Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
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.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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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
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • 907blaked
    Tampa, Florida1,438 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dinosaur exhibit not as good as it used to be, but Rocks/Minerals and Mammals is still excellent
    We spent a couple of hours here. The most enjoyable parts were the Mammals and Rocks/Minerals/Gems section, including the Hope Diamond. The dinosaur exhibit has been completely redone after being closed for many years, but quite frankly we found it not as well done as it was before; gone are the large-scale models of dinosaurs, replaced with just skeletons; and the written content/organization is difficult to follow and not as good. Nevertheless, this museum is still a staple of DC museums, and the price (free) is of course right!
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 June 2023
  • Liz
    Martinborough, New Zealand3 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth a visit.
    Chose this museum for two reasons - it didn't require pre-booking timed entry tickets - and I wanted to go to the 'butterfly room'. The exhibits were displayed really well in a beautiful building. We arrived early to avoid the crowds and spent a couple of hours there.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 22 June 2023
  • セオドア・ハウス
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Memorable and educational
    One of the best museums ever visited. You can cover anything from the Big bang, prehistoric dinosaur era, world history, space exploration while getting informed about wild life and various natural habitat on the planet. Good way to spend a day(half a day) in NYC
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 22 June 2023
  • Jessica K
    Tarpon Springs, Florida453 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Natural History Museum
    This Smithsonian museum seems to be the most popular, as it’s always crowded. It is a well organized and fascinating museum, hence the popularity. There’s something for everyone - gemstones, fossils, origins of humans, ocean life - really a terrific museum. We spent nearly 4 hours here and still felt like we could stay longer. There’s a nice cafeteria with basic food options (burgers, desserts, etc) and a nice gift shop. Situated near other Smithsonian museums and the Capitol. There’s also food trucks nearby.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 June 2023
  • srosens6
    Lake Worth, Florida2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unique Pieces
    They had really unique pieces. The gem/rock exhibit was really cool. Some speciments were over 3 million years old. They also had a lot of really cool bones. I can see spending 4-5 hours here.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 June 2023
  • Mira H
    30 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Cool museum
    This was such a fun museum to visit. It was much better than the American history museum we visited earlier that day. I'm not really a person who's into nature or biology, but I still had a great time. My absolute favorite part was the geology section. There were so many cool and beautiful stones to look at. That section was on the top floor, so we went there last a few minutes before closing. I honestly wish I knew where that section was so I could've spent more time there. Overall, it was a great experience for me, but remember, if you're a geology fan, make sure to visit that section first!
    Visited August 2022
    Travelled with family
    Written 3 July 2023
  • TravelerAndrew
    Boston, Massachusetts126 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Best Smithsonian!
    This is my favorite Smithsonian by far! The dinosaur exhibit alone sparks wonder and amazement for all ages, and the ocean section, rock section, and really each and every room and display makes you appreciate nature in a city where you're most often considering history and government. The larger than life displays of the dinosaur skeletons and the whale bones and/or sea creature models are jaw dropping!
    Visited June 2023
    Written 9 July 2023
  • Kelly s
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    WOW! but charge your phone!
    So much to explore!!! Be ready for crowds inside. Line outside was not terrible around 10:00 a.m. on 7/3/23. No charging stations for phone so make sure to have battery back up, charging cord/box. There are charging cords for purchase for $18! The only charging kiosks that we came across were in the Smithsonian American History Museum next door, 3rd floor, behind the Hall of Music in a couch/seating area or on the 2nd floor, near the gift shop, there's a brown set of 3 stairs box *think the kind of set up for shoe shining* and there are 2 USB ports at the bottom. Smithsonian has requested charging stations. Plan on more than an hour, peak or non peak times. So much to see!
    Visited July 2023
    Written 10 July 2023
  • AlexanderD
    Jackson, New Jersey5,612 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Great Museum for All Ages
    This is one of my favorite DC Museums and I’ve now been here twice, the last time a few weeks ago. There is so much to see and experience, from an incredible fossil collection to the hope diamond itself. My favorite remains their remarkable mineral collection. We also took the opportunity to do the butterfly experience. It cost extra (not too much, I think about $10 per person) and that was also great fun. You buy tickets right there and it was only a minute or two wait before we got to go in and interact with the butterflies.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 July 2023
  • Diana B
    Pomona, California51 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Same Classic. New look
    Loved visiting this classic museum again. Best part for me was the Mammals exhibit. Beautifully posed animals that you might never see anywhere are here, representing many species. Another favorite is the dinosaur exhibit. The skeletons of many dinosaurs are creatively displayed representing their daily lives. A must see is the the Gems and Minerals Hall. So many unusual and unique mineral types are beautifully displayed. Not to be missed is the room with the absolutely gorgeous diamond and precious gems exhibits. Breathtaking! Enjoyed reading the history of these exquisite gems also. The world famous Hope Diamond was not on display as it’s case was broken. We were sorry to miss it this trip as it is the crown jewel of the collection without a doubt. Another special exhibit is the live butterfly enclosure, where you can see all varieties of gorgeous butterflies and moths. One suggestion: Get your timed tickets for this exhibit early as they always sell out. You can easily spend the entire day here. There is so much to see for all ages.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 July 2023
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles12,527 reviews
Excellent
8,427
Very good
2,927
Average
936
Poor
175
Terrible
63

