The San Diego Zoo has free parking. The parking lot in front of the Zoo is owned and operated by the City of San Diego and is used by guests, volunteers and employees of Balboa Park. (Zoo employees use a private lot to leave open spaces for visitors in the city lot directly in front of the Zoo.) The parking lots in and around Balboa Park are also free to the public, per city guidelines. Due to the unique arrangement with the City of San Diego, the San Diego Zoo is one of the few attractions in the county that do not charge for parking. This is a great benefit to members and guests of the San Diego Zoo!
The San Diego Zoo is a very popular destination and during peak attendance days (holidays; weekends during spring break, summer and December) we may have short periods of time during which the city-owned parking lot in front of the Zoo is full. At these times we encourage guests to park in overflow parking (Inspiration Point, on the east side of Park Boulevard, between Presidents Way and the Balboa Park Activity Center) and either walk or take available tram services (available in the parking lots by the Navy Hospital at the south end of Park Boulevard) that serve Balboa Park.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park parking lot is privately owned and has a parking fee. Please click here for current Safari Park parking fees. Payment can be made by credit or debit card or cash (no $100 bills). As a nonprofit organization, San Diego Zoo Global depends on money raised from memberships, admission, food and gift shop sales, and Safari Park parking fees to assist in maintaining the animals in our care and further our mission of conservation and education.
No overnight parking is permitted at either park, other than for guests participating in scheduled sleepover programs.
Parking reminders: Lock your vehicle; lock your valuables out of sight; park within marked stalls; Zoo parking violations will be cited by municipal law enforcement. The owners and operators of our parks herby specifically disclaim any responsibliity, expressed or implied, to protect against the loss of or damage to your vehicle or its contents.