London Zoo or Whipsnade Zoo

London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo are the most famous among the five major zoos in the London region. 

Both zoos offer a unique and unforgettable wildlife experience, drawing in locals and tourists alike. 

This article will look at London Zoo or Whipsnade Zoo on various key parameters. 

From their locations and accessibility to the diversity of animal exhibits, conservation efforts, educational initiatives, and visitor amenities – no aspect will go unnoticed. 

Both London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo hold distinctive characteristics that set them apart. 

Yet, they share the goal of providing a window into the fascinating world of wildlife conservation. 

So, buckle up as we delve into the intricacies of these two exceptional zoos.

We will help you decide which one is the perfect destination for your next wild adventure. 

Let’s begin to discover the ideal zoo experience amidst the vibrant landscapes of London.

Top London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo Tickets:
London Zoo
Whipsnade Zoo

Ticket prices

The price of London Zoo tickets for adult visitors is £33, whereas a Whipsnade Zoo ticket is £31. 

Tickets at London Zoo are more expensive compared to Whipsnade Zoo tickets. 

The cost of London Zoo tickets depends on the day of the visit and the guest’s age. 

Each day is categorized as Peak, Standard, Off-Peak, Saver, or Super-Saver, depending on the expected crowd. 

Ticket prices at London Zoo vary accordingly based on these factors.

The standard ticket price for the London Zoo is given below. 

Adult ticket (16 to 64 years)£33
Child ticket (3 to 15 years)£21
Senior citizen ticket (65+ years)£30
Student ticket (with ID)£30

Tickets prices for Whipsnade Zo are

AgeTicket price
Adult ticket (16 to 64 years)£31
Child ticket (3 to 15 years)£20
Senior citizens (over 65 years) and students (with ID)£27

Opening hours

Opening hours
Image: Twitter.com

London Zoo typically opens its gates at 10 am. 

They are open every day except Christmas.

It operates until varying closing times, which can differ depending on the season. 

During peak months, visitors can enjoy the zoo’s attractions until around 5 PM.

The closing time may be earlier at other times. 

For accurate timing, check the opening hours of the London Zoo. 

Whipsnade Zoo welcomes visitors at 10 am, and its closing hours change according to the season. 

They are open every day except Christmas.

Visitors can relish the zoo’s experience during busier months until 6 PM. 

However, closing times may differ outside of peak periods. 

Refer to the Whipsnade Zoo opening hours before planning your visit.

Both zoos may adjust their opening hours due to special events or maintenance.

So, verify the operating hours before embarking on a wild and memorable adventure.

The time needed to explore

The time needed to explore
Image: Twitter.com

The time needed to explore London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo depends on each individual.

Visitors may spend 2 to 3 hours at London Zoo exploring its diverse exhibits and attractions. 

Visitors can cover all the animals, exhibits and zones within 3 hours.

But, Whipsnade Zoo demands more time for exploration, around 3 to 4 hours. 

As one of the largest zoos in the UK, it is set across extensive grounds.

Whipsnade Zoo has more animals and exhibits, making it a captivating journey.

Both of them promise an unforgettable wildlife adventure, catering to diverse preferences.


ZSL London Zoo sits on the Northern edge of Regent’s Park, earning the nickname “Regent Zoo” among the locals. 

It enjoys a prime location, surrounded by three underground stations.

The three stations are Camden Town Station, Regent’s Park Station, and Baker Street Station.

It adds to its convenience and accessibility for visitors.

But ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

It’s approximately 56 km (35 miles) north of London. 

Luton and Hemel Hempstead stations are the best options to reach Whipsnade Zoo by train.

One can utilize the Thameslink train service from St. Pancras to get to Luton station. 

The London NorthWestern Railways offer a connection from London Easton to Hemel Hempstead.

Size of the zoos

Whipsnade Zoo distinguishes itself as more of a Wildlife Park.

It offers a different experience than the traditional zoo in the heart of London. 

While London Zoo spans 14 hectares (36 acres), Whipsnade Zoo is significantly larger.

It covers an impressive 243 hectares (600 acres). 

Whipsnade Zoo is 17 times bigger than its counterpart in London.

Whipsnade Zoo earned the prestigious title of the largest zoo in the UK.

The contrast in size allows Whipsnade Zoo to provide a more expansive range of wildlife. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in the vast landscapes.

They can observe the animals in a setting that resembles their native environments. 

The zoo’s extensive grounds offer a unique and immersive wildlife experience.

