Plan your visit

Welcome back to Edinburgh Zoo!

We are open seven days a week to pre-booked visitors and RZSS members while restrictions are still in place in Scotland.

Tickets are limited for everyone's safety and may sell out up to a week in advance for school holidays and weekends - please remember to book a time slot online in advance unless you are an RZSS member or accompanied guest.

With more of you planning to see our incredible animals and enjoy our outdoor spaces, it is really important to be aware of what might be different on the day, including our limited car parking spaces, the queues for entry and popular viewing areas, and more - please read the information in the FAQs below to find out what to expect.

Safety comes first and everyone must follow current government guidance to protect themselves and others - the City of Edinburgh Council area is currently in Covid protection level zero.

RZSS members and their accompanied guests no longer have to book in advance for visits to Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park. As usual, RZSS members must accompany guests who can pay for admission on the gate – please see the members section below for more information and sign up for member emails for the latest updates.  

Most of our indoor areas are open with some limitations due to social distancing and other protection needed - please check the FAQs below for full details.

Please respect the ‘rules of the road’ at the zoo and our dedicated teams who are there to make sure everyone has a safe and fun day out. 

We really appreciate your support and patience and kindly ask that you read the information below before getting in touch (you can find contact details at the bottom of this page).  

Hopefully you can visit us soon – we look forward to seeing you!  

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Frequently asked questions

  • General
  • Safety
  • RZSS members
  • Travel
  • Tickets
  • During your visit
  • Animals, adoptions and experiences

General FAQs

  • Is it safe to visit the zoo?

    The educational, physical and mental health benefits of visiting zoos and enjoying nature are well known. Edinburgh Zoo has large outdoor spaces and we have put all of the required safety measures in place for our staff, animals and visitors. This means we can continue to provide a safe, outdoor environment for visitors from across the UK. 

    This includes:

    • Limiting visitor numbers with advanced online booking required
    • Frequent cleaning in high contact areas and additional hygiene precautions
    • Adding and signposting handwashing and hand sanitiser stations around the park
    • Keeping limited areas and some walkthroughs closed
    • Postponing all keeper talks, feeds of the day and penguin parade to avoid crowds
    • Opening our cafes for limited services with card payments
    • In line with government guidance, face coverings mandatory in all indoor areas, including our admissions building and gift shop.

    We are doing everything we can to make the zoo safe for everyone which means your visit will be different to normal.

    To keep you safe, we have limits on our visitor numbers and also limited numbers of people allowed in indoor areas at the same time. Even with less than half of the normal visitor numbers we’d have had on busy summer days in previous years, this means you may have to queue for entry into the zoo and into popular animal viewing areas like our new giraffes, giant pandas, koalas, hippos and the Budongo Trail.

    Toilets and playparks are open with additional cleaning and hygiene measures in place. There will also be added portaloos around the zoo.

    If you, or anyone in your household, are showing covid-19 symptoms, please stay at home.

  • Is there any reason why I shouldn't visit the zoo?

    Safety comes first and it is important everyone follows current government guidance to protect themselves and others. If you, or anyone in your household, are showing covid-19 symptoms, please stay at home. 

    To keep you safe, we have limits on our visitor numbers which means you need to book a time slot online in advance unless you are an RZSS member or accompanied guest.

    Even with less than half of the normal visitor numbers we’d have had on busy summer days in previous years, this means you may have to queue for entry into the zoo and into popular animal viewing areas like our new giraffes, giant pandas, koalas, hippos and the Budongo Trail.

    Most of our indoor areas are open with some limitations due to social distancing and other restrictions (you can find more information in the ‘What will be open/closed’ section on this page).

    Please respect the ‘rules of the road’ at the zoo and our dedicated teams who are there to make sure everyone has a safe and fun day out. 

    Remember, the zoo is located on a hill with some steep paths and stepsIn line with current restrictions, we are operating a restricted mobility service which has limited seating and is only available to visitors with mobility issues. Please note, we have taken all necessary safety precautions and the vehicle will be disinfected after each use.

