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National Building Museum

Certificate of Excellence
Neighborhood: Downtown / Chinatown
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Address: 401 F Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20001
Phone Number: 202 272 2448
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

The National Building Museum tells the stories of the world we design and...

The National Building Museum tells the stories of the world we design and build. We’re one of the most family-friendly, awe-inspiring spots in Washington, D.C. The Museum offers something for everyone, from children to design buffs to building professionals. Learn about the Museum’s historic home during a free docent-led tour, offered daily. Docents also lead tours of exhibitions. Our 75-foot Corinthian columns are the country’s tallest.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 393 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 147
  • 152
    Very good
  • 60
  • 24
  • 10
A huge and fascinating building with so-so exhibits

I always enjoy entering here as it always amazes me how enormous the interior is and I enjoy seeing all of the old designs inside. I go to the upper levels and to different... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago
Washington DC, District of Columbia

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393 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Level Contributor
32 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

The inside is mind boggling huge and that alone makes it worth a visit but apart from walking around i didnt think there was anything to do and there wasnt really anyone about to ask. Worth a quick pit stop but thats it.

Thank Jess W
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
105 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I always enjoy entering here as it always amazes me how enormous the interior is and I enjoy seeing all of the old designs inside. I go to the upper levels and to different corners and see new and interesting designs every time. But then I go to the architectural exhibits and am consistently disappointed. They are not very inspired... More 

Thank JeffreyPedersen
Orlando, FL
Level Contributor
110 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Must see if in this area. There are exhibits that you have to pay, but you can also do a self guided tour and learn a lot of interesting facts about the building for free! Also check out the Firehook café inside the Building museum with excellent coffee and other things if you want a bite.

Thank Axl
Level Contributor
207 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

If you enjoy architecture and history you will love this gorgeous building. It's worth a moment to step inside and view this place. There is a price for admission to the exhibits, but I usually just stop in and soak up the history and that's enough for me.

Thank AKjazzj
Fort Myers, Florida
Level Contributor
68 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was on the top of my list when coming to DC. And I am glad we got to see it. The National Building Museum is HUUUGE and has some amazing rotating exhibits. Once you get lost in the Gift-shop with its architectural library and cool nick nacks. Also the Museum and Gift Shop give a discount to member of... More 

Thank Sa R
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
47 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Been here many times over the years. Makes a quick fun visit if you are visiting something nearby like the offices of the Metro. Possesses some of that je ne sais quoi kind of pretense that architects and interior designer affect and sometimes has exhibits on the technical building side of the trade worth pondering for a half hour or... More 

Thank NavyJunior
Fort Mill, South Carolina
Level Contributor
133 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2015

We had a spare hour and decided to visit the National Building Museum. Although the structure is very impressive and has some incredible architectural features, we thought that the two exhibits we visited were a little lackluster compared to some of the other museums we visited in DC. Because it is run by a private non-profit, it is not free... More 

Thank nancyolah
Millersport, Ohio
Level Contributor
76 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2015

It is a pricey museum. Take the free tour. Our guide was a retired architect. he was very informed. This tour is not for children. We can not rate the children area's ...we did not use them. The other exhibits were self guided. There were guides in those rooms.... some ignored us and others pointed out interesting facts.

1 Thank TeresaOH04102
Bethel Park, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2015

My husband and I started out by walking around the building and looking up. There are very detailed military figures "marching around" the upper building face. It only costs $10/adult. (Note: there are many hands on activities for children!) Some things in the galleries are ongoing and some change at various times during the year. There are volunteers on hand... More 

Thank Pam M
Ashland, Oregon
Level Contributor
103 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2015

The National Building Museum is always on my must-see list when I go to DC. The standing and rotating exhibits are always fantastic, and the bookstore is indescribable- I always spend more there on the most unusual books I've ever the pleasure to see. Small cafe, lots of seating areas. The building itself is so magnificent. Take a day or... More 

Thank Maureen F

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