Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
About
Established in 1910 and located on the National Mall, this prestigious museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, holds the world's most extensive collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts including the remains of dinosaurs and tools used by early man.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Top ways to experience Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
The area
Address
Neighbourhood: National Mall
How to get there
  • Federal Triangle • 5 min walk
  • Archives • 6 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • Heidi_loves_travel
    Melissa, Texas340 contributions
    Great displays and the information presented is fascinating. Teens loved it.
    This is a great museum that you should spend at least a few hours in. The displays are great and the information presented is great. I usually don't love to read heavily at museums but I found myself reading a lot here because it was condensed information and interesting. We loved the oceans area, the clever transition from insects to mummies, and the gems and minerals.
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 14, 2023
  • Lisa W
    Wichita Falls, Texas960 contributions
    So many things
    We spent several hours here, and my 17-year-old daughter wanted to stop and look at absolutely everything. There really is something for everyone, especially if you love science. There are displays of animals, gems, etc. , and there were several curators around answering questions.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written March 15, 2023
  • lovesballet
    Washington188 contributions
    Must see in DC
    If you can only do one museum this is it. Great collection of natural history - one of the best natural history museums I have been to and amzing that the admission is free. We spent about 2.5 hours but needed more . Would definitely try a weekday when it is less crowded. Plenty of reasonalby priced parking in the nearby office buildings on the weekend. If going on a weekday would recommend the train.
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 23, 2023
  • Lynn S
    League City, Texas619 contributions
    Another great Smithsonian museum
    This is a great museum! Anyone who has seen the "Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" movie will recognize the parts shot in this museum. The exhibits are numerous and varied and there is something for everyone. The big draw is likely the Hope Diamond. You just have to see the Hope Diamond in person. Pictures truly do not do it justice and cannot capture it's raw beauty. You can spend as little as an hour here skipping around, or you could probably spend weeks if you wanted to see every single thing and read and watch everything available. I'd definitely go again.
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 24, 2023
  • Justin C
    Montgomery, Alabama8 contributions
    10/10 Will definitely do it again!
    Me and the hubby went there on Saturday morning and spent a good chunk of the morning exploring the halls of this building. Of course the very first thing to great us was HENRY! When we got to the Dinosaurs my husband was like a little kid in a candy shop. We definitely recommend a visit this great museum!
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 28, 2023
  • Julia J
    Nashville, Tennessee193 contributions
    Great Way to spend a half day!
    I absolutely loved this place! This museum seems a lot lighter and brighter for some reason. This museum has so many things that a lot of people will enjoy. The dinosaurs bone casts on display are insane in a good way. The gems and jewelry section will get crowed but waiting to see the Hope Diamond and other stones is really cool! I wanted to experience the butterfly exhibit but it was closed. We spent about 3-4 hours in here with no problem. The cafe and the gift shop at the bottom will give you some breathing room for those who don't like crowds.
    Visited March 2023
    Written April 5, 2023
  • esb2015
    Carmel, Indiana16 contributions
    Phenomenal museum for all ages
    Best museum I’ve ever been to. Beautiful, rich and informative exhibits, and all free. We were 2 adults and 2 kids (10 and 12) and split up to indulge different interests. Would have gone back if we’d had more time. Recommend swinging by early for butterfly tickets.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 8, 2023
  • PNWgal
    2 contributions
    Must see
    This is an outstanding museum, guaranteed to have something for everyone. Our fave was the gem & mineral hall, just beautiful exhibits. Be prepared for crowds and have lots of time available. Recommend eating elsewhere though.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 14, 2023
  • Thomas P
    Oceanside, New York4 contributions
    VIP Washington DC Tour
    Excellent Tour! Joey and driver Thomas were outstanding. Would highly recommend this tour! We visited all of the major monuments to include the Lincoln, Jefferson, and the Natiobal Archives. Also had a boat ride down the Potomac and stopped for lunch in Georgetown. A memorable experience
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written May 7, 2023
  • Rosie C
    11 contributions
    excellent place to visit
    It is highly worthwhile to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The written explanations were well done. The museum was spacious. I especially loved seeing all the prehistoric creatures, the insect collections and the rocks and minerals section. We were there all day and didn't see it all.
    Visited April 2023
    Written May 11, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
12,507 reviews
Excellent
8,415
Very good
2,919
Average
936
Poor
175
Terrible
63

bodhi_sam
Orlando, FL275 contributions
Feb 2024 • Solo
Haven’t been to the DC Natural history museum in years and boy have they revamped it. Exhibits show a fantastic array of wildlife, with powerful storytelling and the minerals exhibit is curated beautifully. Worth a visit for any family - and best of all it’s free!!
Written February 15, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ilene
massachusetts758 contributions
Apr 2023 • Family
Impressive in scale and scope! Made my list of top 3 museums in DC along with the National Gallery of Art and the National Portrait Gallery. Truly fascinating for all people of all ages. We greatly appreciated the healthier lunch offerings at the salad bar too.
Written February 14, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christy L
6 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
We absolutely loved this museum. Our only complaint is that we didn't have 2 days to see it. The exhibits are breathtaking..
Written February 5, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stevie D
Reading, PA4 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
This was awesome. So Big. We hit 3 Museum's and this was our favorite over Air and space, and American Heritage. Couple tips.
It is big so if an area is busy just come back. Food Trucks lined up outside for a quick bite. Take a break now and then.
Written January 29, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tia S
9 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
It was very informative and very family friendly. There is a little something for everyone. It is huge and if you want to see everything and really read about it and look at it. It takes at least 3 to 4 hours to get through everything. Definitely something I would recommend seeing if you're in the area. The butterfly exhibit is closed on Sunday and Monday and we couldn't see it. That's my only upset.
Written January 21, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael R
Kosciusko, MS144 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
An amazing museum with tons of great exhibits. We especially enjoyed the fossils. Entry is free and does not require a scheduled timeslot (the Air and Space Museum does though) but just know it gets crowded quickly.
Written January 16, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin B
Mount Juliet, TN2,315 contributions
May 2023 • Friends
We love visiting the Smithsonian museums as they house amazing exhibits and are free so everyone can visit them. This was our first visit to the National Museum of Natural History and it was a very nice experience! There are lots of varying exhibits here including plant and animal collections, dinosaurs, space exhibits, and the famed gem collection. While it was neat to see the Hope Diamond, we actually enjoyed seeing all of the other gems and rock specimens; they were so varied in their colors and structure and the exhibit is very well organized. This is a really nice museum overall and I highly recommend it!
Written January 12, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Y Y
Scotch Plains, NJ108 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
Huge museum. Spend a whole day here. Very well laid out and comprehensive. Might be too much for a kid to do and absorb in one day.
Written January 11, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kristine W
1 contribution
Jan 2024 • Solo
If you see nothing else here go to the gems and minerals exhibit. It was incredible! I was disappointed that the butterfly section was closed.
Written January 8, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert D
Brooklyn, New York2,718 contributions
Dec 2023 • Solo
The National Museum of Natural History is an excellent museum. In the "Cellphone: Making Connections" exhibit, I learned all about cellphones and took a selfie as an emoji-head. I also enjoyed the "Lights Out: Recovering Our Night Sky" exhibit. It focused on attempts to bring back dark skies so we can enjoy watching the stars.
Written January 5, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 10,472
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History:


Restaurants near Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: View all restaurants near Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on Tripadvisor