Dublin Zoo – Ireland’s Top Must-See Attraction

Dublin Zoo, located in the Phoenix Park in the heart of Dublin city, is one of Ireland’s most popular attractions and welcomed over one million visitors last year. As one of the world’s oldest and most popular zoos, the 28 hectare park is home to some 600 animals in an environment where education and conservation combine for an exciting and unforgettable experience.

Roam the African Savanna and spot giraffes, rhinos and zebras as you go. Hang out with the gorillas at the Gorilla Rainforest and travel through the Kaziranga Forest Trail to see the magnificent herd of Asian elephants. Zoorassic World, Sea Lion Cove and the Orangutan Forest are the newest habitats to open at the Zoo and not to be missed!

There are so many amazing animals to discover including lions, tigers, hippos, snow leopards, chimpanzees, red pandas, penguins, okapi and reptiles to name but a few! A unique experience for visitors of all ages, Dublin Zoo is open all year round!

Dublin Zoo plans to continue to develop its offering, further enhancing the visitor experience and ensuring visitors continue to receive the best value for money.

Dublin Zoo now occupies 60 acres of the Phoenix Park and has a huge range of animals and birds on view. There are approximately 35 Zoo Keepers who work in shifts to care for the animals around the clock.

Dublin Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the world and when it opened in 1831, animals were seen as exhibits. This, of course, has all changed now and the Dublin Zoo is involved in conservation and research in partnership with zoos around the world. Government investment and the donation of 30 acres of what was Aras an Uachtarain land, in 2000 led to the development of the African Plains which houses animals in environments that are far better suited to their needs, than the enclosures of the past.

Development is on-going at Dublin Zoo and so there is always something new to see and experience. Current plans include the development of a Gorilla Rainforest which will provide a new home for the Gorillas whose current enclosure is not ideal.

"Dublin Zoo in the Phoenix Park"

Visiting Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo is a magical place for children. Once inside, the Victorian buildings, elegant landscaping and the exotic animals sounds all add to unique excitement. Be sure to take in a Keeper Talk and take a trip on the Nakuru Safari. Don’t miss the City Farm or the World of Primates, Fringes of the Arctic and the World of Cats.

At certain times of the day, keepers whilst feeding the animals are available to answer any questions you may have.

African Savanna At Dublin Zoo

The African Savanna, which has been developed as part of the African Plains. Using Donegal sandstone and 6,000 cubic metres of sand, an area of 22 square metres, formerly belonging to Aras an Uachtarain is now home to animals more usually seen in Kenya.

The Savanna has been created in order to improve the lives of many of the larger African animals and allows for many of them to be located together in an environment that more accurately mimics their traditional habitat. Animals in the Savanna include the Giraffe, Zebra, Ostrich and the exotically named, Scimitar Horned Oryx, which apparently is an endangered species already extinct in the wild.

"Dublin Zoo Southern White Rhinocero"

The Family Farm At Dublin Zoo

Bringing a lot of country to a little part of Dublin’s city centre. The Family Farm is Ireland smallest farm with an acre of fun that represents an island of farming.  The main attraction tne animals, the new beef cow and calf, the ewe with her four little lambs, the weaner and Tamworth Pigs, pygmy goats as well as geese and hens. There is even a dairy cow, which can be seen getting milked on the farm everyday! There is a playground full of model animals also captures children’s imagination and a  farmhouse school which will be a hub of learning, children can learn about agriculture in the classroom during their school tours and then just step outside to experience it for themselves. Children will get the opportunity to become mini-farmers by helping plant their own vegetables and learn about the importance of Irish hedgerow plus much more!

Meet The Keepers At Dublin Zoo

There is always so much to see and do at Dublin Zoo. To help you make the most of your day here’s a list of our daily events, feeds and talks.


