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  • Address: 1000 Jefferson Drive SW
  • Hours: 10am - 5:30pm daily. Closed Dec 25
  • Admission: Free

Indeed, the Smithsonian Institution is one of the most famous collections of museums in the world. For under the Smithsonian banner are nineteen world-class museums, nine research centers, and the National Zoological Park. Its collection of some 140 million spans the entire world including artworks, scientific specimens, artifacts, and other objects. So large is the collection that only one percent is on display at any given point.

The Smithsonian Institution includes such popular attractions as the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of African Art, the Freer Gallery of Art, the National Museum of American Indian, the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of Natural History, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery.

The Institution also includes low-key but fascinating collections in the Anacostia Community Museum, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and the National Postal Museum. All the museums have stunning permanent collections, but always be on the lookout for temporary exhibitions. And if you need a respite from being indoors, step outside and wander through the sunken Sculpture Garden at the Hirshhorn Museum or watch the rare giant pandas at play at the National Zoological Park.

Practical Info

To get a grip on the museums, make your first stop Smithsonian Castle, which houses the Smithsonian Visitors Center. This informative first stop on the Mall is a source for an orientation film, multilingual touch-screen displays and free guides and maps. It also has a café, where you can grab a cup of coffee and plan your day.

Ten of its nineteen museums are located on the National Mall, in downtown D.C., with the rest found throughout the city. All are easy to get to via public transportation.

Tours & Tickets

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Washington DC Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 798 Reviews

Discover Washington DC at your leisure with a one-day ticket on the Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour. Create your own itinerary to see the most popular sights of ...  Read more

Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $39.00

Washington DC in One Day: Guided Sightseeing Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 74 Reviews

See the very best of Washington DC in one day! Aboard a state-of-the-art, luxury 30-passenger coach for a narrated 6-hour tour, see the White House, the ...  Read more

Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $62.10

Washington DC Super Saver: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley and Monuments by Moonlight Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 20 Reviews

Explore Washington DC at your leisure on a hop-on hop-off trolley and see the city's landmarks illuminated on a guided night tour with this super saver combo. ...  Read more

Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $70.20

Washington DC Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 335 Reviews

Explore Washington DC at your own pace on an extensive hop-on hop-off itinerary through the heart of the nation's capital. The buses are open top which ...  Read more

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

From USD $47.99

Washington DC in a Day Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 176 Reviews

Soak up the best of Washington DC on this full-day tour that combines informative narration with free time to explore popular sights. Step off your coach to ...  Read more

Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $45.00

Washington DC Capital Sites Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 33 Reviews

The Washington DC Capital Sites Bike Tour is a safe and enjoyable cycling trip of the most popular sights of Washington. Sites you will see include the ...  Read more

Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $40.00

Capitol Hill and DC Monuments Tour by Electric Cart

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 36 Reviews

See Washington DC’s major sites in a fun, unique way – aboard an electric cart! As you explore Capitol Hill, see famous monuments and landmarks including the ...  Read more

Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $47.00

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