Saint Louis Zoo picture
Saint Louis Zoo
1 of 3
Phil Thomas/Flickr

Key Info

Government Drive

Price & Hours

Free
8 or 9 a.m.-5 or 7 p.m. daily, depending on season

Details

Zoos and Aquariums, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.5scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Lions, tigers and bears, oh my! The Saint Louis Zoo does house these three types of mammals, but it also boards armadillos, sloths, swans, penguins, turtles, gators and tarantulas, along with many other kinds of creatures. And over at the Caribbean Cove, you can run your hands over an assortment of stingrays (clipped of their stingers).

But the wide assortment of animals isn't the only reason why past visitors praised this St. Louis attraction. Many recent travelers raved about the free admission, as well as the large, natural enclosures created for the animals. In fact, the zoo is so large that you may want to set aside more than one day to explore this expansive property. And if you're hoping to avoid swarms of people, arrive early or plan your visit during a weekday.

The zoo – situated in St. Louis' expansive Forest Park – is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in the fall, winter and spring (except on holidays and during the zoo's annual U.S. Bank Wild Lights holiday display). Extended hours are available every summer. Admission into the zoo is free, but extras, such as rides on the Conservation Carousel and the Zooline Railroad, do cost a small fee. To maximize savings during your visit, consider buying an Adventure Pass, which costs $12.95 per person and includes admission into most of the zoo's additional activities (you can save $1 by purchasing in advance online). There are also fee-based parking lots and several eateries, bathroom facilities and gift shops located throughout the property. You can also reach the zoo by taking the bus (No. 90) or the Forest Park Trolley. To find out more about zoo events and facilities, visit the attraction's website.

See all Hotels in St. Louis »

More Best Things To Do in St. Louis

Gateway Arch
Forest Park
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 13
#1 Gateway Arch

This monument to the country's westward expansion is also an engineering marvel, which St. Louisans remain proud of more than 50 years after its construction. The stainless steel Gateway Arch, which was designed and submitted by Eero Saarinen during a national competition, rises 630 feet into the air and spans 630

Read more
f11photo/iStock / Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in St. Louis »

Explore More of St. Louis

Recommended

The 21 Most Beautiful Waterfalls to See Around the World

Discover which stunning falls offer once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.

Kyle McCarthyApril 25, 2019

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019