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.

“Go on a quiet non holiday weekday to see it and appreciate it” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
10th Street and Constitution Ave, Washington DC, DC 20560 (National Mall)
202 633-1000
Website
Improve this listing
Visit like an insider
Special Offer
$48*
and up
Big Bus Washington DC Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Ranked #22 of 471 things to do in Washington DC
Activities: Group tours/walking tour, Dining
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Established in 1910 and located on the National Mall, this prestigious museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, holds the world's most extensive collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts including the remains of dinosaurs and tools used by early man.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Greenville, South Carolina
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
72 attraction reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Go on a quiet non holiday weekday to see it and appreciate it”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

The crowds were thick between December 25th and 31st when we visited the museums. Even with a late closing of 7.30 PM it was still too crowded to see it in detail. Th mammal and dinosaur sections were very informative. I have seen this museum many times in the past and just came in to show my daughter the sights of DC.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

4,328 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    2,858
    1,040
    349
    65
    16
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Mcmurray
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Too big”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

Is it possible to have an exhibit that is so large that you cant really enjoy it? Also, I think I am spoiled as I live so close to the Carnegie Musuem of Natural History which has similar offerings,but on a more manageable scale. Many of the bones are casts...which was somewhat disappointing.....I want to see the real deal, not a copy. If you go, and want to do it right, you will likely need two days just for this Museum. It is huge with many exhibits. I came away a bit hollow, but with the knowledge that climate has affected everything we do and that we are causing irreprible harm to our environment. Also, while I know these exhibits are free to all, the SNM of NH might want to consider limiting entry to the top of every hour. There were so many people the day we visited that navigating the exhibits was tough. PS - if you go on the weekend...park at JW Marriott for $15 all day, oh and there is a Quiznos across the street in the mall near the Ronald Regan Center.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Great Museum on earth”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2013

The museum was great and you can spend the whole day or more in this museum. Our family spent two days in this place. It's great place to learn about natural and its history. The mineral and follow by the gems collection was the great way to explain the development of those precious stones. Hope diamond was displayed very close to audience (when compare with other museum) and this provide friendly atmosphere of its place.
I would highly recommend that this museum must be the must to see when you are in DC.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Very busy, mostly kid stuff”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

The Museum of Natural History is full of exhibits ranging from geology and skeletons to expert taxidermy. It all looks very nice, and there is some good information on the plaques but much of it is over simplified for children. The crowds were suffocating and some exhibits were difficult to navigate through because of it. The cafes and the cafeteria have nice quality food $6-8 an item, and all sides sold separately.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Myers, Florida
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Amazing exhibits but very dirty”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

Great place to take the family since free. However, food very pricy. $51 for 3 of us to have pizza/sandwich items. Dust was abundant. You could see it on exhibits and floor tracks.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History also viewed

 

Been to Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.