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“Good for an afternoon”

National Zoological Park
Experience for Yourself
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and up
Washington DC Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour Includes Guided Tour of Arlington...
Ranked #44 of 442 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
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
57 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Good for an afternoon”
Reviewed 9 June 2014

The zoo is well-kept, if a bit difficult to navigate. I don't know that you could spend an entire day here, but it's good for an afternoon.

There is no fee to enter, but a map will cost you about $3. You don't really need the map, as there are signs located around the park. The zoo layout isn't the most logical, so you may need to stop and look every so often.

As this is a free attraction, expect a large crowd and to have to wait in line for your chance to view an exhibit. During my trip, the zoo was undergoing renovations and a lot of animals had been moved or just weren't out. It was sort of hit-or-miss on seeing an animal in an exhibit.

There are food vendors set up all over the park, so you won't have to go far to find food or drink. However, as you can carry in your own, I recommend just bringing your own bottle of water. The drinks are marked-up in park, of course.

Visited June 2014
Thank Faith5008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Allentown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
440 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Lovely experience a short subway ride from central DC.”
Reviewed 8 June 2014

The panda exhibit was great.but even more informative was the elephant exhibit where we encountered a delightful, informative volunteer who taught us all about the elephants personalities and habits and how a new elephant was being adopted by this zoo from a Canadian Zoo and how they are in the process of acclimating the new resident to the trainers and going to gradually introduce the current herd to this new member. The volunteer was so engaged in the elephants' personal story that she engaged all standing around her. Left feeling like we really knew the animals in this exhibit! Love how close nature and wild animals are to central dc. Easy to get to via metro and since free stop over even if only time for a shirt visit.

Visited May 2014
Thank creativecrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
152 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Good deal as far as the Zoos go”
Reviewed 8 June 2014

An expansive place which makes for some impressive animal enclosures and long up-and-down hiking. Free admission. Technical wheelchair-accessible but some inclines are rather challenging. Plenty of stands selling food (from mediocre to terrible) and drinks, all overpriced. Parking at 10 am on Sunday was already stranded (30 min to move 10 car lengths ahead), further complicated by the Zoo volunteer directing traffic despite apparently having dropped out of the first grade. Good animal collection, guides throughout who rehearsed their scripts with 5-year-olds as their intended audience. Not recommended for anyone over the age of 9.

Visited June 2014
Thank gordonsmc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heath, Ohio
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A great place to stop in D.C.”
Reviewed 7 June 2014

My 17 year old daughter's trip to D.C. would not have been complete without a trip to the National Zoo. The exhibits are well done and the Zoo is very clean. We drove and paid the $22 parking. But the admission is free. You can also access with the Metro. The Panda Bear exhibit is an obvious reason to visit but there was a lot of other great exhibits. Including an excellent Orangutan Exhibit and an Amazon Rain Forest. The Bird exhibits were also better than most zoos and should not be skipped. So if you go spend the day.

Visited June 2014
Thank David F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
151 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Plus & minus”
Reviewed 7 June 2014

Only a few blocks from the red line, 2 stops... take the Cleveland Park stop.. other stop is an uphill walk. From Cleveland Park you will pass several good restaurants to grab an order to go, or to return to for lunch. Don't bother with the restaurants in the zoo.

Good points: lots of mature trees, so plenty of shade. Lots of natural landscaping, a very attractive park. Admission is free. Variety of exhibits, well presented. Pandas are fun, and the Amazonian exhibit is well done.

Cons: Suprisingly few places to sit. Maps says the zoo in on a hill, it's really ON A HILL. 2 paths thru the park, a more direct route or a more wandering route, but both end up at the bottom of the hill. If you are handicapped and have a wheelchair you will need an able bodied assistant to get back up the hill. If you have trouble walking, you will have challenges with this HILL. Visitors center is not that handicapped friendly... a lift is used on the stairs but requires attendaint, which is hard to locate in busy times (which is most of the time). Food is mediocre at best. Maps are $3. Bathrooms are poorly kept.

Visited June 2014
4 Thank Everett S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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