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

1000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington DC, DC 20013-7012 (National Mall)
202 633 1000
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #19 of 254 Attractions in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Book Now

Type: Museums, Zoos
Activities: City walk sightseeing
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
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... more » 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. « less
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Write a Review

2,511 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    1,879
    471
    123
    32
    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
Sevenoaks, Kent
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
52 attraction reviews
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2014 NEW

We really only popped in her to have a quick look at Smithson's tomb because it was raining. As it turned out they were just about to start a tour so we joined in. Learnt a lot about Smithson and the whole institution - well as much as is known anyway. Really liked this building. After the grandeur of other... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
East Syracuse, New York
Top Contributor
242 reviews 242 reviews
132 attraction reviews
194 helpful votes 194 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2014 NEW

I maybe wrong in saying this was the first Smithsonian Musesm. At present the building is known as the Castle. Having been on only one floor. I can't say exactly what the building contains. The ground floor has restrooms, gift shop and an information center. The staff is helpful with maps, other Smithsonian Museums, as well as non-Smithsonial museums. On... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Roseburg, Oregon
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2014 NEW

Nice that they are very close to each other. What's not to like? Got to see items I'd only heard or read about. Now I have seen it and believe it. Hope Diamond, ruby slippers......

Was this review helpful? Yes
East Bay, California
Top Contributor
184 reviews 184 reviews
103 attraction reviews
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2014 NEW

I had no idea that a James Smithson, a British scientist, planted the seed to what we enjoy today in D.C. So pleased that his tomb is inside the building so we can pay respect to him for his generous donation and insistence that that it be used for the "increase and diffusion of knowledge". This is a beautiful building... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014 NEW

... and not even mind. I come back here nearly every trip, and still haven't seen all I might. Along with the Air and Space Museum, this is my favorite part of the Smithsonian. I think that says a lot about it because the entire Smithsonian system is a treasure.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Tampa, Florida
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014 NEW

This has alot of wasted space but it was a beautiful building. Its a good place to get maps and info and see some interesting things. I spent about 1/2 hour and saw everything I wanted.

Was this review helpful? Yes
MN
Top Contributor
175 reviews 175 reviews
102 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014 NEW

The building is beautiful. There was construction so not everything was open. The exhibits they had were great - an overview of what the different Smithsonian Museums, etc. This is supposed to be the Smithsonian Informational Center. I stood in line at the information counter for a long time before I was helped. They helped (for lack of a better... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Cincinnati, Ohio
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
65 attraction reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

This was definitely one of my favorites of the Smithsonian Museums. There was so much to see. Some of the exhibits were a little confusing to navigate and I feel like I missed some things, but overall, I loved everything. It was really great to see Julia Child's kitchen, the Star Spangled Banner, and Dorothy's ruby slippers. I was really... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Weston super Mare, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
24 attraction reviews
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2014

With its English Victorian architecture I fell in love with this building even before I knew its history! Such lovely people with such a wealth of information! Great place - and fabulously looked after!

Was this review helpful? Yes
East Tennessee
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
24 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2014

Beautiful building, beautiful grounds and a nice gift shop inside. An exhibit containing random but neat items on display also. Again all for free, so worth your time IMO .

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Smithsonian Institution Building also viewed

 

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