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“Stunning. Amazing. Don't miss this one.”

National Portrait Gallery
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Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour of Washington DC: Monuments, Landmarks and Memorials
Ranked #16 of 432 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Visitors can view the portraits of all the U.S. presidents.
Midwest city
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Stunning. Amazing. Don't miss this one.”
Reviewed January 9, 2014

This. Is. Amazing. Check out this attraction - not crowded and SO much history here. World-renown portraits and paintings by some of the best known artists. Perfect for all ages and a must see. Take your time and enjoy it - this is high-end art gallery quality at no cost and the masterpieces are absolutely everywhere. Even if you don't think you like art, check this out and know you've now seen some of the world's finest works. Awesome and well worth the visit. Made an evening trip and it was practically empty, even in June during height of summer vacations.

Visited June 2013
Thank travelhound28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,418 reviews from our community

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Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
451 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
“Learn about many different Americans”
Reviewed January 6, 2014

Great series of paintings and art works of prominent Americans, including all of America's presidents. Well laid out and displayed, and includes interesting brief bios of many of the people featured. Add to this a number of very interesting extra exhibitions, a lovely building and interesting shop, and you will find yourself spending quite a few hours very pleasantly here.

Visited January 2014
Thank Michelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
60 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great place to spend some time”
Reviewed January 5, 2014 via mobile

There are a lot of interesting things to see here - American history is tracked by the players who created it and still sustain it. The covered square is amazing.

Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
129 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A Must for Historical Photos”
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.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
491 reviews
195 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 237 helpful votes
“Worthwhile art museum”
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.

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