We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Good family stop”

National Zoological Park
Ranked #72 of 472 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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 16, 2014

Free zoo, but you pay for parking either with your pocket book or with your legs! The parking lot fills up quickly on weekends and in the afternoon, so be prepared to look for free parking and walk from the surrounding neighborhoods!

Thank z06stinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (3,983)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"panda exhibit"
in 169 reviews
"free zoo"
in 167 reviews
"nice zoo"
in 143 reviews
"giant pandas"
in 143 reviews
"cleveland park"
in 98 reviews
"baby panda"
in 87 reviews
"big cats"
in 84 reviews
"reptile house"
in 63 reviews
"bao bao"
in 63 reviews
"sea lions"
in 50 reviews
"small mammals"
in 48 reviews
"up hill"
in 69 reviews
"think tank"
in 37 reviews
"red panda"
in 36 reviews
"indoor exhibits"
in 36 reviews
"connecticut ave"
in 37 reviews
"metro station"
in 59 reviews

2,516 - 2,520 of 3,983 reviews

Reviewed June 15, 2014

The zoo is a must on my husbands to do list. I don't care what country or what time of year it is a must for him. We are in our 70's and it is getting harder to do but lots of places to sit and rest. The weather was great and the animals were beautiful. We spent several hours and only visited certain areas, naturally the pandas and the tigers. WE took the metro to Cleveland park so we didn't have to walk up the hill a little longer but an easier walk. We ate pizza and Barqs root beer on the way in and soft ice cream on the way out. Lots of walking but again lots of places to sit and rest. We bought a map n the way in for $300, worth it but everything is marked and guides to answer questions.

2  Thank MsJLaB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2014

Another free excursion courtesy of the wonderful Smithsonian.

The pandas and monkeys were our favourites, great gift shops and plenty of cheap places to eat.

The park itself is open for wandering around from 6am and the attractions themselves are open from 9am. There is plenty to see before it opens officially so do get there early.

The park itself is fairly hilly but if you have difficulty with mobility there are plenty of benches and places to stop for a drink.

1  Thank ZoeKH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2014

While the National Zoo is always wonderful, there is a very special sight now. Two lion cubs were born in January and 4 more were born in March. Currently, the 6 cubs and 2 moms are romping and playing in the Big Cat exhibit. They are so much fun to watch!!

Zoo is easy to reach via the Metro (Red Line to Woodley) and there are several restaurant options to please all at Woodley or Cleveland Park. This is a great way to spend the day.

3  Thank BeBeWhy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed June 14, 2014

We went to the National Zoo today with my parents who are visiting from Germany and my 15-month old daughter. I am very upset about how we were treated my parking personnel. My husband followed our GPS for directions to the zoo and aparently made an illegal left turn from rcpw into the zoo. The person directing traffic at the gate immediately stopped us from coming through the gate because we made an illegal left turn. We were sitting in the oncoming traffic lane the wrong way and were asked to turn around. There was nowhere for us to go. crazy lady blocking us to go forward, traffic buzzing by behind us and I was just waiting for an accident to happen. My husband had to yell at the lady to let us move forward so we can turn our car around and she freaking threatened us to call the police. Other cars showed up behind us, they were allowed to pass. We had to turn around, drive a mile up the parkway, turn around and then go through the same gate. This time we were allowed to pass. Talk about a waste of gas and time. My husband was done and I don't blame him. We still went and paid $22 for getting sh.. on. Food court workers were similarly rude. My mom was in line for food, when she was almost at the window, they just closed the window and said to go stand in line at the next window. What can you say. There are better places to take my family to. Bye, bye National Zoo.

4  Thank Silke T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed National Zoological Park also viewed


Been to National Zoological Park? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing