National Zoological Park

The National Zoological Park, one of the most well-known zoos in the United States. As part of the Smithsonian Institution, does not charge entrance fees. It begin in 1889.

The National Zoo has two campuses. The 1st is a 163-acre urban park in northwest Washington, D.C. that is 20 minutes from the National Mall. The 2nd campus is the 3,200-acre Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.

There are 180 species of trees, 850 species of woody shrubs and herbaceous plants and 40 species of grasses. There are also 36 different varieties of bamboo. The National Zoo approved by the Organization of Zoos and Aquariums.

Altogether, the two features contain 1,800 animals of 300 different species. About one fifth of them endangered or confronted. Most varieties are on display at the zoo’s Rock Creek Park campus. The best known residents are the giant pandas. The zoo is home to birds, great apes, big cats, Asian elephants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, aquatic animals, small mammals and many more.

The zoo was one of the 1st zoos to set up a scientific research program. As part of the Smithsonian Institution, it obtains federal appropriations for operating costs. The National Zoo is open every day of the year apart from December 25 (Christmas Eve).


How to reach?

By Metro

We recommend using the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Trip Planner to navigate to the Zoo. The Zoo is accessible via Metro Bus and Metro Rail. Both the Woodley Park and Cleveland Park Metro stops are within walking distance of the Zoo.

By Buses

Commercial bus parking can only be purchased through Parking Panda. After accessing Parking Panda, reservations can be made by selecting the Lot titled BUS PARKING. Please note that that these limited reservations are only available Monday through Wednesday, and must be reserved at least one day in advance.

However, drop off and pickup by commercial buses is conveniently located at the Bus Lot by Panda Pavilion, 8am to 7pm (5pm closing November through March).


For inquiries regarding school bus parking availability, or to make a reservation, please contact or call 202-633-4964. School bus parking and reservations free. But there is limited availability and all school bus parking reservation requests must be submitted a minimum of 48 hours in advance.

By Parking

Parking is available at the Zoo for a flat fee of $22 or FREE with some FONZ membership levels.

National Zoological Park Visiting Hours

The National Zoo is open every day of the year except December 25. ADMISSION IS FREE!

Location Hours

Visitor Center & Exhibit Buildings 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (4 p.m. closing in winter)
Please Note: Amazonia and the Bird House will open at 10a.m. year-round
Grounds 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (5 p.m. closing in winter*)
Concessions 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4:30 p.m. closing in winter*)
Rock Creek bike path 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.


National Zoological Park Fees


National Zoological Park Location

3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008, United States
Phone Number: +1 202-633-4888

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