National Gallery of Art
National Gallery of Art
5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
This national art museum holds over 141,000 works of western art, spanning from the middle ages through today. Bonus: It's completely free to visit.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest
How to get there
  • Archives • 5 min walk
  • L'Enfant Plaza • 8 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
9,290 reviews
Excellent
7,669
Very good
1,344
Average
206
Poor
49
Terrible
22

Austengirl
Charlottesville, VA37 contributions
Feb 2022 • Couples
If you love art, this is the place to go. They have an incredible collection, especially of paintings from medieval through Impressionism. The newer wing has modern art but we didn’t bother because we’re not found. We did take a break for about 45 minutes for lunch in the cafeteria but other than that we spent the rest of the time, five hours, just enjoying the art. We’ve been a number of times but this definitely had by far the fewest people we’ve ever seen there. We went on a Sunday at 10 AM the second weekend in February so while it was cold outside, we got amazing parking for free (we could literally see our car from the main entrance on the street), We never had to jostle to try to see paintings, and there was hardly anyone in the cafeteria. I don’t know how much of that was also due to Covid but we would definitely brave the cold and come back again this time of year just to avoid crowds and get rockstar, free parking. The cafeteria had far fewer offerings than a few years ago, again probably due to Covid and reduced numbers, and you need to show proof of vaccination in order to eat inside. The food isn’t great and it’s expensive for what it is, but it’s not worth the time it would take to leave and find a restaurant and then come back so it makes more sense to eat there. Next time I will definitely bring my own bottle of water (which they say you can have on you as long as it is in a pocket or in a bag) to avoid paying four dollars for a bottle of water, plus some sort of snack.
Written February 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NorwichCarrow
Sandgate, UK379 contributions
Sep 2022
The Gallery has an outstanding collection of European Art from Renaissance masters to Impressionists and beyond. There is also a superb collection of American art. Unusually entry is free and staff at the reception desk are very friendly and knowledgeable. Absolutely unmissable visit in DC.
Written October 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Victoria L
Kansas City, MO324 contributions
May 2022
This museum is not as well heralded as the Smithsonian museums but it is a marvel of artworks by impressionists in galleries that are wonderfully uncrowded even on a Sunday afternoon Memorial Day weekend. The beautiful building is a series of sculptures leading to intimate galleries of of art from the greats with water features at intersections. It is stunning in its grandeur. The highlight was nestled in a small room: encased in a barrier box: a small painting with its attribution on the back wall. A Leonardo Da Vinci of a woman with a painted back. The woman is beautiful in golden hues . Not one single person other than our family was in the room marveling over this portrait, the Mona Lisa in the Louvre is so crowded you cannot take the time to examinine the painting and notice the details. Here in our nation’s capitol we have a treasure well worth the effort to see it.
Written June 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Singh
1 contribution
Jan 2023
For the art collection, superb 5 stars.
For organization and arrangement, 4.5 stars

For the behavior of security. I will give a negative 5 or lower.

I visited the art gallery on 15th Jan 2023 with 7 people (4 adults, and 3 children). Kids enjoyed the art and were overwhelmed by the variety. They were also interested in reading dates and were impressed with art from the 14th and 15th centuries.

As soon as we rich the Italian section, the Jacket of 10 yr old while walking accidentally touched the pillar on which Ginevra de' Benci is displayed. It is a solid pillar and with his height, there is no way he could have even touched the painting. There were several people in the room watching the painting and several people accidentally touched the pillar. The painting itself is protected by glass.

The security guard (male) at 225 pm standing in the room started shouting at the kid. I asked him to tone down his voice and let us know what happened. He basically said he has a badge and he can do whatever he wants. I was furious over this show of badges for a 10 yr old kid who accidentally passed near the pillar. I told him to calm down and behave properly with tourists. There are international tourists around and it is rude to be shouting at people. He said his grandfather served for the US and no one can tell him how to behave! I hope this person can be removed from dealing with the public and retrained in public relations. If he is so badge happy, let him be on the road to check criminals and serve the country.

Extremely disappointed by the security staff member. I believe the general impression for all the museums is that security staff just keep shouting. Try from security check-in to closing time, it is just a shouting game for these fellows. Please train them to be polite, it will enhance the experience of visitors.
Written January 17, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MimiMcF
Washington DC, DC47 contributions
Oct 2022
It's a joy to be back in the National Gallery after a long break due to the pandemic. We are older DC locals who visit art museums a few times a year (and in other cities). We are deeply appreciative this one has tours again. (Some DC museums still don't). We took the Italian Renaissance tour two weeks ago and the Discovery Tour today. These tours are fun and informative. The guides (Mary and Mrs. Murphy?) are welcoming, engaging, and clearly skilled at talking to the group. Also, you get a positive refreshment being in a beautiful sanctuary again. A mental health boost as well. You feel you “belong” again to a larger world you’ve been cut off from and to fellow travelers along the art journey.

We ate in the Cascade Café in the East Wing. Food choices were a bit limited but good, nice staff. Tables were filling up with visitors young and old (school groups are back too). For an extrovert, it was uplifting to sit and be part of a bigger, pleasant group around the café, finally.

These museums have so many art objects (in various media) to see and experience. There are many periods, topics, and artists to build more tours on.

After the isolation of the covid period, tours are the antidote. Maybe there are lots of other art lovers like us who much prefer the group tour experience now to a solo “audio” guide? These talks have already inspired me to do a deeper dive into the art. Thank you!
Written October 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brittany_11_10
Los Angeles, CA1,631 contributions
May 2021
Beautiful museum with so much to see. Only the West Building is open right now, and we still spent a couple hours admiring the sculptures and colonial furniture just on the ground floor. You can easily spend a day here when it's fully open.

Entry is free, you just need to sign up for your ticket(s) online in advance.
Written May 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Robert D
Brooklyn, New York2,334 contributions
Dec 2022
This huge museum has something for everyone. I saw the "Vermeer's Secrets" exhibit, which featured both original works and forgeries. The analysis in the exhibition was fascinating. I also enjoyed the "Vittore Carpaccio: Master Storyteller of Renaissance Venice" exhibit. You can easily spend several hours here, admiring the various works on exhibit.
Written January 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

tosl
Jersey City, NJ646 contributions
Dec 2022
I have been fortunate to have visited many countries over the years and the National Gallery ranks at the top of art museums. It was not very crowded at the peak of the tourist season at Christmas. Easy to navigate and the staff was helpful. We spent the entire day and never even had the chance to check out the East Wing. Great Impressionism and American Art collections. The only negative is only a couple of entrances so it may be a walk, albeit a pleasant one, to the entrance. Free admission.
Written January 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Robin B
Phoenix, AZ1,303 contributions
Sep 2022
We spread our visit over two days and it was still almost impossible to do justice to this museum. They have an amazing permanent collection. The docents are enthusiastic and helpful; the security staff is there for the paycheck (with a few exceptions) spending more time chatting and looking at their cell phones. The West building has two floors; the East building, accessed by a lower level concourse, has maybe four floors to see. There are two very extensive gift shops and two cafes. Make time to see this fabulous museum, maybe spreading your visit over three days with a couple of hours a day.
Written September 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BaileyBrooksMcCarthy
Atlanta, GA23 contributions
May 2022
This is one of the best art galleries in the world with an extensive and eclectic collection covering many centuries of art including some of the most famous paintings ever created. If I lived in DC, I’d pop in daily but as a tourist, I was only able to spend a day there which wasn’t enough to take it all in. Allow a lot of time and maybe plan your route in advance so you can prioritise the galleries you definitely don’t want to miss
Written May 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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National Gallery of Art (Washington DC) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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National Gallery of Art is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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