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Philadelphia Zoo
Vacation Travel Guide

The oldest zoo in the country is an American favorite because of its breeding program for rare species, outstanding permanent habitats and eco-friendly approach. 

The historic Philadelphia Zoo is a compact 42-acre (17-hectare) park housing 1,300 animals in 15 permanent habitats. African and Australian wildlife shares the zoo with North American mammals, birds and reptiles. The zoo’s special breeding program and environmental policy is aimed at protecting endangered species.

This zoo is more than 150 years old but it has kept up with modern standards, such as creating free-roaming habitats. These include the Jungle Bird Walk for birds and Monkey Junction for primates. It’s children’s program actively teaches an eco-friendly lifestyle.

The natural habitats include the lush First Niagara Big Cat Falls and the rocky Carnivore Kingdom. Keep an eye out for the white Timbavati lions, believed to be extinct in the wild. The Philadelphia Zoo has gained a reputation for successfully breeding endangered species that are difficult to propagate in captivity. Meet Vinkel, who in 1994 gave birth to the first white lion cub to be born on U.S. soil. Asian orangutans, Arctic polar bears, Galapagos tortoises and local diamondback terrapin turtles are other threatened species that you can observe here.

Children under 13 can help care for farm animals at the indoor/outdoor KidZooU attraction. On still days, get a bird’s-eye view of the zoo and Philly in the gondola of the big Zooballoon.

The Philadelphia Zoo is located four miles (six kilometers) northwest of downtown, on the west bank of the Schuylkill River. Expect to pay a high parking fee along Girard Avenue or 34th Street. A cheaper option is to catch the Phlash bus in downtown Philly. To see as many zookeeper presentations as possible, check the schedule online. You can have a picnic in the zoo, and various restaurants and carts offer fast food and healthy options.

The zoo is open every day of the year except for major winter holidays. Operating hours vary according to season.

Top Hotels Close to Philadelphia Zoo

The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton
The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton
4.5 out of 5
One Logan Square, Philadelphia, PA
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $148 per night from Feb 10 to Feb 11

Located in Center City, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Academy of Natural Sciences, City Hall, and Walnut Street. Pennsylvania Convention Center ...

4.4/5Excellent! (976 reviews)

"The Logan is a beautiful establishment! The staff are professional. The restaurant is superb! Come see for yourself!"…"

Reviewed on Dec. 3, 2020

The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton
Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square
Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square
4 out of 5
220 S 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA
The price is CA $158 per night from Jan 19 to Jan 20

Located in Center City, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Walnut Street and Rittenhouse Square. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and ...

4.2/5Excellent! (2,432 reviews)

"Nice place to stay and everything is near. I recommend"…"

Reviewed on Jan. 12, 2021

Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square
Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square
Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square
4.5 out of 5
120 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA
The price is CA $144 per night from Jan 18 to Jan 19

Located in Center City, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Walnut Street, Rittenhouse Square, and Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Reading ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,426 reviews)

"i loved everything. The staff was nice , the rooms were clean and it was in the center of everything."…"

Reviewed on Dec. 28, 2020

Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Philadelphia Zoo

The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton
The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton
4.5 out of 5
One Logan Square, Philadelphia, PA
The price is CA $148 per night from Feb 10 to Feb 11
The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton
Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square
Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square
4 out of 5
220 S 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA
The price is CA $158 per night from Jan 19 to Jan 20
Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square
Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square
Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square
4.5 out of 5
120 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA
The price is CA $144 per night from Jan 18 to Jan 19
Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square
Club Quarters Hotel in Philadelphia
Club Quarters Hotel in Philadelphia
4 out of 5
1628 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA
The price is CA $133 per night from Jan 19 to Jan 20
Club Quarters Hotel in Philadelphia
The Windsor Suites
The Windsor Suites
4 out of 5
1700 Ben Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA
The price is CA $163 per night from Jan 19 to Jan 20
The Windsor Suites
Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square
Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square
4 out of 5
1800 Market St, Philadelphia, PA
The price is CA $151 per night from Feb 10 to Feb 11
Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square
904 N 29th
904 N 29th
3 out of 5
904 North 29th Street, Philadelphia, PA
904 N 29th
Brewerytown Loft!! Perfect for You!
Brewerytown Loft!! Perfect for You!
Philadelphia, PA
The price is CA $95 per night from Jan 24 to Jan 25
Brewerytown Loft!! Perfect for You!
New Brewerytown apt 3rd fl
New Brewerytown apt 3rd fl
Philadelphia, PA
New Brewerytown apt 3rd fl
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.