Everyone loves wildlife. Especially kids.
Zoos, safari parks, and animal reserves are a great way to get closer to nature and learn about animals from all over the world.
All of these wildlife attractions have open-air, cageless animal exhibits and numerous attractions for all age groups.
Some of these zoos also double up as aquariums, with marine creatures such as dolphins and sharks on display.
Check out our list of the best zoos in the world.
Table of contents
- Zoos in USA
- San Diego Zoo
- San Diego Safari Park
- Los Angeles Zoo
- San Francisco Zoo
- Bronx Zoo
- Central Park Zoo
- Queens Zoo
- Prospect Park Zoo
- Cincinnati Zoo
- Columbus Zoo
- Cleveland Zoo
- Toledo Zoo
- Miami Zoo
- Tampa Zoo
- Central Florida Zoo
- Jacksonville Zoo
- Atlanta Zoo
- Woodland Park Zoo
- Dallas Zoo
- Houston Zoo
- Austin Zoo
- Fort Worth Zoo
- San Antonio Zoo
- Zoos in Europe
- Zoos in Asia
- Zoos in Australia
Zoos in USA
USA has more than 400 wildlife attractions out of which we list below 23 of the best zoos in the country.
Visitor ratings and reviews, animals exhibits on display and annual visits to the zoo were considered before coming up with this list of the best zoos in USA.
San Diego Zoo
Spread over 100 acres with more than 3,500 animals, San Diego Zoo welcomes around four million visitors annually. Many consider it one of the best zoos in the country for its 700+ unique species, conservation programs, excellent visitor facilities, etc. It is the most visited zoo in the country.
San Diego Safari Park
San Diego Safari Park is a wildlife paradise in Southern California. The 1,800-acre Safari Park houses more than 2,500 animals of 300 species in open field enclosures. It is San Diego Zoo’s sister and often gets referred to as San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Los Angeles Zoo
Los Angeles Zoo in LA’s Griffith Park is home to 2,200 mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles across 270 species. The 133-acre Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens gets 1.8 million visitors annually.
San Francisco Zoo
For more than 90 years, San Francisco Zoo has been entertaining locals and tourists. This 100 acres of animals and more has something to offer for everyone – from the toddler to the grandma.
Bronx Zoo within the Bronx Park in Bronx, New York, is a popular choice for a day outing for locals and visitors. With 4000 animals on display spread over 265 acres, it is one of the largest zoos in the United States. Every year more than two million people visit the Bronx Zoo.
Central Park Zoo
The Central Park Zoo is a popular tourist destination tucked inside the lush Central Park in New York City, New York. It is spread across 6.5 acres in the heart of Manhattan and an apt choice for a quick outing, especially for families with children. The Central Park Zoo may be small, but it is big on entertainment.
Queens Zoo is an 18-acre zoo in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, New York City. The cageless zoo features American animals and birds such as Andean Bears, Bisons, Wolves, Sea Lions, Waterfowl, Raccoons, Otters, Mountain Lion, etc., in naturalistic settings.
Prospect Park Zoo
Prospect Park Zoo is a 12-acre wildlife extravaganza off Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York City. It is a relatively smaller zoo, but with more than 850 animals representing 176 species, it packs quite a punch.
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens has around 2000 animals including, Fiona, the famous baby hippo. It spans across 75 acres and has over 3000 plant species making it the greenest zoo in the US. Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio gets over 1.5 million visitors annually.
Columbus Zoo in Ohio gained national recognition under its visionary zoo director Jack Hanna and has won accolades in the past decade. It spans over 580 acres and is home to 10,000 animals of 800 different species.
Cleveland Zoo is Northeast Ohio’s most-visited year-round attraction and gets around 1.5 million visitors annually. The 183-acres Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is home to more than 3000 animals offering guests countless opportunities to connect with wildlife.
Toledo Zoo and Aquarium has more than 10,000 animals representing over 720 species and is considered one of the world’s most complete zoos. With more than a million visitors annually, it is the region’s top family attraction.
Miami Zoo is the largest zoo in Florida and one of the most family-friendly activities in Miami. The best thing about the Miami Zoo is that the animals aren’t kept in cages and instead roam around freely in their natural habitats. Also known as the Miami Metro Zoo, this tourist spot attracts one million visitors every year.
Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park houses more than 1300 animals and occupies one of the most beautiful, tropical zoological settings globally. Because of its location, visitors often refer to it as the Lowry Park Zoo. Tampa Zoo animals are split into – Florida Wildlife, Primates World, Asian Gardens, Safari Africa, and Wallaroo Station.
Central Florida Zoo
Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens is on the edge of Lake Monroe in Sanford, Florida. Because of its location, the family-friendly tourist attraction is also referred to as Sanford Zoo. Both locals and tourists visit the zoo for its 350 animals on display and numerous wildlife experiences.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is home to more than 2000 animal species and 1000 rare plants. Spread over 122 acres, it has wildlife from every part of the world, and various kid-friendly activities, making it an excellent family outing.
Atlanta Zoo is spread across 40 acres of Grant Park, a historic neighborhood just west of downtown Atlanta. Atlanta Zoo’s highlights include Giant Pandas, one of North America’s largest zoological populations of Gorillas, and a global center for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians called ‘Scaly Slimy Spectacular.’
