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Smithsonian Institution Building

1000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington DC, DC 20013-7012 (National Mall)
202 633 1000
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$40*
and up
Washington DC Capital Sites Bike Tour
93%
Ranked #19 of 234 Attractions in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Zoos, Museums
Activities: City walk sightseeing
Fee: No
Owner description: The world's largest museum and research complex is actually comprised...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Zoos, Museums
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
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Brisbane
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
31 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2014 NEW

This castle like building looks great on the approach but once your inside there is very little. A bit of history on the Smithsonian, information on the many other locations but little else.

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2014 NEW

This when you want to take a short trip to the past and enjoy a nice walk. Staff are very nice, bathrooms are very clean. And it is one of those things that you can do on a short budget it is free.

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Florence
Top Contributor
188 reviews 188 reviews
53 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2014

What I like about this building is that it has a room that shows you a sample of all the different building and helps push you where you want to go. It's awesome that it's free too. Gift shop over priced.

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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2014 via mobile

Do not get me wrong, this historic building has beautiful architecture and it was very interesting to see some of the displays including the founder of the Smithsonian's tomb. However, I found the displays to be sort of a random assortment of different artifacts. While interesting, I felt the museum aspect of this building was very underwhelming. Definitely worth a... More 

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Franklin, Tennessee
Top Contributor
380 reviews 380 reviews
134 attraction reviews
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2014

The Smithsonian buildings are absolutely full of historic displays that should not be missed. Very educational and interesting.

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Eastherville, Iowa 51334
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2014

In this building you can get lost in time anf for get how long you have been there and satill not be half way through---Virgil

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Perth
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
19 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2014

I visited the Smithsonian building as I wanted to find out more about James Smithson and what his inheritance has done for Washington DC. This is an amazing story. Very nice café inside as well.

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West Lorne,Ontario
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

This is a good place to start your tour of the mall as it gives you an overview of how everything came to be.

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Verona, Nj
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
30 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2014

This is the original building built for the Smithsonian after James Smithson (a British scientist) donated the money to the US for for the increase and diffusion of knowledge. This is where it all started and now covers much of the mall and many other places in the US.

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Mumbai (Bombay), India
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2014

If you want to see the Wright brothers aircraft or touch a piece of the moon or simply amaze at the feat of man in the air this is the museum you have to be. Most beautifully planned and a terrific exhibition of man's creations. Make sure you get out in time asI got a parking ticket of $100 for... 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?