Edinburgh Zoo Reviews

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Latest Reviews

★☆☆☆☆

“Waste of jurney”

written by Janet239 on 26/06/2016

Travelled from middlesbrough to see the zoo looked on the web to see what they had showed wolves and other animals that were not in the park only one resturant open which was expensive and whole zoo was up a very steep hill which was not warned only one shop at bottom for drinks nothing at top was open and after a steep walk we were dissapointed we had no where to refresh pens over grown and dirty and was told in shop when kids r off all things are open even a bus up the hill this is not helpful when the park is open to public all year round very dissapointed

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★☆☆☆☆

“not worth the money”

written by SheldonMassey on 16/08/2014

3 adults and a 2 year old....just under £50.00 food over priced....3 sandwiches 3 coffees and a kids packed lunch...£31.46....gift shop over priced.....animals look depressed.....and kept in mostly small rooms not much day light....aminals passing back n forth....the zoo its self is on a hill....so ramps expected...but to find out I had to pull a buggy up n down steps....it was a good job I had family to help. Food places closed...even in the hight o summer...its over grown with nettles on the paths....the only bit that was ok was the penguin marching... even tho itwas only 3 of them....I dont recomend it....its a shame as was looking forward to it most of all on our holidays.....rundown n needing attention.

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★★☆☆☆

“Have the animals escaped?”

written by Sajh on 13/08/2014

Last brought my then 3yr old grandson in 2005. Abiding memories then, steep hills,poor old polar bear,amazing giant tortoises. This time, with 2 grandchildren , empty cages, cramped big cat areas, very little seating at hilltop. No safari train to take older people up what is a very steep climb. Where are the elephants, giraffes, giant tortoises. At one point I thought we had arrived at the Noah's Ark as all the animals of any size seemed to be two by two. If Edinburgh zoo is to survive find a new, much larger site out of the built up area, plenty of land off the bypass, and build something to do Edinburgh proud. thanks but no thanks!!

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★★☆☆☆

“Better things to do in Edinburgh”

written by on 14/11/2013

We have free passes to go to Edinburgh Zoo so thought we'd stop to see the pregnant Panda whilst in town. Overall it's OK-ish if you like caged animals, but it's on a very big hill which isn't great for push chairs (I guess walking for kids wouldn't be either). We saw a Panda's bottom for about 5 minutes and then we were shuffled on so the next group of slack jawed tourist could stare at one of the most lifeless animals in the world. Then we went to the cafe (or one of the cafes - the one at the top of the hill) and the staff treated us like they were doing us a favour by serving them. Believe me, Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and the Zoo should not be on the agenda of anyone who goes there!

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★★★☆☆

“let down”

written by on 23/10/2013

animals were lathargic and not very active and it was all up hill the animal were not very exotic! overall it was so-so

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★★★★★

“A-mazing !”

written by kevachoos on 05/07/2013

What a great day out, from the safari ride to the hilltop with the superb views to the gift shop at the end of our visit. We spent the whole day here and enjoyed every minute. The ride to the hilltop was great with just enough info to keep the kids amused. The penguin parade was my favourite part but the kids loved the giant panda tour best. The gift shop has a huge selection of panda toys and gifts. Would recommend for a good value for money summer holiday day out for the family.

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★☆☆☆☆

“horrifying”

written by cheesypasta101 on 03/07/2013

My visit to the zoo was absolutely horrible. What was meant to be a fun trip out with a friend turned out to be disastrous. Firstly the staff were rude as soon as we arrived at the front desk to pay the ticket price, the women grunted that we had to pay the 'family price' even though there was only two of us, which would of cost at lot more overall and she made me show id to prove i was over the age of 16 and that i shouldn't be accompanied by and adult, even though i turned 19 last year. When we actually entered the zoo it was nice enough. But as it came to lunch time we decided to dine in the 'Jungle food court', i ordered homemade soup and bread. There was a at least in the soup and the bread was incredibly stale. Not something i was expecting at the price we payed for it. and again the staff weren't pleasant. On our way out i went to the gift shop and purchased a monkey toy for my sibling , the alarm went off as i tried to exit the shop. I was convinced the women at the desk had not scanned it properly or removed the tag. A women approached me immediately tried to tell her there must of beeen a mistake, she did not listen. She searched my handbag and my shopper bag before noticing the safety tag had not been removed properly, I was extremely embarrassed that i had been accused of stealing and overall angry at my experience at the zoo. DO NOT VISIT EDINBURGH ZOO.

