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Smithsonian Institution Building

Certificate of Excellence
Neighborhood: National Mall
Specialty museums, Museums
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Address: 1000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington DC, DC 20013-7012
Phone Number: 202 633 1000
Website
Today
8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No
Activities: City walk sightseeing
Description: The world's largest museum and research complex is actually comprised of...
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

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    Very good
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    Average
  • 36
    Poor
  • 6
    Terrible
Most recent review
Quick Visit

Not much to see here, perfect for a quick visit as you stroll down the Mall. I actually think this place is one of the best "bathroom break" locations as you are walking down the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 3, 2015
VTJedi
,
Virginia
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2,611 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Virginia
Top Contributor
220 reviews 220 reviews
105 attraction reviews
288 helpful votes 288 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2015 NEW

Not much to see here, perfect for a quick visit as you stroll down the Mall. I actually think this place is one of the best "bathroom break" locations as you are walking down the mall or want a break from the heat in summer time.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2015 NEW

We found restrooms, food, and a place to warm-up. The displays are interesting for a quick perusal. The building has its own beauty.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015 NEW

It was a great experience that was cut short by my brief trip to D.C. for a conference. I wanted to see more exhibits, but only made it to the native american/indigenous people section which I enjoyed. The drum circle that was performing when I arrived did an excellent job, and seemed to be connected to their tribes culture.

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Top Contributor
361 reviews 361 reviews
93 attraction reviews
445 helpful votes 445 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015

A significant part was closed for renovations/preparing for new exhibits, but still enjoyable. Lots of cool transportation, military, sound recording and food exhibits. And of course, seeing the "Star Spangled Banner" is a "must see." That was about the only place in the whole Museum where photos weren't allowed to be taken. (Perfectly understand why.)

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
22 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015

I had expected so much more than what was actually here. A great place to stop and use the restrooms and maybe have a cup of coffee, but otherwise could be skipped.

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Santa Margarita, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2015

This was where we started. Go there for the building . Stay for a snipet of each Museam and just try to decide which ones you'll have time for......only to find out you've spent far too much of your presious time here. Where it all began in 1848 check out the tiles on the floor. Great bathrooms! Lovely windows!

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Norfolk, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2015

It was great to be here at one of the world's best museum. It was in my travel list to visit this place. I am glad that i will not regret by not visiting this place.

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

To anyone who knows anything about the Smithsonian, this building is simply called "the castle". There is basically nothing to see inside. Go there to use the bathroom and get brochures and info about the other museums on the mall, otherwise don't bother. The much more interesting old building is next door. It's the Arts & Industries building and it... More 

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

This is a nice space to see but as a museum, it is entirely dependent on what the current exhibit is. There is an interesting crypt with Smithson's tomb and an exceedingly overpriced cafe.

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Alexandria, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2015

Well what I like about this is that not only is it such an architectural attraction but it also offers a good overview of the Smithsonian. This also includes the history as well, of the institution that is. Then inside in the middle there a model showing where everything is along the National Mall. If I were bringing someone into... More 

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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?