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.
Book On TripAdvisor Bonus Book your hotel on TripAdvisor — then save 20% on things to do for your trip. Use code BOOKTOSAVE.
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 1799 New York Ave NW, Washington DC, DC 20006-5207
Phone Number: +1 202-626-7439
Website
Sunday
Closed
See all hours
Hours:
Thu - Sat 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes
Description:

The Octagon Museum was built between 1798-1800 by John Tayloe at the...

The Octagon Museum was built between 1798-1800 by John Tayloe at the suggestion of George Washington. In 1814, the house was offered to President Madison as temporary quarters after the White House was burned in the War of 1812. The Treaty of Ghent was signed there, thus ending the war.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
$20*
and up
Washington DC Haunted Houses Walking Tour
Why book on Viator?
  • Tour highlights & full itinerary
  • Easy online booking
  • Lowest price guaranteed
More Information ›

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 18 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 6
    Excellent
  • 5
    Very good
  • 3
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Unique architecture

I visited the Octagon House because of my interest in both architecture and history. As an example of early 18th Century architecture, it's a rare example of upper class urban... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 4 weeks ago
Rent-a-dad
,
Saint Michael, Minnesota
Add Photo Write a Review

18 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 14: English reviews
Saint Michael, Minnesota
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I visited the Octagon House because of my interest in both architecture and history. As an example of early 18th Century architecture, it's a rare example of upper class urban living. During my visit they were in the midst of some restoration, which was interesting to experience as well. Our docent was very knowledgeable about the house and its history.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Rent-a-dad
New York
Level Contributor
119 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

The Octagon Museum is one of the best examples I have seen of an historic home preserved for the sake of education. If you are deeply interested in architecture and the decorative arts, preservation of the built environment, nineteenth century America, and African American history, I highly recommend the Octagon Museum. The rooms are sparsely furnished and there is quite... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Traveller2010NYC
Fort Worth, TX
Level Contributor
89 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2016

While others are looking at the White House (a place most people have no chance of touring), you can walk a few blocks to a very historic home which is over 200 years old. The Octagon does not charge admission, and you can tour three levels of the house. The architecture is rather unique starting with the curved front entrance... More 

Helpful?
Thank sswagner
Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Level Contributor
105 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2016

The house is a self-guided tour and there isn't that much furniture in it, however you learn a lot about historic preservation and what they have found by peeling back layers of paint etc. As a presidential buff, I wanted to see this as Pres. Madison lived here for about a year after the White House burned in 1814.

Helpful?
Thank EM71
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2016

The Octagon House is open just a few hours daily Thursday to Saturday, but well worth planning a stop to visit the beautiful home. House touring is self guided, but a map and printed information in each room help reveal the story of the home and some of the important events that are part of its history. Exhibits also include... More 

Helpful?
Thank Pat N
Chicago
Level Contributor
77 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2015

Although it is called the Octagon House its configuration is more complex than that. A self guided tour takes you through the house explaining each room as you go. It isn't crowded so you have time to explore on your own. You can learn about the war in 1812 and the fact that the treaty ending the war was finally... More 

Helpful?
Thank odysseusChicago
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Level Contributor
201 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2015

The Octagon House is run by an architecture institute, whose modern building is behind the historic house that was built by a Virginia plantation owner when the city was just being established as our nation's capital. That it has survived pretty much intact with original floors, moldings, staircases, windows, brickwork, etc., is amazing, given the multiple occupants and uses, plus... More 

Helpful?
Thank Sally L
Columbus, Indiana
Level Contributor
102 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2015

Today, square and rectangular rooms in a house are the norm, but here's a structure built on a different plan (literally) - the core of the house is, as the name implies, an octagon. While perhaps not the most practical concept, it generally works well and makes for a very interesting federal style house. Certainly worth a visit just for... More 

Helpful?
Thank interceptpubs
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
2,916 reviews
1,566 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3,517 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2015 via mobile

This is an impressive and complex building, and well worth the visit! It's free and self-guided, which is nice because you can come in at any time they're open and go at your own pace, but I would have benefitted from a guided tour myself. Either way, it was interesting!

Helpful?
1 Thank QuickWhitTravel
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2015

This is such a great place to visit with so much history. I loved how you could roam freely around the house without a guide. You could just wander from room to room like you owned the place. It is supposedly the most haunted house in DC. I was sad not to see a ghost! This is a quick place... More 

Helpful?
Thank BookishAnnie

Travelers who viewed Octagon Museum also viewed

 

Been to Octagon Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Octagon Museum staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?