Curious about the behind-the-scenes of Dublin Zoo’s animal adventures featured on ‘The Zoo’?
Well, here’s the scoop! Since 2011, The Zoo has been airing how zookeepers take care of all kinds of animals, from baby elephants to chameleons. And if you visit Dublin Zoo, you might even spot some of the featured stars in person!
Check out our guide below for an unforgettable wildlife adventure to learn more.
What is Dublin Zoo most known for?
Dublin Zoo is most known for being one of the world’s oldest and most visited zoos, drawing over a million visitors annually. Spread across a massive 70 acres, it’s basically Ireland’s go-to family hangout spot!
Now, let’s talk about the animals—they’re living their absolute best lives. They’ve got the whole natural social scene going on, staying fit and healthy, and some of them are even playing mum and dad.
We’re talking about 400 animals, including the A-listers like snow leopards, gorillas, tigers, orangutans, sea lions, and penguins. It’s like a celebrity meet-and-greet, but with fur and feathers.
And here’s the real deal—Dublin Zoo is on a mission to save the planet, diving into global conservation by supporting wildlife habitats and running breeding programmes.
As for the money matters, Dublin Zoo is a nonprofit, as it depends on ticket sales, donations, and memberships from visitors to keep the haven running. They may not be swimming in cash, but every bit of support counts!
|Dublin Zoo, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8, Ireland
|+353 (0)1 4748900
|Children under 3 - Free
Children from 3 to 15 years old - €17
Adult - €22.50
|Open daily from 9:30 PM to 4 PM (Last Admission: 3 PM)
Best Time to Go
The best time to visit Dublin Zoo depends on your preferences. Late spring is ideal for a balanced experience; autumn and winter offer a quieter visit; and summer is bustling for sun enthusiasts.
For a flawless combo of great weather, reasonable prices, and fewer crowds, late spring (April–May) is where it’s at. It’s family-friendly and ticks all the right boxes!
Now, if you’re crowd-averse, consider hitting up Dublin Zoo in the off-season vibes of autumn (September–October) or winter (November–February). Sure, it might be a tad chilly, but you’ll practically have the place to yourself.
But if you’re a sun-soaker and don’t mind the hustle, dive into the peak season of summer (June–August). Prices are up, the place is buzzing, but the weather’s on point, so snag those tickets online in advance to skip the line drama at the gate.
How to Get There
Whether you’re a local wanting a day out or a tourist exploring Dublin, we’ve got the lowdown on the best rides to get you to Dublin Zoo hassle-free:
H3: By Bus
The Dublin Bus is your go-to travel buddy to Dublin Zoo. Just a heads up: check those bus timetables in advance—not all lines are running 24/7.
The 99 bus is your golden ticket, running from Parkgate Street to the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre every day from 9.00 am to 6.30 pm. Dublin Zoo is a pit stop on this route, making the bus a no-brainer choice.
Feeling adventurous? Other routes like 26, 68, 69, 46A, C5, and C6 also drop you close to the zoo’s doorstep.
Keep it breezy and hop in a taxi. Chesterfield Avenue, or the North Road, is where you want to be for a smooth ride straight to Dublin Zoo. Easy peasy!
If you’re heading to Dublin Zoo by train, Heuston Station is your closest train station, just a short 20-minute walk away.
Taking this route also lets you soak in a picturesque walk through the city before delving into the zoo’s fascinating world.
The Luas station at Heuston Station is a handy spot for tram enthusiasts. A chill 20-minute walk from there, and you’re at Dublin Zoo. It’s a nice, easy stroll to get you where you want to go.
Feeling eco-friendly? Grab a bike and enjoy the ride. Dublin Bikes stands near Heuston Station make it super chill, offering a 10-minute cycle or a laid-back 20-minute walk to Dublin Zoo.
Heading to Dublin Zoo and wondering about parking? Well, here’s the deal: Dublin Zoo doesn’t have its own parking. But don’t worry, you’ve got options such as Lord’s Walk, Cricket Grounds, North Ground, and near the Cabra Gate.
