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Washington DC Museum Guide

By Viator, June 2017

4.5 286 Reviews | Add your review

From modern art to the art of journalism, and from natural history to the history of spying—Washington DC's museums have it all. Read on for the best ways to visit the famous Smithsonian collections, plus other unique exhibits across the capital.


The Smithsonian

Found around Washington DC, the Smithsonian Institution is made up of 19 free museums, many of which are must-sees set at the National Mall, including the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of American History, and the National Museum of Natural History.

How to Visit: For an in-depth experience at a Smithsonian museum, book a small-group or private tour with a guide whose commentary will bring the exhibits to life. Also keep in mind that while you can visit any Smithsonian museum for free, timed passes are required for the National Museum of African American History and Culture (reservable online with a limited number of same-day walk-up passes available on weekdays only).


The Newseum

A popular part of the DC museum scene since opening in 2008, the Newseum is an interactive tribute to freedom of expression and the evolution of journalism.

How to Visit: Take advantage of the Newseum’s standard two-day ticket and split your visit if you wish. It’s located just a block from the National Mall, giving you maximum flexibility.


The International Spy Museum

This perennial favorite for kids and adults is home to the world’s largest collection of espionage-related artifacts.

How to Visit: The International Spy Museum is open daily, but hours vary seasonally, so check before you go. Save time by buying your ticket in advance, and plan to spend about two hours exploring the interactive exhibits.


The Phillips Collection

America’s first modern art museum, the Phillips Collection houses more than 4,000 pieces by Matisse, Van Gogh, Diebenkorn, and other masters.

How to Visit: Open Tuesday through Sunday, this collection is easily reachable on a hop on, hop off bus tour of DC. Consider downloading the museum’s free interactive app to guide your visit, or pick up an interactive Discovery Pack at the admission desk if you’re visiting with kids.

Tours & Tickets

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National Mall and National Gallery of Art Small-Group Tour, Washington DC, null
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National Mall and National Gallery of Art Small-Group Tour

Make the most of your visit to DC on this comprehensive 5 to 5.5 hour small group tour welcoming no more than 8 guests. Our guide will show you the iconic ...  Read more

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

From USD $119.00
International Spy Museum, Washington DC, Historical & Heritage Tours
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International Spy Museum

4.5 star rating: Recommended 206 Reviews

At Washington DC’s International Spy Museum, enter a world of gadgets, weapons, cameras, vehicles and technologies used for espionage throughout the world. ...  Read more

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

From USD $19.50
Small Group Tour of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC, Museum Tickets & ... 
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Small Group Tour of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 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
Private Guided Tour of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC, Museum Tickets ... 
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

Private Guided 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
Admission to Washington DC Newseum, Washington DC, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

Admission to Washington DC Newseum

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 37 Reviews

At the Newseum in Washington DC, immerse yourself in the culmination of five centuries of news history with up-to-date technology and hands-on exhibits. ...  Read more

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

From USD $24.27
Private Guided Tour of the National Museum of American History, Washington DC, Museum Tickets & ... 
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

Private Guided Tour of the National Museum of American History

Join this 2 to 2.5 hour private tour of the National Museum of American History to learn about the relatively short but immensely rich history of the United ...  Read more

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

From USD $65.00
National Gallery of Art Small-Group Walking Tour, Washington DC, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

National Gallery of Art Small-Group Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

With an art historian as your guide, take a three-hour small-group tour of the West Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. In a group of no ...  Read more

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

From USD $85.00
Madame Tussauds Washington DC, Washington DC, Museum Tickets & Passes
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Madame Tussauds Washington DC

4 star rating: Recommended 28 Reviews

Madame Tussauds gives you an interactive, full-sensory experience where you can touch, see and hear historical events and celebrities in a way unlike ever ...  Read more

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

From USD $19.99

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