San Diego Zoo Bus Tour | The Ultimate Guide + Tour Video

The bus tour at the San Diego Zoo is a unique tour option that you won't find at many other zoos in the world! 

In this San Diego Zoo Bus Tour Guide we'll answer some of the most frequently asked questions and share tips on how to make the most of your bus tour experience!

Questions We'll Answer About The San Diego Zoo Bus Tour:

  • Is The San Diego Zoo Bus Tour Free?
  • How Long Is The San Diego Zoo Bus Tour?
  • Where Is The Best Place To Sit On The Bus Tour?
  • What Can You Expect To See On The San Diego Zoo Bus Tour?
  • When Is The Best Time To Ride The Bus Tour?
  • Is The Bus Tour Worth It?
  • Bus Tour Point of View Video!

 

San Diego Zoo Guided Bus Tour Vehicle

Is The San Diego Zoo Bus Tour Free?

Yes, the San Diego Zoo bus tour is free!

Included in the price of your admission ticket is the San Diego Zoo bus tour which is an incredibly great value and awesome way to get off your feet while still seeing the zoo. 

While the San Diego Zoo might be more expensive than most zoos across the country, having access to a guided bus tour is one of the many reasons that make the zoo worth the price of admission. 

Red Double Decker Bus Tour Vehicle

How Long Is The San Diego Zoo Bus Tour?

The guided bus tour is just under 40 minutes long.  

The bus tour covers a lot of ground in this short amount of time and is the best and easiest way to see a large portion of the zoo! 

The bus tour really is a must-do experience at the San Diego Zoo not just because of everything you'll be able to see, but all of the information and fun facts you'll learn from the bus tour guides.

Bus Loading Location

Where Is The Best Place To Sit On The Bus Tour?

Anywhere on the Upper Deck of the tour bus is going to be a great place to sit. 

While you're going to be more exposed to the sun and heat, you'll get a better aerial view of the animal exhibits and will a lot more than those on the first level. 

Two hippos in water

On a very hot and sunny day the Upper Deck might be more difficult to enjoy, but otherwise we recommend heading upstairs for the best bus tour experience. 

Keep in mind that because there are separate queues for the Upper and Lower Decks, you might need to wait a little longer in line for the Upper Deck!

Two Koalas in a tree

Because you can't predict what animals will be out and about during the tour, we don't suggest putting too much thought into what side of the bus is best.

If we had to pick one side though we'd say sit on the side opposite of the bus driver or the right side of the bus. 

What Can You Expect To See On The San Diego Zoo Bus Tour?

Below are just some of the many animals you may get to see on the San Diego Zoo bus tour!

  • Elephants
  • Polar Bears
  • Lions
  • Leopards
  • Monkeys
  • Grizzly Bears
  • Red Pandas
  • Gazelles
  • Secretary Birds
  • Flamingos 
  • Foxes

When Is The Best Time To Ride The Bus Tour?

We recommend riding the bus tour first thing in the morning for two huge reasons.

First, you'll likely find that the lines for the bus tour tend to be shortest early in the morning.

The bus tour can sometimes see a lengthy wait later in the day, so being able to avoid this line and potentially even riding twice if you enjoyed the tour is a great benefit! 

San Diego Zoo Logo

Second, the animals tend to be active in the morning or feeding which means you'll have a much better chance to see the animals.

Animals at the San Diego Zoo are fed throughout the day and their food is typically left in a place where guests can see them eating.

Not only will the animals likely be eating in the morning, many times they'll have a lot more energy in the morning rather than later in the day.

Lion

This is especially true on hot summer days when the animals will likely seek shelter from the sun in shady areas where your view of them can often be blocked by trees or bushes. 

You never know when animals will be out and about or easy to see, but mornings are typically a great time to hop on the bus tour. 

Is The Bus Tour Worth It?

Yes! The bus tour is absolutely worth it. 

Not only is the tour included in the price of your admission ticket, it's one of the best and easiest ways to see a lot of animals. 

Out of all the experiences available at the San Diego Zoo the bus tour is #1 on our list and something we recommend all first time and repeat visitors of the zoo to experience. 

While you can still learn and see a lot by experiencing the San Diego Zoo on your feet, the amount of animals you'll see, and knowledge you'll gain from the tour guides is far beyond what you'll be able to do on your own! 

Bus Tour Point Of View Video!

 

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