National Zoological Park, Washington DC

4.1
#2 of 38 in Parks in Washington DC
Zoo · Zoo / Aquarium
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Take a trip to National Zoological Park, home to about 1,800 animals of 300 different species--including its famous giant pandas. The nation's zoo covers 66 hectares (163 acres) with habitats for lions, bald eagles, poisonous frogs, Asian elephants, meerkats, orangutans, pythons, sloth bears, and more. Volunteers in red shirts are on hand around the zoo for advice and information about the animals. If you get hungry, you can choose from several food outlets or bring your own picnic. You can plan Washington DC trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.
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National Zoological Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
4,537 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This is a large zoo but we were so disappointment. We've lived in the area for many years and remember when the zoo had so many animals. First of all, we paid $30 to park, though the zoo entrance... 
    This is a large zoo but we were so disappointment. We've lived in the area for many years and remember when the zoo had so many animals. First of all, we paid $30 to park, though the zoo entrance...  more »
  • The good news is they now have parking spaces for $25 but it's worth every penny because you park right at the front of the zoo there's no charge to get in however there are very many closed displays....  more
    The good news is they now have parking spaces for $25 but it's worth every penny because you park right at the front of the zoo there's no charge to get in however there are very many closed displays....  more »
  • This is by far the largest and most amazing zoo we have ever been to! Be prepared to walk a lot! So much to see and you don't want to miss any of it! Only complaint we can say is the chicken fingers.....  more
    This is by far the largest and most amazing zoo we have ever been to! Be prepared to walk a lot! So much to see and you don't want to miss any of it! Only complaint we can say is the chicken fingers.....  more »
Google
  • If you are a local or just visiting from out of town, the National zoo is a must go-to location. They have a wide array of animals to sight see and interactive learning activities throughout the park. Entrance is free for everyone, but you should note you do have to download tickets before entering. You can bring your own food in, no alcohol is allowed in from outside but is sold within the park. As a local, I come here for the experience and also to walk when it is warm outside. Parking is slightly a hassle as you have to find parallel parking on the narrow streets of DC, the zoo also has parking but it is $30 per car. The shows are now back, which i really enjoyed this interactive bird show hole I was there. My only suggestions are removing the lines for indoor exhibits. Masks are not required nor is social distancing within the park, but they limit the amount of people in some of the indoor exhibits causing extensive lines which took about 15-20 minutes to get inside. Also, the bathroom facilities were not clean and did not have paper towels. Additionally, there was hardly an security and no one checking bags at entrance. Just a heads up I also went on Memorial Day weekend, in the morning there wasn’t much of a crowd but after 12 there were so many people it was difficult to walk. I would recommend during the weekday or coming at opening if you want less crowd. Overall though I had a wonderful experience and will be back.
  • Excellent zoo! Very clean, with friendly staff, and a great selection of animals on exhibit. They have places to eat, a carousel for the kids, a few gift shops. The animals look healthy and pretty happy. It is a bit of a trek though and pretty hilly. You will get a workout! The restrooms are spaced out pretty far from each other, but they do have good signage to point out how far the next one is. We did the parking pass which was a lifesaver and way better than parking on the street. We had a wonderful time and can't wait to go back!
  • The zoo is great and we really enjoyed the experience. You have to request tickets ahead of your visit. You can print them or it can be scanned on your phone/tablet. Not overly crowded when we arrived around 11 am. Some of the vendors were closed but for the most part everything was open and easily accessible. You have to walk a lot so I advise parent to bring strollers and any buggy/cart for the smaller kids. I overheard some younger people complaining about the strollers but it’s a lifesaver during the visit. There are carts you can rent as well but bring your own to save money. Also, bring your own food, drinks, snacks etc. The prices for food and souvenirs isn’t crazy expensive but we managed with our own snacks. We only bought ice cream for the kids and a small toy. Definitely recommend for young kids and all the young at heart. The animals were delightful to see.
  • Free zoo that is fun for all groups, if you really want to see it all, plan to spend at least 3 hours. You do need to reserve tickets online at the zoo website though. They have tons of vending machines throughout as well God food options. Our favorite parts were the small mammal exhibit, the pandas and the large cats exhibit. Do note that some animals may be sleeping or some exhibits might be closed for renovations. Check ahead if you are coming for something specific. They also have a really nice gift shop, 4 parking lots and cycle parking as well.
  • Went on a rainy day but it still e as very enjoyable. You could find most of the animals in their inside habitats. I would have loved to see them outside but it was great to have an alternative considering the circumstances. Really liked the idea of the food trucks and the snack/sweet treats they had. Just know that's if you drive there, there is a $30 parking fee. If you walk up its free

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