Right next door, the Lord’s Walk car park fits around 260 cars. And if you glance across, the Cricket Grounds car park can handle about 120 cars.
They’re open every day, but snagging a spot works on a first-come-first-served basis.
Coming in from the M50? Consider snagging a spot on the North Road. Enter Phoenix Park via Ashtown Gate, take a left onto North Road, and you’re set.
If Castleknock Gate is your entrance, take a left at the first roundabout. Parking kicks in just after Cabra Gate and runs all the way to the Zoo’s main entrance.
What to See and Expect in Dublin Zoo
The Himalayan Hills
Dublin Zoo’s Himalayan Hills is a mini Asian Forest adventure, transporting you to the highest point with all the vibes. Here, you can see animals like snow leopards and red pandas having a blast in a setup inspired by the Himalayan mountain range.
And right as you step in, boom! Nepalese village vibes, with red and blue roofs and those cool multicoloured prayer flags, give you a sneak peek into the cultural scene of where these animals come from.
Now, the star of the show here is this epic 15-meter mountain slope you can’t miss. It’s like this massive postcard view through a panoramic window. For us, trying to spot the sneaky snow leopard adds a bit of thrill to your visit.
The trail rocks (literally!) and takes you to the red pandas’ hangout. You’ll catch them doing their thing—exploring, climbing, munching on bamboo, or just chilling in their signature tree pose.
The Nocturnal House
The Nocturnal House is a captivating space at the Dublin Zoo where you’ll meet some awesome nighttime animals. It’s the cosy dwelling of aye-ayes, a kind of lemur native to the wilds of Madagascar.
Positioned right next to the Himalayan Hills and Sea Lion Cove, this place is like a carefully crafted nocturnal world that lets you peek into the lively routines of the aye-aye.
They’re open every day, starting at 10:30 am. It’s a place where you can explore the lives of animals that are active at night and learn how they survive and thrive in the dark.
Sea Lion Cove
Sea Lion Cove, which opened its doors in 2015, is one of the newer hangouts at Dublin Zoo. It’s home to a bunch of California sea lions, who bring some lively vibes to the place.
You definitely don’t want to miss the underwater viewing area, where you can watch these sea lions pull off some graceful underwater acrobatics.
Don’t pass up the chance to catch the daily sea lion presentation at 2:15 pm during the summer or on weekends in the winter. It’s an aquatic spectacle you won’t want to miss!
Wolves in the Woods
Wolves in the Woods at Dublin Zoo is a special area crafted for grey wolves, mimicking their natural woodland habitat. The goal? To make these wolves feel totally at ease in a homey, nature-inspired spot.
First, you get this cool elevated look from the trees, then there’s this chill spot by a stone water feature. And if you’re into some wolfy mystery, there’s even a den to check out!
This place is like a crash course in both fun and learning. You’re right there in the woodlands, taking in the vibe. And the cool part is, the wolves aren’t holding back—they’re out and about, doing their thing.
The African Savanna
The African Savanna at Dublin Zoo is a large and immersive habitat that recreates the natural environment of the African plains. You can see lots of animals there, like giraffes, zebras, ostriches, rhinos, and the scimitar-horned oryx.
Speaking of the scimitar-horned oryx, a beautiful antelope with curved horns, Dublin Zoo helped bring back these endangered species to the wild in Tunisia.
Now, when you’re strolling through the savanna, keep an eye on the schedule. There are these talks by the giraffe and rhino keepers that spill all the tea on these amazing creatures.
Kaziranga Forest Trail
Kaziranga Forest Trail is a captivating bamboo rainforest at Dublin Zoo, where you’ll encounter the incredible elephant squad.
You’ll see the elephants splashing around in pools, munching on branches like it’s a snack party, and getting down and dirty in some refreshing mud baths. It’s like an elephant day spa, right in front of your eyes!
But here’s the cool part: this trail takes you on a journey deep into the heart of their ecosystem, a sneak peek into how they roll in their natural environment. The whole setup is so smart, making sure you’re right there, catching all the elephant action.
The South American House
The South American House is a lively exhibit at Dublin Zoo, showing off the incredible biodiversity you’d find in the rainforests of Central and South America.