This sets it apart from the more compact environment of the London Zoo.

Whipsnade Zoo allows visitors to explore the park in their vehicles for an extra cost. 

This feature adds a touch of adventure and flexibility.

It grants guests the freedom to traverse the vast expanse of the wildlife park at their own pace. 

With the ability to drive through the zoo, visitors can enjoy a safari-like experience.


Image: Anonw.com

London Zoo’s car park is at postcode NW1 4SX on the Outer Circle of Regent’s Park.

It is outside the congestion charge zone. 

It operates on a first-come, first-served basis, with no reservation option.

VisitorsVehicleTerm-timeweekdaysWeekends,bank holidays and school holidays
Zoo visitorsCar or motorbike£16£18
Gold Members and Fellows of ZSLCar or motorbikeFREE£16
Non-Zoo visitors or overnight parkingCar or motorbike£70£70

At Whipsnade Zoo, the car park is a 3-minute walk from the entrance, making it accessible. 

Moreover, parking at Whipsnade Zoo is free. 

For those looking to enhance their experience, Car Entry is available at £25 per car. 

This allows visitors to drive through the zoo and park at one of the inner Whipsnade Zoo parking lots.

It offers a unique and immersive safari-like experience.

Height restrictions do not apply when parking at Whipsnade Zoo.

The car parks open at 8 am, closing about 1 hour after the zoo’s closing time. 

Whether visitors prefer the convenience of London Zoo’s car park or the opportunity to drive through the wildlife at Whipsnade Zoo, both ensure an enjoyable visit.

Things to do at London Zoo

Don’t miss the thrilling displays at the daily animal shows and talks. 

They offer valuable insights into animal welfare, conservation and fascinating facts about the zoo’s residents.

Here are some things to do at London Zoo:

Reptile House

Delve into the UK’s most ancient tropical house and witness an intriguing collection of reptiles.

They have slithering snakes, majestic iguanas, tortoises, etc.

Aquarium Adventure

Dive beneath the waves and encounter a mesmerizing array of over 600 aquatic species.

It includes playful clownfish, graceful seahorses, mysterious jellyfish, and awe-inspiring giant octopuses.

Meet the Monkeys

Get up close and personal with the lively family of monkeys at Monkey Island. 

Learn about their behavior, history, and treat them to some of their favorite snacks.

Into Africa

Embark on a captivating journey to Africa within the zoo. Encounter majestic giraffes, striking zebras, and enigmatic okapis.

Discover the conservation work dedicated to protecting these creatures.

Butterfly Paradise

Experience serenity amidst fluttering beauty in the captivating Butterfly Paradise. 

Find yourself surrounded by vibrant butterflies, creating a colorful haven.

Things to do at Whipsnade Zoo

Whipsnade Zoo promises a fascinating educational wildlife experience that leaves a lasting impression on all who visit. 

Here are some of the interesting things to do:

See the Big Five at Whipsnade Zoo

As one of the UK’s largest zoos, Whipsnade Zoo proudly houses the iconic Big Five – lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and buffalos. 

Witness these African animals in enclosures that mimic their native habitats, offering a safari-like experience.

Explore the Butterfly House

Step into a tropical paradise at Whipsnade Zoo’s Butterfly House, where over 30 butterfly species worldwide flutter freely. 

Visitors can walk through the house, observing these creatures up close and learning about their life cycles.

Experience The Great Whipsnade Railway

Embark on an unforgettable safari adventure aboard The Great Whipsnade Railway. 

Hop on the magnificent steam engines, Excelsior, and Superior, as they take you through the territories of elephants, rhinos, camels, deer, and more. 

Enjoy the enchantment of a steam-hauled railway at Whipsnade Zoo.

Meet the Penguins

Whipsnade Zoo boasts two adorable penguin colonies – the rockhoppers and African penguins. 

Witness their waddles and tuxedo-like feathers in a natural haven with custom pools, breathtaking Dunstable views, and impressive rock formations.

Enjoy Animal Shows & Talks

Throughout the day, Whipsnade Zoo offers a variety of entertaining and informative animal shows and talks. 

Join us to learn about animal welfare, conservation efforts, and facts about the zoo’s diverse residents. 

Be a part of safeguarding these magnificent creatures and their precious habitats.

Animal enclosures

London Zoo takes the lead with an extensive collection when comparing the number of animals. 

It boasts a diverse range of wildlife.

It accommodates over 19,000 animals belonging to more than 650 different species.

Whipsnade Zoo in Dunstable, England, houses a smaller number of animals. 

