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Smithsonian Institution Building

Certificate of Excellence
Neighborhood: National Mall
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Address: 1000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington DC, DC 20013-7012
Phone Number: 202 633 1000
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8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Open now
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Sun - Sat 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,936 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 2105
  • 603
    Very good
  • 185
  • 37
  • 6
Good information and a nice cafe

Started my day at all the Smithosnoan museums at this information centre. had a nice breakfast (with norwegian prices..)

4 of 5 starsReviewed 5 days ago
Asker, Norway

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English first
Asker, Norway
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Started my day at all the Smithosnoan museums at this information centre. had a nice breakfast (with norwegian prices..)

Thank grumma
Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

What a cool building. An amazing organization established by Smithson who never even got to visit the United States. What a statement to the impressive accomplishments of this organization.

Thank Scott M
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
135 reviews
134 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This castle is certainly very European and stylish. It is very well-maintained and it has a great garden all around. I love it. However, there is nothing inside the castle though.

Thank Knight298570
Mountain View, California
Level Contributor
55 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The Smithsonian Institution Building, also referred to as the "Castle" is constructed of red sandstone. The architecture both in-and-outside is in the Norman style, a combination of late Romanesque and early Gothic motifs. No longer a museum, it houses administrative offices, the visitor center, also a gift shop and cafeteria, which also serves wine and beer. The inlaid mosaic on... More 

Thank BrittB611
Peru, Indiana
Level Contributor
122 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

A great place to orient oneself to the Smithsonian and a great way to get a sense of what this institution was at the beginning. The architecture of the building inside and out is fascinating. The gardens around the building are a great place to sit for a break or to just people watch. Off season during the week, the... More 

Thank RICART75
Belmont, Lancashire.
Level Contributor
197 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We stopped here for coffee and a cake in the cafe but found the building interesting, architecturally and the gardens delightful also.The red brick facade is a bit of an oddity on this stretch of road, but we like 'quirky' so it worked for us.

Thank ChrisRudd
Oceanside, California
Level Contributor
155 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I enjoyed both inside and outside of the building, it's a must go place when you are in DC. I was talking to foreign tourists from England and Australia; they loved this place.

Thank adac1121
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
490 reviews
275 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 236 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I have always meant to read about the architectural inspiration for this building: it seems a little bit of this and a little bit of that. The red brick is dramatic and fitting for this region, but I also feels it competes a bit with the neo-gothic building design. Still you've got to see it! Step out on the Mall... More 

Thank SyrinxSounds
Level Contributor
130 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 196 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

One of the oldest buildings, dedicated to the Smithsonian. Worth visiting. OR if you are in the neighborhood, and need to invigorate yourself, have a quick look at this place, have a coffee and doughnuts before continuing to go around the neighborhood.

Thank Ganapathy N
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
561 reviews
148 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 537 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

In order to fully explore what the Smithsonian institution has to offer you need a week in D.C. There are so many museums that provide great information. Entering this nice building is a good start to orient yourself. You can also get a large digital photo of yourself made by computer and sent via E-mail.

1 Thank Sunny W

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  • 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?