  • March – September: Daily
  • October – February: Weekends

Activities and Talks

  • 11:15am Asian lion
  • 11:30 Milking Demo at the Family Farm
  • 11:45am Orangutan
  • 12:00pm Zoorassic World – Reptiles Past & Present
  • 12:30pm Elephant
  • 12:45pm Chimpanzee
  • 2:15pm Sea Lion
  • 2:30pm Penguin
  • 2:45pm Giraffe
  • 3:00pm Rhinoceros
  • 3.15pm Gorilla

*Occasionally daily activities may not take place due to animal care reasons.

"Dublin Zoo Giraffe"

Dublin Zoo Orangutan Forest

Orangutan Forest was inspired by the natural environment of the Bornean orangutans, the tropical rainforests of Borneo. Orangutans are arboreal animals that spend the majority of the time in the trees of their rainforest home.

The most spectacular feature of the new habitat is eleven trees, between 7 and 12 meters high that will encourage the orangutans’ natural climbing behaviour.

The new three dimensional habitat is five times bigger than their old home, extending to 1,300 m2. It includes a new island some 80 metres long and 20 metres wide.

Orangutan Forest will be home to Sibu (37), his mate Leonie (35), their daughter Riona (10) and niece Mujur, born in Dublin Zoo in 2005. The orangutans will share the habitat with siamang gibbons, also found in South East Asia

Dublin Zoo Opening Times

Open 363 days a year, only closed Christmas Day & St. Stephen’s Day.

Note: Children and visitors under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all times and teenagers may be required to show ID.

January Opening Closing Last Admission
Monday to Sunday 9:30am 4:30pm 3:30pm
African Plains 4:00pm
February Opening Closing Last Admission
Monday to Sunday 9:30am 5:00pm 4:00pm
African Plains 4:30pm
March to September Opening Closing Last Admission
Monday to Sunday 9:30am 6:00pm 5:00pm
African Plains 5:30pm
October Opening Closing Last Admission
Monday to Sunday 9:30am 5:30pm 4:30pm
African Plains 5:00pm
November Opening Closing Last Admission
Monday to Sunday 9:30am 4:00pm 3:00pm
African Plains 3:30pm
December Opening Closing Last Admission
Monday to Sunday 9:30am 4:00pm 3:00pm
African Plains 3:30pm

Dublin Zoo Admission /  Family Admission

Daily Tickets Online – Save money and time queuing by booking All Daily Ticket Types online

Online Prices

  • Adult €17.50
  • Child 3 years and older & under 16 €13.00
  • Child under 3 Free
  • Senior Citizen (over 65’s) €13.50
  • Adult with Special Needs €10.00
  • Child with Special Needs €6.50
  • Carer Free
  • Student (Must show valid student ID card) €13.50
  • 2 Adults + 2 Children €49.00
  • 2 Adults + 3 Children €53.00
  • 2 Adults + 4 Children €57.00

Dublin Zoo Annual Pass

Allows free admission to Dublin Zoo for one year. Dublin Zoo annual pass holders are also admitted free to Fota Wildlife Park (Cork),  Individual annual passes are suitable for two adults.

Annual Pass Type Price
Individual €125.00
Family €185.00

For further enquiry on   rates and group discounts Tel. (01) 474 8900.

"Dublin Zoo Family Fun"

Dublin Zoo Membership

Allows free admission to Dublin Zoo for one year. Dublin Zoo members are also admitted free to Fota Wildlife Park (Cork).

Annual Pass Cover:


  • Pass holder + 1 Adult or
  • Pass holder + 2 Children


  • Pass holder + 3 Adults or
  • Pass holder + 2 Adults + 2 Children or
  • Pass holder + 1 Adult + 4 Children or
  • Pass holder + 6 Children

Dublin Zoo Facilities

There are other facilities at the zoo to make your visit more enjoyable from Shop, Restaurant, Kiosks and the Nakuru Safari Ride. There is also Disabled access to 90% of the Zoo and wheelchair are available.

Family Fun Tip For Visiting Dublin Zoo.

It is well worth doing a small bit of research and planning your visit before you actually arrive.  Familyfun.ie lists many of the animal feeding times which can become a show in themselves and there are also ‘meet the keeper’ sessions and ‘keeper talks’ at various times during the day.

