National Zoological Park, Washington DC

3.9
#2 of 22 in Parks in Washington DC
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. Plan to visit National Zoological Park during your Washington DC vacation using our convenient Washington DC trip itinerary maker.
Create an itinerary including National Zoological Park
map
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
3,716 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    Plan on spending about 4 hours. My son and visit this zoo everytime we are in DC. The Pandas are adorable. I also love the camels. Clean and well-maintained. It's about a 1 mile walk from the Metro st...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    The National Zoological Park is one definitely a must see if you like animals. We have been to DC several times and some how missed this site due to the location away from most of the other sites. It ...  more »
Google
  • June 20, 2017
    32 reviews We went on 6/12/2017. I like what they've done to the zoo since I was there last in 2002. It has downsized to give more room for the animals, which I think is awesome. Sadly, when we were there, the tiger/lions were put up due to construction. We took our daughter to DC for her graduation present, and this was the exhibit she wanted to see most. Overall, it was a nice, hot day :) The staff was friendly and helpful, and the bathrooms were clean. The park is still as gorgeous as it was 15 years ago, and the cute little petting farm was adorable! I'd love to bring my grandchildren to this zoo in the future.
  • June 8, 2017
    Out of the many zoos I have visited, this one was very impressive. It provided a comfortable atmosphere and made you feel welcomed right away. The animals (Unlike other zoos) were incredibly agile and healthy looking. For example, the elephant showed healthy behavior, such as its ears flapping, and tail or trunk swinging (constant motion), and its Skin, which looked soft and resilient. The staff constantly asked us about our visit, making sure we were satisfied. One con, is that many of the exhibits were under construction, or there was just no animals in view. I would like to visit again!
  • June 25, 2017
    I only got to check out about a quarter of the zoo - trying to museum hop today. In just under 2 hours I got to see all of the Asian Trail exhibit with the exception of a few animals that were in their private enclosures for the early afternoon. Staff was all very friendly and helpful. Their facilities were up to par for the animals, their quality of life seemed much better to me than some other zoos I've been to. A lovely place to stroll through if you've got the time. As a solo stroll-er, it gets the rolling solo adventure thumbs up from me.
  • July 4, 2017
    It was a fun experience with the kids. It was a simple layout and fairly easy to get where you want to go. The staff was kind and helpful. The animals were interesting and seemed to be happy. There were water sprinklers for people to cool off on a hot day. My kids and several others seemed to enjoy it.
  • April 12, 2017
    The zoo is free and parking is $22. From all of the zoos I have been to, I think it is definitely worth a visit. We arrived around 10am and a few of the parking lots were already full. Please note that several exhibits are under construction, so if there is a certain type of animal you'd really love to see, I would give them a call first. Despite the construction, we saw many animals and enjoyed all of the exhibits. Most of the indoor exhibits require you to leave your stroller at the door. Please be prepared to walk uphill and downhill, so make sure to wear your comfy walking shoes. There are many food options on the trails and places to sit and relax. There are volunteers present throughout the zoo that give out facts. Before you visit, I would advise my fellow traveler to download the map from their website to help guide you. They do sell maps for $5 (cash) around the exhibits if you'd rather have something tangible. We spent three hours during this visit with a toddler and we had a blast.

Plan your trip to Washington DC

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Washington DC by other users

22 days in East Coast of USA BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 31 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, beaches, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, beaches, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 4 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, kids, popular PREFERENCES: October, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans