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“Great Zoo With Very Nice Exhibits”

National Zoological Park
Ranked #72 of 472 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: A park-like zoo containing 4,000 animals and 500 different species.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Reviewed June 26, 2013

The National Zoo was very nice. The Asian Trail area is especially nice with large beautiful exhibits for the animals to live in and lots of interpretive signs showing what Smithsonian researchers are doing to help these endangered animals in the wild. Almost all of this zoos exhibits were nice even the older ones. They also have some unique animals that you don't see everywhere. The zoo is also well spaced out so even though the place was packed with school groups we never felt too crowded. It's also awesome that this zoo is free, you'd be paying 30-40$ a person to visit a similar sized zoo in a similar sized city.

1  Thank TheSpeis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,878 - 2,882 of 3,987 reviews

Reviewed June 26, 2013

I love coming to this zoo. Paying $22 for parking at first seems steep, but if you fill up your car, it's worth it. I love that its large and doesn't feel super crowded. We went when it was 90+ so it was very hot and most animals were hiding out in shade. People that complain that their aren't any animals out this time of year must just want to complain. We went with young children and they were happy just seeing the wild ducks LOL. If you want to see wild animals, go first thing in the AM, they are open early enough, or go in cooler months. These wild animals aren't going to adjust to us humans just because they are kept in a zoo. Food is pricy, but good compared to other places (amusment parks, other zoos, etc) I love that they had healthy options and used antibiotic free meat options etc. Because there is no admission fee, entrence and exit to the zoo is very easy and if you want, you can always head back to your car to eat or refill your water bottles. To save money, definately pack your own food and drink. All the staff we encountered were very friendly and helpful. The only rudeness we experienced was with other zoo visitors. :( There were a lot of exhibits under construction, but we expected that because we checked the website. The park was otherwise very clean. We will be back.

Thank chipmunk226
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

While a little disappointed by the primate area and the panda exhibit, the orangatang highway is something to behold!

1  Thank Choucroute
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Tips for a good zoo experience. If arriving by metro, get off at Cleveland Park (NOT Woodley park), the zoo is about equidistant between the 2 stops, however uphill from Woodley Park Metro. so arrive via Cleveland Park and walk downhill to Woodley park metro on leaving. Mornings are always better for crowds AND for the animals. we arrived at 10:30 and beat the crowds on everything including the pandas. The apes/chimpanzees do a good rings show at 11am. The zoo is NOT designed as a circuit, so once you get to the end, you need to turn around and go back the way you came, UPHILL. so depending on your group you might want to save some exhibits for the way back. or if you have toddlers you might want to rent a "stroller". The elephants have a large area to roam, so you can see them from multiple viewing sites. there are nice "misting" pitstops for people to cooldown in along the way. the zoomap isn't that detailed and there are multiple signs, but buy for $2 if you must.
we enjoyed it and were able to see a lot of the large animals (lion, tiger, elephant, great ape, baboon, chimps eating, pandas, zebra) and be out by 1:30pm.

5  Thank gypsy41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 23, 2013

Had only a short time here but was delighted to see the panda sitting out enjoying his breakfast. Well spaced out and planted the free zoo was a joy to explore.

Thank Heather M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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