Philadelphia Zoo

#14 in Best Things To Do in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Zoo picture
Philadelphia Zoo
1 of 2
J. Fusco/VISIT PHILADELPHIA ™

Key Info

3400 W Girard Ave.

Details

Zoos and Aquariums Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
3.7scorecard
  • 3.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Having opened way back in 1874, the Philadelphia Zoo is the first and oldest zoo in the country, but this 42-acre facility does a great job hiding its age. With nearly 1,300 animals residing here, there is plenty to keep you and your kids entertained for the entire day. Swing by the PECO Primate Reserve and check out the gorillas and the orangutans or come face to face with lions, tigers and jaguars at the KeyBank Big Cat Falls. Other top sites include the Tortoise Trail, the African Plains and Bear Country. In 2018, the zoo opened two new exhibits, Penguin Point and Water is Life, where you can see otters, red pandas and more. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor concessions, but you're also welcome to bring your own picnic.

While this zoo receives high praise from most travelers (especially those traveling with kids), others feel that there is room for improvement and ticket prices are rather expensive. Reviewers were especially impressed with one of the zoo's newest features, Zoo360. This property-wide network of mesh trails allows the animals to wander around and above the grounds.

The Philadelphia Zoo is located in Fairmount Park just south of the Please Touch Museum. The PHLASH bus stops nearby (stop No. 11) and the SEPTA No. 15 bus and the nearby No. 38 bus also service the area. It is open March through October from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and November through February from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission costs $24.95 for adults and $19.95 for children ages 2 to 11. For more information, check out the zoo's website.

See all Hotels in Philadelphia »

More Best Things To Do in Philadelphia

Liberty Bell Center
Independence Hall
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 22
#1 Liberty Bell Center

Opposite Independence Hall, you'll find the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. Now residing in a huge glass gazebo, this 2,080-pound piece of history was once mounted in the belfry of Independence Hall. It was used to mark important historic events, most notably at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Historians believe the first crack developed in the early 1840s. Metal workers were tasked with repairing the bell in anticipation of George Washington's birthday in 1846. The repair was unsuccessful and the bell ceased to chime ever again.

Despite the long lines, recent visitors called this attraction a must-see for all Americans. They also suggested planning your visit first thing in the morning during the week.

Read more
Songquan Deng/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Philadelphia »

Explore More of Philadelphia

Recommended

The World's 30 Best Places to Visit in 2019-20

Using reader input and expert analysis, U.S. News identified the latest can't-miss vacations.

Tilly PeckerJune 25, 2019

The 16 Best San Diego Tours

Take advantage of the adventures this coastal city has to offer with a guided trip.

Lyn MettlerJune 24, 2019

12 Top Napa Valley Wineries to Visit

Set your sights on these can't-miss wineries during your next visit to California's wine country.

Lyn MettlerJune 24, 2019

The 6 Best Denver Brewery Tours

Discover the buzz about Denver's craft beer scene with these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 21, 2019

The 10 Best Charleston Walking Tours

Experience true southern hospitality as you explore Charleston on one of these strolls.

Claire LawtonJune 20, 2019

The 15 Best Charleston Tours

See everything this historic South Carolina city has to offer on one of these guided excursions.

John RodwanJune 19, 2019

The 5 Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

See the Garden Island's far-reaching beauty from the air.

Holly JohnsonJune 14, 2019

The 6 Best Las Vegas Helicopter Tours

Get a thrilling look at the lights and sights of Sin City and its surroundings with one of these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

20 Road Trip Essentials for Your Vacation

These road trip must-haves can help you save money, travel more comfortably and ensure you stay safe on the open road.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

13 Top Charlottesville Wineries to Visit

Sip a glass of Virginia's signature viognier as the sun sets over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Gwen PratesiJune 12, 2019