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.

“Great Starting Point for a DC Museum Adventure” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Smithsonian Institution Building

Smithsonian Institution Building
1000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington DC, DC 20013-7012 (National Mall)
202 633 1000
Website
Improve this listing
Book ahead on Viator
Special Offer
$40*
and up
Washington DC Capital Sites Bike Tour
Ranked #19 of 234 Attractions in Washington DC
Type: Zoos, Museums
Activities: City walk sightseeing
More attraction details
Attraction details
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 African Art to the postal service, sculpture to space exploration.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Belfast, Maine
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great Starting Point for a DC Museum Adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

I have more than once visited "The Castle" as the main building of the Smithsonian is often called. Starting here gives you perspective and a guide to just how much is covered in the entirety of the Smithsonian, with several additional buildings nearby. The history covers everything from Bobby Orr's skates to Dr. James Smithson's crypt. In addition, the gardens and outbuildings are beautiful most seasons of the year. Give your self plenty of time to spend here and then enjoy all the wonderful museums of the National Mall area.

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

2,557 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    1,904
    482
    131
    34
    6
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
312 reviews 312 reviews
256 attraction reviews
Reviews in 109 cities Reviews in 109 cities
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
“Bigger than you expect”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

I came mainly to see the Hope Diamond but ended up staying longer as the whole museum was fascinating. The exhibitions are done well in and informative and yet attention holding way. I also couldn't believe how big it was inside and just how much there is altogether. If you visit make sure you give yourself time to really explore the museum.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“My visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

Absolutely fantastic, very very moving and depressing at the same time. Made one feel as though you were on of the many prisoners.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kokomo, Indiana
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Security is a Hassle, Otherwise Awesome!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

I love the Smithsonian Museums, and the Smithsonian Institution Building is the perfect place to start your trip if you plan on going to all of the various Smithsonian properties in the city. The building is filled with informative employees, brochures, maps, some small exhibits and is a a great starting point. The cafe is overpriced, but at the same time very good...when I was there most recently there were actually a number of government employees eating there from the nearby office buildings which goes to show the food is more then just tourist fare. There are also clean restroom facilities here as well.

The one drawback is the security, you will find this at all the museums in the city, however I found it to be the most intrusive here. There is a man who stands near the entrance, and he arbitrarily seems to check people's bags. He made me completely dump my backpack out and overall caused a hassle to me, but I don't fault him for doing his job.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Learning something new.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2013

I adore the Smithsonian Buildings and what they stand for. The entry was free and you can donate, which I would recommend if you can afford to, in order to maintain the building. The idea of free education is one usually lost in America but this building and its 'family' made me very happy! You will learn something new if you come here, I guarantee it!

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Smithsonian Institution Building also viewed

 

Been to Smithsonian Institution Building? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Smithsonian Institution Building, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.