Woodland Park Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the United States and receives more than 1.5 million visitors annually. Seattle’s most popular wildlife attraction spans 92 acres and houses more than 1,100 animals from different habitats and geographic locations.
Dallas Zoo is a 106-acre wildlife attraction with around 2,000 animals representing 406 species. It is the oldest and largest zoological park in Texas and attracts more than a million visitors annually.
The Houston Zoo houses over 6,000 animals from 900 species and is located within Hermann Park in Houston, Texas. It receives around 2.4 million visitors each year and is the second most visited zoo in the United States.
Austin Zoo in Texas is a non-profit rescue zoo with more than 300 animals belonging to around 2100 species. It was known as the Good Day Ranch before it was re-named Austin Zoo in 1994. The zoo has a wide variety of animals, starting from Bengal Tigers, African Lions, and Galapagos Tortoise to the locally available North American Black Bears.
Fort Worth Zoo
Fort Worth Zoo is home to more than 7,000 native and exotic animals, making it a popular wildlife attraction in Texas. It has been rated by the top zoo in the USA by publications such as USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Family Life, etc., and attracts more than a million visitors annually.
San Antonio Zoo
Set in 56-acres, San Antonio Zoo in Texas is home to more than 700 species of animals and birds. With numerous wildlife exhibits and experiences, it is a great half-day outing for animal-loving families.
Zoos in Europe
Europe also has hundreds of zoos, wildlife parks, aquaria, bird parks, animal reserves, etc.
Amongst the European countries, Germany seems to have the most significant number of wildlife attractions.
In fact, Tierpark in the Berlin district Lichtenberg is the largest zoo in Europe.
Amsterdam ARTIS Royal Zoo was founded in 1838 and is one of the oldest Zoos in the World. Around 1.5 Million tourists visit the Amsterdam Zoo every year. It is popular with both kids and adults alike.
Barcelona Zoo is a popular destination for a day outing spread over 32 acres within the city. It receives nearly a million visitors annually who visit to see its 2000 animals of 300 different species. It is also a biodiversity park with 1300 trees, plants, and flowers.
Edinburgh Zoo is one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions and gets more than 800,000 visitors annually. It is home to more than 1,000 animals and is an extraordinary wildlife experience for both kids and adults alike. Giant Pandas, Koalas, Penguin parades, etc., are some of the highlights of this century-old Zoo.
The London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It was set up for scientific study in 1828, and in the year 1828, it was opened for public. London Zoo is home to 755 species of animals and attracts more than 1.1 million tourists every year. Since it is managed by Zoological Society of London (ZSL), it is often referred to as ZSL London Zoo.
Prague Zoo or Zoo Praha is one of the best zoos of the world. Home to around 5000 animals, it is visited by more than 1.5 Million tourists every year. Based on Tripadvisor’s reviews and ratings, it regularly features in the world’s top five zoos.
The Vienna Zoo is the oldest working zoo in the world and is also known as Tiergarten Schonbrunn. It is located in the park surrounding the Schonbrunn Palace. In 2018, it was voted Europe’s best Zoo for the fifth time.
Paris Zoo is home to more than 2000 animals of 180 different species and a favorite among kids and adults. More commonly known as Vincennes Zoo, it has been part of Parisian heritage for more than eight decades.
Zoos in Asia
On the Asian continent, countries such as China, Japan, India, Singapore, and Thailand have some of the finest zoos.
However, the largest number of tourists visit the wildlife attractions in Singapore.
Singapore Zoo is one of Asia’s best zoos and attracts almost 2 million visitors every year.
Loved by children and adults alike, the locals often refer to Singapore Zoo as the Mandai Zoo.
Besides the day time Singapore Zoo, this animal attraction also offers many other experiences such as the Night Safari, River Safari, Rainforest Lumina, etc.
Singapore Night Safari
Singapore Night Safari is the World’s first nocturnal wildlife park. During this Safari, which starts after dark, visitors get to explore a 35 hectares nocturnal Zoo on a 40-minute tram ride. With live commentary, the Tram winds its way through four wildlife trails, even as the nocturnal animals roam around freely.
Singapore River Safari
Singapore’s River Safari is a unique river-themed wildlife park, and nothing like it exists anywhere else in Asia. At this 12-hectares wildlife reserve, you get to explore the ecosystem of eight of the largest rivers in the World – Mississippi, Congo, Amazon, Nile, Ganges, Mary, Mekong and the Yangtze River.
Zoos in Australia
Since the animals in Australia are unique to the region, almost every zoo has an Australian habitat featuring Kangaroos, Wallabies, Kookaburra, Platypus, etc.
Remember the colorful parrots you fed nectar to during your last visit to the zoo – that’s Lorikeet, a bird native to Australia.
It is spread over 50 acres of harbour land, offering fantastic views of the Sydney harbour.
Taronga is also a not-for-profit organisation supporting wildlife conservation.
Melbourne Zoo is an opportunity to see fascinating wildlife, right in the heart of Melbourne city. Besides the 320 species of animals Melbourne Zoo is also home to 70,000 species of plants from around the World. It is also known as The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens.
Werribee Open Range Zoo is an African themed zoo in Werribee, about 30 Kms (19 Miles) south-west of Melbourne. With a variety of wildlife on display in natural settings, it is a hugely popular Zoo in Victoria, Australia.