Getting to the Zoo

The Smithsonian's National Zoo is located in the heart of Northwest Washington, DC and spans 163 acres. There are several entrances to the Zoo and all are pedestrian and vehicle-friendly.


3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

PLEASE NOTE: The Beach Drive entrance to the Zoo will be closed on or around Sept. 19 through Spring 2017 as part of the National Park Service's Beach Drive rehabilitation project. The bike path will remain open.

Zoo visitors are encouraged to avoid Rock Creek Parkway and use the Harvard Street NW entrance, or the Connecticut Avenue NW entrance.

Detailed maps and detour information can be found on the NPS website. Commuters and visitors can also call 202-895-6232 for road closure information.


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.

Know Before You Go

While equidistant from both Metro stops, the walk is uphill from the Woodley Park stop and flat from the Cleveland Park stop.

Always check the WMATA website for route changes, delays, and escalator or elevator outages.

The L1 and L2 Buses stop in front of the main entrance on Connecticut Avenue.


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

Reserved parking at or near the Zoo can be purchased ahead of time through Parking Panda.

Click to Reserve Your Parking

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

Know Before You Go

Parking is FREE with certain levels of FONZ membership! You can become a FONZ member and park for free the same day! Learn about Membership here.

We can't say it enough: Parking is extremely limited at the Zoo and lots fill early during the Spring and Summer months. Street parking can be difficult to find.


Capital Bikeshare has several stations for rental bikes near the Zoo. We recommend checking their website for locations and availability of rentals.

Know Before You Go

Riding bikes, scooters, skateboards, and the like is prohibited on all pedestrian walkways at the Zoo. 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.


There is limited parking on Zoo grounds for commercial 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).

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