Although there are several cafes at Dublin Zoo, it is also a great place for a picnic. There are plenty of picnic tables in the grounds. But if you don’t want to carry your picnic around you can always choose to have it across the road in the Phoenix Park before or after your visit. That way you can leave your picnic bag in the car while you visit with the animals.

It is also possible to download a map of the Zoo, which has grown hugely in the last decade.

Download … Dublin Zoo Map

Getting to Dublin Zoo

  •  Buses
10/10a, 25/25a, 66/66a/66b, 67/67a, 68, 69
Phoenix Park Shuttle Bus from Park Gate Street (beside Hueston Station). This service operates every 30 mins, 7 days a week -Weekdays 7am – 7pm / Weekends and Public Holidays 10am – 7pm. and takes  a circular route inside the park, stopping at Dublin Zoo, the Visitor Centre, the Papal Cross and Farmleigh. Yu can hop off and on at any stop.
Price for this bus
  • Adult   €2
  • Family  € 5
  • Child   €1
  • DART
 Take the feeder bus no 90 from Connolly or Tara Street Dart Stations.
  • Luas
Take the Red Line to Hueston Station. The zoo is a 15 minute walk or hop on the Phoenix Park Shuttle Bus from Park Gate Street (beside Hueston Station).
The shuttle bus operates every 30 mins,7 days a week – Weekdays 7am – 7pm / Weekends and Public Holidays 10am – 7pm

Events At Dublin Zoo

In keeping with the modern ethos of conservation and education, Dublin Zoo has a programme of events camps and workshops catering for children and adults alike.
The children’s programmes include specific schools programmes for all ages (post primary, primary and pre-school). Dublin Zoo also offers a range of workshops, camps and activity for children of various ages.
The Zoo education centre also offers some adults events including events tailored to the Active Retired
To find out more about dates and times check out  …Dublin Zoo Events 

Dublin Zoo’s Safari Explorers Party Package

Dublin Zoo’s Safari Explorers Party Package is an all-inclusive package so the only thing you need to worry about is getting your herd to the zoo on time!

Dublin Zoo will take care of the food, the decorations, the goody bags, your party activities etc.

The Safari Explorers Party Package includes:

  • All day Admission to Dublin Zoo for each child
  • One complimentary adult with every 5 children
  • Special Dublin Zoo Birthday Party invitations
  • Special trail tour with party host
  • Wildlife themed party decorations
  • Use of Private African safari camp
  • Safari Picnic Box for each child
  • Party activities in Safari Camp i.e. games, bio facts, etc.
  • Dublin Zoo Goody Bags for each child
  • Special Gift for the birthday child

History Of Dublin Zoo

The Royal Zoological Society of Dublin was founded on 10th of May 1830 at a meeting in the Rotunda Hospital. Within a year the Lord Lieutenant had donated over 5 acres of the Phoenix Park for the new zoo. Dublin Zoo opened on the 1st of September 1831 and the first animals on view all came from London Zoo.
The original entrance to the Victorian Zoo is still visible to the right of the current entrance. It is a cottage style building with a thatched roof, built in 1833 at the cost of £30.
In 1838, to celebrate Queen Victoria’s coronation, Dublin Zoo held an open day and 20,000 people visited – still the largest number of visitors ever in one day.
Many of the animal buildings immediately inside the entrance to the zoo date from this time and give the Zoo an air of elegance and antiquity which is unique.

How To Help Dublin Zoo

Looking after the animals at Dublin Zoo is a costly business. It costs in the region of half a million euros a year just to feed them.
There are many ways you can help Dublin Zoo.
  • Membership – which entitles you not only to visit Dublin Zoo and Fota Wildlife Park in Cork but also some zoos in the UK.
  • Adopt an Animal – from gorillas to penguins, Dublin Zoo offers three different categories of adoption. An ideal present.
  • Make a donation – call Dublin Zoo on  01 4748900  to make a donation.
  • Volunteer – there are a myriad of roles for volunteers at Dublin Zoo.

"Dublin Zoo Orangutan"