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★★★☆☆

“nice zoo ”

written by rose71 on 13/06/2013

Good zoo, we are members of chester zoo, so have free access to this place. Pros: lovely chimp family, penguin parade Not so nice the catering, but altogether this zoo can be recommended

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★★★★★

“Fantastic day out!”

written by on 22/04/2013

Edinburgh Zoo is a great family day out. There is loads to see and do! The staff are extremely friendly and helpful. We took the hilltop safari up to the top and worked our way down as it was the best way to see everything as the hill can get a little steep near the top. All the animals were very active, especially the big cats as they were in season we were told. We got some amazing photos of all the animals. The chimps were very loud and active and so were the monkeys. The penguin parade is a must see as my family just loved it. The pandas are also a must see, they are beautiful! The female was asleep when we visited but the male was moving around and eating alot but book in advance online if you want to see them. There is staff around to tell you about the pandas and there are volunteers all around the zoo to tell you about the animals or answer questions which was great. I highly recommend the jungle cafe and the grasslands restaurant as the food in both of these places was great. value for money is great and if you make it on a sunny day you will have fantastic day.

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★☆☆☆☆

“One of the times i visited was when poor Mercedes the...”

written by GlendaR on 25/03/2011

One of the times i visited was when poor Mercedes the polar bear was still here and that poor old soul was one of the most miserable looking bored creatures I have ever seen.
They are particuarly bad for breeding animals to work as a vistor draw and then culling them. google red river pigs edinburgh to find out more on that one.
Only this year it is working on getting the giant pandas in to be a real money spinner yet at the same time it has been threatened with the removal of its operating licence after inspectors found it had failed to address a series of animal welfare and safety failings that date back at least five years.
At the same time it is spending a fortune on pandas: the big cat enclosure is in a terrible state of disrepair; the sea lion enclosure has several animals were suffering from eye infections; and the main food store was infested withvermin.
In additon to that just what you need when bringing in the worlds rarest bears with tricky needs - problems with the zoo's veterinary hospital.

All of the above inspection findings are fully verifiable via freedom of information documents and other publications.

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Gingerginger's Response to GlendaR's Review

Written on: 22/04/2013

pretty sure you just made all that up hahaha! its a conservation zoo and breeding the CRITICALLY ENDANGERED animals is extremely important in order to save the species. Edinburgh Zoo looks after the animals extremely well and is always clean and tidy. The animals are extremely happy and if they were not they would show signs of distress. That is why mercedes went to the highland wildlife park, she needed more space.

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★☆☆☆☆

“The best way to describe the Zoo is one big RIP OFF ....”

written by on 29/06/2010

The best way to describe the Zoo is one big RIP OFF . 1st shock we had to £3.50 to park the car in the zoos grounds. The 2nd was the entrance fee £51 for 3 adults and one child and what did we get for that a lot and I mean a lot of empty cages and most of the time I had to hold my grandchild up so high because of the weeds in front, The Hilltop Safari, your joking where was it, one of the main attraction for the kids was the penguins but area was dirty and the smell was so bad it made me reach
They say in just one day, you can meet over 1000 wonderful animal what a joke that is...If you're into hill climbing it might be for you and where was the staff to entertain the kids
DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY HERE.
My advice would to take your kids to the Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park where kids can enjoy themselves

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★★☆☆☆

“We have just spent 3-days in Edinburgh. We visited the...”

written by on 04/06/2010

We have just spent 3-days in Edinburgh. We visited the Castle, the Royal Yacht, Camera Obscura and the Zoo.

Edinburgh was easily the least enjoyable place we went to and offered extremely poor value for money. Admission was £37 for 2 adults and one child. The site slopes uphill quite steeply in places and isn't much fun to wander around, as you only want to haul yourself up the hill once. Once you get to the top the "Hilltop Safari" is non-existant, just empty fields. To top things off all the kiosks were shut bar the main one by the penguins.

Many of the other enclosures were also empty, though the tigers, leopards and penguins were good. There is also building work going on.

Toilet facilities poor - just two by the entrance. There are some other toilets further up - but the gents were closed.

Staff were good doing the talks, but generally not many staff about.

Overall the place seemed to be shambolically run and trading on past reviews. It is definitely not worth the money asked.

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★☆☆☆☆

“I also wanted to give Edinburgh Zoo a zero but minimum...”

written by on 19/05/2010

I also wanted to give Edinburgh Zoo a zero but minimum marks is one.

Just today went to visit Edinburgh Zoo for the first time. Edinburgh Zoo is a real amateur setup with terrible staff and SO EXPENSIVE to visit. DO NOT bring your children as they will cry all day to go home as mine did.