With over nine species, including monkeys, sloths, and brilliantly coloured birds, the exhibit recreates the lively atmosphere of these lush regions.
And as you stroll through, you’re going to see species that are like neighbours in the wild. Two-toed sloths chill next to Goeldi’s monkeys, just living their best lives side by side.
The Zoorassic World is a unique attraction at Dublin Zoo, where you can learn about reptiles from different eras of Earth’s history and see them in action today.
But it’s not just about fossils; there are 12 living species here, like west African crocs, a king rat snake, and a green tree python, just living their best reptilian lives.
What’s really cool, though, is that Zoorassic World is actively part of international breeding programmes for endangered species. The reptiles here are like ambassadors for the whole conservation scene.
Dublin Zoo’s Gorilla Rainforest offers a chill spot where a bunch of western lowland gorillas hang out. It’s designed with their wild behaviour in mind—think lots of dense foliage for private moments and showing off their natural antics.
When you stroll in, it’s all tranquil vibes. The gorillas are doing their thing, and you get to quietly check out their social scenes and how they interact.
Sometimes they’re up on high rocky ridges, other times they’re cruising through the trees—it’s a cool peek into their everyday behaviour.
The Orangutan Forest
The Orangutan Forest at Dublin Zoo is a tropical retreat inspired by the rainforests of Borneo. You can swing by and catch the arboreal antics of Bornean orangutans doing their thing.
There are eleven trees in there, ranging from 7 to 12 metres high, totally setting the scene for these orangutans to show off their natural climbing skills.
As you wander through, you’ll pick up on how crucial these towering trees are to the orangutans’ daily routines.
The Family Farm
The Family Farm is this cosy corner at Dublin Zoo, a bit like a snapshot of rural life. It’s Ireland’s smallest yet most vibrant farm, buzzing with activity.
You can get acquainted with a variety of farm animals—cows, sheep, pigs, goats, ducks, rabbits, and chickens.
A standout feature at the Family Farm is the chance to try your hand at milking a life-sized dairy cow model. It’s a hands-on experience that adds a playful touch for visitors of all ages, making it a perfect wrap-up to your zoo adventure.
Where to Eat
Meerkat Restaurant is a laid-back gem tucked in the heart of Dublin Zoo that offers a unique dining experience with a view of the Meerkat exhibit. It’s the go-to spot after a day of zoo adventures or for those up for a unique dining vibe.
You can watch these adorable animals play, dig, and sunbathe, while you enjoy delicious dishes made from fresh, local ingredients.
This restaurant serves a variety of food options, from classic fish and chips and gourmet burgers to sandwiches, soups, and salads. There’s something for everyone, including a special menu for kids!
The Picnic Bench at Dublin Zoo is a calm spot near Robert’s House and Zoorassic World, with a view of the great lawn where peafowl roam. It’s a perfect place to take a break during your zoo visit.
Take your pick from freshly baked pastries, homemade jumbo sausage rolls, and generously filled baguettes that hit the spot. Looking for something a bit lighter? Their homemade fresh sandwiches and boxed salads have you covered.
And of course, there’s always room for a sweet touch with their Classic 99 ice cream pots. Pair it all with a cup of hot tea or freshly brewed coffee for a delightful refreshment during your zoo adventure!
WUUF Dogs is a cool food truck brought to life by chef Gavin McDonagh at Dublin Zoo. It’s the perfect spot to grab a bite when exploring the Kaziranga Forest Trail.
Picture this: loaded WUUF hotdogs with options like Veggie, New Yorker, and spicy Mexican Chilli Dog, all whipped up in Gavin’s signature style.
And it’s not just about the dogs. Their cheese and bacon fries are pure comfort, or you can step it up with the fancy truffle and parmesan fries.
Chicken Hut at Dublin Zoo’s Sea Lion Cove offers up some seriously tasty chicken dishes, like burgers, tenders, and fries, that hit the spot.
You can chow down on your meal with a front-row seat to the playful sea lions doing their thing in the background.
They’ve also got more than just hot and satisfying chicken. You can wash it all down with a variety of drinks, hot or cold, even slushies, and top it off with some tempting ice cream.
