The zoo is open! All visitors will require free entry passes and be required to follow safety measures. Free timed-entry Asia Trail/Panda Passes are required for the giant panda viewing.

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Parking & Directions

Admission is free, but entry passes are required for all guests, including infants. Visitors must follow safety measures. Free Asia Trail/Panda Passes are required for giant panda viewing and can be reserved at the Zoo during your visit. For the safety of visitors, staff and animals, a very limited number of Panda Passes are available each day.

The Smithsonian's National Zoo is located in the heart of northwest Washington, D.C. and spans 163 acres. There are two pedestrian entrances and one vehicular entrance. All visitors to the Zoo require a FREE Timed-entry Pass or a Paid Parking pass. 


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Walk, Bike or Taxi

Requires FREE Timed-entry Pass

The Smithsonian's National Zoo is located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Two entrances are currently open to pedestrians: the main entrance at 3001 Connecticut Ave, NW, and the Harvard Street Bridge entrance. 

Helpful Tips

  • The Rock Creek Park bike path adjacent to the Zoo is closed due to deterioration from recent flooding.
  • Bike racks are located near the Visitor Center and at Lion-Tiger Hill. Check out the Zoo map
  • Capital Bikeshare has several stations for rental bikes near the Zoo. Please check their website for locations and availability of rentals. 
Reserve Free Timed-entry Pass
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Public Transportation

Requires FREE Timed-entry Pass

Both Metro Bus and Metro Rail have stops within walking distance of the Zoo's main pedestrian entrance at 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW.

Helpful Tips

  • The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Trip Planner is a great tool to use.
  • 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 Zoo's main entrance on Connecticut Avenue.
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Driving and Parking

Requires Paid Parking Pass

If you plan to drive and park at the Zoo, you must reserve a Paid Parking Pass online before your visit. Parking is available for a flat rate of $30, and spaces are extremely limited. All cars must enter through the main vehicle entrance at 3001 Connecticut Ave, NW

Helpful Tips

  • Members looking to use their Free Parking benefit, please see the Member FAQs page.
  • Online only, no drive-up passes available
  • One pass per vehicle, covers all occupants
  • Paid Parking is not timed, but the entrance for Paid Parking is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Zoo closes at 4 p.m.)
Reserve Paid Parking Pass