The Hilltop Safari is a complete joke with a joke managing the Zoo.


AVOID AT ALL COSTS...

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★☆☆☆☆

“Wanted to give this zero, but star won't go away. ...”

written by CarolWeaver on 16/08/2009

Wanted to give this zero, but star won't go away. Carlisle to Edinburgh 2 hours arrived outskirts 11:30. Almost non-existent, insignificant signposting for zoo, sign we eventually saw on 3rd pass said in small print 'for zoo follow city attractions', so 30 mins to find right road, after asking way 3 times, 30 mins getting through traffic, prompting question who in their right mind would site or expand a zoo on an urban road with traffic jams and insufficient on-site parking? Edinburgh Zoo car park full, so free parking 'til 4:00 on road several hundred yards away. Wanted to stay 'til 6:00 to explore fully, but at 12:30 there was a slow-moving queue wrapped around the building. As we had to eat and rest, this would have given us about 2.5 hours at zoo for £30-odd. We gave up and went for lunch at the run-down but charming Struan Hotel across the road, with its lovely barmaid. I can recommend their filling, well-presented bar-snacks and restful atmosphere (full menu if required).

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Gingerginger's Response to CarolWeaver's Review

Written on: 22/04/2013

this review made me giggle. its not really the zoo's fault that you couldn't find it or that it was so popular the day that you arrived and was busy...

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★★★★★

“Edinburgh Zoo is situated in West Edinburgh, on...”

written by Groovee on 23/03/2004

Edinburgh Zoo is situated in West Edinburgh, on Corstorphine Road. It is easily accessible as you pass it on the way from the Airport on your way to the town centre and if you are in the town centre you can get a bus directly there! The buses which would take you there from Princes Street in the centre of the city are 12, 26, 31 which are lothian buses and an 86 is a first bus.

BACKGROUND

Edinburgh Zoo opened in 1913, in leafy hillside parkland just ten minutes from the centre of Edinburgh. Recognised as one of the world's leading zoos, we are involved in many conservation breeding programmes, and we give the highest priority to the welfare, both physical and behavioural, of the animals in our care.


OPENING TIMES

The Zoo is open every day from 9am! Yes even on Christmas Day you can visit the zoo. You just have to be careful that it doesn't snow. The Zoo closes at different times throughout the year according to the season. April to September it is 6pm, October and March is 5pm while November through to February is 4.30pm! This is because in the winter it does get dark quite early and then you wouldn't be able to see anything.

COST

A trip to the zoo can work out quite expensive. For an adult to go it is £8 for them, £5 for a child aged 3-14. Children under 3 go free. You can buy a family ticket and these range from £24 to £27 and these include 2 adults and up to 4 children. Any extra children get in for £2.50. There are special discounts for Special Needs, who get a helper in free if they are needed, unemployed with proof, senior citizen and students(Students require proof too). If you are going in a large party there are discounted rates too.

MEMBERSHIP

You can also join the zoo as a member. This is a one off payment depending on your age it ranges from £260-£488. Or you can do a yearly membership which we do! This year it cost us £76 for my husband, myself and our 3 year old. That gives us

* free entrance to the Zoo every day of the year, and to the Highland Wildlife Park from April to October and during the winter (weather permitting)

* 25% discounted entry for guests (full adult members only)

* free car parking

* free magazine, Arkfile, three times each year

* use of the Members' House for coffee, meals and functions

* discounted or free access to evening guided tours, winter talks, summer events

* 10% discount in our giftshops

* walkabouts and workshops

* and much, much more!

PARKING

You can park in the Zoo Car Park for £2 or free if a member. If you visit between 9.30am and 4.30pm, you can park on certain bits of the greenways, and also Pinkhill is close for parking but can be busy on weekdays due to the offices round about!

WHAT IS THERE TO DO

There are lots of different animals within the zoo. Ranging from the big cats family, kangaroos, monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, giraffes, penguins, flamingos, sealions and many more animals.

During April to September, there are daily parades and handling sessions.

At the moment on offer is sealion feeding and training twice a day. The sea lions are right at the start of the zoo so it is ideal if you are arriving just before lunch or just as your are leaving before closing time.

There is a meet the keeper session at different enclosures. The keepers tell you about the animals and how they are looked after within the zoo!

Animal encounter is getting to meet some of the more unusual animals. This may be too much for a young child.

Animal Antics is a live demonstration which shows animals natural behaviour.

