National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC: Tickets, Tours, Hours, Address, National Portrait Gallery Reviews: 4.5/5

National Portrait Gallery
4.5
Art Museums • History Museums
11:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
11:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
11:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
11:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
11:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
11:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
11:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
11:30 AM - 7:00 PM
About
Visitors can view the portraits of all the U.S. presidents.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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Tours & experiences
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The area
Address
F Street NW Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, DC 20560
Neighborhood: Downtown / Chinatown
How to get there
  • Gallery Place • 2 min walk
  • Archives • 6 min walk
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Popular mentions

4.5
3,513 reviews
Excellent
2,617
Very good
767
Average
118
Poor
10
Terrible
1

BenLar137
Calgary, Canada13,644 contributions
A stunning place!
Oct 2021
We didn't know how much we would enjoy this amazing gallery. So many familiar faces, beautifully rendered. It's like a walk through the history of American television, theatre, history, sports, achievement, and culture. Don't miss it if you're in DC!
Written November 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tina D
charlotte nc141 contributions
Nice way to kill time
Oct 2021
Me & my husband stopped in here while waiting for our room to be ready. It was really neat to see all the portraits I would recommend it if you have a few hours to kill.
Written October 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bill
8 contributions
Portrait AGallery
Aug 2021
I stopped in here when I had a couple of spare hours between seeing other sites. I wish that I had more time to spend here; it was quite interesting.
Written August 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

sloomis31
Bristol, WI894 contributions
Wonderous Place to Explore
Aug 2021
Our visit to the National Portrait Gallery was largely a surprise result of how little there was to see at the Air & Space Museum. The air circulation, temperature, and friendly staff were a marked change from that other museum. We crossed the gorgeous courtyard and went to the Presidential Portrait Gallery. Elegant portraits from Washington to Trump lined the walls and served as a neat history lesson for all of us. There was plenty of space to walk and you didn't feel rushed if you wanted to read one of the signs. I especially liked the Kennedy and Lincoln portraits. We only had about an hour to take it all in, but I am so glad we stopped by. This is one museum I highly recommend and will return to because there is so much more to see.
Written August 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jmgrier
Marlborough, MA102 contributions
Great stop on the way to dinner
Aug 2021
We stopped here for an hour or so before our dinner reservation. Many interesting things to see and read, especially the presidents exhibit. Wonderful that it's free and open a little later than other museums.
Written August 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tori
Stanford, CA48 contributions
awesome
Aug 2021
I loved this place. been to quite a few art museums but this one is at the top. the president portrait section is incredible and a great way to reflect on history
Written August 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hank and Bonnie H
Toledo, WA66 contributions
Wonderful Museum
Aug 2021
You can spend al day or just a few hours. We loved the presidential portraits, but there is so much more to see. Look for the Rosa Parks statue -- it's small, in a case in the presidential portrait area.
Written August 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Fantastic4Tees
46 contributions
Renovations Ruined It
Aug 2021 • Family
I have been a few times on business trips and loved it so I brought my family this week and it was no good. There’s were 3 keys pieces we came to see; The Barack Obama painting, The Michelle Obama painting and the Duane Hanson sculpture (woman eating) didn’t get to see any of them. The worker had no idea where anything was located. Finally someone told us the portraits where traveling. The DH sculpture was in a part of the museum that had been closed off. One of the workers was kind enough to let my husband peek through the door to somewhat see the sculpture(see pic, zoom in).
It’s a great museum but call before you visit to make sure you don’t waste your time especially if there are specific things you want to see.
Written August 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Arlington7175
Arlington, VA247 contributions
Presidential Portrait Collection- (nice way to reflect on both our leaders and history)
Jul 2021
Every few years I visit the National Portrait Gallery. The most visited (and my favorite collection) is the US presidents. Of course, you do need to have an interest in history to enjoy the collection. However, it is a nice way to spend an afternoon refreshing yourself on those big blanks we often draw between the more famous presidents. The captions are interesting and help focus you mind on not just the president, but the time that they governed.

Note, some of the reviewers thought the captions had a partisan tone against Republicans. I disagree but you can decide for yourself. For example, Clinton’s scandals, Wilson’s segregationist sentiments, Carter’s economic challenges, and Johnson’s foreign policy failings – all 20th century Democrats were identified. It was just facts (of course there are alternative facts too ; - ) if the real facts challenge your preferred reality), and unfortunately, we are all prone to gloss over the truth to fit our preferences…but a real democracy requires a well-informed citizenry to think about all sides even when it doesn’t fit their preferred realities. This includes scrutinizing our leaders- past and present, so that hopefully the future will be better. I believe this collection is a nice, neutral forum to facilitate (at least in part) that goal.

For me, it is interesting to think about our evolution as a country and in spite of the imperfections of our how we were blessed to have certain presidents while at the same time sighing relief that we survived in spite of other presidents. :- /

However, the museum includes lots of other portraits and interesting sculptures illustrating the American experience. There are also some really nice landscapes and portraits of non-famous Americans. On this last visit, we were there for 2+ hours and only visited one floor, so I think you could spend 3-4 hours if you are into this genre.

The courtyard is beautiful with its glass ceiling and running water and a nice spot to relax or even wait for a loved one if you aren’t into this museum.

The price is right--Free!! Plus, I don’t think the National Portrait Gallery always gets the love and attention it deserves, but I look at this as a plus..since it usually means fewer people and more breathing room for you to enjoy the high-quality exhibits.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Written July 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

blairkk25
New Jersey2,494 contributions
America's Presidents
Jul 2021
I visited the National Portrait Gallery in July 2021. Entry was free. I went specifically to see the section on America's Presidents. The building has a beautiful atrium where you can sit and rest. I looked at each president's portrait and read the bio. For some reason there was no portrait of President Andrew Jackson. I liked the portraits of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan. I also liked the portraits of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. President Trump did not sit for a portrait but there was a photo of him sitting in the oval office I look forward to returning and seeing the rest of the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.
Written July 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery is open:
  • Sun - Sat 11:30 AM - 7:00 PM
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We recommend booking National Portrait Gallery tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 5 National Portrait Gallery tours on Tripadvisor



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