Parking & Directions
The Zoo is free, but entry passes are required for all guests, including infants. Effective July 30, all visitors ages 2 and older are required to wear a mask in all indoor spaces at the Zoo, regardless of their vaccination status. Fully vaccinated visitors do not need to wear a mask in outdoor areas.
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 guests must reserve entry passes online before their visit.
Walk, Bike or Taxi
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.
- 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. Check their website for locations and availability of rentals.
Both Metro Bus and Metro Rail have stops within walking distance of the Zoo's main pedestrian entrance at 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW.
- 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.
Driving and Parking
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
- Members looking to use their free parking benefit, please see the Member FAQs page.
- One pass per vehicle, covers all occupants
- Paid parking is not timed, but entry is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Zoo closes at 4 p.m.)
- If additional parking spots become available, passes are released in Etix same day at 7 a.m.