Newseum
Speciality MuseumsHistory Museums
This location was reported permanently closed
About
Find out for yourself why everyone is calling the Newseum the best experience Washington, D.C. has to offer. Each of the seven levels in this magnificent building is packed with interactive exhibits that increase understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment. Visitors experience the story of news, the role of a free press in major events in history, and how the core freedoms of the First Amendment — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — apply to their lives. Whether you have just a few hours or want to spend all day, you'll find something for everyone in the family in the Newseum's 15 theaters and 15 galleries.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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Address
Neighborhood: Downtown
How to get there
  • Archives • 4 min walk
  • Judiciary Square • 6 min walk
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles8,737 reviews
Excellent
6,834
Very good
1,424
Average
328
Poor
108
Terrible
43

Subroto M
22 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
This is a museum that is not even worth thinking about let alone attending. It just seems to be a large building that is trying to scream, "I am Ozymandias, look upon me and despair." Later on I was informed that it was closing. It is not too surprising to see why.

First of all you have to pay an exorbitant amount of money just to enter the place. Then you get to look at newspapers that talk about themselves in flashing prose. Every company engaging in "journalism" is highlighted in the place. For some reason the place refuses to realize that journalism has moved from the printed page to the Internet so completely. This is a place that is trying to survive on its past glory.
Written January 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SDTravelMom
San Diego, CA328 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
If you stop at every exhibit, you'll never finish in a day. Also, it might be wise to go later in the day. Place was packed with school kids, who were not being supervised. However, the content is amazing! I'm very, very glad I was able to make it here during this visit.
Written March 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bill P
Atlanta, GA282 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Great architecture, but bad museum design. In radio, dead air is not good; in print, to much white space is not good; here there was too much space wasted. When I saw the previous version in Virginia, I was astounded. As a former journalist, war correspondent and crusading investigative reporter, this monument to the first amendment was an essential pilgrimage before they shuttered and relinquished the structure to Johns Hopkins. I was disappointed by the reliance on hi-tech and the limited space to display more items.
Written March 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ColinLauw
Singapore, Singapore26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Family
Sad to hear this gem of a place closed down.
It was a place to bring my kids to understand what media n freedom of speech meant in USA. Unfortunately for USA, todays media is such poor imitations of the past, belittling each other, bullying n bickering, never listening. Their journalists seemed to learn all the worst things to from their childhood “playground”.
Written August 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SearchforExcellence
Sarasota, FL49 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I’ve never done a review on a museum before. This one was so bad that I felt it my duty to warn the general public.

Apparently the Newseum recently moved from it’s old home outside of D.C. to a an enormous, multi-billion dollar center located within walking distance of the Capitol and Museum of Art. Entry will cost you $20pp. That is too much for what you will get.

Outside you will see the front page of a major newspaper from every state in the Union. Interesting. Inside … well, you’re going to get the same thing. There is an “orientation” movie which the ubiquitous Newseum staff will herd you towards. Skip it. It is just a self-
congratulatory movie about just how great the media is. It just goes on and on. Then, at the end of the movie is a 3-4 minute time waster of a woman reviewing the different floors of the museum. There is nothing in that movie you need to orient to.

The Newseum is set up on 6 levels. You’ll take a large, glass elevator to the top floor to enjoy an outside view of the city. That is one of the highlights. Then you’ll walk through pavilions going down stairs which weave back and forth across the large center space. Make sure to stop and marvel at their huge TV. Whoopty-doo!

Probably the only exhibit which held the highest level of interest for me is a collection of old documents and newspapers. Scientific American from the 1800’s. Newspapers from the beginning of time. I found that to be incredibly interesting, particularly since they are so well preserved. The catch? They are stored in a room so dimly lit that you cannot read them. Why? Terrible planning.

The 9/11 Exhibit was moving and especially poignant since we visited on September 11th. Next to the old newspapers, this was my favorite part of the experience. Make sure to see the photos taken between the falling of the two towers by a photo-journalist who died in the process. Absolutely moving.

Looking around you’ll notice that this is a HUGE building with very little inside. Ask any Newseum staff member what to do next and they will all direct you to the 4D movie as this is their “best” attraction. The movie was lame. There’s no other way to put it. I got very little out of it. Yes, it is in 3D, so if that floats your boat, make sure to do it.

The East and West sides of a portion of the Berlin Wall will also move you. The sentry tower on the East side is downright bone-chilling. This part of the experience will take 5 - 10 minutes tops.