    If you are visiting to see a particular animal or species, please be aware that our animals can explore different areas during the day and may choose to spend some time in private or simply blend in with their natural camouflage.

    Some areas may also be closed for your safety or for vet checks at short notice and we cannot guarantee you will see all the animals on your visit.

    We recommend going back to different enclosures at different times of the dayfor the best chance to see as many animals as possible.


    Book tickets

  • What will be open/closed?

    For your safety, we have introduced a range of measures which include postponing keeper talks, feed of the day and the penguin parade.

    While most of the zoo is now open to visitors, our Wee Beasties building must remain closed until social distancing restricted are relaxed and our primate walkthroughs are closed because our lemurs and saki monkeys have an increased risk from Covid-19.

    Other areas may also be closed temporarily while we carry out some exciting new changes – Brilliant Birds will soon be home to a fantastic new mystery species (all will be revealed soon…) and most of our lorikeets have moved out to make way for a new meerkat experience area later this year.

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

    Sometimes we have to close viewing for an animal at short notice for their wellbeing and check ups by our expert vets and keepers. And although we will always do our best to help visitors see as many of our animals as possible, they may well decide to go for a nap or 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.

    Staff are on hand to manage the numbers of visitors in potentially busy areas.

    Catering is available throughout the park. Grasslands Restaurant is open for limited indoor and takeaway service. Penguins Cafe is operating a takeaway only service, other kiosks may be available on the day during busy periods.

    Please note our cafes and kiosks are still accepting card payments only.

    Toilets and playparks are open with additional cleaning and hygiene measures in place. There are also added portaloos around the site.

    View our updated map

  • Are you still fundraising?

    Yes - while we are very excited to welcome visitors back, this is still an incredibly difficult time for our charity.

    Most of our income comes from visitors but we were closed for five months and still need to limit visitor numbers for the safety of our visitors and our staff.

    Covid-19 has been the most significant challenge our organisation has ever faced, and we need your help to ensure animals at the park and in the wild can continue to thrive. 

    You can help care for our animals and protect threatened species in Scotland and around the world by supporting our Survival Fund at edinburghzoo.org.uk/help

Safety Measures

  • What safety measures will be in place?

    We are doing everything we can to make the zoo safe for everyone which means your visit will be different to normal.

    Safety comes first and it is important everyone follows current government guidance to protect themselves and others.

    If you or anyone in your household is showing covid-19 symptoms, please stay at home.

    Edinburgh Zoo has large outdoor spaces and we are putting all of the required measures in place for our staff and visitors, including:

    • Limiting visitor numbers with advanced online booking required
    • Frequent cleaning in high contact areas and additional hygiene precautions
    • Adding and signposting handwashing and hand sanitiser stations around the park
    • Postponing all keeper talks, feeds of the day and penguin parade to avoid crowds
    • Opening our cafes for limited services with card payments.
    • In line with government guidance, face coverings mandatory in all indoor areas, including our admissions building

    Toilets and playparks are open with additional cleaning and hygiene measures in place. Added portaloos are also available throughout the zoo. 

    Please read the other FAQs before getting in touch with any further questions. 

  • Will toilets and playparks be open?

    Yes. Toilets are available throughout the park and are designated for one household (troop) at a time to allow for social distancing. There are additional single portaloos in key areas.

    Playparks will are open with additional cleaning and hygiene measures in place.

  • Do I need to wear a mask?

    In line with Scottish Government guidance, face coverings are required in all indoor areas for visitors, including our admissions building.

    Exceptions can be made for children under five years old, people with breathing difficulties and those with disabilities where the use of masks would be distressing or make communication difficult.

    Masks are not provided so please do bring one along with you.

    A small selection of face coverings along with ‘go-safe packs’, picnic items and some food and drink are available to purchase at the entrance.

RZSS members

  • Do members have to book in advance?

    No - RZSS members and their accompanied guests no longer have to book in advance for visits to Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park.

    As usual, RZSS members must accompany guests who can pay for admission on the gate – please sign up for member emails for the latest updates. 

  • Can we use the members gate?

    Yes! Members gate is now open.

