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Washington, DC Aquarium

America's Aquatic Treasures at the National Aquarium in Washington, DC


Washington, DC Aquarium
© National Aquarium of Washington, DC
The Washington, DC Aquarium, officially known as the National Aquarium, is now closed. It was home to more than 200 species including shark, eel, gators, the dreaded invasive snakehead fish and a baby loggerhead turtle. It was a private, non-profit organization that relies on private and public support and admission revenue to operate. The National Aquarium in Washington, DC was the nation’s oldest aquarium serving visitors from the lower level of the Department of Commerce Building since 1931.

2013 Update: Due to necessary renovations in the Department of Commerce building, the facility closed on September 30, 2013. The animals were transitioned to new homes at either National Aquarium, Baltimore, or at other accredited aquariums.

In 2008, the facility completed a five-year renovation effort to improve habitat conditions, animal care, the facility’s appearance and educational programming. The improvements were funded by a $1.5 million grant from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and through the sharing of design services and resources with the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The facility occupies approximately 10,000 square feet of exhibit space. A typical visit takes approximately 45 minutes. The attraction provides a nice break from the larger museums on the National Mall and is good for kids because they can get up close to observe a variety of aquatic species.

See Photos of the National Aquarium


Department of Commerce Building, Lower Level
14th Street between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues NW
Washington, DC

The National Aquarium is located one block from the Washington Monument. The nearest metro station is Federal Triangle. See a map of the National Mall.


$9.95 General Admission
$8.95 Seniors/Military
$4.95 Children ages 3-11
Free ages 2 and under


Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last admission at 4:30 p.m.
Daily animal feedings and aquarist talks at 2 p.m.
Closed Christmas and Thanksgiving Day



Attractions Near the National Aquarium

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington Monument
White House
White House Visitor Center
Smithsonian American History Museum

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