National Zoological Park, Washington DC

4.1
#2 of 37 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
4,511 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Such a great zoo. Loved the layout and paths that lead to different views of the animals. Easily accessible from all parking lots. Clean. Staff is friendly. Enjoyed the carousel. Just an awesome time....  more
    Such a great zoo. Loved the layout and paths that lead to different views of the animals. Easily accessible from all parking lots. Clean. Staff is friendly. Enjoyed the carousel. Just an awesome time....  more »
  • Very nice zoo. Lots of trails and signs with messages of conservation and education about the animals. Lots of animal art, sculptures and so on. Did not see all exhibits but I always check to see... 
    Very nice zoo. Lots of trails and signs with messages of conservation and education about the animals. Lots of animal art, sculptures and so on. Did not see all exhibits but I always check to see...  more »
Google
  • Before you go, make sure to go online to the zoo's website and get the free, timed entry passes required for admission. It's probably best to get them a few days before your visit. We loved the playful orangutans and elephants! Their interactions - elephant with elephant, orangutan mama with her baby - were cute and funny. We were a bit disappointed that we never got tickets to see the pandas. They're free but a limited quantity is released hourly to regulate capacity. You scan a QR code at any of several Panda Kiosks throughout the zoo, then go to the link to check availability, and if you're lucky, get your passes. If not, keep refreshing the link. I consistently tried for approximately 3-5 minutes before and after the times they were supposed to be released (30 minutes past each hour) for 3 hours. In one attempt, I "got" one, but it kept disappearing upon confirmation. I finally gave up and enjoyed the rest of the zoo residents. Maybe if you get there upon opening, you'll have better luck than we did..
  • Fantastic zoo, especially to be free. The amount of exhibits and animals on display is amazing. They also have tons of enrichment activities and well trained staff to show that they care well foe the animals. The food is a little overpriced, but considering that is one of the ways they make money to continue offering this experience for free is absolutely understandable. There is a lot of informative signs around the zoo and the walk to see the History of Smokey the Bear is informative as are some of the other exhibits. Wonderful experience!

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