and check-ups by our expert vets and keepers. We will always do our best to help visitors see as many of our animals as possible, though they may well decide to go for a nap or spend some quiet time in a hidden area (just like some humans we know!).

Our top tip is to go back to different animals at different times of the day to give yourself the best chance of spotting them all out and about.

Booking in advance

Although we’re now able to welcome more visitors again, there are still limits in place and we can sell out of tickets. Please remember to book in advance to avoid disappointment – you could also join RZSS as a member to enjoy free visits all year round without booking ahead. 

We highly recommend arriving as close to your time slot as possible, but your ticket will be valid until last entry at 5pm if needed and everyone can stay until the zoo closes – please don’t worry if you are running a little late. We completely understand things don’t always go to plan.

If you need to change the date of your visit, please email with your booking details with as much notice as possible. Our small team work very hard to get back to everyone as quickly as they can but this could take up to 72 hours at the moment.

We will of course rearrange your visit to a day with availability if you need to self-isolate or have another emergency and really appreciate your patience - do not worry if you do not receive a reply before your original booked date. If we need to close the zoo or cancel an event for any reason, including extreme weather or a change in government restrictions, we will contact all pre-booked ticket holders by email and offer refunds or gift vouchers.

Most importantly

Last but certainly not least, please remember to show our staff, and other visitors, respect. Our hardworking teams are there to make sure you enjoy your day at the zoo in a safe environment!

Have another question?

Our frequently asked questions are kept up to date at and we’re asking everyone to check this information carefully before booking their tickets or getting in touch for more information.

Thanks again to everyone who has and continues to support our charity – if the animals we care for could say ‘thank you’, they would!

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