Skip to content

Biggest Zoos in the World


When you ask kids where they want to go for recreation, the zoo is one of their top choices. And it is even better when the zoos are big and help the kids learn more about the diversity of animals. The most significant zoological parks not only house hundreds and thousands of animals but also feature numerous informational and educational programs about the behaviors of those animals.

We have compiled this article to take you on a walk through the biggest zoos in the world. We assure you that you will have a great experience scrolling with us.

Best Zoo in the World

When it comes to visiting a zoo, it can not only be beneficial for kids to learn about wildlife but also add to adults’ information. Thus, the best choice is to visit zoos with more animals, birds, and marine life to get the most out of your trip.

Some zoos, like the Beijing Zoo, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, and Chester Zoo, are considered the biggest because of their variety of animals. At the same time, the Bronx Zoo, National Zoological Park Delhi, and Jacksonville Zoo have become a favorite due to the activities for children and widespread area. Each zoo has unique features, making it stand out among others. For example, the San Diego Zoo is one of the best zoos in the world, liked by children, teens, adults, and the elderly alike.

Here’s a list of the biggest zoos in the world so you do not miss them when you are in those countries.

Beijing Zoo – Beijing, China

While you may know all about the Chinese marvels, including their products and skyrise architecture, the zoos are also unmatched!


Beijing Zoo, the largest and oldest zoo in China, is home to a total of 950+ species of marine and land animals. Out of these, 500 are marine species, while 450 are land animals. Established in 1906, it has become a favorite among locals and tourists, with more than 6 million visitors annually. As you walk through the zoo, you can see rare animals, including Red Pandas, Siberian Tigers, White-lipped Deer, Snub-nosed Monkeys, Great Chinese Salamanders, and Red-crowned cranes in the park.

The Beijing Aquarium, China’s largest aquarium, is inside the Chang River Zoo, with various water species to interest children and adults. This Qing Dynasty-built zoo tops the interest of tourists visiting China today. The Beijing Zoo is spread over 220 acres of land, including 14 acres of ponds and lakes. In addition to all the animals mentioned above, the Giant Pandas and the aquarium are the most significant tourist attractions. Additionally, it is an excellent choice if your children enjoy sea shows. The zoo offers several shows featuring belugas, dolphins, and sea lions.

The entry ticket to the Beijing Zoo for adults costs CNY 10 in the low season and CNY 15 in the high season. If you want to visit both the zoo and panda hall, it comes around CNY 14 in the low season and CNY 19 in the high season. Children below 6 can avail of free entry, while youngsters between 7 and 18 can enter at half the price.

The panda hall is an interesting attraction at the Beijing Zoo, and you must not miss it!

Arignar Anna Zoological Park – Chennai, India

Arignar Anna Zoological Park was established in 1855 and is one of the largest animal collections in India today. The zoo is located in Vandalur (southwest of Chennai) and is commonly known as Vandalur Zoo.


The best part is that it costs you only INR 95 per person to enter the zoo and spend as much time as you want until closing. Buy the tickets after entering the main gate, or book your tickets for the zoo online like us!

As you enter the zoo, you will see two ticket counters on each side and the walking area up North that takes you inside the zoo. Enter from one of the two passages to explore the wonders of nature in the park. You will encounter naughty monkeys, gorgeous peacocks, and Otteri Lake first. Walking past those areas is the butterfly park with a gigantic variety of splendid butterfly species.

With 171 species of animals, the zoo has more than 2 million visitors every year. The beautiful Butterfly Park, Forest Museum, and the Lion and Deer safari of the park certainly are the sights you would not want to miss. The zoo also features benches where you can sit and relax before moving to the next part of the enormous Arignar Anna Zoological Park.

The park also features a rehabilitation center for abandoned animals. It offers excellent learning opportunities for observers, especially students, and teachers. Among 2700 animals, the Nilgiri Langur, Chimpanzee, and Lion-tailed Macaque are the most endangered animals found in the zoo. The zoo also conducts breeding programs for endangered species, which is a vital step to save them from going extinct.

It is an excellent place if you are in India and willing to spend a fun day with the kids at a zoo.

Henry Doorly Zoo – Nebraska, USA

The Henry Doorly Zoo is the most beautiful zoo you will ever see. It has been rated the “best biggest zoo in the world” regarding area and species numbers among the 275 zoos worldwide. The zoo has a list of features titled the largest, including the “largest cat complex in North America,” “the world’s largest indoor swamp,” indoor desert, and desert dome exhibits.


