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Philadelphia Zoo

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.


Guide to Exploring around Philadelphia Zoo


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See all 1,325 Properties near Philadelphia Zoo
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown $161
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown

Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown

201 North 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Center City, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Ben Franklin National Memorial and Reading Terminal Market. Philadelphia Museum of Art and University of Pennsylvania are also within 1 mi (2 km). Race Vine Station is 6 minutes by foot and City Hall Station is 9 minutes.

    904 N 29th
    904 N 29th

    904 N 29th

    904 North 29th Street, Philadelphia, PA
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in North Philadelphia, this villa is within a 15-minute walk of Rocky Statue, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Rocky Steps. Philadelphia Zoo and Eastern State Penitentiary are also within 1 mi (2 km). Girard Station is 27 minutes by foot and Fairmount Station is 28 minutes.

      Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel $135
      Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel

      Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel

      3549 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in University City, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Walnut Street are also within 1 mi (2 km). 34th St. Station is 5 minutes by foot and 40th St. Station is 10 minutes.

        Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia $159
        Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia

        Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia

        117 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Center City, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Walnut Street, Rittenhouse Square, and City Hall. Reading Terminal Market and Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts are also within 15 minutes. City Hall Station is 6 minutes by foot and Walnut Locust Station is 8 minutes.

          Brewerytown Loft!! Perfect for You! $75
          Brewerytown Loft!! Perfect for You!

          Brewerytown Loft!! Perfect for You!

          Philadelphia, PA
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in North Philadelphia, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Rocky Statue, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Philadelphia Zoo. Rocky Steps and Eastern State Penitentiary are also within 1 mi (2 km). Girard Station is 29 minutes by foot.

            New Brewerytown apt 3rd fl $75
            New Brewerytown apt 3rd fl

            New Brewerytown apt 3rd fl

            Philadelphia, PA
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in North Philadelphia, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Rocky Statue, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Philadelphia Zoo. Rocky Steps and Eastern State Penitentiary are also within 1 mi (2 km). Girard Station is 29 minutes by foot.

              Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square $140
              Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square

              Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square

              220 S 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                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 City Hall are also within 15 minutes. Walnut Locust Station is 6 minutes by foot and City Hall Station is 9 minutes.

                DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City $130
                DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City

                DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City

                237 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Center City, this hotel is steps from Academy of Music, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and Walnut Street. Jefferson University Hospital and City Hall are also within 10 minutes. Walnut Locust Station is only a 2-minute walk and Lombard South Station is 6 minutes.