Animal Talks

Often timed to coincide with feeding time, don't miss these lively and informative talks at the animal enclosures:

Ring-tailed lemurs
Penguins
Giraffes
Rhinos
Chimpanzees
Birds of Prey Flying Display.

Also in the Giraffe house there is brass rubbing for an extra charge. The animal handling is also set at an extra charge too and tickets are bought from the penguin shop which is near the penguin enclosure.

Quite often in the summer or spring time the new baby animals are put on show. As you walk through the entrance to the ticket desks, there is usually a board with all the new arrivals on it. You also get a map of the zoo when you pay for your tickets and it can be quite confusing sometimes about where you are actually standing.

WHERE CAN WE EAT?

The zoo has 2 self service restaurants which are available to all visitors to use! We have usually used the Stripes one, which is right next to the Members House and is close to the penguins. It can get very busy in here and it sells a range of sandwiches, cakes, baked potatoes, full meals like roast chicken, fish and has a pasta dish and a curry dish each day. They also serve cakes, crisps and sweets as well as juice. Just recently my friend and I were in Stripes when we realised they have a snack bar sort of place which serves alcohol as well as crisps, juice and sweets! I have found this restaurant to be expensive. We spent over £10 on food in here for 1 main meal, a kids meal and a packet of sandwiches as well as drinks!

The mmebers house restaurant is open to the public and usually offers a 3 course meal for around £10 a head. I have never tried this restaurant as I'm not up for the 3 course meal in the zoo. I would have to roll back down the hill to get home! The members house also has a lounge which is only available to members. This serves sandwiches and soup as well as cakes and drinks. For 2 adults and 2 children with a round of sandwiches each and a drink it cost about £12! It's not a big lounge so I do advise that you don't use this at busy eating times. We went about 11.20am and 3pm when it is quieter!

There is also The Den, which has an ice cream counter with corneto soft ice cream and normal scoop ice cream. These were reasonable prices, I didn't pay and my sister in law couldn't remember. They do main meals but we were just after the ice cream and juice. The juice cost for 2 large soft drinks and 1 small was £3.90 which i didn't think was too bad. It was nice a quiet in here and when we visited last week, it was a VERY HOT day, so it was nice to sit in here and have a breather.

Around the zoo at various points you will find ice cream and juice stands. These can be quite expensive, so be prepared with a child that you either take a lot of money or accept the tantrum.

GIFT SHOPS

There is also a little shop near the penguins which sells a variety of soft zoo animals, cups and plates, table mats and some cheap toys. My friend was impressed when her daughter wanted an expensive toy that my daughter chose a 50p snake which her friend then wanted too, hence saving my friend quite a bit of money.

There is also a shop as you go out, which is bigger and sells a lot of things like sun cream, books, toys, baby things, clothes, tea towels and many other items.

TOILETS

There are toilets in the cafes and the members house. Personally, the members house ones are nicer and the baby changing facilities are basic but at least there are some.

There are toilets halfway up the zoo hill which in my opinion are horrible and disgusting and haven't changed since I was young and could do with upgrading. There are also toilets at the entrance, but i have never used them! I do feel that there could more toilets spaced about. Have you ever tried running with 2 3 year olds to the loo which seems like it is half a mile away!


PLAYPARKS

The zoo have recently updated the playparks! There is one as you walk up the hill at the start, just behind the sealions. It reminds me of Noah's ark in wat, a walkway onyo the boat and then lots of shutes and places to explore. The shute wasn't quite wide enough for my bum though. The bigger park is near the chimpanzees just along from the members house. This is a big wide open park with lots of climbing and fun to be had by all! Over the grassy area is a more suitable park for little ones with a little slide and climbing frame. These do tend to get busy with parents wanting a rest from walking about.


MY ADVICE

My advice is to arrive about 10.15am. Pay for your tickets and then wait for the Hill top safari bus to take you all the way to the top of the hill. This costs about 50p per person or something like that! Then work your way down the hill! Saves you having to walk all the way up the hill as it can tire you out if you have to push a pram or buggy!

Eat lunch early or late to avoid crowds or take a picnic on a nice day. There is a greggs further along the road, pick up a picnic on the way!

Avoid holidays as the zoo gets very busy. We went on Good Friday at 9.30am and left by 2pm as you couldn't move, but the girls had seen most of the animals that they wanted to see!

If you are in Edinburgh and get a lovely day, then pop along to the zoo. It's open every day and I still learn new things every time I go!

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Mac99's Response to Groovee's Review

Written on: 23/08/2007

This is a a helpful review I think.

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