International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum, Washington DC: Hours, Address, International Spy Museum Reviews: 4/5

International Spy Museum
4
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
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About
The new International Spy Museum at L'Enfant Plaza is now open! With interactive exhibitions and installations, the foremost collection of spy artifacts in the world, and first-person accounts from top intelligence officers and experts, the reimagined Spy Museum offers interactive experiences for adults and children alike to step into the shoes of a spy and test their skills!
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Downtown / Chinatown
How to get there
  • L'Enfant Plaza • 6 min walk
  • Smithsonian • 7 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
5,521 reviews
Excellent
2,291
Very good
1,798
Average
912
Poor
341
Terrible
180

Liza S
Indianapolis, IN45 contributions
It was only ok. After spending days in world-class museums that were free, then going to an expensive museum that was only ok at best was a letdown. They will only let you in during your time slot, and that means you enter in with 50 other people. With those 50 people, you join the other 50-75 people who were let in the previous 15-30 minutes. So as you can see it is a whole bunch of people in one long room.

Yes, there are interactive exhibits, but those exhibits have 3 to 4 people lined up to use them. I did not spend a ton of money to stand in lines to play games amongst a bunch of other people doing the same thing. As an adult, I knew within 15 minutes that we had totally wasted our money and time. We were in DC for four days, and this place was a mistake as we skipped other places to go here. If I had not spent so much money I could have breezed through in about 30 minutes. There are some nice displays in the first half, but they become kind of made up and mostly pictures on walls after that part. They also do not appear to have a lot of spy stories as they use the same ones over and over throughout the museum.
Written April 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello Liza S, We appreciate you taking time to review your experience and provide feedback. We are sorry to hear that it did not meet your expectations. We are constantly improving our guest experience and your feedback is integral to that. For example, we are currently in the process of adding more interactive screens to cut down on the wait time for Undercover Mission. As a private non-profit, we do not receive government funding and rely on Museum admission to protect our collections. With over 1,000 artifacts on display, we share stories from all over the world. From 13th century Mongolian battle armor, to our 18th century George Washington letter, and 21st century The Jester hacker computer, we hope to share hundreds of diverse stories from all over the world. We hope you have another chance to come back and explore everything we have to offer. We would be happy to help you set up the trip at the information below. Guest Services International Spy Museum 202.393.7798 guestdebriefing@spymuseum.org
Written May 11, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

3CatswillTravel
Central Florida, FL118 contributions
The museum is very well laid out. We had the chance to see video, hear audios and interact in real spy situations. The museum also provides both historical and current events. It is not just about the spying you see in movies but the intel gathering and real situations, We were surprised when we even had a chance to interact on the decisions to get Bin Laden.

We went in the am but were there when there were large tour group so you need to allow more time.. (we were there 3 hours)

It is worth the time and cost ( we were surprised that it was only $24 for two seniors)
Written May 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank for sharing your experience with us, Agent! We are very glad to hear you both had a great time at the International Spy Museum. It sounds like you made the most of your experience and were able to absorb all the stories we have to offer. As you mentioned, the Museum covers a great deal about espionage, providing historical background as well as current events. I believe the interactive you're referring to is 'Red Team', one of our award winning experiences at the Museum! With so many interactives, it can be difficult to choose which ones to play, but the layout helps guide guests to have the option to play them all. While most guests spend between 2-3 hours in Museum, everyone is welcome to spend as little or as much time as they like. We hope to see you both again! Thank you for spying on us, Guest Services International Spy Museum 202.393.7798 guestdebriefing@spymuseum.org
Written May 5, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ncdel
North Carolina297 contributions
We loved this museum and could have easily spent 4 hrs there but sadly we had to leave before that! I went with my two 12 yr olds and I was so sad my husband missed it b/c of an unexpected airbnb issue, as he would have really enjoyed it. yes, there is an interactive activity to engage kids but it's not required or necessary by any means- my daughter found it fun, my son skipped it, but I saw plenty of adults waiting in line for the kiosks too. Regardless, I found the information, exhibits, and the films in particular fascinating as did my son. There were so many things to look at and read about all different aspects of espionage.

