Houston Zoo Parking Tips

Last Updated on December 10, 2023 by Usama

Houston’s Hermann Park offers plenty of beautiful and entertaining features, including a golf course, rose garden, picnic areas, and the Houston Zoo. The zoo is home to more than 6,000 animals and draws millions of people every year. If you plan to go to the second most visited zoo in the States, let us provide you with all the useful information. Learn about the ticket prices, Houston Zoo parking options, off-site lots, and transportation to the zoo. You’ll also discover several hot tips that will save both your time and money!

Houston Zoo Tickets

The Houston Zoo allows you to purchase your general admission ticket online in a few easy steps. Prices differ based on the day and time, but the approximate fare for adults is $20. Tickets for children and seniors are as low as $16.95, while kids 3 or younger enter free of charge. You’ll see the exact price upon booking. The total cost doesn’t include carousel tickets, and one ride costs $4. If you plan on visiting other Houston attractions, purchase the CityPASS—you’ll save nearly 50% on admission to the zoo, Space Center Houston, Downtown Aquarium, Houston Museum of Natural Science, and Children’s Museum Houston or Kemah Boardwalk.

Houston Zoo Parking Options

The Houston Zoo doesn’t own any car parking lot, but visitors have an array of options in the area! Several nearby lots provide complimentary parking, while a few parking garages offer paid parking spots a short walk from the zoo. Off-site parking prices range depending on the facility. Check out the Houston Zoo parking map to see the exact locations, and find more information on each option below.

Houston Zoo Parking Map

Free Parking at the Houston Zoo

Several Hermann Park parking areas are placed within short walking distance of the zoo! The Houston Zoo guests can use one of the following lots at no cost:

  • Lot G
  • Lot F
  • Lot E
  • Lot H
  • Lot E

Lot C and Centennial Gardens Lot also provide complimentary parking spots, but they have a three-hour limit. You can access these parking lots from Hermann Drive and Crawford Street.

Houston Museum of Natural Science Parking

The HMNS is approximately a 10-minute walk from the zoo and has convenient garage parking for Hermann Park visitors. It’s especially suitable for people coming from the North. The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers the following daily rates:

  • Public parking cost: $20
  • HMNS members: $10

The HMNS parking facility is placed on the northern border of the park at 5555 Hermann Park Drive.

HMNS Parking Garage, source: Marcus Cheng

Additional Parking Near the Zoo

Several parking structures are available outside the park but are an easy walk away from the zoo. If the free lots are full, don’t hesitate to leave your vehicle in one of the facilities listed below. Discover the best options and their rates in the following list:

Parking Area Address Parking Rate
Texas Medical Center Garage #4 1406 Cambridge St. $13
PMC Austin St. Lot 5511 Austin St. $5
PMC Calumet St. Lot 1220 Calumet St. $5

Note that the two $5 parking services are north of the park and require a 15-minute walk to the zoo. The Medical Center Garage is around 10 minutes away.

Helpful Houston Zoo Parking Tips

To have a stress-free day and avoid additional charges, go through the following tips:

  • Arrive early—the free lots near the zoo tend to fill quickly, so come as early as possible; the zoo is open from 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Consider off-site parking—when traffic is busy, police officers don’t allow access to Hermann Park Drive from Cambridge, and this means that the Hermann Park lots are probably full, so going for an off-site lot would be a smart move
  • Pre-book your spot—if you plan to come during peak hours, reserve parking through sites like ParkWhiz or SpotHero to make sure you park in the area
  • Use public transit—if possible, avoid driving altogether and use budget-friendly METRORail (learn more about this service below)

Transportation Options

Visitors who plan on coming to the zoo during rush hours or on weekends should use public transportation and avoid parking. The closest Red Line station is Hermann Park/Rice U, which is approximately a 10-minute walk from the zoo. The METRORail fare is only $1.25. If searching for a quicker transfer, use an app-based service—rideshare drivers drop off zoo guests at the main entrance, which allows easy access. If you need a ride from any Houston airport, look into the IAH Airport Shuttle or Houston Hobby Airport Shuttle providers.


  • How much is parking at the Houston Zoo?

Hermann Park parking lots placed near the zoo offer free parking. The HMNS garage has a daily rate of $20, but you can also find a spot outside the park for as low as $5.

  • Does the Houston Zoo have free parking?

Yes! Several Hermann Park lots near the zoo offer complimentary parking.

  • Can you bring your food to the Houston Zoo?

Yes! The zoo allows outside food and drinks. Glass bottles and alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Find Cheap Parking at Other Houston Locations

Parking Access helps Houston residents and visitors find and book a convenient spot at several city locations. In addition to the Houston Zoo parking tips, we offer comprehensive event parking guides—learn more about:

If you plan on flying out of IAH or HOU any time soon, you should look into:

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