  • Can we bring guests?

    Yes – you can bring guests and buy their tickets on the door as you arrive. 

    Please do not arrange to meet in groups of more than 12 households with more than 12 adults, in keeping with Scottish Government guidelines.

    Members must be present when guests enter the park. 

    If you or anyone in your household are showing Covid-19 symptoms, please stay at home.

  • Can I come if I am a new RZSS member?

    Yes. Any RZSS member with confirmation of membership is welcome – you need to show this, confirmation and a valid form of photo ID on arrival.

     

  • Can I become a member?

    Yes! You can join us as a member online now. You will receive a confirmation email straight away which you can then use as proof of membership when visiting.

    While we have social distancing measures in place, we encourage you to purchase your membership before you visit rather than on site.

  • How do I check the status of my membership or renew?

    To check the status of your membership, or to restart/renew your membership, please contact membership@rzss.org.uk.

    We are receiving LOTS of messages and will get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience.

  • I don't have a membership card, what do I do?

    If you haven’t received a card yet, please don’t worry – your confirmation email or letter together with a valid form of photo ID is all the proof we need.

    If you would like another confirmation sent to you, please contact membership@rzss.org.uk.

    For the moment, we will not be issuing new membership cards at reception in order to minimise contact on your visit. We are also working on testing new cards on our membership system and hope to begin issuing these soon!

  • When will my new membership start?

    If you sign up for membership online, then your membership will start the day you sign up unless it is a gift and you have specified another date.

    If you would like to sign up and pay by direct debit, please contact the membership team on membership@rzss.org.uk and you can specify when you would like your membership to start.

Travel

  • Can I travel to visit the zoo?

    Safety comes first and it is important everyone follows current government guidance to protect themselves and others.  

    If you or anyone in your household are showing covid-19 symptoms, please stay at home.

    Please remember we have limited car parking spaces available but you can arrive in style on one of the regular zoo themed Lothian Buses. Service numbers 12, 26 and 31 will drop you right at our doorstep and back into city centre!
  • Can I use public transport to get to the zoo?

    Safety comes first and it is important everyone follows current government guidance to protect themselves and others. 

    If you or anyone in your household are showing covid-19 symptoms, please stay at home.

    Remember you can arrive in style on one of the regular zoo themed Lothian Buses. Service numbers 12, 26 and 31 will drop you right at our doorstep and back into city centre!
  • Do I have to pay for parking?

    No. Everyone can park free of charge in the zoo car park until further notice.

    Please remember we have limited car parking spaces available but you can arrive in style on one of the regular zoo themed Lothian Buses. Service numbers 12, 26 and 31 will drop you right at our doorstep and back into city centre!

Tickets

  • How much are tickets?

    General admission tickets:

      With donation Without donation
    Adult  £21.95 £19.95
    Child £12.50 £11.35
    Concession £19.95 £18.10

    Member guest tickets:

      With donation Without donation
    Adult  £16.45 £14.95
    Child  £9.40 £8.50
    Concession  £14.95 £13.60

    Every ticket purchased helps to care for over 2,500 animals at the zoo and protect wildlife in Scotland and around the world - find out more.

    Remember, RZSS membership is fantastic value, including FREE visits to Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park all year round and so much more! Discover more RZSS member benefits.

  • Can I buy a ticket on the door?

    ONLY if you are an RZSS member or accompanied guest.

    EVERYONE ELSE must book online in advance so we can continue to managed visitor numbers safely — this includes anyone with vouchers, reciprocal zoo memberships and other prepaid tickets (please book these using the prepaid ticket option and bring your vouchers on the day).

    There are allocated time slots for entry at 10am, 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 12pm, 12.30pm, 1pm and 1.30pm — we will only admit visitors during or after their booked time slot, if they have advanced online booking confirmation.

    No matter what time slot you arrive in, everyone can stay until the zoo closes at 6pm.

    Last entry is at 5pm — though we recommend giving yourself at least 2 hours to get around the zoo.

  • I am a member, do I need to book?

    RZSS members and their accompanied guests no longer have to book in advance for visits to Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park.

