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.

“Out of the way but well worth the trip” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA 20151
703-572-4118
Website
Improve this listing
Book ahead on Viator
$39*
and up
Ranked #1 of 13 things to do in Chantilly
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
61 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Out of the way but well worth the trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

We spent 5 hours at the museum and that was way too little time. We started with the imax movie about the Hubble, and then went up in the observation tower (hint: don't stop at the 6th floor for the air control exhibit; it's not nearly as interesting as the rest of the museum and you can get stuck there for a long time if the elevators are crowded). We wandered around the main floor for a while, but the most satisfying part of the day was when we connected with one of the free tours. Elaine, our tour guide was a retired air traffic controller and was very well informed and entertaining. We had to leave after 1 3/4 hours and it seemed like Elaine could keep going for another couple of Don't be discouraged if it looks like you got there too late for a tour; they seem to leave on an hourly basis even if they are not posted on the board.

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

2,157 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    1,784
    324
    41
    3
    5
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
335 reviews
107 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 254 helpful votes
“You could spend ages wandering round this fascinating place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

My family and I visited the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center just after landing at Dulles International Airport for a long weekend. In fact, that would be my first recommendation: To go straight to this museum before you head into the city on arrival, since it's just ten minutes away from the airport by road.

I have been to a good number of air museums in my time but this is definitely the best experience to date. The light and airy hangar is crammed packed full of flying objects of all shapes and sizes, some on the ground and some suspended high above your head. The stars of the show are Space Shuttle Discovery and the Enola Gay, with the SR-71 Blackbird and Concorde comeing in a close second, but I think you will be equally intrigued by the display of aircraft, helicopters and space modules stretching back a hundred years or more.

I would have been quite happy to pay the going rate to get in, but since the museum is part of the Smithsonian Institute it's free entry (parking is $15). So don't delay. Get to the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on your next visit to Washington DC!

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
“A great Air and Space museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

It's huge and almost overwhelming with all there is to see, but we love going here and seeing the space shuttle and all the various planes!

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, Tennessee
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“fabulous displays of classic aircraft”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

spacious hanger with excellent positioning of many historic aircraft; space shuttle Discovery very impressive. A must-see if you're in the area, superior to the Air-Space Museum in D.C.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“THE Air and Space Museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

Everyone knows about the Air and Space museum in the Mall - and rightly so - The Apollo and Gemini capsules, The Spirit of St Louis, Amelia Earhart's plane and of course the Flyer. But in the opinion of our family (and my wife and elder son are somewhat fixated on flight and space, so it is an opinion both considered and informed!) the Udvar - Hazy Center is streets ahead.

Aside from the headline acts - Discovery, the Blackbird, Concorde and the Enola Gay, there are hundreds of aircraft to view up close both military and civil, and a fantastic array of exhibits relating to the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programmes as well as information on the skylab, shuttle and satellite launch programs.

The staff are knowledgeable and helpful, and the captioning on the planes and in the displays is fascinating without being overly 'techy', although in depth and specific information is also available in abundance. The crowds are noticeably less than in DC (presumably due to access - its about 15 miles out of town) but its location right next door to Dulles Airport and the 50c shuttle bus make it an ideal stop off on the way home (there are lockers at the Center which will take all but the most enormous suit cases).

The imax theatre runs varied shows all day, and the flight simulators are awesome but best avoided immediately after lunch as they do full 360 degree turns and rolls (not like the usual simulators).

Down sides - minor - only food outlet is run by our least favourite corporate clown - Ronald. It might be a bit serious for small children.

For younger son and me - really interesting and worthwhile. For elder son and wife - heaven!

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center also viewed

 

Been to Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.