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National Portrait Gallery

F Street NW, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, DC 20560 (Downtown / Chinatown)
202 357 2700
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Ranked #13 of 253 Attractions in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Type: Art Museums, History Museums
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
Traveler Description: The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum share space in a National Historic Landmark building in Washington DC The... more »
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1,137 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
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English first
Allen, Texas
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW

I don't know why there is a portrait only museum. I think they should just be intermingled with all the other art.

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San Rafael, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW

When someone says 'portrait' I always thought of very old paintings...but this gallery surprised me with the wonderful modern art as well as some classics. As of 9/2014 this gallery is open later than most - until 7pm.

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 NEW

You just have to see the presidents portraits. But maybe even better is the renovated atrium where you can buy wine and sit and talk. It's great. And entrance is free of course.

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Mississauga
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
13 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 NEW

Great location - right downtown with all bars and restaurants and shopping and the Verizon Center too (so you can also see a Capitals game too). I liked that it didn't close until 7p, where all other museums were closed at 5:30. MUST visit the courtyard!

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New York, New York
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 NEW

Besides the stunning architecture, which is a nice blend of old and new--the gallery highlights tour was informative and interesting. the tour guide was a bit self-absorbed (an artist who could help a bunch of self-references), but in all, it was a nice visit.

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Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
272 reviews 272 reviews
198 attraction reviews
752 helpful votes 752 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2014 NEW

National Portrait Gallery earned the 2014 Certificate of Excellence, and is ranked #13 of 253 TripAdvisor DC attractions. On F Street at the perpendicular intersection of 8th Street, this building also houses Smithsonian American Art Museum, but in a different wing. The impressive architectural edifice was constructed in four phases, from 1849 to 1857, and there have been many additions... More

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Dallas
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
34 attraction reviews
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014 NEW

It would be easy to overlook this gallery since it is located away from the National Mall, where all the other Smithsonian big boys are. However, it is perhaps more interesting (and certainly more accessible) than the National Gallery of Art. The Civil War section is remarkable. Don't be confused by the names here. This building actually houses two things... More

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strrafford, Nh
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2014 NEW

We spent a few hours in the Portrait Gallery and were totally astonished at the power of these pictures/paintings/sculptures to draw us into the history of this great land. Never expected to be anywhere near as pleased as we were and definitely planning a return trip. check out the license plate piece beside the Museum store.

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Santa Clarita, California
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
33 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2014 NEW

It is nice to have one place where you an put faces to the names you've read about in history class. Inventors, presidents, admirals, suffragettes, Indian chiefs, artists, poets…they are all here. If you are lucky, as we were, there may even be a free jazz concert in the atrium.

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Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
158 reviews 158 reviews
45 attraction reviews
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2014

There are actually two museums here. Firs, there is the Portrait Gallery, housed in an absolutely beautiful historical building with a fascinating blend of portraits including all the presidents as well as many historical people done in a variety of styles. Check out Bill Clinton in a Chuck Close painting! There are a variety of exhibitions on from Yousuf Karsh... More

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