Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC: Hours, Address, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Reviews: 4.5/5

Message from Tripadvisor
Temporarily closed until further notice

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
4.5
Temporarily closedClosed until further notice
About
Established in 1910 and located on the National Mall, this prestigious museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, holds the world's most extensive collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts including the remains of dinosaurs and tools used by early man.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Top ways to experience Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
The area
Address
Neighbourhood: National Mall
How to get there
  • Federal Triangle • 5 min walk
  • Archives • 6 min walk
Popular mentions

4.5
12,235 reviews
Excellent
8,210
Very good
2,880
Average
919
Poor
168
Terrible
60

Bubviv
Dublin, Ireland455 contributions
I became a kid again!
Nov 2021
Wooooowwww!!! I was so excited to visit the Smithsonian I could barely contain myself once I got inside. The dinosaurs was my favourite section, followed by the geology section upstairs (I like sparkly things!). We didn't have much time in our schedule in D.C but I made sure we had the Smithsonian down. AMAZING AMAZING. Entry is free but you have to queue and have your bags checked. Masks are mandatory.
A very good collection of items on display, and the display themselves are very well designed. I did not get to see everything on this visit, but I will be sure to return again.
Well worth a visit, you could spend all day here.
Written 5 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Goldelpack P
Edgewater, NJ64 contributions
awesome museum
Dec 2021
Although TRIPADVISOR is still saying it is CLOSED - it is open with parts still closed. Overall, the majority of the exhibits are open and visitors can expect a full day at a minimum. Depending upon your preferences for viewing you can get through it in a visit or savor it. Masks are required throughout all the DC attractions. Be sure to check the schedules for any attraction you plan to see because most are open no more than 5 out of 7 days - mostly from 10am to 5ish. Though most things have re-opened (Nov/Dec 2021) there's lots of reductions in days, hours and exhibits and many places.
Written 3 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

adventix
Boston, MA1,237 contributions
one of the best museums
Nov 2021
I don't think that one day is enough to see the entire place. The richness of the collections and the attention to details is superior. Entrance is free but they check everyone so expect a 10-15min wait in line outside. I highly recommend the hall of biodiversity
Written 27 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

RLWOrangePark
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL3,633 contributions
A Must See for Visitors of All Ages
Oct 2021
This is a huge museum and a MUST SEE for any visit to DC. When you enter you will see a huge ancient Moai head statue from Easter Island and a giant African Bush Elephant. Our favorite exhibit was in the Gems and Minerals Hall with displays of priceless gems collected from around the world. Most famous is the Hope Diamond, a huge 45.5 carat blue diamond. Also in the exhibit are the MacKay emerald and diamond necklace (168 carats), the Carmen Lucia Ruby (at 23.1 carats, one of the largest ever found), the Dom Pedra Aquamarine (10,363 carats), the Whitney Flame Topaz (48.86 carats), the Logan Sapphire (423 carats), the Napolean Diamond Necklace (172 carats) and Marie Antoinette diamond earring, and many, many more precious jewels and minerals. We have seen many imperial crown jewels during our trips around the world and none can compare with the gems/jewelry on display here. In the Ancient Egypt Exhibit are 2000 year old mummies and numerous jewelry and artifacts from that era. In the Bone Hall are skeletons from a large variety of mammals, fish and birds. In the Hall of Fossils are displayed numerous dinosaurs (including a Tyrannosaurus Rex), reptiles, mammals and fossilized insects. I would allot up to 3 hours to tour this vast museum. Enter the museum via National Mall on Madison Drive or at 10th St. NW & Constitution Ave. NW). The closest metro stations are the Federal Triangle Metro Station (located on the blue, orange, and silver lines); the Archives/Navy Memorial Metro Station (on the green and yellow lines). Both are located within a couple blocks of the museum. The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday only from 10:00am - 5:30 pm and no advanced reservations are required.
Written 5 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sphynxlovers
Dalton, GA100 contributions
Great wonders within!
Oct 2021
There are no need for advance tickets to enter that there may be a bit of a wait to get through bag search and security.
If you want to see everything on offer and really experience this, you cannot get through this in 2-3 hours. My husband and I are high school science teachers so we wanted to see all the exhibits and read about them but when we were two hours in and still in the fossil room, we knew we could not spend the time there we would like.
We enjoyed this museum so much. There are 3 levels to it but some exhibits were closed still due to COVID. This is a must-see attraction for young and old alike. You won't be sorry.
Written 30 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kathy M
31 contributions
Something for everyone
Sep 2021 • Couples
It was not very busy and the exhibits were great to see. There were plenty of guides available to answer questions. The dinosaur exhibit is quite amazing and really well put together. Definitely a highlight of the museum. You can lose yourself for hours inside. Highly recommended for adults and children.
Written 28 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

G.z.
Berlin, Germany36 contributions
Good exhibition, free!
Oct 2021 • Solo
Amazing experience, some very good exhibitions, make sure you give some more attention to the mineral exhibition , very good to go solo or family
Written 21 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kinda Invisible
Greater Seattle Area276 contributions
Goes on forever
Sep 2021
How lucky are we to have these kind of museums available to us at no charge?! Take your time and just enjoy everything it has to offer. Note that many of the exhibits are casts of actual skeletons because the originals are fragile and part of research.
Written 21 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bradziker1
Lake Mary, FL1,354 contributions
too much to see in a few hours
Sep 2021
This was just so much fun and too much to see. I only had a few hours, so had to go to the exhibits that I prioritized. By the end of a few hours I was exhausted. You could spend several days here. Really enjoyed the human history part with all the models of Neanderthals and other human faces - very interesting and well done. The cafeteria was not up to standards - just rows of tables and not inviting. Needs a major redesign. So glad there are still some things free. Make sure you research which days the various museums are open. Wish they had a bag room like the British museum.
Written 3 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Andrew T
134 contributions
Visit
Sep 2021 • Solo
Went recently. We did all the floors available and read as much as possible. This museum really is a 2 day type experience if you want to get all of it in. If you want to just go in a day allot around 3-4 hours. Pretty cool overall.
Written 3 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 10,234
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is open:
  • Wed - Sun 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 28 Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History tours on Tripadvisor