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ZSL London Zoo

Penguin Beach at ZSL London Zoo © ZSLPenguin Beach at ZSL London Zoo © ZSL

While it’s not huge, London’s zoo is one of the world’s oldest and best known, housing around 750 species hailing from around the world, from the jungles of South America and the outback of Tanzania to the bottom of the deep blue sea. Best of all, the last few years have seen the addition of some great attractions designed for younger visitors.

Best for: All ages

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What to Expect:

  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Educational
  • Family tickets
  • Farm animals
  • Great for kids 4-12
  • Great for teens
  • Great for toddlers
  • Special events
  • Seasonal opening
  • Public transport
  • Picnic areas
  • Pay on day

What to do

Check out the UK's first walk-through spider exhibit and come face-to-face with arachnids of all shapes and sizes.
Take kids to their own mini-zoo, the Animal Adventure, where different zones allow them to get truly involved in the lives of various animals: swinging in the Treetop Zone with the coatis, meeting burrowing animals in the Roots Zone, learning about the importance of water in the Splash Zone, and even grooming and feeding in the Touch Zone.

Head to Gorilla Kingdom where the African rainforest meets the heart of London and you can meet the Zoo's colony of western lowland Gorillas.

Let the Land of the Lions transport you to Sasan Gir in India, where you can get up close to Asiatic lions in this interactive area of the zoo. You can even stay over in the brand new Gir Lion Lodge area, and experience a night within roaring distance of lions, in the heart of London.

Bring younger kids (7–11 years) to spend the night at the Zoo as part of a BedBUGS sleepover, including a tour of the site by night (when many animals are more active).

For a real treat, consider booking a 'Meet the Animals' session where you can feed the Meerkats and close to some of the most popular animals in the zoo. Or if you have a budding animal enthusiast in your group, you can book an experience of a lifetime where 11-15 year olds can become 'Keeper for the Day' for a real 'behind-the-scenes' treat.

Check out the ‘What’s on’ section of the website if you want to see some of the animals being fed, including penguins.

Where to stay

See our London destination guide for our recommendations for family-friendly hotels and other accommodation in the capital.
Alternatively, the Zoo’s website lists nearby hotels offering packages combining a family room and breakfast with zoo entry.


The zoo is open daily except Christmas Day, 10am–4pm in winter, 10am–6pm in summer.


ZSL London Zoo is well served by public transport, with lots of bus routes to hand and Camden Town and Regent's Park tube stations a short walk away. For those coming by car, the zoo has a large car park and is outside the congestion zone.
The best way to come is by canalboat/waterbus – the London Waterbus Company runs one-way trips to the Zoo, with entry via a special gate that means you don’t have to queue at the main zoo entrance.

An alternative way to get to the zoo (and a bit more exciting) is by waterbus. Find out more details on the website.


There is plenty of choice on-site, from indulgent treats to healthier fare in the Animal Adventure Café and Terrace Restaurant, both fully kitted out for kids. If visiting during the school holidays and weekends, why not try someting different and treat the family to an animal-themed Afternoon Tea (kids eat free when dining with an adult), or you can bring your own picnic.


A new tiered ticket system allows you to save a bit on entry in the Winter or Mid seasons, as does buying a Family Saver ticket (from around £70), which is only available in advance via the website. Buying tickets in advance also lets you skip the queue for entry. Note that under-3s go free.

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