Located in Northwest Washington DC on 163 acres, the Smithsonian National Zoo is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Visitors from all over the world flock here to see giant pandas and hundreds of other animals of 300 species.

As one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, Smithsonian National Zoo and its Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute have made significant strides toward their goal of conserving animals and their natural habitats. This includes creating new animal habitats and launching groundbreaking research programs. Read on to learn more.

Visiting Hours

Located in the Woodley Park neighborhood of northwest Washington DC, the Smithsonian National Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in the area. Part of the Smithsonian Institution, it is free to visit and open 364 days a year.

This world-class zoo is home to more than 2,700 animals representing more than 400 species. Some of the most well-known residents include Giant Pandas, Asian elephants, and Sumatran tigers.

The Smithsonian National Zoo also has a number of exhibits that are designed for younger visitors, including the Kids Farm and Amazonia. These areas are rarely crowded and are perfect for small children.

The Zoo is also home to a number of endangered species, including orangutans, Aldabra tortoises, and Panamanian golden frogs. You can also take a meet-a-small-mammal demonstration or get an up-close look at an Asian elephant. The Smithsonian National Zoo is a must-visit for families visiting Washington, DC. Make sure to check their website for more information and a map before you go!


A must-visit for visitors of all ages, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park Washington DC is one of the city’s most popular attractions. The 163-acre park — which is also a global research center and conservation center — is home to 1,800 animals.

While some DC zoos can be pricey, the National Zoo is completely free. It’s one of the only places in town where you won’t need to pay for admission or tickets to enjoy the experience, so it makes for a great budget-friendly option.

Giant pandas, African lions, and Asian elephants are among the highlights of this world-class zoo. And don’t miss the orangutans swinging 50ft overhead from cables between steel towers. Explore more!


The Smithsonian National Zoo isn’t the biggest zoo in the country, but it’s definitely a great place to visit. You can admire giant pandas Tian and Peixing, clouded leopards, and Asian elephants while supporting conservation efforts in the process.

The zoo has 18 distinct areas to explore, and it’s easy to spend a full day here. The main entrance, where you’ll find two Instagram-friendly lion statues flanking the gate, is on Connecticut Avenue in DC’s Woodley Park neighborhood.

You can also explore the Kids’ Farm, which is a petting zoo with animals from around the world. Or stop by the Great Cats exhibit to see some of the world’s most dangerous and endangered species. And don’t miss the chance to get a front-row seat to animal keeper demonstrations.


The Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington DC is home to a large variety of animals. Sprawled across 163 acres of Rock Creek Park, it’s one of the most popular attractions in town, and it’s free to enter!

The zoo has a long history of caring for many endangered species and pioneering in animal care, science, and education. Visitors can see animals such as giant pandas, elephants, tigers, cheetahs, and gorillas in exhibits designed to mimic their natural habitats.

The zoo’s reptile and amphibian house, which opened in 1931, houses seventy species of reptiles and amphibians including Aldabra tortoises, radiated tortoises, spider tortoises, Cuban crocodiles, a gharial, Eastern indigo snakes, a green anaconda, Timor pythons and king cobras. Some species, like the golden lion tamarin and the naked mole-rat, even share space in mixed-species exhibits. Check our next area of interest here.



Driving directions from Couvrant to Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Driving directions from Smithsonian National Zoological Park to Rock Creek Park