A visit to the Philadelphia Zoo

If you’re traveling in or near Philadelphia this spring, it’s the perfect time to visit the Philadelphia Zoo. I went this past weekend, and the weather was amazing–not to mention the zoo has something beautiful blossom displays going on right now.

I’ll be honest and say that I have mixed feelings about zoos. I love animals, and sometimes it bothers me seeing them in captivity, but I can also appreciate when zoos work hard at preserving rare or endangered species. I noticed that the Philadelphia Zoo seems to do a lot of that. In fact, one of the first exhibits I visited was the Rare Animal Conservation Center.


This happened to be my favorite exhibit. There were so many interesting animals here! I’ve seen a lot of cool animals around the world, but there were definitely a lot of animals I was seeing for the first time at this zoo, particularly this exhibit. If you love monkeys (really, who doesn’t?) You would love this place.


This is a red-capped mangabey, but as I like to call him, a skunk monkey.


I enjoyed the big cats, too. In particular, the Canada Lynx was pretty neat. He looked just like any ordinary domestic housecat… except about 50 times bigger.

Other notable exhibits: The sea otters, which, were adorable.
These gorillas who seemed just as curious about us as we were about them. (Well, not so much in this photo).

This giraffe doing yoga.

A red panda! Joe kept repeating, “but what does he say?” I had to keep reminding him that it wasn’t a fox.


Oh, and there were these guys, which were somewhat terrifying, but pretty neat.

I really liked the fact that most animals, from what I could tell, had at least one other animal with them (no getting lonely) and overall, it seemed that the animals were treated very well and had very spacious enclosures. The tigers have a treeway, which is an overhead passageway that goes above the visitors’ walking path. There is one for the gorillas opening up this spring as well. It may have already been open when I went, but the gorillas were hanging out inside, so I’m not sure.

My only issue: they offer camel rides at the zoo, and I felt pretty bad for him. I even overheard some other guests saying they also felt bad for the camel. I really wish the zoo would considering putting an end to this, or at least just offering the rides for a very short time each day.

Other than that, I really enjoyed my time here and I highly recommend visiting!

Visitor Information

Save on tickets to the Philadelphia Zoo: If you’ll be visiting Philly, I highly recommend purchasing the Philadelphia CityPASS. You get access to five different attractions for a great price, including the Philadelphia Zoo. Learn more about the Philadelphia CityPASS and purchase it here.

Hotels in Philadelphia: Philly’s Center City is just a stone’s throw away from the Philadelphia Zoo and has some of the area’s best lodging. Our top picks for hotels in Philly include The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, The Rittenhouse, and Rittenhouse 1715.

Flights to the Philadelphia International Airport: Tons of routes from around the country (and the world) go directly to the Philadelphia International Airport every day. To find a flight that’s best for you, check out OneTravel to compare your options.