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London Zoo in Regent’s Park

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Tucked away in the north of Regent’s Park, London Zoo is a must-visit for families exploring the city. What’s in store? Tigers, lions, gorillas, monkeys, penguins, all sorts of reptiles, butterflies, and much more!

If you’re concerned about animal welfare, rest assured: London Zoo is part of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a historic organization deeply committed to the protection of animal species.


⚠️ London Zoo is incredibly popular, and the entrance line can be quite long, especially during school holidays and peak season. To save time, make sure to book your visit in advance with skip-the-line tickets or a London Pass.

ℹ️ For all the practical information you need to plan your visit (transport, opening hours, prices), check out the end of the article.

London Zoo At A Glance

A Little History of London Zoo


19th Century

Founded by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), London Zoo opened its doors in 1828. Initially, entry was limited to a select group of scientists and enthusiasts passionate about studying wild animals.

Two decades later, in 1847, the zoo opened to the public, with entrance fees helping to fund its operations.


Early 20th Century

In the early 20th century, new open-air enclosures were built for the animals, who had previously been confined to indoor buildings. This marked a significant milestone and a major step forward for animal welfare!


World War II

During World War II, the zoo remained open to the public, but some animals were relocated to a large park in eastern England to escape the German bombings.


Late 20th Century

In the 1960s, London Zoo participated in the first international cooperation program for the breeding of endangered species.

In the 1980s and 90s, London Zoo faced severe financial difficulties, bringing it to the brink of closure. Public awareness of animal welfare issues grew, and zoos fell out of favor, leading to a dangerous decline in visitor numbers—and consequently, revenue.

However, when London Zoo announced it would have to close its doors in 1991, Londoners rallied together, and numerous donations saved the zoo from closure. Many volunteers, identifiable by their red sweatshirts, also stepped up to help with the daily operations of the zoo.


Today

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic once again threatened the financial survival of London Zoo. Despite the challenges, the zoo remains open today.


⚡ Harry Potter Visits the Zoo ⚡

Yes, it’s true! London Zoo is where the famous scene from “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was filmed, where Harry chats with a python before accidentally setting it free!

London Zoo - Lemurs

A Commitment to Species Conservation

While animal welfare in many zoos and aquariums worldwide has been questioned, rest assured that London Zoo is deeply committed to animal protection.

Still managed by the Zoological Society of London, the zoo has been involved in numerous breeding programs for decades and collaborates with many organizations globally that share its dedication.

The zoo is home to around 100 protected species, with all animals housed in spacious enclosures that closely mimic their natural habitats.

London Zoo by the Numbers

  • 20,000 specimens representing nearly 700 different species
  • Over 1 million visitors each year (it’s best to book your tickets in advance to avoid long entrance lines)
  • In operation for nearly two centuries, making it one of the oldest zoos in the world
  • Total area of 15 hectares / 37 acres
London Zoo - Lion

Visiting London Zoo

Discovering the Animals at London Zoo

To allow the animals to live in conditions that closely mimic their natural habitats, the zoo is divided into different spaces recreating various wild environments. Come along—let’s explore!

Monkey Valley

Opened in 2022, Monkey Valley is a vast, walk-through area home to a group of Colobus monkeys from Kilimanjaro.

Land of the Lions

This 2,500-square-meter enclosure is designed to resemble the Gir National Park in Western India and houses several Asiatic lions.

Tiger Territory

Four Sumatran tigers (a couple and their two cubs) live here in semi-freedom within a 2,500-square-meter area mimicking the Indonesian landscape.

The Casson Pavilion

This area is home to a family of Red river hogs, an African relative of the warthog!

Gorilla Kingdom

Inaugurated in 2007, this large area is centered around a small island surrounded by water and hosts a group of Western lowland gorillas, a critically endangered species from West Africa. There’s also a small aviary.

Into Africa

This expansive area invites visitors to explore African wildlife. Expect zebras, okapis, ostriches, giraffes, warthogs, African wild dogs, and pygmy hippos.

Rainforest Life & Night Life

In this enclosed area, visitors can freely roam among a variety of species native to the rainforest: sloths, tamarins, red titi monkeys, spider monkeys, armadillos, Goeldi’s monkeys, anteaters, red-footed tortoises, and Rodrigues fruit bats. There’s also a darkened section dedicated to nocturnal species like Moholi bushbabies, slow lorises, Bosman’s pottos, jumping rats, aye-ayes, and blind cave fish.

The Outback

A large enclosure replicating the Australian outback, home to emus and red-necked wallabies.

The Reptile House

This pavilion is home to a variety of reptiles and amphibians, including a Jamaican boa, Philippine crocodiles, a Fiji iguana, puff adders, king cobras, Chinese giant salamanders, and African bullfrogs.

A plaque commemorates the exact spot where the famous scene from “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was filmed, where Harry frees a python and inadvertently traps his obnoxious cousin Dudley in a vivarium.

The Attenborough Komodo Dragon House

Here, you’ll find two impressive Komodo dragons from Indonesia, thriving in an enclosure that replicates their natural habitat.

Tiny Giants

A true paradise for entomology enthusiasts, this pavilion houses over 160 species of invertebrates and fish. You’ll find bees, leafcutter ants, emperor scorpions, tarantulas, locusts, jellyfish, and much more.