The zoo began operation in 1894 under the name “Riverview Park Zoo,” which was later changed to Henry Doorly Zoo in 1963. It hosts over 1.1 million visitors every year. Coupled with all other amazing features, the zoo has 17000+ animals representing more than 962 wildlife species. The insect zoo, butterfly conservatory, and indoor rainforests attract people the most.

The desert dome is another gorgeous element of this beautiful zoo, with desert animals from around the world living in specific areas mimicking those deserts. Furthermore, you may walk beneath the desert dome to experience a world of nocturnal animals in the Kingdom of the Night. Furthermore, the White Jungle is among the largest indoor rainforest exhibits in the world, displaying fauna and flora from Asia, South Africa, and America.

When you are at Henry Doorly Zoo, this is not all. You will also see the Garden of the Senses with herbs, flowers, and trees. This part of the zoo also has a few birds, including macaws.

Most of all, this zoo is perfect if you are an animal lover or your kids love exploring animals and plants from different parts of the world. The wide variety of land and water organisms makes you want to come again to the zoo.

Toronto Zoo – Toronto, Canada

Speaking of the biggest zoo in the world, we can’t forget the Toronto Zoo. It is the largest zoo in Canada, spread over a vast 710 acres area. It is a treat to the eyes of animal lovers and people willing to engage their kids with nature. Kids can learn about animals and birds and spot many organisms they might not have seen earlier. Especially if you would love to see penguins, Toronto Zoo is the place to go!


As soon as you enter the zoo, you will see the ticket booth to purchase tickets for your family. Begin your zoo tour after buying the tickets to explore different species of animals. The park is divided into different regions: Canadian, Indo-Malaya, Tundra, American, Australian, and African. You can also get a map to easily decide where you want to go first.

If you start from the Indo-Malaya region, you will see the stunning Malayan crested fireback pheasant, Sumatran Tiger, and Crested wood partridge, among many others. The next section is Africa, featuring an orangutan, a python, a cobra, chameleons, and mole rats. Other animals in the zoo include zebras, arctic lions, monkeys, etc.

You will also come across various rare animals like African Lions and Penguins, White Rhinoceros, White-headed Vultures, Spotted Hyenas, Ostrich, and River Hippopotamus are the highlights of the zoo. There are 491 species with a total of 16,000 animals in the zoo, making the zoo a place worth observing for animal researchers and students.

It also features adventures like air rides and zip lines and even a private tour for animal adoption to attract more people to visit and enjoy with their families. Meanwhile, you may also enjoy wild encounters behind the scene tours and be a part of events you can find on their website.

Children between the ages of three and twelve can enter the zoo for a $22.99 ticket which goes to $31.99 for everyone aged thirteen to sixty-five. Adults over sixty-five must pay $27.99, while there is no entrance fee for children under three.

However, you can also get a free entry pass from the Toronto public library at any of its 32 branches.

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, UAE

If you have not heard of or visited the Dubai Aquarium and underwater zoo in Dubai Mall, you are in for an amazing ride!


Sixty-one thousand people booked their tickets in the first week of the mall’s opening in 2008, and the hype is not unreal. The zoo and aquarium are majestic and make you feel like you are in the middle of a huge ocean. It can be a little scary, too – don’t say we didn’t warn you!

The aquarium is above a 270-degree walk-through tunnel and can hold up to 10 million liters of water. You can look at over 300 species of amazing underwater life without diving into the sea. The aquarium and zoo habitat over 3,300 animals to look at and appreciate the wonders of nature.

You will get to see BTS tours, underwater observatories, and a huge variety of animals.

National Zoological Gardens of Africa – Pretoria, South Africa 

South Africa is widely known for its diversity of animals, and the National Zoological Gardens of Africa not certainly disappoint.


The park is huge, and you can walk around in the greenery, observing different animals throughout the walk. One of the first animals you will see in the park is Charlie, the elephant, who will retire soon. Walking, you can also see the Axis deer from India chilling in their habitat. Next are cows and donkeys, followed by the farm animals on the Farmland. Unlike other zoos, you will not find only one or two animals of one species. Instead, numerous similar animals live in the same space without feeling isolated.

With 9000+ animals collected from 700 separate species, the zoo carries the rich wildlife of South Africa. You can find all the South African wildlife, including leopards, gorillas, elephants, and rare animals like komodo dragons and kangaroos. Its rich collection of antelope collects great love and praises from visitors from all over the world. Other exciting programs like Sunset Zoo Safari and Zoo’s Camps are the crowd’s favorites; hence, the zoo welcomes thousands of visitors annually.

