Getting to Chester Zoo and making the most of your day

Becky blog author avanti social team

By the Avanti Web Team

clock icon

6 mins read | April 17, 2023

Chester Zoo is one of the most popular zoos and conservation centres in the UK.

Located in the historical city of Chester, the zoo is home to more than 35,000 animals and 500 different species. With its award-winning exhibits and conservation programs, Chester Zoo attracts more than two million visitors each year.

Greater One-horned Rhino at Chester Zoo 

This guide will give you all the information you need to plan your visit and make the most of your trip, whether you’re visiting Chester Zoo with children, friends or as a couple. Here’s what to expect on your visit and how to plan your trip.

Getting to Chester Zoo

Whether you prefer to drive, take the bus or a train, you can get to Chester Zoo easily. Find out all about the variety of transport options available below.

Driving to Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo’s address is Moston Road, CH2 1HU which you can use in your sat nav.

Otherwise, directions to Chester Zoo are as follows:

  • The M6 can be taken from the north or the south to junction 9

  • Exit the M6 at junction 9 onto the M56

  • Exit junction 12 onto the M53

  • Take the A41 and follow the brown tourist signs to the main entrance

With free parking and electric car charging points on site, visitors can easily park up and even recharge their vehicle during their visit.

Getting the train to Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo’s address is Moston Road, CH2 1HU. The nearest stations to Chester Zoo are Bache or Chester. Direct Avanti trains run to Chester from London, Manchester, Birmingham and other major cities for a speedy journey there.
Chester Zoo is only a couple of miles from Chester station and Bache station. When you arrive, take the PR3, number 1 or 2 bus to the main entrance. This journey will take around 20 minutes from Bache (via Countess Hospital stop) or half an hour from Chester station. Or you can just hop in a cab for the short journey.

Getting the Chester Zoo bus

Lots of buses run from Chester city centre and the local area, You can hop on the number 1, 2,15 and X8. Buses run regularly, so you shouldn’t have long to wait.

Planning your trip to Chester Zoo

Before you go, it's a good idea to plan your visit to Chester Zoo, as it has many different areas and attractions to visit. By having a plan in place, you can make sure you don't miss any of the highlights. The zoo is divided into several different zones, each with its own unique exhibits and attractions.

Here's a quick overview of what you can expect to find in each zone:

  • Islands: this zone is home to animals from six different islands around the world, including Sumatra, Bali and the Philippines. Highlights include orangutans, tigers and sun bears

  • Spirit of the Jaguar: this is dedicated to the wildlife of South America, with jaguars, capybaras and giant otters among the highlights

  • Jaguar 
  • Wild Africa: this area features a range of African animals, including elephants, rhinos and giraffes. You can also take a boat ride through the zone's replica African village

  • giraffe's eating 
  • Tsavo: this is home to a variety of African animals, including lions, cheetahs and zebras

  • The Rainforest: here, a variety of animals from the world's rainforests are featured, including chimpanzees, orangutans and pygmy hippos

  • Realm of the Red Ape: this area is dedicated to orangutans, with a large outdoor habitat and a viewing gallery

  • Orangutan 
  • Fruit Bat Forest: this indoor exhibit is home to a colony of giant fruit bats, as well as other rainforest animals such as sloths and marmosets

  • Predators: this is home to a variety of big cats, including tigers, jaguars and cheetahs

As you plan your visit, be sure to check the zoo's website for up-to-date information on feeding times, talks and other special events. You may also want to consider purchasing a guidebook or map to help you navigate the park.

Opening hours and admission

Chester Zoo is open every day of the year except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The opening hours and admission prices vary depending on the time of year, with discounted rates available for children and senior citizens. You can also save money on admission by booking your tickets in advance online.

Food and drink

There are several cafes and restaurants serving a range of food and drink options throughout Chester Zoo. From grab-and-go sandwiches at June’s Food Court to sit-down meals at The Oakfield, there's something to suit all tastes and budgets.

You can also bring your own picnic to the zoo, with lots of areas to eat in the park, although there are some restrictions. For example, glass containers, alcohol and BBQs are not permitted.

If you have any dietary requirements, it's worth checking the zoo's website to see what vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available.


Chester Zoo is well-equipped with facilities to ensure a comfortable visit for all visitors. There are toilets and baby changing facilities located throughout the zoo, as well as several disabled toilets.

Chester Zoo is well-equipped with facilities to ensure a comfortable visit for all visitors. There are toilets and baby changing facilities located throughout the zoo, as well as several disabled toilets.

How to make the most of your visit to Chester Zoo

A visit to Chester Zoo is a fun and educational day out for all ages. With its vast array of animals, award-winning exhibits and commitment to conservation, the zoo is a must-visit destination for anyone in Chester. To make the most of your day out in the park, be sure to:

  • Wear comfortable shoes: Chester Zoo is a large park, and you'll likely be doing a lot of walking. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes to avoid sore feet

  • Dress for the weather: the zoo is largely outdoors, so be prepared for whatever weather the day may bring. Bring sunscreen and hats for sunny days and waterproof jackets for rainy ones

  • Arrive early: the zoo can get very busy, particularly during peak times or school holidays. Arriving early can help you beat the crowds and make the most out of your visit

  • Look up free talks and events: Chester Zoo offers a range of free talks and events throughout the day. Be sure to check the schedule and take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about the animals and their habitats

  • Bring a camera: there are plenty of photo opportunities at Chester Zoo, so be sure to bring a camera to capture all the memories

Whether you take the train, catch a bus or drive to Chester Zoo, remember to check the zoo's website for up-to-date information on opening hours, admission prices and special events before you visit and arrive early to beat the crowds. Plus, while you’re in Chester, make sure to check out the city’s other attractions, such as its river cruises and guided tours.

Buy train tickets for your next journey

Buying through our website or app saves you money because we never charge booking fees.

To take a look at more ways to save including using a Railcard, booking in advance, and booking as a group, visit our ways to save page.

Avanti West Coast App
club avanti


Get rewards and go places with Club Avanti*

Join now for free

Read more of our blogs


Visiting the Welsh Mountain Zoo

If you’re looking for a great family day out in Colwyn Bay, then the Welsh Mountain Zoo has plenty to explore.

Find out more

Best Places to Visit in North Wales

Find out more

Most beautiful Scottish beaches

Find out more