Visitors Guide to
The Saint Louis Zoo
One Government Drive - Forest Park
St. Louis, MO
314-781-0900 or 1-800-966-8877

Accessible Parking Accessible Picnic Facilities Accessible Interpretive Exhibits Accessible Wildlife Viewing Accessible Food Service Facilities Accessible Gift Shops Accessible Restrooms MetroLink Station Nearby




Addaxes have long, twisted horns and live in the barren deserts of northern Africa, where they browse on any available scrub plants. These large antelopes are well-suited for desert life. Their coat of white hair reflects the rays of the scorching desert sun, and their splayed hooves permit easy travel on sand. Did You Know that there are less than 200 addaxes left in the wild? Addaxes can be found in the Red Rocks section of the Saint Louis Zoo.


The Saint Louis Zoo is set in the rolling hills, lakes and glades of Forest Park. It is recognized as a leading zoo in animal management, research, conservation, and education. Admission is free, although there are fees for some attractions. The Saint Louis Zoo has been named #1 zoo by Zagat Survey's U.S. Family Travel Guide in association with Parenting magazine. The Saint Louis Zoo is one of the top attended zoos in the nation with over 3,000,000 people visiting the zoo each year.

The formation of the Saint Louis Zoo began with the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis World's Fair.) The Smithsonian Institution constructed the walk-through Bird Cage, the largest free-flight aviary in the world and still an attraction at the Zoo. Ten days after the Exposition closed, the citizens of St. Louis chose to buy the Bird Cage for rather than have it dismantled and returned to Washington, D.C. In 1910 the Zoological Society of St. Louis was formed and in 1913 the City of St. Louis set aside 77 acres in Forest Park for a zoo. State legislation provided that "the zoo shall be forever free," which has kept the Zoo accessible to millions of visitors ever since. In 1916 the citizens of St. Louis voted a tax for construction of the Saint Louis Zoo. It is said that this was the first zoo in the world supported by a community tax.

The Saint Louis Zoo is home to more than 22,000 exotic animals, many of them rare and endangered. The over 800 species represented at the Zoo come from all the major continents and biomes of the world. The Saint Louis Zoo was one of the first zoos in the world to replace barred cages with open, moated enclosures. In the early 1920s, five grottos for bears were literally molded from limestone palisades along the Mississippi River. Historic Hill is one of the oldest parts of the Saint Louis Zoo and includes the 1904 Bird Cage and the Spanish architectural flavor of the 1920s Bird House, Primate House and Herpetarium. In the Red Rocks area lions, tigers, zebra, and giraffes have outdoor enclosures with natural rocky boulders and outcroppings.

One of the Zoo's newer exhibits is the River's edge. The Zoo's first immersion exhibit, this 10-acre lushly planted naturalistic environment showcases multiple species from around the world including hippos, rhinos, and elephants as well as the newest exhibits featuring African Painted Dogs and several species of bears. Other newer additions include Penguin & Puffin Coast (the penguins are off exhibit for 2014 while a polar bear habit is being constructed) and the Insectarium. Children will love the petting area and animals shows of the Children's Zoo, the Conservation Carousel with 64 hand-carved animal figures of endangered species, and the Zooline Railroad.

Visiting the Saint Louis Zoo
     Visiting Hours
The Zoo is open year round, except December 25 and January 1.
               Summer hours are 8 am to 7 pm, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
               Non-summer hours are 9 am to 5 pm.

          There are some days that the Zoo closes early for special events or holidays.
               Check the link to the Zoo's website below for details.

Admission to the Saint Louis Zoo is free. There are fees for Zooline Railroad, Sea Lion Show, Children's Zoo, Conservation Carousel, Wild Adventure simulator, and the 3-D movie. The Conservation Carousel and Children's Zoo are free the first hour the Zoo is open.

Metro Forest Park Trolley Service
The Metro Forest Park Trolley Service line offers visitors to the park an easy way of getting around to Forest Park’s attractions. The Trolley Service for 2019 has ended. There are two routes. The blue route serves the western side of the Park, with stops at the World’s Fair Pavilion, Saint Louis Zoo, Saint Louis Art Museum and Emerson Grand Basin. The green route serves the eastern side of Forest Park, with stops at the Jewel Box and the Saint Louis Science Center's Planetarium. Both trolley routes make stops at the Missouri History Museum, Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center, The Muny and Boathouse as well as the Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station. Two convenient Park N’ Ride options are available for visitors. Free on Saturdays and Sundays. Adult Trolley fares are $2 per adult. Children 5-12, seniors and disabled passengers ride for $1. Click here for additional information.

Directions: The
Saint Louis Zoo is located in Forest Park near Exit 34 on I-64. Pay to park lots are located near the South Entrance. There is limited street parking near both the North and South Entrances. The St. Louis Zoo is accessible by MetroBus. The Zoo is also accessible by MetroLink by taking the light rail to the Forest Park station and catching the #90 bus to the Zoo.

Learn more about the St. Louis area.

GPS Coordinates (South Entrance)
N  33  38.043
W 90  17.477

GPS Coordinates (North Entrance)
N  33  38.202
W 90  17.542

Saint Louis Zoo - Use the official site of the Saint Louis Zoo for answers to all the questions you may have.

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