The zoo offers golf carts and pushcarts to go around the train. Also, you can ride the jungle train for a quick zoo view and plan your trip accordingly. For an ethereal aerial view of the garden, take a cable car ride across the hilltops and get mesmerized by the amazing sights of all the animal enclosures.

Smithsonian National Zoological Park – Washington DC, USA

Did you know that the Smithsonian National Zoological Park is the biggest zoo in the world for education about the conservation of wildlife? It is one of the oldest operating zoos in the US and has been running since 1886 when it started a conservation and research center.


To make the educational purpose of the park more practical and easier, the zoo does not charge an entry fee, regardless of age. The zoo also offers group sleepovers, school trips, and camps to encourage teens and younger ones to learn about animal conservation.

The zoo is built according to its purpose, allowing students and young children to learn more about the animals they have previously seen and other unique ones. And if your child is a fan of pandas, Smithsonian National Zoological Park is one of the only three zoos in the US that have giant pandas now. The park has a beautiful kids’ farm, making it a perfect and must-visit family picnic destination in DC. If they come close to the fence, you can also pet them!

Your kids will be happy to see tigers, monkeys, elephants, and red and white pandas. If you watch attentively, you will see that the monkey is alone, but the zoo has placed a realistic stuffed animal to comfort the monkey. Furthermore, you can next walk to the conservation park with all kinds of organisms the park aims to conserve, offering visitors a wide variety of animals. The zoo has a conservation carousel you can ride for $3.50.

Furthermore, the food at the zoo is finger-licking good, with many options, including Auntie Ann’s Carvel Ice Cream, Sbarro, and Elevation Burger.

San Diego Zoo – San Diego, USA

Before we talk about all the activities to enjoy at the San Diego Zoo, the efforts of the zoo management to conserve and preserve deserve applause. The San Diego Zoo, located in Balboa Park, San Diego, is a 100-acre animal collection and is home to 14,000 rare animals in the world, which features and conserves Giant Pandas. They breed the endangered, intending to eventually shift them to their natural habitat at the right time, and this way, these species are saved from extinction.


Most of the 14,000+ rare animals belonging to 700+ species in the zoo are kept in an open environment. Walking through the park, you can watch animals like tigers, gorillas, hippopotamuses, giraffes, and koalas. Start your trip at the Wildlife Explorers Basecamp, which has four zones featuring animals worldwide. Next, visit the Elephant Odyssey to learn more about elephants from Asia and Africa. Furthermore, you will see lions, jaguars, camels, lamas, etc.

There is so much to do at the San Diego Zoo that we won’t restrict you to only seeing the animals. Step into the African Rocks to experience the African habitats of various animals. Walking down the African Rocks, you will see the Ethiopian Highlands and Magical Madagascar exhibiting animals such as African Penguins and Leopard Sharks.

The San Diego Zoo has many special programs like the Early Morning Cheetah Experience, the Crazy About Cats Tour, and many others that are introduced to give the visitors a better and closer zoo experience.

Don’t miss the 35-minute free bus ride (the cost is included in the admission fee) around the zoo before walking through it. If you’re going for the first time, the bus ride is a must to see the park at a glance. You will get a better view from the second level, especially the right side of the bus. Another mode of transport is the Kangaroo bus, which allows you to hop on and off at different stations within the zoo. Or, take an aerial zoo tour through the Skyfari sky ride.

National Zoological Park, Delhi – India

Besides the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai, you can enjoy a visit to the National Zoological Park in Delhi. The zoo is highly appreciated for operating numerous breeding conservation programs for animals on the verge of extinction. The park is significant for studying animals as it houses approximately 140 species with more than 1350 wildlife animals and birds.


Many endangered and rare animals, including the One-horned Indian Rhinoceros and the Royal Bengal Tiger, roam in the zoo. Considering the largest population of endangered species, this park is named one of the largest zoos in the world.

When you enter the park, you will see a food corner where you can buy refreshments and proceed to park your bikes or cars in respective parking spaces. Purchase the tickets online to enter the zoo.

The first animal you encounter on entering the zoo is the black swan, followed by monkeys, baboons, deer, rhinoceros, black bears, crocodiles, etc. Your children will also be fascinated by the wide variety of birds in the zoo.

You can roam around the National Zoological Park, Delhi, in carts that cost INR 70 per person to go around the park. Get yourself your refreshments from different tuck shops throughout the park.

