Smithsonian National Zoological Park
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- 98%Family Travelers
- 81%Budget Travelers
- 63%Outdoor Enthusiasts
Member Reviews (67)Write a review
- Smithsonian National Zoological ParkMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 5Mar 24, 2014
On the positive side, the National Zoo is well-placed right in the middle of DC, they have Pandas!!! and it is free! On the other hand, this is one of the worst zoos I've been to. I'm not sure if it's lack of funding but animals here keep dying, they look really depressed, and some are even in old-fashioned cages. Especially sad to see the gorilla on concrete in a small cell.Recommended for:
- Smithsonian National Zoological ParkOct 30, 2013
This zoo is the tops. The exhibits are well done and easy to see (no matter how tall you are) and a wide variety of animals make their home here. I love that the orangutans can be seen swinging overhead in the open air, for example, and the gorillas are almost accessible enough to be downright scary. Sometimes the animals aren't all out for viewing (lions, I'm looking at you) but all in all, considering it's free to get in, this can't be beat.
One note: parking is $20, so if you can find it on the street or take the Red Line over instead of driving, that will save you some cash.Recommended for:
- Smithsonian National Zoological ParkOct 25, 2013
The D.C. zoo is certainly worth taking a day out of your travel plans to visit. Since it is part of the Smithsonian, it is free entry for the whole family! They have so many wonderful animal exhibits such as the cheetah conservation, the elephant trail, and the giant panda exhibit for everyone to see and enjoy.Recommended for:
- Smithsonian National Zoological ParkSep 13, 2013
The newly remodeled and very well planned Zoo is a great place to take younger children. The exhibits have been expanded and the animals seem content. I personally love seeing the apes swinging overhead and the new elephant walk means we get to play where's waldo searching for them as they traverse the park grounds.Recommended for:
- Smithsonian National Zoological ParkSep 13, 2013
Always a popular spot with the kids -- vast improvements being made in animal habitats, well worth the visit! Take the subway to avoid the parking fee, and pack a picnic since the lunch food is over priced and not very good once you get past hot dogs, sodas, pop corn and chips.Recommended for:
- Smithsonian National Zoological ParkMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 6Sep 11, 2013
I'm having a really hard time deciding between 3 and 4 stars on this one...
I have been to better zoo's. Maybe I'm spoiled since Cincinnati Zoo is one of the best in the country.... but the national zoo was just ok for me. Yes seeing the one panda was awesome, when he finally moved to where we could see him. But that's really all this place has going for it.
The Amazonian area behind the kids farm is awesome as well! except that its all the way "at the back" if you want to call it that... since the zoo almost goes in a circle but not quite... once you get all the way down the hill and have seen everything you realize you have to walk up the hill all the way to the front of the zoo to go catch a metro or a street or what have you. They layout is just atrocious!!
And to see anything you have to go "inside" to actually see anything. They out door cages are empty, and so if you want to leisurely stroll and look while you walk, well... that' not really possible.
So I guess I'm going to go with 3 as it's just OK for me.Recommended for:
- Smithsonian National Zoological ParkMember ofBusiness TravelersFamily TravelersFoodiesNightlife LoversAug 21, 2013
I always feel a little conflicted about zoos. The animals here are confined in some pretty small spaces by modern zoo standards. But that does make for good viewing opportunities for the kids. But the best part about the national zoo is that, as part of the Smithsonian, it is 100% free, so you don't feel guilty if you get tired and decide to leave before you have seen everything.Recommended for:
- Smithsonian National Zoological ParkMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 13Sep 24, 2012
On weekends and during the summer the Zoo is packed. It is not an overly large Zoo, but they managed to do a great job of designing this zoo in the middle of DC to pack as much as they could. Go see the pandas, which are a huge attraction.
- Smithsonian National Zoological ParkJul 30, 2012
Lovely set out zoo. Well maintained and as per usual anything to do with the Smithsonian is always well executed. Food is expensive inside but the enclosures for the animals are world class. There are convenience stores outside the gates that you can grab some quick snacks to wander around the park with.
- Smithsonian National Zoological ParkJul 20, 2012
The bear exhibit was closed when I went (May 2012). The panda was worth the wait because she sat right in front of the glass and ate bamboo. I witnessed a cat fight in the lions den which was very exciting. I wish they had Giraffes. Wear comfy shoes. The whole zoo is on a hill. Going down, it's great. But after a long day at the zoo be prepared for a hike back to your car.
- Smithsonian National Zoological ParkMember ofFoodiesBackpackersAdventure TravelersJul 05, 2012
The Smithsonian Zoo is one of the better zoos I've been to, and probably the best free zoo I've found. The pandas are a big draw. The lion cubs were super cute. If you like zoos, worth a visit.
- Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Open Hours:Apr-Oct: Daily 6a-8p; Nov-Mar: Daily 6a-6p
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Aliases: National Zoo, Smithsonian Zoo