Penguin Beach

This large pool is home to a lively colony of Humboldt penguins. It’s a real favorite among the little ones!

In With the Lemurs

This open area designed to mimic a Madagascar shrub forest is home to ring-tailed lemurs and Alaotra gentle lemurs.

Butterfly Paradise

A true highlight for Captain Ulysses, this section allows visitors to wander freely among large, colorful butterflies. A must-see.

Bird Safari

An open area where visitors can encounter various species of exotic birds, including northern bald ibises, Abdim’s storks, great argus pheasants, emerald doves, and scarlet ibises.

Blackburn Pavilion

This aviary replicates the tropical rainforest climate and is open to visitors who can stroll among about fifty species of tropical birds, including Courtois’s laughingthrushes, Rosy-billed trogons, White-cheeked turacos, and Red-headed barbets. It’s truly a paradise for bird lovers.

Gibbon Habitat

Recently opened, this enclosure is home to two gibbons, a critically endangered species of primates.

Meerkats & Otters

This area features two enclosures: one for Asian small-clawed otters and the other for meerkats.

Three Island Pond

This artificial pond is divided into two enclosures: one inhabited by flamingos and the other by white pelicans.

Other Animals at London Zoo

Among the other residents of London Zoo, you can find Bactrian camels and several varieties of macaws.

London Zoo - Butterfly

Events & Experiences

Every day, experts host talks and demonstrations across various areas of the zoo, including lions, tigers, and penguins. To find out the day’s schedule, check the “What’s On” board at the zoo entrance.

For a closer encounter with the animals, you can book VIP experiences on the London Zoo website. These include meeting the meerkats, penguin keeper experience, giraffe keeper experience, or tiger keeper experience.

Throughout the year, London Zoo also hosts a variety of events, such as late-night openings and Pride celebrations. For more information on upcoming events, check here.

Children’s Play Areas and Facilities

London Zoo features a large play area called “Animal Adventure.” Kids can enjoy various play structures and a small farm where they can get up close to llamas, alpacas, goats, and kunekune pigs.

London Zoo also offers several kiosks, cafes, and restaurants where you can take a break and grab a bite to eat. There’s also a large gift shop on-site, with proceeds helping to support the zoo’s operations.

London Zoo Lodges

To extend your experience, you can spend the night in one of the zoo’s lodges (available for children aged 5 and up). Accompanied by zookeepers, you’ll have the unique opportunity to explore London Zoo after it closes to the public.

The cost is £202.50 per adult and £75 per child under 14. For more information, click here.

London Zoo - Hippos

Visitor Tips

How long does a visit to London Zoo take?

Plan for at least half a day to explore the zoo thoroughly, and longer if you want to take your time.

Getting to London Zoo

London Zoo is located in the north of Regent’s Park, southwest of Camden Town.

If you have the time, Captain Ulysses recommends walking through Regent’s Park to get there. Queen Mary’s Rose Garden is definitely worth a visit!

Nearest Tube Stations to London Zoo:

  • Camden Town (Northern Line) – about a 15-minute walk.
  • Regent’s Park (Bakerloo Line) — about a 20-minute walk.
  • Baker Street (Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee, and Metropolitan Lines) — about a 20-minute walk.
  • Great Portland Street (Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan Lines) – about a 20-minute walk.

Bus Lines Serving London Zoo:

  • Line 274 — Stop “London Zoo” (directly in front of the zoo)
  • Line C2 — Stop “Gloucester Gate” (a few minutes’ walk away)

Good to know: The majority of the zoo is accessible to visitors with mobility impairments.

London Zoo Opening Hours

London Zoo is open every day of the week. The opening hours vary depending on the time of year:

  • Late March — Early September: 10 AM – 6 PM
  • Early September — Late October: 10 AM – 5 PM
  • Late October — Mid-February: 10 AM – 4 PM
  • Mid-February — Late March: 10 AM – 5 PM

London Zoo Tickets

Ticket prices for London Zoo are as follows:

WeekendWeekday (Peak Season)Weekday (Off-Peak Season)
Adult£33£31£27
Child (3-15 years)£23.10£21.70£18.90
Children under 3 yearsFreeFreeFree
Seniors (65+)
& Students
£31£29£25

⚠️ Note: London Zoo is extremely popular, and entrance lines can be very long, especially during school holidays and peak season. To avoid wasting time, it’s advisable to book your visit in advance with skip-the-line tickets.

💡 Pro Tip 💡

If you plan to visit several of London’s iconic landmarks (Tower of London, London Eye, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe, etc.), consider getting the London Pass.

It includes entry to London Zoo and can save you a considerable amount on admission to major tourist sites in the capital, which are generally quite expensive.

For more information: London Pass.

👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in advance!

👉 Find the perfect place to stay in London!


👉 Looking for recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ top tips for London!

🛏️ Accommodation: Hotels.com + Captain Ulysses’ detailed article: “Where to Stay in London?”

🎟️ Activities: GetYourGuide | Civitatis | Tiqets.

🎫 Citypasses: London Explorer Pass | London Pass

🚐 Transfers : Airport transfers

🚌 Local Transportation: Hop-on hop-off buses (with audio guide)

✈️ Getting to London: by plane: Skyscanner | by train : Eurostar


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