San Diego Zoo and Safari Park – tickets, prices, timings, what to expect


San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, housing 3,500 animals with over 650 species, is a true wildlife treasure.

It is the best place for families and friends to relax in the lap of nature, where one can discover a wide range of exotic and endangered species all in one place.

This article covers everything you must know before booking San Diego Zoo and Safari Park tickets.

Top Tickets for San Diego Zoo
# San Diego Zoo 1-day admission ticket
# San Diego Zoo 2-day admission ticket
# San Diego Zoo Safari Park

What to expect at San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

From tigers to cheetahs to camels, there are many animals to see at the San Diego Zoo.

Visit a range of exhibits, including Discovery Outpost, Lost Forest, Northern Frontier, Urban Jungle, Africa Rocks, and Elephant Odyssey.

Board double-decker buses for a 35-minute Guided Bus Tour taking you through different landmarks of the zoo.

Sit in aerial trams for Skyfari and take a 360-degree view of the zoo as you fly high, spot animals and birds, and soak in the spectacular view from the top.

Go on a safari for a more up-close experience with animals and birds.

San Diego Zoo 1-day admission ticketUS$69
San Diego Zoo 2-day admission ticketUS$118
San Diego Zoo Safari ParkUS$69

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Where to buy San Diego Zoo and Safari Park tickets

Tickets to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are available online and at the ticket booth at the zoo.

We strongly suggest you purchase online tickets to save money and time.

Online ticket prices tend to be cheaper than tickets at the venue.

When you buy online, you can avoid the long queues at the attraction’s ticket counters.

Because some attractions sell a limited number of tickets, during peak days they may sell out. Booking early helps avoid last-minute disappointments.

How online tickets work

Go to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park ticket booking page, select the number of tickets and date you wish to visit, and book your tickets right away!

Once you purchase San Diego Zoo tickets, they get delivered to your email address. 

There is no need to get printouts of the ticket. 

You can show the e-ticket on your smartphone when you visit the attraction.

Remember to bring your official IDs.

San Diego Zoo and Safari Park ticket prices

The San Diego one-day admission ticket is priced at US$69 for all guests aged 12 years and above.

Children in the age group of three to 11 years pay only US$59 for entry.

The two-day admission ticket granting access to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park is slightly higher.

Those above 12 years pay US$118, and those between three and 11 years pay US$108.

Discount tickets

At San Diego Zoo, infants below two years are admitted free of charge and get a flat 100% discount, while children between the ages of three and 11 years receive a 17% discount.

Active US military personnel can enter the zoo for free, and their dependents may save up to 10%.

Seniors aged 65 and above and students over 12 can also get a 15% price reduction.

However, military, senior, and student discounts are only available at the ticket counter; hence, you’re advised to carry official IDs.

San Diego Zoo 1-day admission ticket

With a one-day admission ticket to San Diego Zoo, you get entry to the main zoo, allowing you to explore all animal exhibits.

Also, guests can take the Express Bus and Guided Bus Tour to go around the zoo quickly or experience the bountiful zoo on a Skyfari aerial tram.

Access to Children’s Zoo is also included, where your kids can go wild and play to the fullest.

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (12+ years): US$69
Child Ticket (3 to 11 years): US$59
Infant Ticket (up to 2 years): Free

San Diego Zoo 2-day admission ticket

The Safari Park in Escondido is a sister park of San Diego Zoo, and we want you to enjoy the experience by purchasing a two-day ticket.

The park is just a 45-minute drive from the zoo, so you should keep your plans flexible to tour both places in two days.

With this ticket, you receive one entry into the San Diego Zoo and one access into the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park, saving you 20% on the regular ticket price.

This ticket includes everything offered in a single-day admission ticket plus a few added activities like Africa Tram Safari and a Cheetah Run at the Safari Park.

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (12+ years): US$118
Child Ticket (3 to 11 years): US$108
Infant Ticket (up to 2 years): Free

San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Get exclusive tickets to San Diego Zoo Safari Park by booking online and catch sights of rhinos, giraffes, and many more!

This includes access to the main Safari Park, Africa Tram & Cheetah Run, and all regularly scheduled shows and exhibits.

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (12+ years): US$69
Child Ticket (3 to 11 years): US$59
Infant Ticket (up to 2 years): Free

San Diego Zoo Safari Park + USS Midway Museum combo tickets

San Diego Zoo Safari Park + USS Midway Museum

This San Diego Zoo Safari Park + USS Midway Museum combo ticket allows you to visit two attractions on the same day.

The zoo is nearly 4 miles (6.4 km) from the museum, and you can easily commute by car in 15 minutes. So do consider this option!

See US Navy’s longest-serving aircraft carrier and embark on a historical tour exploring other restored aircraft and interactive multimedia exhibits.

Explore the engine room, sleeping quarters, galley, bridge, brig, officers quarters, flight control, etc., and hear dozens of stories from naval officers and soldiers themselves on narrated tours.

Also, at the Zoo of San Diego, meet different kinds of animals and birds in their respective habitats.

This combo ticket is available at a 5% discount.

Ticket Cost: US$95

San Diego Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour

San Diego Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour

This hop-on hop-off tour takes you through San Diego’s most notable landmarks like Gaslamp Quarter, the San Diego Zoo, USS Midway and the Cruise Ship Terminal, Little Italy, Chicano Park, etc.

You can choose from a one- or two-day trolley pass and discover nearly 11 iconic attractions.

Such tours allow you to explore many different places in one day from the comfort of your seat and are less exhausting than a regular walking tour.