Phoenix Park Tea Rooms
Phoenix Park Tea Rooms offers a historical journey with the cool twist of being located just a short walk from Dublin Zoo. They’ve got a bit of everything, from paninis to salads and baked potatoes, so your taste buds are in for a real treat.
And let’s not forget the drinks. Whether you’re into organic coffee or tea, it pairs perfectly with their awesome selection of cakes and desserts.
Oh, and they’ve got options for everyone—gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and sugar-free. You can also take your pick between a cosy indoor setting or kick back outdoors under the trees.
Where to Stay
Phoenix Park Hotel
Address: 38-39 Parkgate St, Stoneybatter, Dublin 8
Phone: +353 1 677 2870
Email: [email protected]
Phoenix Park Hotel is your spot if you’re planning a trip to Dublin Zoo. This three-star hotel offers free WiFi, a complimentary light breakfast, and access to Joe’s Bar and the Bistro for your dining needs.
The hotel is located opposite the Courts of Justice and within walking distance of Heuston Station. From there, you can easily catch the 748 bus to and from Dublin Airport or explore the southern and western regions of Ireland by train.
What makes Phoenix Park Hotel unique is its proximity to Dublin Zoo. You can spend a day admiring the animals and learning about conservation, then return to your comfortable room for a relaxing night.
Ashling Hotel Dublin
Address: 10-13 Parkgate Street, Dublin 8
Phone: +353 (0)1 6772324
Email: [email protected]
The Ashling Hotel is a relaxed yet sophisticated accommodation choice for your stay before or after a day at Dublin Zoo. They have spacious and stylish rooms, earning them a solid four-star reputation and numerous international awards for excellence.
Whether you’re craving a bite at the fancy-sounding Chesterfields Restaurant, looking to chill at the low-key Iveagh Bar, or needing a slick place to host your crew, they’ve got you covered.
And get this: free WiFi everywhere, and your wheels sorted with their on-site multi-storey carpark. Plus, it’s practically neighbours with Heuston Intercity Rail Station, the Airlink Bus stop, and the LUAS Tram Red Line.
easyHotel Dublin City Centre
Address: 28-31, 28 Benburb St, Stoneybatter, Dublin, 7
Phone: +353 1 539 2909
The easyHotel Dublin City Centre is your budget-friendly accommodation, featuring cosy rooms with AC, private bathrooms, a TV, and fast WiFi, conveniently situated just a short drive from Dublin Zoo.
Now, let’s talk local charm. The hotel is at the epicenter of all things Dublin, surrounded by Irish pubs, cosy coffee spots, and markets right around the corner.
If you’re up for some culture, no worries. A simple 15-minute walk takes you to Temple Bar for some tasty Irish food. And if you’re into learning about beer history, the Guinness Storehouse is super close.
Address: 78 Queen St, Arran Quay, Smithfield, Dublin 7
Phone: +353 (0)1 699 3310
Email: [email protected]
McGettigan’s Townhouse, 2 km away from Dublin Zoo, is your comfy home base with seven bedrooms, giving off those warm ‘home away from home’ vibes.
Think of it as your chill spot, partnering up with McGettigan’s Pub for that extra dose of good times. What’s cool is that you’re just a hop away from Dublin Zoo, and there’s plenty of other cool stuff nearby too, like the Jameson Whiskey Distillery.
And get this: the townhouse is right by the Dublin Luas tram stop. In under five minutes, you’re smack in the middle of Dublin City Centre’s shopping scene!
Address: 6-11 Hendrick St, Smithfield, Dublin 7
Phone: +3531 482 6500
Email: [email protected]
The Hendrick, a minimalist gem near Dublin Zoo, is the perfect spot for a chilled-out stay. They have 146 cosy pod-style rooms decked out with edgy decor and over 250 street art pieces—it’s like a mini urban escape!
They’ve nailed the essentials for a city break, with Rituals products in every ensuite and power showers to wash off the day.
Plus, there’s a cool vibe with a dynamic lobby, bar, and café area, not to mention an outdoor courtyard sporting street art murals.