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“A Must for Historical Photos”

National Portrait Gallery
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Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour of Washington DC: Monuments, Landmarks and Memorials
Ranked #16 of 430 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Visitors can view the portraits of all the U.S. presidents.
Level Contributor
127 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A Must for Historical Photos”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2014

The National Portrait Gallery always has noteworthy exhibits of historical photographs. Our December 2013 visit include photos from the President Lincoln era, a collections of photos from around the USA, and photo collages of different places in the USA. We like the courtyard, a place to have a nosh and/or relax.

Visited December 2013
Thank tapbelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
482 reviews
194 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 236 helpful votes
“Worthwhile art museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2014

The National Portrait Gallery is a Smithsonian Museum in DC that is not on the Mall. It is in the same building as the American Art Museum. The building itself is a terrific neoclassical building with a glass-covered atrium in the center. It is conveniently located right on a Metro stop and close to several lines at Metro Center a few blocks away.

The portraits are located on several levels, and are divided into themes. One gallery is devoted to United States Presidents, with a portrait for each president. The upper levels include famous athletes, artists, entertainers, scientists, generals and other famous people (mostly Americans). The portraits are all very impressive, and it's interesting to see how different people are depicted. Each portrait has some good biographical information that is also very informative if you are reading about a lesser-known president or someone else you know little about.

You can see all of the portraits on display in a few hours. Because the American Art Museum is here as well, you could easily spend the whole day at the museum if you wanted to see that collection, too. There is not a lot at the Portrait Gallery that is really famous, so if you are just visiting DC, you'll probably want to see the more well-known museums first, but if you live or work in the area, it's a good museum at which you can spend an hour or a day.

Also, the Portrait Gallery does not get crowded like the museums on the Mall, so it's a much quieter and relaxed environment and experience, even if the pieces are not as well-known as the exhibits at the museums on the Mall.

Visited August 2013
Thank Brendan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southbridge, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“One afternoon in DC”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

Do not overlook this museum while in D.C. First time I visited was to see a special exhibit. Now when I visit D.C it is one of favorite stops. I recommend you latch on to one of the guided tours. The tours last about an hour and provide a wonderful overview of the museum. The build itself has historical value. The museum opens and closer later than the other museums. It's free! As all the museums it has a wonderful gift shop. The special exhibits are smaller, but don't miss the Presidents Gallery. We enjoyed a lunch at the Poste across the street in the Hotel Monaco

Visited December 2013
Thank nmv712
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macon, Georgia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“A day is not even enough”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

Initially, I was reluctant to go to this gallery since I was not interested in portraits. But boy how much we were all surprised. It had so many sections encompassing a long span of time and different portraits of presidents, politicians, athletes, singers, musicians, actors, scientist... and the list goes on. After spending several hours there, we took a break to go to lunch and went back for another two hours. Very highly recommended and it is free

Visited December 2013
Thank Fatatino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“National Portrait Gallery”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

Hidden treasure in DC. Paintings of historic figures and places. Wonderful atrium. As most visitors are not familiar with the museum usually not very crowded. Certainly were the stop especially if into history.

Visited August 2013
Thank flobow3648
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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