For a museum about news I found the content to be lacking. News is not really a good set up for a museum. With the exception of Pulitzer Prize winning photographs (which is easy, passive viewing), the rest of the “news” experience involves a lot more reading than you’ll either want to do or be able to do (because of lack of light). Worth doing, but not worth $20pp. If this is your first time to D.C. there are about 100 other activities I would do first.
Written September 14, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sbenjamen
Washington DC, DC363 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oh my gosh! I just returned from the Newseum and read these reviews and I don't understand the raves. Yes, it's a nice looking building, but...
Go to the top of the post office paviollion on Pennsylvania - it's free and the veiw is 360
Go across the street to the National Archives and see the real/original consitution and bill of rights and tour the exhibiton "we the people" again, it's free!
Take a history on foot tour given by Ford's Theatre and you can find out more about the Lincoln assination and see the actual sites all for $12.
If you want your seats to shake and have an IMAX experience cross the street to the Smithsonian and have your pick.
See the berlin wall at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Washington, D.C., USA between 17th & 18th St on Rhode Island Ave NW it's free.
As for eating. Take the kids to the Hard Rock Cafe around the corner. It's noisy and loud for less many they can make all the ruckus they want and eat kid food!
The Freedom Forum lobby needs to rethink this one.
Written June 30, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jujubee19
Dallas, TX65 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2011
I visited the Newseum with a 9 year old, a 7 year old and a 5 year old. It's not to be recommended in general because of the subject matter of many of the exhibits, but kids have free admission in the month of August, so we gave it a try. If you are visiting with kids, I recommend:

View from the 6th floor of DC & Capitol Building (but skip the 9/11 exhibit)
History of Sportscasting movie on the concourse (skip the Katrina exhibit on the same floor)
Berlin Wall
Newspaper Headlines
Dogs in the Whitehouse Exhibit - great for kids
Pretending to be a newscaster & interactive games on the 2nd floor

There's a lot that you can't do with kids (graphic Pulitzer prize winning photographs, Unibomber, many of the movies deal with terrorism, etc.), but it's still worth a trip when the kids get in free and you can always come back for the second day without kids with your adult admission if circumstances allow!
Written July 27, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeremy W
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Friends
My niece's class trip to the museum was told that not only did they have to end their class trip immediately and leave because a private tour wanted the entire museum to themselves, but while they waited for the bus, they would either have to stand in the emergency exit stairwell, out of sight, or outside in the rain. While I have never heard of this place until this incident, I can guarantee that I will not be going there now!
Written November 18, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
I’m sorry your niece had this experience during her trip to the Newseum. On that day, the class bus was running an hour late and the museum, which had closed at 5 p.m., was being prepped for a large evening event. Although we don’t normally allow guests to stay in the museum after closing, our staff offered the class the option to wait in stairwell, out of the rain and away from heavy furniture and hot kitchen equipment being set for the event. Of course, we wanted to be as accommodating as possible and the stairwell was a safe, warm and dry location for the class to wait for their bus to pick them up.
Written November 21, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

James N
Portland, OR39 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2014 • Couples
Superficial, gimmicky and hollow -- this museum is a testament to its subject matter. One of the first things you'll see is a local news helicopter, and you pay $23 for the privilege. The one good thing about this museum is that it's valid for two days. I actually did return the next day and perused just about every exhibit and still felt disappointed. The 4-D movie is corny. Exhibits on the FBI and 9/11 are uninspired. Photos of the Kennedys are nothing new. We toured the Knight Studio which was a total bore. I did enjoy the News Corp. News History Gallery (brought to you by Rupert Murdoch) which does have some critical tidbits here and there, but there's just no depth to it. The World Press Freedom Map is also interesting if you want to pay $23 for something you can find online. The best -- and worst -- part was the Interactive Newsroom which does not even work properly. We were told that our videos would upload to YouTube but they never did. We went back the next day and talked to several staff members and, again, it did not work. So the one thing that is actually entertaining does not even work. Stephen Colbert said it best when he called this place the "Newsoleum."
Written October 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

chellsteve
viera, florida11 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Solo
I just went to the newseum and was surprised to find that the longer I was there, the more my mood started heading south. Wall after wall of stories about murders, shootings, people on fire, assination plots, and political scandals that made me start to feel like our society is just screwed up. I went to look at the section of pulitzer prize winning photos, since I love photography. There were walls of pictures of starving people, people being shot in the head, one with a bloody hand holding a nasty razer used for a female circumcision, It is all very good photojournalism, and they were remarkable, but I noticed that not only was I not really enjoying the museum, I just wanted to get out of there. The last photo I looked at was of a starving african baby, crawling in the dirt with a big vulture behind it. The copy attached said that the photographer shooed away the vulture, and then crawled under a tree and cried. But, he did nothing as the baby tried to crawl towards a food aid place. Six years later, the photographer committed suicide because he thought he should have helped the baby. I recognize that these stories are very thought provoking, they should be told, and I agree that freedom of the press is hugely important. (I am a former journalist.) But I was looking for more of a light-hearted vacation day, and this wasn't a good choice.
I am writing this review because I wish someone else would have written something about this on trip advisor so that I would have been able to make the choice to skip this museum. I'm sure that some people might bristle at this review and think me over sensitive. I'm writing this for those that might not be in the right frame of mind for it. Better to go to the air and space museum and learn about some of the more of the positive achievments of humanity.
Written June 3, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Newseum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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