CityPASS® Blog

Articles by City & Category

Your Guide to Zoo Atlanta

February 22, 2024 By CityPASS

From native wildlife to critically endangered species that serve as animal ambassadors to their counterparts in the wild, hundreds of animals call Zoo Atlanta home. The zoo, an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, is the only zoo in the U.S. to house rare giant pandas; the pandas, Ya Lun and Xi Lun, also happen to be the only twin giant pandas in the U.S. It has one of North America's largest zoological populations of great apes and is a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians.


Zoo Atlanta is involved in field conservation programs for wildlife and wild places around the globe, including work in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and in their home state of Georgia. The zoo contributes to funding of other established conservation organizations who share their mission. They focus on projects where Zoo staff is engaged in field work, community outreach programs, research and education programs on continents around the globe.

What to See

The Giant Pandas

Zoo Atlanta is the only zoo in the U.S. to house giant pandas, on loan from China. The Zoo pays an annual loan fee for the pandas, and this money is used for giant panda conservation. Guests may be able to see the pandas year-round at virtually any time of day. Because they are native to high-elevation cool mountain forests, in the warmer months they will generally be in their climate-controlled dayroom habitats.

African Savannah

The African Savanna exhibit opened in August of 2019, transforming the zoo's elephant environment with the well-being of the animals in mind. Water features, feeder enrichment activities and handcrafted rockwork were designed to replicate an African river basin. Also on view are zebras, giraffes, meerkats and warthogs.


Zoo Atlanta has a diverse population of primates and is home to a number of highly endangered primate species, including Western Lowland gorillas, Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, golden lion tamarins, drill monkeys and lemurs. The Zoo is home to the largest ape population in North America, with family groups in five natural habitats.

Scaly Slimy Spectacular

The Amphibian and Reptile Experience features more than 70 species in a 111,000 square-foot complex and is the world's first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian exhibit. See snakes, lizards, turtles, alligators and other creatures that slither and snap.

For Kids

Take a spin on the carousel or hop on the Zoo Train, with an All-Day Rides Wristband.

Experience the Zoo from the perspective of animal tree-dwellers! Zig, zag, climb, walk, and balance in the Treetop Trail presented by Kaiser Permanente. The aerial playground lets guests navigate a series of rope ladders, bridges, nets and tightrope-style foot lines on a two-level challenge.

Additional purchase required.

Venture into the jungle of Rwanda and observe gorillas in the wild without ever leaving your seat at the Zoo in Gorilla Trek: A 360° Virtual Reality Experience.! Additional purchase required.

Wild Encounters

Get a behind-the-scenes experience with some of the zoo's wildest animals. Wild Encounters include the elephants, Aldabra tortoise, lemurs and more. Each encounter offers a guided tour of the habitat, opportunities to meet the animal care teams and the chance to hand-feed the animals. (Separate purchase required.)

Hours and Parking

For current hours of operation, please refer to the attraction's website. Parking is conveniently located in the lot on Cherokee Avenue and in the new Grant Park Gateway parking facility on Boulevard. Effective as of Saturday, January 2, 2021, the City of Atlanta has transitioned to a paid parking program in both lots.

These are public parking lots and are the property of the City of Atlanta. The lots are managed by AAA Parking, under contract with and under the purview of the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority. Rates will be $3 an hour for a maximum of $12 a day. To aid you in your planning, we estimate the average Zoo visit to be around three hours.

AAA Parking may be reached by phone at 877.727.5714.

Nearby Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in Atlanta, we recommend finding lodging near Atlanta's top attractions like Zoo Atlanta. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:


General admission prices vary, and you can see them all here. Zoo Atlanta is also part of the Atlanta CityPASS® program. It includes admission to the Zoo along with admission to some of Atlanta's other top attractions including World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and more. The bundled ticket package saves you close to half off gate admission prices.

Header Image Courtesy of Zoo Atlanta

Related Articles

Get inspired. #citypass