Plan your visit

Welcome back to Edinburgh Zoo!

 

Welcome back 

Edinburgh Zoo is open seven days a week to visitors from across the UK in line with current Scottish Government guidance. 

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

This means you must not travel from level three or four areas if temporary restrictions are in place. Please also remember not to gather in groups of more than six households with more than six adults and book a time slot online in advance (RZSS members and their guests can arrive after 2pm without booking, please see below for more information).  

Indoor areas are open with some limitations due to social distancing restrictions and risks to primates (please check the FAQs below for more info).

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
  • Travel
  • Tickets
  • Members
  • During your visit
  • Animals, adoptions and experiences

General FAQs

  • When can I visit the zoo?

    Edinburgh Zoo is open seven days a week to visitors from across the UK in line with current Scottish Government guidance. 

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

    This means you must not travel from level three or four areas if temporary restrictions are in place. Please also remember not to gather in groups of more than six households with more than six adults and book a time slot online in advance (RZSS members and their guests can arrive after 2pm without booking, please see below for more information).  

    Indoor areas are open with some limitations due to social distancing restrictions and risks to primates (Wee Beasties, Brilliant Birds and our primate walkthroughs will remain closed for now).

    Book members tickets

    Book all other tickets

  • 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
    • Introducing one-way routes in some areas so different households can stay 2m apart
    • Keeping some areas and 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.

    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.

    This means you must not travel from level three or four areas if temporary restrictions are in place. Please also remember not to gather in groups of more than six households with more than six adults and book a time slot online in advance (RZSS members and their guests can arrive after 2pm without booking, please see below for more information).  

    Indoor areas are open with some limitations due to social distancing restrictions and risks to primates (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 day – please follow the one-way system at all times.

    Book members tickets

    Book all other tickets

     

  • What will be open/closed?

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

    Our indoor areas are open with some limitations (Wee Beasties, Brilliant Birds, our monkey house and primate walkthroughs will remain closed for now).

    The pygmy hippo house has limited hours and numbers to give our new calf and mum some time to get used to visitors.

    Wallaby Walkthrough is open, though our saki monkey and lemur walkthroughs remain closed as part of additional Covid protections for primates.

    After a number of cases of avian influenza (bird flu) have been confirmed in the UK, we have implemented extra measures to help protect our birds. This means our pelican walkthrough is closed for the time being and Brilliant Birds may stay closed for longer than the other indoor areas. 

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

    Keeper Experiences and Magic Moments are postponed at the moment and will restart as soon as possible - our events team will be in touch with everyone who has vouchers.

    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?

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

    This means you must not travel from level three or four areas if temporary restrictions are in place. Please also remember not to gather in groups of more than six households with more than six adults and book a time slot online in advance (RZSS members and their guests can arrive after 2pm without booking, please see below for more information).  

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

    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
    • Introducing one-way routes in some areas so different households can stay 2m apart
    • Postponing all keeper talks, feeds of the day and penguin parade to avoid crowds
    • Opening selected cafes for limited services and accepting card payments only.
    • In line with government guidance, face coverings mandatory in all indoor areas, including our admissions building.

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

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

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

    Book members tickets

    Book all other tickets

     

     

  • 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 government guidance, face coverings are required 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.

  • Are you recording information for contact tracing?

    Yes. In line with the Scottish Government Test and Protect guidance, we are recording visitors' contact details, including telephone numbers.

    We request these details as part of our online booking process and hold them for 21 days.

    Please note, we are required to share these details with the NHS upon request.

    Read our updated privacy policy

     

Travel

  • Can I travel to visit the zoo?

    Yes, you can travel from across the UK to visit the zoo. Safety comes first and it is important everyone follows current government guidance to protect themselves and others. This means you must not gather in groups of more than six households with more than six adults and everyone must book a time slot online in advance. 

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

  • Can I use public transport to get to the zoo?

    Yes, you can travel to the zoo from across the UK. Safety comes first and it is important everyone follows current government guidance to protect themselves and others. This means you must not gather in groups of more than six households with more than six adults and everyone must book a time slot online in advance. 

     

  • Do I have to pay for parking?

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

    Please note that spaces are limited in our car park and in the local area due to the residential nature of our location.

Tickets

  • Can I buy a ticket on the door?

    ONLY if you are an RZSS member arriving between 2pm and 5pm.

    EVERYONE else is required to book online in advance – including RZSS members arriving before 2pm, annual pass holders and others with prepaid tickets.

    This is important so we can manage our restricted visitor numbers safely.

    There are allocated time slots for entry at 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm – 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.

    Please be aware:

    Safety comes first and it is important everyone follows current government guidance to protect themselves and others. This means you must notgather in groups of more than six households with more than six adults and everyone must book a time slot online in advance. 

  • When and how can I book my ticket?

    EVERYONE must book online in advance so we can manage visitor number safely – this includes carers, children under 3 years old and pre-paid ticket holders.

    There are allocated time slots for entry at 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm – 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.

    If you are an RZSS member, you and your guests can arrive between 2pm and 4pm without booking in advance. If you wish to arrive before 2pm, you need to book tickets via the members portal.

    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, gift 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 members tickets

    Book all other 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.

  • I am a member or have a pre-paid ticket, do I need to book?

    If you are an RZSS member, you and your guests can arrive between 1pm and 5pm without booking in advance. If you wish to arrive before 2pm, you still need to book tickets via the members portal.

    Asking visitors to book online in advance means we can manage visitor numbers safely – this includes carers, children under 3 years old and pre-paid ticket holders.

    Please choose the relevant ticket type and be prepared to show your advanced booking confirmation alongside proof of membership or prepaid tickets on arrival. Rest assured, you will not need to pay to book.

