National Cryptologic Museum

National Cryptologic Museum, Baltimore: Hours, Address, National Cryptologic Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

National Cryptologic Museum

National Cryptologic Museum
4.5
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
The National Cryptologic Museum houses thousands of artifacts that collectively tell the history of the cryptologic profession. Here visitors catch a glimpse of some of the most dramatic moments in the history of American code making and code breaking: the people who devoted their lives to cryptology and national defense, the machines and devices they developed, the techniques they used, and the places where they worked. The museum library maintains a collection of unclassified and declassified books and documents relating to every aspect of cryptology.
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Tours and Tickets

Popular mentions

4.5
239 reviews
Excellent
148
Very good
74
Average
14
Poor
3
Terrible
0

EDDIE APPLEFELD
Baltimore, MD371 contributions
The Spy Business
May 2019
If you are the least bit interested in spies or espionage then you'll want to visit here. On display are all kinds of equipment the U.S. used in various wars. Most of which I'm sure you never heard of or saw. You can request a guide.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for your review. It's important to note that the National Cryptologic Museum does not focus on espionage the way many people think. That is, the history of cryptology is about the history of codemaking and codebreaking, not so much as people working "behind enemy lines" pretending to be the enemy, collecting information, and sneaking it back to those for whom they were spying, That is more what is called human intelligence. Here we have hundreds of artifacts, machines, and devices used to create and break codes and ciphers, the men and women who designed and used these tools, the methods they employed, and their impact on American and world history.
Written March 16, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hunter A
2 contributions
More interesting than we thought
Mar 2020 • Family
Visited with our two kids (9 and 7) on a weekend. They’re only open the 1st and 3rd Saturday if you can’t make it on a weekday. The kids enjoyed solving the challenges they had laid out and maybe learned a little bit beyond them. A lot of the exhibits were text heavy, so as an adult I only got to read part of them whole the kids were doing the challenges. However the museum was very thorough and covered a lot of interesting stuff. We planned for 45 minutes and ended up staying 1:30.

It would be cool if they had a bit more recent stuff. The exhibition ends with early 2000s technology. Would recommend a visit if you’re in the area.
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for visiting the museum and for taking the time to comments, which are very important to us. We are happy you enjoyed your visit. Regarding putting more recent stuff on display, virtually all of the artifacts and information on display at the National Cryptologic Museum were once classified. typically for 25 - 50 years after their use. This limits how much we can put on display. Still, wherever possible we do our best to put more recent items on display so that our visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the world of codemaking and codebreaking. Thanks again for visiting!
Written March 10, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Melissa M
Savannah, GA101 contributions
So much to love!
Feb 2020
It was a bit tricky getting there, but it was worth it! First of all, the admission is free, which is so helpful on a trip budget! I've just finished reading Code Girls by Liza Mundy, and there's a section of the museum on the efforts of women to help break enemy codes in WW2. The exhibits were well laid-out and the staff was super helpful. I loved that there were actual Enigma machines on display, as well as the enormous Bombe machine built in Dayton. My mother's next door neighbor was one of the Navy WAVES that helped build those machines, so seeing them in person was amazing. I took lots of pictures for her. There's a small gift shop, and a library on site. The museum also hosts special talks, and other events. Highly recommend!
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for visiting and for your comments.
Written March 9, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

WashDCD_C_Grl
Wash DC55 contributions
Very interesting
Jan 2020 • Friends
My book club read the book “The Woman Who Smashed Codes” and then we decided to visit this museum to learn more about the process. It was fascinating. They have several enigma machines that you can type a message into and see how the substitution takes place. Then you can type your encrypted message back and get the decrypted message. It really gave me a feeling of how it would have worked and how much work it would have been before this was all automated. The docent who gave us a tour was very knowledgeable and made the whole place, live. The museum is well organized and covers codes and messages starting about the time of George Washington. The exhibits are nicely done a mix of information for adults and older children.
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jas326
Washington DC, DC27 contributions
Great museum
Dec 2019 • Friends
Small museum packed full of information. Very knowledgeable docents and exhibits for all ages. Gives a great overview of the history of cryptology and the roll it plays in our history.
Written December 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

47ThomasS
Columbia, Maryland, Usa66 contributions
A Hidden Gem
Dec 2019 • Family
It doesn’t look like a great museum from the outside, but the content and exhibits contained in the National Cryptologic Museum is very robust! We were happily surprised at the great history of the art of cryptology and all the gadgets and secret boxes housed here! Located next to the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Md, a visit to the museum is great place to go and learn the history of securing our secrets.
Written December 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you, Thomas! We're glad you came and now better appreciate the value of cryptology has added in securing our nation and allies.
Written January 6, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TomWall60
Rockville, MD633 contributions
Unusual and worth a visit
Nov 2019
This is a gem. Unusual displays and well presented. If you are not familiar with the enigma machines of the history of cryptology, read a bit on line first. It will improve your visit. Educate your children a bit about the place and its holdings before going. A little prep will enhance your visit. Read the info with the displays. This is a must see place.Best for 12 years old and up. Not for younger kids.
Written November 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ducatibabe
Cheltenham, UK824 contributions
Little gem of a museum, very interesting.
Jul 2019 • Friends
Also quite odd, driving in as if you’re going to Forte Meade!
Lots of parking, & lots of interesting stuff to read & see.
Guides are available although we chose to wander around.
There’s no cafe, & a small shop.
Worth a couple of hours visit.
Written October 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

1943megyeri
Washington DC, DC103 contributions
A World Unknown to Most
Oct 2019 • Couples
Passed by this museum for years but made a deliberate attempt to tour it today. Guides very anxious to share info with you. Check for museum’s opening hours before you go. Learned one of the earliest ways of sending coded messages to one another originated with hobos during Depression years who left pictographs of friendly homes that would give them food, places where mean dogs lived and the locations of possible job openings for others to see. View the German cipher machine Enigma, the most significant cipher device in WW II but it failed. Learn about the Native American Code Talkers, watch an informative movie on NSA, and see the wooden Russian carved Presidential Seal housed in the White House that contained a listening device. The consequences of poor communication practices and the dangers of underestimating an adversary’s cryptanalytic capabilities are fully explored. Even a children’s learning section is available.
Written October 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Diane S
Irvine, CA86 contributions
A small, fascinating museum near Annapolis. Definitely worth a trip
Oct 2019
You can learn a lot of fascinating history at this museum. Plan to spend a couple of hours, and take a tour. Our group all enjoyed it. It’s a nice adjunct to the International Spy Museum in DC.
Written October 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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National Cryptologic Museum is open:
  • Mon - Fri 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM


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