The Bronx Zoo – New York, USA

It is rare to see large zoos in busy cities like New York, but the Bronx Zoo is one of the oldest. Crafting naturalistic habitats for animals in an urban environment is challenging. Still, the zoo’s tireless efforts paid off, as evident by the remarkable results that now attract visitors. It opened for visitors in 1899 and is the biggest zoo in the world in a metropolitan area. The Bronx Zoo is a 265-acre area with parklands that mimic the natural wildlife to the best possibility.


Visiting the Bronx Zoo is one of the best activities in New York if you want to enjoy something besides the hustling city life. The zoo offers 4000+ animals from 650 species, including many rare animals.

When you visit the zoo, you will be fascinated by the World of Birds, exhibiting a wide variety of birds worldwide. As you walk further, you will see Tiger Mountain, where the giant cat rests. Other fierce animals in the region include the snow leopard, bear, Nubian Ibex, and Gelada Baboons. The park also features other gorgeous and interesting animals, such as peacocks, zebras, giraffes, Okapi, and the African wild dog.

After you have seen the enormous animals, move to the butterfly world to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature while the butterflies fly around you. Also, make sure to visit the world of reptiles so your children get to know more about these scaly organisms. Many of the exhibitions have won awards, such as Jungle World, Baboon Reserve, and Himalayan Highlands.

Entry tickets for adults (13 – 64) cost $37.75+, while seniors over age 65 can get their tickets for $33.25+. At the same time, children between the ages of three and twelve have to pay $28.75+ entry ticket. Members and children under the age of three can enter the zoo free of cost.

Chester Zoo – Cheshire, England

The Chester Zoo is the biggest zoo in the world when finding the rarest and most endangered animals from around the world. This great zoo in the UK was opened by the Mottershead Family in 1931. England’s biggest zoo stands out with its most significant number of animals, i.e., 35,000 of approximately a variety of 500 separate species. This huge animal collection attracts more than 2 million animal lovers annually.


When you walk through the main gate and enter the zoo, you will see it does not look man-made. The animals roam around and rest in their natural habitats instead of being caged, similar to other zoos. You can see Asian elephants, Sumatran tigers, lions, lemurs, and black rhinos moving around the area comfortably. George the Giraffe and Jubilee the Elephant are quite popular among frequent visitors. The zoo also features water animals and reptiles of various kinds to blow your mind away!

Apart from these rare animals, there is much more to do in the Chester Zoo; go for a picnic at several locations, and enjoy meals at restaurants and well-built kids’ play areas. You can also sit back and enjoy a peaceful boat ride on the Lazy River.

As the zoo is huge, you will need to walk a lot if you want to see all the animals. Unlike golf carts and buses in other zoos, the Chester Zoo offers a unique ride to go through the park: scooters. You can rent scooters to tour the zoo and watch your favorite animals.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – Columbus, USA

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the Columbus Zoo is one of the favorites in the US and a must-visit if your family loves animals like ours.


The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are spread over 580 acres of land. The zoo has been named the best zoo among all the zoos in the United States several times. The park keeps numerous animals, both abundant and those on the edge of going extinct. It is a non-profit zoo that works to rehabilitate and conserve endangered and rare wildlife animals. The park is built along the riverside but with another part on the other side: the Congo expedition.

During your visit to the zoo, you will find animals of all sorts, including gorillas, bears, and giraffes. You can also feed the friendly giraffes and visit the bear exhibit to learn about bears closely. Our favorite at the park is the discovery reef drive, which gives you an insight into the reef world.

Besides offering the company of these amazing animals, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are on the list of the world’s top zoos putting unmatched efforts into preserving the fauna. Their goal is to carry out 70 projects accompanied by other countries while leading various global projects for the cause.

However, make sure to check their website before heading out to the zoo, as the timings change throughout the year. Some days the park closes at 3 pm; other days, it is 5 pm or 6 pm. Thus, it is important to check before visiting to plan your trip accordingly.

The general admission rates for Columbus Zoo are $25.99 for children between ages 3 and 9, while everyone from ten to fifty-nine needs to buy a $29.99 ticket. Adults over age 60 are $27.99 per entry. And children under three can visit the park for free!

We had an amazing time when we visited the Columbus Zoo; we’re sure you’ll enjoy your visit too.