    As usual, RZSS members must accompany guests who can pay for admission on the gate – please sign up for member emails for the latest updates. 

    If you are a member of a reciprocal zoo, you still need to book a time slot online in advance - please use the prepaid ticket options and bring along your proof of membership on the day.

     

    Book tickets

     

  • I have a voucher or prepaid ticket, how do I book?

     

    The prepaid ticket options on our website can be used to book tickets if you have admission vouchers, postponed tickets or corporate tickets. You can also use this option if you are a member at one of our reciprocal zoos.

    Please choose the relevant ticket type and be prepared to show your advanced booking confirmation alongside proof of any memberships or prepaid tickets on arrival.

    Children with Blue Peter badges go free with a full paying adult - simply select the 'prepaid child' ticket option and be sure to have your badge with you on the day.

    Book tickets

     

  • When and how can I book my ticket?

    Non-members must book online in advance so we can manage visitor number safely — this includes carers, children under three years old and pre-paid ticket holders (please see the RZSS members section for more information on exceptions for members and their guests).

    There are allocated time slots for entry at 10am, 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 12pm, 12.30pm, 1pm and 1.30pm — we will only admit visitors within their booked time slot (though it's okay if you're running a little bit late).

    No matter what time slot you are in, you can stay until the zoo closes to all visitors at 6pm. Tickets must be booked at least 2 hours before your arrival slot.

    Please note: visitor numbers are limited to protect you, other visitors and our staff. Exchanging tickets for an alternative date may not be possible due to demand.

    Prepaid tickets include postponed tickets, admission vouchers and corporate tickets. You can also use this option for Blue Peter badge holders (prepaid child) and if you are a member at one of our reciprocal zoos.

    Book tickets

     

  • I need to change my ticket dates, is this possible?

    If you need to change the date of your visit, please email info@rzss.org.uk 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.

    Please note: visitor numbers are limited to protect you, other visitors and our staff. It may not be possible to rearrange your visit to a date that is already fully booked.

  • How do I book a Blue Peter badge or 'Kids for a Quid' ticket?

    Children with Blue Peter badges go free with a full paying adult - simply select the 'prepaid child' ticket option when booking online in advance and be sure to have your badge with you on the day.

    Children with Scotrail 'kids for a quid' ticket are also free with a full paying adult - simply select the 'prepaid child' ticket option when booking online in advance and be sure to have the Scotrail ticket with you and valid for the same day.

  • Do you offer military or NHS discounts?

    Though we do not offer military discounts, we do offer discounts for NHS staff through nhsstaffbenefits.co.uk for special events and off-peak visiting times.

During your visit

  • Do I need to wear a mask?

    In line with Scottish Government guidance, face coverings mandatory in all indoor areas, including our admissions building.

    Exceptions can be made for children under five years old, people with breathing difficulties and those with disabilities where the use of masks would be distressing or make communication difficult.

    Masks are not provided so please do bring one along with you.

    A small selection of face coverings along with ‘go-safe packs’, picnic items and some food and drink are available to purchase at the entrance.

  • Do I need to book to see the giant pandas or giraffes?

    No - the only booking slot you need is for entry into the zoo. 

    Once you're in, there is a free flow system in place and staff are on hand in busy areas where we have to limit numbers.

    You may have a short wait for your turn in the best viewing spot, but do not have to book a specific time for panda or giraffe viewing.

    Read the latest update about our giant pandas

    Our new giraffe habitat is now open to visitors. You will not need a separate booking for the giraffes, though you may have a short wait for your turn in the best viewing spot.

    Find out more about our new giraffes

  • Can I bring a picnic or will the cafes be open?

    Yes! As always, you are welcome to bring a picnic with your own food and non-alcoholic drink.

    Grasslands Restaurant is open with limited indoor service alongside take-away. Penguin Cafe and Jungle Cafe are open for limited menu take-away.

    Please note that all cafes are accepting card payments only. 

    There are picnic tables available which are regularly cleaned and placed with plenty of space in between. We simply ask that you remember to take your rubbish away with you with consideration for our other visitors and the safety of our animals (our penguins will try and eat just about anything that blows into their pool!)