Ticket Prices

1-Day Trolley Tour
Adult Ticket (13+ years): US$55
Child Ticket (4 to 12 years): US$35

2-Day Trolley Tour
Adult Ticket (13+ years): US$89
Child Ticket (4 to 12 years): US$60

San Diego Bike or eBike Rental Tour

San Diego Bike or eBike Rental Tour

Ride through San Diego’s popular attractions on a self-guided bike tour at your own pace.

You’ll pass by major stops: San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Bea Evenson Fountain, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Air & Space Museum, Japanese Friendship Garden, etc.

With bikes, you will get all essentials like a helmet, bike lock, bike bag or basket, and map.

Ticket Prices

2-Hour Bike Rental
Adult Ticket (13+ years): US$17
Child Ticket (1 to 12 years): US$16

Daypass Bike Rental
Adult Ticket (13+ years): US$43
Child Ticket (1 to 12 years): US$40

San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass

With Go City’s Explorer Pass, you can enjoy San Diego’s famous attractions and tours while saving up to 50% on tickets.

Select 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7 attractions from more than 40 selections on the booking page, and then visit them at your own pace and time.

Some attractions you can choose from are the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the Fleet Science Center with IMAX, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Museum of US, Patriot Jet Boat, etc.

Your pass is valid for 60 days from the date of purchase, giving you ample time and flexibility.

Ticket Cost: US$94

San Diego: Go City All-Inclusive Pass

Get free admission to more than 50 areas, activities, attractions, and tours of San Diego.

Pick from Choose a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7-day pass, whatever fits your schedule and budget the best.

Explore theme parks like San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Belmont Park, Knott’s Berry Farm, or set yourself free on tours and cruises like Whale Watching by Hornblower Cruises, Whale Watch & Dolphin Tour, Beautiful Newport Beach, San Diego Hiking Tour, etc.

Also, visit museums, including the Whaley House Museum, Coronado Museum of History and Art, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego Art Institute, and many more!

With this pass, you can save up to 50% compared to buying separate tickets for each attraction or tour.

Ticket Cost: US$119

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How to reach San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park.

Address: 2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, United States. Get Directions

The zoo is conveniently accessible by bus and car.

By Bus

You can get down at 5th Av & Quince St (Bus No. 3) or Park Blvd & Zoo Pl (Bus No. 7 and 215).

By Car

If you’re traveling by car, turn on Google Maps and get started.

The zoo offers onsite car parking to all guests.

Opening hours of San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

San Diego Zoo opens at 9 am all year round, but its closing time varies based on the season.

During summers, when the crowd is at its peak, the zoo operates till 9 pm; in non-peak winter months, it closes a little early, at 5 pm.

How long does San Diego Zoo and Safari Park take

You will need roughly 4 hours to see San Diego Zoo if you are traveling with children and intend to attend keeper talks, feeding sessions, animal performances, and ride the Africa Safari Tram.

The San Diego Safari may take another 4 to 5 hours, so you can expect your stay to last one whole day.

Best time to visit San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

The best time to visit San Diego Zoo and Safari Park is when it opens at 9 am.

There are four benefits of starting early – the animals are most active early in the morning, the temperatures are still moderate, the crowd is yet to get in, and you have the whole day to spend at the attraction.

As the day gets hotter, animals prefer staying inside their shelters. As a result, you may get disappointed when you don’t see them in the exhibit.

Weekdays are better for a peaceful visit because the zoo gets crowded on weekends and school holidays.

The zoo is most crowded on weekends between 10 am and 2 pm.

If you are on a short holiday in San Diego, starting early also allows you to add another attraction to the day’s itinerary.

Map of San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

Considering the size and number of animals sheltered inside this zoo, we can say that the zoo is quite big to explore. 

When different animals are housed, it becomes challenging to locate the animal enclosures, activity areas, picnic spots, restaurants, washrooms, and many other facilities at the zoo. 

Of course, there are zoo keepers and signboards to guide you throughout your journey, but it is always good to set up the rhythm of the tour by yourself. 

This is why a zoo map becomes very important when you’re out for adventure with your family and friends. 

With a San Diego Zoo map, you can navigate everything and anything on your mobile phone.

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FAQs about San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

Here are some questions visitors usually ask before visiting San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.

Where can I buy San Diego Zoo and Safari Park tickets?

Click here to buy San Francisco Zoo tickets. If you wish to purchase a combo ticket that allows you to visit both the zoo and the park, click here.

Is food allowed in the San Diego Zoo?

Yes! Guests can bring their food and beverages from home.

Do I need to wear a facial covering or mask to take a Tour or Safari?

Yes! Some tours and safaris require all guests ages 2 and older to wear a facial covering during a portion of the experience.

Does San Diego Zoo offer free car parking?

Yes! The zoo provides free car parking facilities to all guests, but San Diego Zoo Safari Park parking lot charges a parking fee as the facility is privately owned.

Does the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park provide wheelchair and ECV rentals?

Yes! Both the zoo and park provide wheelchair and ECV rentals at a nominal rate.

Are backpacks allowed at San Diego Zoo?

Guests can bring backpacks if they want.

Do San Diego Zoo and Safari Park tickets have expiration dates?

Yes! All zoo and safari tickets purchased are valid till the date printed on the ticket.

Does San Diego Zoo and Safari Park offer any discounts?

Yes! Discounts are available on group, military, children’s, senior, and student tickets.

Popular Zoos in USA

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Miami ZooPeoria Zoo
San Diego Zoo and Safari ParkSan Francisco Zoo
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Zoo TampaPhoenix Zoo
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

Popular Zoos in Europe

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Other popular Zoos

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