National Zoological Park, Washington DC

4.1
#2 of 38 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. 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 4.0
4,409 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I could not believe that this wonderful zoo is free to enter, what a gem. There are lots of animals to see, all kept in excellent habitats. The highlight for my wife was the giant pandas but all the a...  more »
  • This is a must see when in the DC area. I have visited multiple zoos and this is by far the best I’ve been to. The variety of animals and viewing areas is fantastic.  more »
Google
  • Amazing to have such a great park tucked into the city with free admission. Very hilly so plan like it's a "hike" if you're going for the whole day. The best thing about a free park, however, is that you don't have to try to do it all in one day, especially if you're here for a week or so (or you're a resident). There are better, more expansive zoos, but you can't beat the price. It's a rather long uphill walk from the metro, so factor that in. Parking is convenient to the zoo but pricey ($25). Finding street parking is possible but not a guarantee. Everyone loves to see the pandas, but our family favorites are the otters and the prairie dogs; if you can catch the orangutans climbing on the "O-line", huge bonus. NOTE: if you're traveling with somebody with limited mobility, they do have manual wheelchairs (free) and electric wheelchairs that you can rent ($30). both have to be returned by 4:00 p.m., even though the park usually stays open later. You might want to arrive early in the day to make sure that the manual wheelchairs aren't all taken. Definitely plan to be pushing the wheelchair up steep hills. There is also a free shuttle that runs regularly between one end of the zoo and the other, so a good plan would be to start a Connecticut avenue, work your way downhill through the zoo, and take the shuttle back up.
  • Of all the Smithsonian stuff to do for free, their collection and ability to cater to all ages is wonderful. Our little one was less interested in all the animals but we had a great time. Huge huge huge park but all very nicely organized with plenty of rest stops. Take your own food or buy something there. A full day is not enough. Love this place and a must visit!
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