    Jungle Cafe Menu

    Penguin Cafe Menu

     

  • Will the mobility vehicle and other accessibility services be running?

    Our new electric mobility vehicle is up and running with zero emissions - please ask our admission team on arrival for more information.

    Wheelchairs are also available for hire on a first come first served basis. They must only be used by one visitor a day and will be thoroughly cleaned each evening and morning before hire.

    Steep slopes and steps are signposted with alternative routes and there is an updated mobility map available for visitors.

  • What is open/closed?

    For your safety, we have introduced a range of measures which include postponing keeper talks, feed of the day and the penguin parade.

    While most of the zoo is now open to visitors, our Wee Beasties building must remain closed until social distancing restricted are relaxed and our primate walkthroughs are closed because our lemurs and saki monkeys have an increased risk from Covid-19.

    Other areas may also be closed temporarily while we carry out some exciting new changes – Brilliant Birds will soon be home to a fantastic new mystery species (all will be revealed soon…) and most of our lorikeets have moved out to make way for a new meerkat experience area later this year.

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

    Sometimes we have to close viewing for an animal at short notice for their wellbeing and check ups by our expert vets and keepers. And although we will always do our best to help visitors see as many of our animals as possible, they may well decide to go for a nap or 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.

    Staff are on hand to manage the numbers of visitors in potentially busy areas.

    Catering is available throughout the park. Grasslands Restaurant is open for limited indoor and takeaway service. Penguins Cafe is operating a takeaway only service, other kiosks may be available on the day during busy periods.

    Please note our cafes and kiosks are still accepting card payments only.

    Toilets and playparks are open with additional cleaning and hygiene measures in place. There are also added portaloos around the site.

    View our updated map

  • Will keeper talks and penguin parade be on?

    No. All keeper talks, public animal feeds and the penguin parade are postponed indefinitely to avoid crowds.

  • Will the gift shop be open?

    Yes! In line with Scottish Government guidance, our gift shop is open. A face mask must be worn when visiting the shop and you may have to queue at busy times and numbers are limited indoors for your safety.

Animals, adoptions and experiences

  • Are the animals okay?

    Yes. Throughout this time, our keepers and vets have been continuing to give our animals the best of care and working hard to keep their routines as normal as possible.

    We are still learning more about the virus every day and many of our keepers are wearing masks and taking even more precautions to protect the animals and themselves until we know more.

    As well as being an important safety measure for our visitors and staff, the limited visitor numbers and gradual opening plan has given our animals time to adjust.

    Many of them have missed the different sights and smells that they get to experience when we are open to visitors. 

  • Do I need to book to see the giant pandas or giraffes?

    No - the only booking slot you need is for entry into the zoo. 

    Once you're in, there is a free flow system in place and staff are on hand in busy areas where we have to limit numbers.

    You may have to wait for your turn in the best viewing spot, but do not have to book a specific time for panda viewing.

    Read the latest update about our giant pandas

    Our new giraffe habitat is now open to visitors. You will not need a separate booking for the giraffes, though you may have to wait for your turn in the best viewing spot.

    Find out more about our new giraffes

  • I’m an adopter and I get free tickets as part of my adoption, what do I do?

    If you have not yet received your adoption pack in the post, please email membership@rzss.org.uk with your details. They can send e-tickets across to your inbox for you to use and will get your exciting adoption pack to you as soon as possible.

    Please also email membership@rzss.org.uk with your details if your tickets expired while we were closed. We can arrange for new tickets to be sent to you.

    If you are a silver, gold or platinum adopter, we would also recommend sending an email when you have booked your visit, so that we can ensure your name is up on the adoption sign.

Have another question?

Please bear with us (pun always intended) - we are receiving LOTS of messages and emails and will try to get back to everyone as quickly as we can.

Like many other charities, we are working with a smaller team at the moment and will not be able to answer phone calls at this time.

We really appreciate your support and patience and kindly ask that you read all of the information available before getting in touch.

 

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