Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Getting to the Zoo

The National Zoo is located at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008. You can get to the Zoo by taking public transportation and driving.

There are pedestrian and vehicle entrances on Connecticut Avenue, at the west side of the Zoo.

There are two entrances for pedestrians and vehicles at the east side of the Zoo, near Rock Creek Park. One is off Rock Creek Parkway, the other is at the intersection of Harvard Street and Adams Mill Road.

To get to the Zoo by public transportation:

The Zoo's Connecticut Avenue entrance is equidistant from 2 Metrorail stops. There is a Metrobus stop directly in front of the Zoo.

Get details about taking Metro to the Zoo

Be sure to check Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's website for service alerts and advisories. Metrorail Service Status.

To get to the Zoo by bicycle:

Capital Bikeshare has stations at the Connecticut Avenue pedestrian entrance (at 3000 Connecticut Avenue NW) and at the Harvard Street gate (Harvard Street and Adams Mill Road NW). Find out more about Capital Bikeshare.

Note: Biking is permitted only on public vehicle roads. Riding bikes, scooters, skateboards, and the like is prohibited on all pedestrian walkways. While in the Zoo, you must park or walk or carry your bike, scooter, skateboard, etc. There are bike racks near the Visitor Center and at Lion-Tiger Hill.

To get to the Zoo by car:

You can enter the Zoo from Connecticut Avenue, Harvard Street, or Rock Creek Parkway. Parking in the Zoo and nearby is limited, so we strongly encourage you to use public transportation.


There is a flat $22 fee for parking at the National Zoo. Every dollar you spend at the Zoo—for parking, food, and gifts—supports our educational outreach, research, and conservation efforts.

Please note: The Zoo is a popular destination, and lots fill early in the day during spring break and summer, so we encourage you to take the Metro. We are located in a city, and there is not a lot of street parking in the neighborhood.

Click here for a Zoo map which indicates the locations for each parking lot noted below.

Lots A and B

  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Pay upon exit

Lots C, D and E

  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Pay upon entry
  • Please note: If you are a FONZ member, you will be required to show your membership card upon entry to receive the member benefit. Get a replacement card or join FONZ.

Save Time and Stress—Reserve a Parking Spot

The Zoo is a very popular destination, and parking lots often fill up early in the day, especially in spring and summer. So we have partnered with Parking Panda, the nationwide leader in online parking reservations, to offer the ability to purchase guaranteed parking passes at several parking locations within easy walking distance to the Zoo.

Once purchased, parking passes are emailed instantly and guarantee you access to your selected location. Parking is very limited and locations fill up, so we strongly recommend that you reserve your 100% guaranteed parking space now!

Washington, DC Parking powered by Parking Panda

Please note: You will leave the Smithsonian National Zoo website when you click the link above. Parking Panda is a third-party contractor.  Read Parking Panda’s privacy policy.

Tour buses

Tour bus parking is extremely limited. Tour buses may not drop off passengers on Connecticut Avenue. This is both unsafe and illegal.

School buses

Parking is available most weekdays. On weekends and during the summer, bus parking is not available. For questions about school bus parking, please call 202.633.4480.