Berlin Zoological Garden – Berlin, Germany

The Berlin Zoological Garden is not the largest in terms of area, which is 86 acres, but it is surely one of the world’s biggest zoos by its huge animal collection. The zoo was built in 1844, the oldest of all the zoos in Germany, and is home to over 18,000 wildlife animals. These animals represent more than 1,500 different species, the most extensive collection of wildlife species in any zoo worldwide. The park offers the best collection of safaris you can enjoy, and our personal favorites include the Polar Bear, Bao Bao-the Giant Panda, and feeding other animals.


When you enter the park after getting your ticket, you will see a bunch of elephants welcoming you to the zoo. Past the elephants, you will encounter some hens not found in most other zoos. Furthermore, you can locate giraffes munching on leaves, flamingos roaming around, and baboons and monkeys enjoying their time.

Moving around the zoo, you will also see pelicans, lions, red foxes, cheetahs, and bears. The wide variety of animals will surely mesmerize your children, who will want to visit the zoo every day. Another fun element of the park is animal feeding, such as elephant feeding you can experience during your visit.

The park collaborates with universities and raises funds to put their best efforts into saving, breeding, and helping vulnerable animals reproduce. The Zoological Garden’s outstanding work for preserving endangered species through various projects is highly remarkable and appreciable.

When you plan on visiting the zoo, you can get day tickets or annual passes according to your preference and need. The park also offers discounts on group tickets. Book yours from the Berlin Zoo website.

North Carolina Zoo – North Carolina, USA

The North Carolina Zoo is the biggest in North America, covering over 2600 acres of land. However, only around 500 acres have been developed until now, so we can expect to see many exciting and better development possibilities in the future. Yet, it is the “world’s largest walk-through zoo.”


The zoological park is a great place to observe various species from the collection of more than 1,800 animals preserved in the zoo. The zoo is divided into two territories: North America and Africa, featuring organisms from that particular region. The North American region has five sections, while Africa has two sections.

The zoo attracts nearly an average of 1 million people every year. The favorites include numerous endangered animals and exhibit such as Carousel, Acacia Station Giraffe Deck, Expedition Africa, and the Kaleidoscope Butterfly Garden. Other rare animals in the zoo include the American Alligator, Arctic Fox, African Lion, Beaded Lizard, Blue-tongued Skink, Bongo, and many more. The North Carolina Zoo is a must-visit place on your next trip to North America.

The best part is that the administration did not have a lot to change, and you will know why when you visit the zoo. Most of the zoo is built around natural habitats, eradicating the need to revamp or change structures over time. The zoo’s popularity among visitors is also attributed to providing a homely environment to the animals.

As mentioned, it is the largest walk-through zoo in the world. So, wear comfortable clothes and footwear to enjoy your trip conveniently.

Oakland Zoo – California, USA

If you are looking for a gorgeous zoo that offers multiple activities for your children, head over to the Oakland Zoo in California.


The Oakland Zoo opened in 1922 with a vision of creating the best place for wildlife. The animals here are not caged but preserved in a natural habitat for a healthier life. This natural environment zoo earned a spot in the best zoos in the entire world. You will love the park as soon as you enter as it is ornamented with various colorful decorations to attract children and add to the beauty of the place.

The park has 850+ wildlife animals, including American Bison, American Black Bear, Bald Eagle, African Spoonbill, Ball Python, Egyptian Goose, and Black Throated Monitor.

The Oakland Zoo is a mere 100 acres compared to other larger zoos worldwide but features a massive hospital. The veterinary hospital is 17,000 sq. ft. and is one of the biggest hospitals in Northern California. It carries out programs in order to protect endangered species from extinction, like its Elephant Care Program.

Visiting the Oakland Zoo is one of the best things to have on your to-do list when visiting California.

The Bottom Line

Visiting zoos can be immensely interesting and educational for the kids, and what’s better than going to the biggest zoo in the world? Various zoos have made their place on the list of the biggest zoos, with thousands of animals and other attractions for visitors. From the massive enclosures to the expert care provided to every species, everything you will observe will amaze you. A visit to the world’s largest zoo is guaranteed to create a lasting impact, whether you’re a lifelong animal lover or just looking for a unique learning opportunity.


What is the biggest city zoo?

The North Carolina Zoo in North Carolina is considered the biggest city zoo spanning over 500 acres. It is located in the heart of North Carolina and is believed to be the world’s biggest natural habitat zoo.

Where is the smallest zoo in the world?

The Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero, California, is the only zoo along the Central Coast in the US. It spreads only over 5 acres of land.

What’s the most visited zoo?

While there are numerous large zoos worldwide, Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, has the highest attendance. Over 13,888,000 people visited the zoo in 2019.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *