We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Smithsonian Institution Building

Address: 1000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington DC, DC 20013-7012 (National Mall)
Phone Number: 202 633 1000
Website
Improve this listing
Book ahead on Viator
Special Offer
$48*
and up
Big Bus Washington DC Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
93%
Ranked #19 of 187 Activities in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: City walk sightseeing
Fee: No
Owner description: The world's largest museum and research complex is actually comprised...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Activities: City walk sightseeing
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Owner description: The world's largest museum and research complex is actually comprised of 15 specialty museums, and other affiliates, with subjects that vary from African Art to the postal service, sculpture to space exploration.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Write a Review

2,587 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    1,922
    488
    137
    34
    6
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2015 NEW

I call it the Castle. Had to visit this place more than once during my vacation. The architecture will certainly draw you closer - the shape of the building, the color and of course, the windows. It's too bad you cannot go to the top of the castle. Nothing up there to see. It's only the lower level that offers... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2015 NEW

by far my favourite place in washington. the evolution exhibit absolutely blew my mind. i spent about 4 hours there, but could have easily spent a whole day if not for time constraints. do yourself a favour and don't miss it. would be great for the kids as well

Was this review helpful? Yes
Madison, VA
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
9 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2015 NEW

I've been visiting the Smithsonian Castle since I was a little girl living just up the hill in an apartment on Independence Avenue where the Rayburn Office Building is now. I was born in 1941, and my Daddy used to take me to visit the Botanical Gardens orchid rooms and the Smithsonian Castle every Sunday afternoon from the time I... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Bangalore
Top Contributor
136 reviews 136 reviews
45 attraction reviews
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015 NEW

Fantastic facade ... where else can one see a castle in the US of A? A must photo location. But what lies inside? The brochures do not say ... Is this a place to visit?

Was this review helpful? Yes
Knoxville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
20 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2015 NEW

This is such a wonderful building due to the architecture and a great stop off during inclement or unpleasant weather on the way up the mall from the Smithsonian Metro Stop. Take the time to visit.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
3,224 reviews 3,224 reviews
1,964 attraction reviews
8,302 helpful votes 8,302 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2015

One of the most interesting buildings to see along The Mall is the Smithsonian Institution Building, also referred to as The Castle. This was the first Smithsonian built between 1949-1855 and has been a recognised national landmark since 1965. Designed by James Renwick Jr, the buildings exterior is very interesting to see. It features 12th century Norman building concepts, while... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Maryland
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
16 attraction reviews
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2015

We made plans to visit the historic Smithsonian Castle because they had listed a 10:30 am Sunday tour of the castle on their website. Unfortunately, the docent did not show up, which was disappointing, so we gave ourselves a brief tour. The Castle is definitely worth a stop for those who are interested in history and architecture. It was being... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Coeur D Alene
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
64 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2015

Dredful food service. Dirty tables. Gutted interior from its former glory. What are they thinking? The information desk people are knowledgeable and patient. Their mini-shop has excellent children's books on Washington.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2015

To have the opportunity for free admission , would be a matter of course in all countries. That's why it turn out to be a meeting point for people.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2015

I just wanted to see Julia Child's kitchen, which was there and awesome, but I was gobsmacked to learn that every one of these museums is free admission all the time! It's a great place to spend the day viewing the historical exhibits, especially the first ladies' gowns, Dorothy's ruby slippers, and a phenomenal display of Hale Woodruff's epic murals.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

Been to Smithsonian Institution Building? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Smithsonian Institution Building and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Smithsonian Institution Building staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?