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Smithsonian Institution Building

Certificate of Excellence
Neighbourhood: National Mall
Sponsored by:
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Address: 1000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington DC, DC 20013-7012
Phone Number:
+1 202-633-1000
08:30 - 17:30
Open now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 08:30 - 17:30
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No

The world's largest museum and research complex is actually comprised of 19...

The world's largest museum and research complex is actually comprised of 19 museums and the National Zoo, with subjects that vary from African Art to the postal service, sculpture to space exploration.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 3,334 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1977
  • 573
    Very good
  • 208
  • 45
  • 6
Fantastic Looking Castle!

The Smithsonian Institution Building is a great looking building in the middle of the National Mall, it is great for information or just a picture while passing by.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Adrian L
Townsville, Australia
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3,334 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,809: English reviews
Townsville, Australia
Level Contributor
79 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The Smithsonian Institution Building is a great looking building in the middle of the National Mall, it is great for information or just a picture while passing by.

Thank Adrian L
Providence, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
117 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This building seemed to have been closed every time I went to DC so was glad to finally get to view it. It has a lot of history about how the Smithsonian got started and the exhibits kind of highlight what is in the other museums, so that was interesting. The cafe there is nice for a break with good... More 

Thank MOmtravels4
Greenfield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
323 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I guess we should have signed up for a tour, because there was not much going on when we visited. There were a few rooms to walk through and limited displays. The building pales in comparison with the other museums in the Smithsonian group. The architecture was nice and the building itself is historic.

Thank Michie1291
Miramar, Florida
Level Contributor
104 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I think this was the first of the Smithsonian museums. It is a beautiful building that looks like a castle. I would recommend a visit, especially if you like old architecture.

Thank Mario M
Alpharetta, Georgia
Level Contributor
254 reviews
132 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This really is the best first stop for planning out Smithsonian visits. The employees are very helpful and knowledgable. Exterior is interesting as is the museum area inside. Lots of hidden history in the various parts of the building. A nice hodge lodge of the other Smithsonian buildings are rotated in and out of the museum here.

Thank DM_1278
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The Castle building itself is interesting, and there are guided tours at 9 am and 1:30! pm. There are some interesting curiosities, like a roller bill tha has been in space and signed by astronauts. We also liked the place setting for the Air France Concorde.

Thank theora
Level Contributor
264 reviews
112 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I tried Membership Mosaic. The mosaic is made of photos of Science and Technologies. You can receive the mosaic photo by email.

1 Thank Ryusuke M
Pittsburgh, Pa
Level Contributor
250 reviews
119 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

All the years we’ve visited DC we have never tried a guided tour. We have family there and have gone for the last 30 years. Usually we go at Thanksgiving or summer. This year we chose Christmas break. I’m glad we did because everywhere we went we were able to view their decorations. We loved the tree at the castle... More 

Thank deebug2470
Bury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
148 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This really is the place to go as you start your Smithsonian journey, excellent exhibit telling the story of how this wonderful institution came to be, an insight in what you will see as you visit each museum and lots of information as well. Nice eatery in a lovely building is always a bonus.

1 Thank Nicky L
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Going to this place is magic located between the Capitol and the Washington Memorial amazing location to take pictures and great information. Museums are located in the back take the time and visit them. It is a great place to start your journey.

Thank perezg1

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Smithsonian Institution Building and other visitors
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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?