With around 3,600 animals from over 200 species, it offers a more curated selection.

Despite the difference, Whipsnade Zoo prides itself on providing its animals with a unique experience. 

The animals at Whipsnade Zoo enjoy spacious and naturalistic enclosures.

It provides ample room to roam and exhibit natural behaviors. 

In contrast, some animals at London Zoo are kept in smaller pens, which may limit their space and movement.

While London Zoo has an extensive collection, Whipsnade Zoo focuses on spacious, well-designed enclosures.

Both zoos offer valuable opportunities for visitors to connect with wildlife. 

Each one with its distinctive approach to animal welfare and conservation efforts.

Animals at London Zoo

London Zoo is home to diverse wildlife, showcasing an impressive collection of over 650 species worldwide. 

Visitors can encounter fascinating creatures such as:

  1. Sumatran tigers
  2. African lions
  3. Gorillas
  4. Asian elephants
  5. Giraffes
  6. Penguins
  7. Komodo dragons
  8. Meerkats
  9. Zebras
  10. Okapi

Animals at Whipsnade Zoo

Whipsnade Zoo takes pride in its expansive wildlife park, where animals enjoy spacious and naturalistic habitats. 

The zoo is home to an impressive collection of over 200 species, including:

  1. White rhinoceros
  2. Amur tigers
  3. Asian elephants
  4. European brown bears
  5. Cheetahs
  6. California sea lions
  7. Red pandas
  8. Bison
  9. Peregrine Falcons
  10. African hunting dogs

London or Whipsnade Zoo – which has a better animal experience

Choosing between London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo for a better animal experience depends on various factors. 

London Zoo offers interactive animal experiences like a spider program, meerkat experience and monkey meeting. 

Visitors can also enjoy 20-minute VIP time with penguins or spend a day as a zookeeper caring for giraffes. 

But Whipsnade Zoo offers a more immersive and spacious animal encounter. 

As the UK’s largest zoo, it provides grounds that resemble the animals’ native environments.

It allows them to roam freely and exhibit natural behaviors. 

Whipsnade Zoo’s unique feature is the opportunity to drive through the park.

It offers a safari-like experience and a chance to see the iconic Big Five in a setting resembling the African savannah.

Ultimately, the decision depends on individual preferences. 

London Zoo is an excellent choice for a compact and diverse zoo experience. 

Whipsnade Zoo is for those wanting a safari adventure and observing animals in naturalistic habitats. 

It is the preferred destination for an unforgettable animal experience in the UK.

Which zoo is best for kids

London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo provide fantastic childhood experiences. 

At London Zoo, children can immerse themselves in the Animal Adventure area.

They can interact with farm animals, fostering a sense of curiosity and wonder.

 The Penguin Beach will captivate young minds as they watch these playful creatures. 

The Butterfly Paradise offers a magical experience.

The Rainforest Life exhibit is a hit with its lively monkeys, sloths, and tropical birds.

In addition, London Zoo also offers marine stories for kids, an interactive program for kids to learn about marine life. 

But, Whipsnade Zoo presents a more adventurous and expansive setting for children. 

Meeting the Monkeys at Monkey Island allows kids to get up close and feed them their favorite treats. 

The Great Whipsnade Railway offers an unforgettable safari experience. 

You can ride steam engines through the territories of elephants, rhinos, and camels.

Children’s Play Areas with swings, slides, and climbing frames let kids burn off energy. 

The Adventure Course with rope bridges and zip lines offers an exhilarating experience.

Both zoos cater to kids’ interests by providing interactive play zones and activities. 

London Zoo’s compact layout and diverse exhibits make it an excellent choice for younger ones.

Meanwhile, Whipsnade Zoo’s vast grounds and immersive experiences. 

They offer a sense of adventure for kids who enjoy extensive wildlife exploration. 

Whether it’s playful encounters with penguins or thrilling adventures with monkeys London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo have something special for kids of all ages.

Food options

Visitors who have visited both know that the food offerings at London Zoo were better. 

Notably, The Terrace Kitchen restaurant served delicious dishes made from fresh ingredients. 

But it’s worth mentioning that the pricing at both zoos is relatively high. 

Bring a blanket and packed food for a delightful picnic to maximize the culinary experience while saving on costs. 

Both zoos provide picnic tables, including covered indoor spaces for unfavorable weather conditions.

This ensures visitors have a comfortable and enjoyable dining experience amidst the wildlife.