Tip esp during covid- if you're in DC more days than just a weekend, plan to go here on Saturday b/c you have to buy the tix ahead with timed entry, and the free museums are PACKED on the weekend with lines to get in so visit those on weekdays. We also got lucky that it poured rain that day so even better to not be standing in line on the mall in the rain.
Written January 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for your review, Agent ncdel! We are thrilled to read that you loved our museum. You're right, Undercover Mission is an optional experience for guests to test their spy skills and participate in an interactive mission throughout the galleries. There are still plenty of fun games, stories, and films to explore outside of Undercover Mission. Although the Spy Museum is open seven (7) days a week, we encourage guests to visit on weekdays to avoid possible crowds. We do limit our capacities, but Saturdays are still a popular day to experience SPY. We hope you come back to see us again with the entire family! Guest Services International Spy Museum 202.393.7798 guestdebriefing@spymuseum.org
Written January 27, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bergmom
Duluth, Minnesota395 contributions
Family
This is a super cool place to see in DC! Probably not worth it for really small kids, but I would think that if you have 13-17 year olds, it might be great for them! My 22 yr old and I enjoyed it, although there were a TON of school groups when we went (a Sunday at 4pm) and it made it a little hard to see some of the readable signs or do the interactive exhibits. You get a card with a “secret identify” when you get there and you can use that card throughout the museum to test your spy abilities. You can also get a “grade” at the end of the museum and have that emailed to you if you’d like. Overall, I’d say a must-see due to all the cool exhibits, artifacts, true stories and video documentaries along the way. A very short (0.4 mile) walk from here is the Wharf, a really cute area on the water with quaint shops and eateries.
Written May 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello Agent Bergmom, Thank you so much for sharing intel about the SPY experience with future guests. We are glad to see you had a fun time in the galleries and participating in Undercover Mission. You are correct, guests ages 13+ tend to get the most out of SPY, but we strive to educate and entertain agents of all ages. We agree that the Wharf is an excellent spot to eat either before or after your visit to SPY. If you don't want to walk the short distance, there is also a free shuttle bus available that picks up in front of the U.S. Postal Service Headquarters every ten minutes. Thank you for spying on us! Guest Services Operative International Spy Museum 202.393.7798 guestdebriefing@spymuseum.org
Written June 29, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

WashDCMan
Washington, DC75 contributions
Friends
Overall it’s tedious and crowded. Sure, there are some cool artifacts, but for $31 each (after taxes and fees) it’s not worth it. Especially for adults. Most of the time you’re just wandering from one glass case to another.

The interactive displays are clunky and resemble online mandatory corporate training. Mostly just quiizzes. Not really fun at all. There are hordes of kids who monopolize them anyway. They also have videos but nothing that you can’t find covered in a documentary on a streaming service.

The James Bond car is in the lobby before the ticket booth, so you don’t need a ticket to see it and take a photo.

They need to either reduce the ticket price significantly or make it truly interactive.
Written July 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear WashDCMan, We're sorry to hear about your experience at the Museum. With over 1,000 artifacts on display, dozens of films, and interactive activities we hope to entertain guests of all interests. We would like to learn more about what you expected from the experience, so please contact us at the information below so we can learn more. As a private non-profit, we do not receive government funding so our admissions help support the upkeep of the Museum and the preservation of our artifacts for future generations. We do operate on a plan-ahead-pricing model, so our guests will have the opportunity to save on tickets costs by purchasing in advance and during less busy times. For example, if you're visiting in the fall or winter, ticket prices are much lower. We also recommend visiting in our slow season if avoiding crowds is important to you, as the Museum is very popular in the summer! Thank you for your feedback. Guest Services International Spy Museum 202.393.7798 guestdebriefing@spymuseum.org
Written July 18, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Aurora S
1 contribution
Family
This ruined our day. Our 3 boys had been looking forward to seeing the museum. We had purchased tickets online and unfortunately arrived about an hour late from our timed slot due to work and travel delays. We were denied entry and told that tickets expire after 30 minutes - this was nowhere indicated on their website. We were told we could swap our tickets for the next available slot which was 4 hours later, well into the evening. We left with tickets wasted and lots of frustration. This could easily have been avoided if they were up front with their ticket expiration policy. The whole experience made us feel like this museum was all about making money, not service at all. Even if we had another opportunity in the future, I would be hesitant to support such an organization.
Written July 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello Agent auroras845, We are sorry to hear about your experience. We ask that all guests arrive at their stated ticket time so that we can properly manage building capacity. This is important for guest safety and the overall gallery experience. All tickets and our confirmation email state that guests must arrive on time and that we will do our best to accommodate late arrivals, but that they may be moved to our next available entry time. That is information we do want to make sure all of our potential guests are aware of before they visit. I apologize that our service did not meet your expectations. If you have any further suggestions or feedback for us about your visit we can be reached at the information below. Guest Services International Spy Museum 202.393.7798 guestdebriefing@spymuseum.org
Written July 16, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

