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  • Address: 1000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington D.C. 20013, USA
  • Hours: 10am - 5:30pm daily. Closed Dec 25
  • Admission: Free

Washington DC ATTRACTIONS See all

The Smithsonian Tours

With 19 museums, nine research centers, and the National Zoological Park, it's no surprise the Smithsonian Institution is one of the most famous collections of museums in the United States and around the globe. Whether you're a history buff, a science lover, or an art enthusiast, you'll definitely want to spend at least a few hours—or maybe even a few days—in these world-renowned collections.

The Basics
Since 10 of the Smithsonian museums are located on the National Mall, you'll see them on most Segway, bus, bike, and walking tours of Washington, DC, some of which include free time to enter the museums of your choosing. Many visitors get their bearings on a guided city tour and then head back to the Smithsonian Castle, home to the Smithsonian Visitors Center, to pick up free guides and maps before heading to a museum. Great news: all of the museums are free, though be aware you'll need a timed entry pass for the National Museum of African American History and Culture (bookable online and offered with some tours; a small number of same-day walk-up passes are also available on weekdays).

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Cameras are allowed, but leave the selfie sticks and tripods at home, as they're prohibited.
  • Avoid bringing large bags and packages, as they'll be subject to a lengthy search process. Lockers are available for small items at some museums.
  • All museums are wheelchair accessible.
  • You can grab a cup of coffee at the Smithsonian Visitor Center cafe.
  • To avoid crowds when exploring a museum, start on the top floor and move toward the ground floor, rather than starting at the first level.

How to Get to the Smithsonian
All of the museums are easily accessible via public transportation, with most on the National Mall and a few others in convenient downtown DC locations.

When to Get There
The museums are open year round, and each has its own hours. You can expect to have company no matter the season, though the busiest times tend to be weekends, holidays, and during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. To avoid the biggest crowds, start your visit early in the morning on weekends or later in the day on weekdays.

What to See at the Smithsonian
It's impossible to see everything, so do a little research before you go to decide which site is at the top of your list. Is it the Hope Diamond at the National Museum of Natural History? The flight simulators at the National Air and Space Museum? The rare giant pandas at the National Zoo? Or perhaps you have to see the collections at the National Portrait Gallery, the Freer Gallery of Art, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, or the Renwick Gallery. Each has something special, so choose what's most appealing to you.

Tours & Tickets

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Private Smithsonian Combo Tour: Museum of American History, Air and Space Museum, Washington DC, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Private Smithsonian Combo Tour: Museum of American History, Air and Space Museum

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Explore the best of American history while taking a step into its future on this combo tour at the Smithsonian. On this 5 to 5.5 hour private tour, you’ll ...  Read more

Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Duration: 5 to 5.5 hrs

From USD $125.00
Private Guided Tour of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC, Private ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Private Guided Tour of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Take one giant leap into the unique collection at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, covering the United States’ world famous space program. The 2 ...  Read more

Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Duration: 2 to 2.5 hrs

From USD $69.00
Small Group Tour of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC, Private ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Small Group Tour of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

Take one giant leap into the unique collection at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, covering the United States’ world famous space program. The 2 ...  Read more

Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Duration: 2 to 2.5 hrs

From USD $65.00
Small Group Museum of American History, Air and Space Museum, Washington DC, Museum Tickets & Passes
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Small Group Museum of American History, Air and Space Museum

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Explore the best of American history while taking a step into its future on this combo tour at the Smithsonian. On this 5 to 5.5 hour small group tour, you’ll ...  Read more

Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Duration: 5 to 5.5 hrs

From USD $125.00
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and National Gallery of Art Combo Tour, Washington DC, Museum ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and National Gallery of Art Combo Tour

Get the most from your visit to DC's Museums by taking this combo tour that mixes natural marvels with iconic artists. This 5 to 5.5 hour guided tour ...  Read more

Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Duration: 5 to 5.5 hrs

From USD $125.00
Washington DC Legend Daytime Comprehensive Tour, Washington DC, Museum Tickets & Passes
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

Washington DC Legend Daytime Comprehensive Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 13 Reviews

See Washington D.C.'s most memorable sites with knowledgeable and passionate local guides! This full-day tour covers a comprehensive look at the intricate ...  Read more

Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $75.00
Half-Day Grand Tour of Washington DC, Washington DC, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Half-Day Grand Tour of Washington DC

4 star rating: Recommended 25 Reviews

See the monuments, memorials, and popular points of interest in Washington, DC on this guided, half-day, small-group tour. Enjoy a fun day of informative ...  Read more

Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $49.00
Washington DC Private City Tour, Washington DC, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Washington DC Private City Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 28 Reviews

This private city tour around Washington DC will take you to all major monuments and sights for 4 hours with private driver.The tour can be conducted in ...  Read more

Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $90.00
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour of Washington DC: Monuments, Landmarks and Memorials, Washington DC, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour of Washington DC: Monuments, Landmarks and Memorials

3 star rating: Worth doing 41 Reviews

Enjoy easy transportation across the city by double-decker bus on three sightseeing loops with this hop-on hop-off tour in Washington DC. With a 24-hour pass, ...  Read more

Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia
Duration: Varies

From USD $49.00
Private Washington DC Day Trip from New York, New York City, Hop-on Hop-off Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Private Washington DC Day Trip from New York

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 20 Reviews

Enjoy a private day trip from New York City to Washington, DC with your own private driver-guide and vehicle. Be transported in the roomy comfort of a 2015 ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 15 hours (approx.)

From USD $999.00

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