Better zoo in bad weather

London Zoo is a better option on a rainy or stormy weather day.

It has many indoor exhibits and sheltered spaces to keep visitors comfortable. 

Indoor attractions like the Aquarium, Rainforest Life, Blackburn Pavilion, Butterfly Paradise, BUGS, Reptile House, and more offer a refuge even during winter. 

London Zoo ensures that even unsheltered animal enclosures provide covered spaces for visitors to stand. 

The new Butterfly House is the only indoor attraction in Whipsnade Zoo, making it difficult for visitors to enjoy during bad weather. 

Hence, London Zoo is the preferred choice for enjoyable wildlife in any weather.

London Zoo or Whipsnade Zoo – our recommendation

Our recommendation would depend on the preferences of the visitors.

London Zoo is for families with younger children.

It is also perfect for those looking for a compact zoo experience with many animals in a shorter time. 

It offers various exhibits, including the Animal Adventure area, Penguin Beach, Butterfly Paradise, and more.

Whipsnade Zoo may be the place for families seeking a more adventurous experience.

They will be able to see iconic African wildlife in a spacious setting. 

Its safari-like atmosphere and encounters with the Big Five at Into Africa provide a unique wildlife adventure.

Ultimately, London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo offer exceptional and unforgettable experiences.

They cater to different preferences and interests. 

Families can choose the zoo that aligns best with the kind of encounter they wish to have with wildlife.


1. How much is a ticket for London Zoo?

Ticket prices for London Zoo vary depending on age and eligibility. 

Adult tickets are priced at £33, Child tickets (3-15) at £21, and Infants (0-2) can enter for free. 

For Senior (65+), Student, and Disabled visitors with valid ID, tickets are priced at £30. 

2. What’s special about London Zoo?

London Zoo is renowned for its pioneering achievements in the world of zoos. 

It holds the distinction of being the first scientific zoo and has introduced several groundbreaking innovations.

This includes the first reptile house (1849), the first public aquarium (1853), the first insect house (1881), and the first children’s zoo (1938). 

These contributions have played a significant role in shaping the modern zoo experience.

London Zoo has become a special and historically important destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

3. How much are tickets for Whipsnade Zoo?

Witness diverse animals in their natural habitats, from the iconic Big Five to endangered species. 

Ticket prices for Whipsnade Zoo are as follows: 

Adult (16-64) tickets are priced at £31 and child tickets at £20

Senior citizens, Students, and Disabled visitors with valid ID can avail of tickets at £27. 

Infants can enter for free, making it an ideal family outing for nature enthusiasts of all ages. 

4. Are there lockers at Whipsnade Zoo?

No. Whipsnade Zoo does not offer lockers for visitors.

Since carrying bulky bags or belongings can be cumbersome, travel light and only bring essential items such as wallets, phones, cameras, and water bottles. 

Use a comfortable backpack or a small crossbody bag to keep your hands free and your belongings secure.

5. Can you drive around Whipsnade Zoo?

Yes, visitors have the unique opportunity to drive through Whipsnade Zoo. Whipsnade Zoo offers a “Car Entry” option.

Guests can drive their cars into the zoo and explore the exhibits while remaining comfortable in their vehicles. 

This allows visitors to get a safari-like experience and observe the animals in a more naturalistic setting.

6. Is London Zoo or Whipsnade better?

London Zoo accommodates a vast collection of over 19,000 animals, spanning 650+ species. 

In contrast, Whipsnade Zoo, located in Dunstable, England, houses around 3,600+ animals representing 200+ species. 

Whipsnade Zoo differentiates itself by providing more spacious animal enclosures and paddocks.

It creates a more natural and immersive environment than the smaller pens observed at London Zoo.

7. Is Whipsnade Zoo different from London Zoo?

London Zoo is a one-of-a-kind conservation zoo in the heart of one of the world’s most vibrant capital cities. 

With its diverse animal exhibits and conservation efforts, it offers a remarkable wildlife experience.

Whipsnade Zoo presents a unique destination, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in nature’s wonders and get close to diverse wildlife. 

It provides an extraordinary safari-like adventure on vast grounds resembling the animals’ natural habitats.

8. What is the largest zoo in the UK?

Whipsnade Zoo is the UK’s largest zoo and one of Europe’s premier wildlife conservation parks. 

It houses a remarkable collection of 3,626 animals, including numerous endangered species. 

Its significant efforts in conservation provide a vital sanctuary for these precious creatures.

Featured Image: Londonzoo.org, Whipsnadezoo.org

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