otcarla28
Crown Point, IN147 contributions
Family
My teens and I really enjoyed our Spy Museum experience - lots to learn about spying through the ages, as well as interactive exhibits and activities. Lots of staff around if you have any difficulty.

Buy tickets early if you need a specific day/time as it's a popular place for families. No food on site but plenty in the area. Excellent gift shop with lots of books, games, clothing, spy items and much more!
Written June 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello Agent otcarla28, Thank you for spying on us and providing great intel to future agents. You are correct, SPY is a popular destination here in DC, so we recommend purchasing tickets ahead of time to guarantee the date and time of your preference. We hope our Guest Services staff were able to assist you with your mission! Be sure to check back again in the future to see what else gets declassified. Come back anytime! Guest Services Operative International Spy Museum 202.393.7798 guestdebriefing@spymuseum.org
Written June 29, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

er_simm
Austin13 contributions
Family
Underwhelming. The museum models itself as interactive but there isn’t enough interactive items for all the visitors they have so I would not recommend it for anyone under 8-9. The tickets were pricey for what was inside. It is a LOT of waiting if you want to do all the interactive items. Even with their ticket system, it’s a ton of people. Felt like a waste of part of our time here. Super disappointing.
Written March 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Samantha M
1 contribution
Couples
We spent about 20 minutes there total. This includes queuing for the elevator and giving over data for a badge. Unless you are 8 years old or younger, I do not recommend this museum. In case anyone remembers where in the world is Carmen sandiego, play this instead. It is much more interactive and doesn’t require you to spend money and be around lots of people standing in queues to play on a computer screen. At least it was easy enough to get out quickly and the staff were nice.
Written May 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello samanthamU3131PA, We regret to see you had a negative experience here at the International Spy Museum. We are constantly working to improve our guest experience and feedback such as yours is very helpful. It looks like you visited us on one of our busier days and took part in our optional Undercover Mission experience. There are over 1000 Spy artifacts throughout the museum. We are in the process of adding more interactive screens and looking into ways to improve the flow of guests and have shorter wait times. Our museum mission is to let our guests get a peek into the all but invisible world of espionage in a fun and educational way! If you would like to discuss your visit more please contact us at the information below so that we may learn more about your experience. Guest Services Operative International Spy Museum 202.393.7798 guestdebriefing@spymuseum.org
Written May 9, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nan H
17 contributions
Family
Unlike any museum, it’s all about spying, the Cold War, cyber security and such. They issue you a spy identity at the door and it’s filled with interactive displays and games where you hone your spy skills. There’s plenty of history about spying too. Kids love it ! It’s very popular so you must pre-book reservations and pre-purchase tickets or you’ll be unable to get in.
Written July 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello Agent nanh467, Thanks for the intel! You are definitely correct, SPY is a popular destination -- specifically in the summer. Because of this, we recommend booking in advance so you have guaranteed entrance to the museum. It also looks like you took part in our Undercover Mission Interactive. What were your top spy skills? Let us know at the information below. Thank you for spying on us, Guest Services International Spy Museum 202.393.7798 guestdebriefing@spymuseum.org
Written July 16, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum is open:
  • Mon - Thu 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Fri - Sun 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
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