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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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Ranked #18 of 253 Attractions in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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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 older children, Activities for young children
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English first
Columbia, Maryland
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
24 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW

While this building is not as packed full of exhibits as the other museums, it is a great starting point. The cafe tucked away in here has tasty and reasonably priced food. The information about Smithson himself is interesting and a nice segue into the other museums. You can obtain a map and directions here from the helpful staff.

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Staten Island, New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 NEW

To actually stand inside this building was impressive. Plus actually learning a little about James Smithson: Founder of the Smithsonian Institution was great as well. My little guy was a little spooked when he saw his tomb inside the building.

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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
58 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014 NEW

A great building with an amazing history. I need to go back when the Arts and Industry building is open...

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Tulsa, Oklahoma
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
17 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2014 NEW

Proper place to start your DC museum tour here. Ask questions and make plans because it is to exhausting to go through all the Smithsonian exhibitions. Nice park around it!

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
50 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2014 NEW

The surrounding Smithsonian museums are great. The Smithsonian Institution Building/Castle is an impressive structure and has beautiful surrounding gardens, but for such a large, hulking structure, there really isn't anything to see inside. They do have public bathrooms though!! Come to see the gardens. You can tour the inside in less than 10 minutes.

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san diego
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2014 NEW

The castle is impressive from outside. Inside are information, restrooms and souvenir shops. Not much to see except to say you were there.

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Beaufort, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2014

The garden area at the Castile is well worth the walk. Many uncommon and perfectly maintained common garden decorative plants.

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South Africa
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
45 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2014

The Smithsonian Institute Building is a gorgeous building and really stands out against the other buildings in the National Mall because of its colouring. The gardens outside the Smithsonian Institute building is beautiful. Inside the Smithsonian Institute building an overview of the Smithsonian is given as well as information on all the different attractions that are part of it. Definitely... More

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Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
271 reviews 271 reviews
197 attraction reviews
749 helpful votes 749 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014

TripAdvisor ranked 18 of 253 DC sites, this structure is constructed of Seneca sandstone in faux 12th Century combination of late Romanesque and Gothic motifs, and is nicknamed “the Castle.” In 1965, it was designated a National Historic Landmark. Indisputably the world’s largest museum complex is actually comprised of 15 specialty museums, and other affiliates, such as the Zoo. Though... More

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Cape Town
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014

Loved the Smithsonian museums, with the space museum being a highlight. There's a lot of information to absorb so plan which museums interest you most :)

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