    Membership confirmation emails, letters OR membership cards are accepted alongside a valid form of photo ID. Find more information in the ‘Members’ section on this page.

    Prepaid tickets include gift admission vouchers, postponed tickets and corporate tickets. You can also use this option if you are a member at one of our reciprocal zoos.

    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 members tickets

    Book all other tickets

     

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

    If you need to change the date of your visit for any reason, please email info@rzss.org.uk with our booking details and request, and bear with us - our team are receiving high volumes of queries and will get back to everyone as soon as they can. Thank you for your patience.

    Please note: visitor numbers are limited to protect you, other visitors and our staff.

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

    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 viewing.

    Read the latest update about our giant pandas

Members

  • Why do members have to book in advance?

    For your safety and to help us manage queues, we are limiting visitor numbers and asking everyone to book a time slot online in advance if you are arriving before 2pm, via the members portal. 

    Tickets for members are free as normal and tickets for member guests are available at the normal discounted rate.

    RZSS members and their guests can arrive between 2pm and 5pm without booking in advance. If you wish to arrive before 1pm, you still need to book tickets as before.

    You are required to bring confirmation of both your membership/annual pass and online advanced booking, alongside a valid form of photo ID on the day of your visit.

    Membership confirmation can include your confirmation email, letter OR membership card if you have one.

  • How do members book in advance?

    Tickets can be booked via the members portal.

    Please select the member option or member guest option as appropriate and be prepared to show your booking confirmation, a valid form of photo ID and confirmation of your membership on arrival.

    Membership confirmation can include your confirmation email, letter OR membership card if you have one.

    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.

    And remember, you and your guests can arrive between 2pm and 5pm without booking in advance. If you wish to arrive before 2pm you need to book tickets as before.

  • Why do you need members' details for Test and Protect?

    In line with the Scottish Government Test and Protect guidance, we are recording visitors' contact details, including telephone numbers.

    We are now requesting these details as part of our online booking process and hold them for 21 days.

    Even though we already have your details in our membership database, this is the only way to be sure we're recording the exact date and time of your visit in compliance with government guidelines.

    Please note, we are required to share these details with the NHS upon request.

    Read our updated privacy policy

  • Can we use the members gate?

    No. The members gate will remain closed until further notice.

    Our staff are safely managing the number of people entering the zoo from the main entrance - this is the same for members arriving after 2pm without booking.

  • Can we bring guests?

    Yes – you can bring guests and pay for their tickets on the gate if you are arriving AFTER 2pm.

    If you are arriving BEFORE 2pm, you need to purchase guest tickets online in advance. Children under 3 years old are free as normal but must also be booked in.

    Please do not arrange to meet more than five other households at the zoo, with a maximum of six adults overall, in keeping with Scottish Government guidelines.

    Members must be present upon guest arrival at the park. 

    If you or anyone in your household are showing Covid-19 symptoms or have been identified as high risk, 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 of your advanced booking and a valid form of photo ID on arrival.

    Please remember to book online in advance if you are planning to arrive before 2pm.

  • 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.

During your visit

  • What do I need to know before my visit?

    Safety comes first and it is important everyone follows current government guidance to protect themselves and others. This means you must not gather in groups of more than six households with more than six adults and everyone must book a time slot online in advance. From Monday 26 April we can welcome back visitors from across the UK. 

    Our safety measures include introducing one-way routes, closing all indoor animal areas, and postponing penguin parade, keeper talks and feed of the day until further notice.

    In line with government guidance, face coverings are 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.

    As always, you are welcome to bring a picnic with your own food and non-alcoholic drink. Select cafes are open for a limited take-away services with card payments.

    There are picnic tables available which are regularly cleaned and placed with plenty of space in between.

    We do ask that you remember to take your rubbish away with you – this is important for the safety of yourself and others and for the safety of our animals (our penguins will try and eat just about anything that blows into their pool!)

    View our updated map

  • Do I need to wear a mask?

    In line with 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?

    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 viewing.

    Please be aware both pandas have access to private areas which they can choose to spend time in during the day. We always recommend visiting different areas of the zoo at different times to have the best chance of seeing particular animals.

  • 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.

    Pushchairs and lockers are not yet available – we will update this page when that changes.

  • What will be open/closed?

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

    Indoor animal areas include Koala Territory and indoor viewing for rhinos are now open. Some limitations apply (Wee Beasties, Brilliant Birds, our monkey house and primate walkthroughs will remain closed for now).

    The pygmy hippo house will be closed on weekends, with limited hours and numbers during the week to give our new calf and mum some time to get used to visitors.

    Wallaby Walkthrough is open, though our saki monkey and lemur walkthroughs remain closed as part of additional Covid protections for primates.

    After a number of cases of avian influenza (bird flu) have been confirmed in the UK, we have implemented extra measures to help protect our birds. This means our pelican walkthrough is closed for the time being and Brilliant Birds may stay closed for longer than the other indoor areas. 

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

    Keeper Experiences and Magic Moments are postponed at the moment.

    Grasslands Restaurant is open with limited indoor seating and take-away service. Penguins Cafe is operating a takeaway only service, other kiosks may be available on the day during busy periods. Please note our cafes 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 for Covid Protection Level 3, our gift shop is open. A face mask must be worn when visiting the shop. 

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.

    After a number of cases of avian influenza (bird flu) have been confirmed in the UK, we have implemented extra measures to help protect our birds. This means Brilliant Birds and our pelican walkthrough will be closed for the time being. 

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

    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 viewing.

    Read the latest update about our giant pandas

  • Are keeper experiences and magic moments available again?

    Our magic moments are postponed for now. If you have purchased one of these packages our events team will get in touch with you when we can begin to offer these again.

    As well as needing to respect social distancing, 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.

    We are reviewing our keeper experiences and will restart these as soon as it is safe to do so.

  • 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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