Dublin Zoo is always top of the list when it comes to planning a family activity – it’s Ireland’s most popular attraction! It is a 28-hectare park and some 400 animals call it home. Split into ten sections, it takes a full day to see it all!
You need to be prepared for this day-long adventure, especially when visiting with children. From tickets to food and location to daily events, we’re sharing everything you need to know ahead of your trip to Dublin Zoo.
First things first:
Dublin Zoo Tickets
There’s a range of ticket options at Dublin Zoo and visitors will automatically receive a 10% discount for booking online. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Having your ticket pre-bought also means that you can skip the queues and make your way into the zoo with ease.
|Children over 3 and under 16
|Children under 3
|Family ticket: 2 Adults and 2 children
|Family ticket: 2 Adults and 3 children
|Family ticket: 2 Adults and 4 children
|Senior Citizen (over 65’s)
|Adult with special needs
|Child with special needs
|Student with valid ID card
Dublin Zoo Annual Pass
It’s tough to see everything you wanted in Dublin Zoo in just one day. Chances are you’ll want to visit again either way! Becoming an annual pass holder will save you money on multiple visits. The Dublin Zoo annual pass will give you free admission to Dublin Zoo for one year as well as free admission to Fota Wildlife Park (Cork), Edinburgh Zoo, Paignton Zoo, Colchester Zoo and Twycross Zoo in the UK.
Annual pass prices
An individual annual pass covers:
- Pass holder plus 1 adult or
- Pass holder plus 2 children
A family pass covers:
- Pass holder plus 3 Adults or
- Pass holder plus 2 Adults and 2 Children or
- Pass holder plus 1 Adult and 4 Children or
- Pass holder plus 6 Children
What are Dublin Zoo’s opening times?
Dublin Zoo is open 363 days a year – they only close on Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day. The hours change slightly depending on the season but from March to September they’re open from 9.30am to 5.30pm. The last admission is at 5pm but that leaves you with very little time to see everything the Zoo has to offer!
Dublin Zoo Parking
The zoo is in the Phoenix Park in Dublin 8. Parking is free but can be hard to find on days when the zoo is busy. Why not leave the car at home and take public transport? Dublin Bus and the Luas both stop nearby.
Fun fact: Dublin Zoo attracts over one million visitors a year
A typical day in Dublin Zoo
There are a couple of restaurants and snack kiosks in the zoo but you are allowed to bring your own food – once you don’t feed it to the animals! Pack a picnic and take a seat at one of the many picnic benches located around the zoo. This is a healthier, more cost-effective option. On sunny days zoo staff can be found cycling around selling ice-cream and who can say no to that?
With your picnic basket in tow, it’s time to pack your essentials:
- Sun cream
- Rain coat
- Buggy (bicycles, scooters, roller skates, roller blades and skateboards are not allowed – keep this in mind for when the children are tired from a long day walking around exploring)
- Tickets – remember to book these online for a 10% discount and to skip the queue. No need to print them, they can be scanned from your phone.
Arriving at Dublin Zoo
It’s best to get to the zoo as early as possible to get parking nearby and there’s a lot of ground to cover! The zoo has daily events that begin at 11.15am where you can meet the zookeepers and see the animals being fed. Grab a map at the entrance to plan your route and see the events schedule and where they’re located. We recommend catching as many of these keeper talks as possible to make the most of your visit.
Getting around Dublin Zoo: plan your route
You can choose to go left or right when you arrive at the zoo. Here’s some of the highlights you’ll see by turning left:
Inspired by the Indian Forest Gir, the Asian Forest is home to Sulawesi crested macaques, snow leopards and Asian lions. What better way to start your day by seeing the king of the jungle!
This new and exciting enclosure was created to mimic the natural habitat of the Orangutan in the Bornean rainforests. Here you’ll find 37-year-old Sibu, his mate Leonie, their daughter Riona and niece Mujur.
Sea Lion Cove
You can get up close and personal with the sea lions at the cove. This saltwater habitat has a viewing point where you can see the sea lions swimming by – under water! The sea lions are known to have some fun at feeding time so remember to drop by at 2.15pm.
If you choose to turn right at the zoo’s entrance, you’ll find:
Home to the zoo’s reptile collection and a life-size skeleton replica of a male T-Rex named Stan – this enclosure is not to be missed! Here you’ll learn about reptiles past and present while seeing crocodiles, snakes and more.
No trip to Dublin Zoo is complete without seeing Ireland’s smallest farm and making a wish in the wishing chair. Children can see can see Niamh the cow being milked each day at 11.30am and ask the farmer any questions they might have.
Kaziranga Forest Trail
This impressive enclosure will transport you to the Asian rainforest as you journey down the trail’s path and spot the magnificent elephants – all ten of them! Dublin Zoo has been lucky enough to see five calves born in the past few years. Keep an eye out for the youngsters, they’re great fun to watch.
Dublin Zoo is structured in a loop so no matter which way you turn you can see every enclosure, time permitting! Other highlights include:
This huge section takes you on an African Safari, in Dublin City! You’ll see giraffes, zebras, rhinos, hippos and loads more. Allow at least one hour for trekking the African Savanna, as well as animals, there’s playgrounds to be found.
Inspired by the lowland rainforest of western Africa, the Gorilla Rainforest provides you with an exciting experience to observe the world’s largest primates in a natural environment. A baby gorilla was born in Dublin Zoo on April 1st 2019 and will soon be running around for all to see.
There’s bathrooms, playgrounds and snack stations dotted all around the zoo. Consult your map to find the closest one.
After your visit to Dublin Zoo
Adopt an animal
You can help Dublin Zoo to look after your favourite animal by becoming an animal adopter! Choose from a selection of threatened species and depending on the level of sponsorship you pick, you’ll receive an adoption certificate and a free entry pass among other treats. The proceeds from your purchase will go towards the upkeep of your adopted animal.
What hotels are near Dublin Zoo?
If you’re visiting from afar, why not make a small holiday out of your trip? Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley is less than 20 minutes’ drive from Dublin Zoo and if you’re not driving, you can choose from five direct bus lines from the hotel that will bring you to the zoo. See our Dublin Zoo Hotel Packages below.
Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley have a special offer for families staying at the hotel with Dublin Zoo Tickets included. Check your dates to get the best offer.