Diana L
Omaha, NE135 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
This was a very fun museum if you like all things Science. It's a little chaotic so bring patience. There is lots and lots to see. I would dedicate a few hours for this museum. It also had a great cafe, good sandwiches if you need a lunch break.
Written 20 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian R
Horsens, Denmark760 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
Absolutely amazing. I lost track of time. Especially good for me was the geological and gemstones exhibitions. Highly recommendable.
Written 17 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Baadal Adam
Dubai, United Arab Emirates106 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
The Bahrain National Museum is a captivating journey through Bahrain's rich history and culture. From ancient Dilmun artifacts to traditional crafts and pearl diving exhibits, each display is thoughtfully curated and informative. The modern architecture, interactive exhibits, and bilingual descriptions make it accessible and engaging for all visitors.

Highlights include the Dilmun Civilization section, traditional crafts, and contemporary art exhibits. The friendly, knowledgeable staff enhance the experience, and the museum shop offers unique souvenirs.

A must-visit for anyone in Bahrain, the museum provides a deeper appreciation of the country's heritage. Highly recommended!
Written 16 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris V
North Las Vegas, NV172 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2023 • Couples
You will probably need a few days to really engross yourself in the museum and all it has to offer. It was a fantastic experience and if your in DC a must see along with "oh, I don't know, a couple hundred other things in our nations capitol..."
Written 9 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jay
Phoenix, AZ155 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is full of interesting exhibits ranging from geology to insects. I enjoyed the minerals section when I visited. Some of the other exhibits were being revamped, so I didn't get to see those. The exhibit on cell phones and electronics was very cool and I'd recommend you stop by. Note that prices in the food court are outrageous.
Written 8 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kate S
173 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
By far the best natural history museum in the country. We had read that most people take 2-3 hours to complete the museum, but that is totally false. We spent that much time and only saw 3 exhibits. We saw the gems- so many amazing rocks and meteorites. The biggest diamond in the world is there, too (didn't get pictures because there were too many people). We also visited the ocean exhibits that taught a lot about pollution, global warming, etc. on the impact of the ocean and the domino effect that has. It also discussed some ancient ocean life that was cool. The last exhibit we saw was the African one that showed a bit of what life has been/is like for these people over many hundreds of years. I wish we would have had more time to see more of the exhibits- dinosaurs, animals, Egypt, etc. But we had another place to be after 2.5 hours. You could probably spend the whole day here, to be honest.
Written 3 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SUBZEROSKIDD10
Thetford, VT1,099 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
There is a reason that the National Museum Of Natural History is consistently ranked as one of the most popular museums not just on the National Mall but in all of Washington, DC. The collection of taxidermied animals of all species from across the globe is astounding. The ability to get nearly nose-to-nose with a bull moose or stare directly into the eyes (albeit glassed over) of a kangaroo with a joey in its pouch is something most would never experience. Although, some of the exhibits have started to show their age and some animals are exhibiting some wear and tear. It’s quite possible that some of the animals have been there over 30 years and some of the other educational exhibits could use an upgrade into the 2020s decade. Regardless, this museum is not one to be missed for both DC natives and visitors alike.
Written 30 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

andyh67186334
Coalville, UK9,500 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
As the weather was poor, I decided to visit the museum, and it seemed everyone else had the same idea. As it ws free to enter, not time slots and Spring Break, it was organised chaos when you were inside. I didn't see as much as I wanted to due the vast amount of visitors, a shame really.
Written 14 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Enrique G
Mexico City, Mexico27 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
It is just a cool, fun way to learn more about different species, animals and humanity itself. It is a must in every Washington trip
Written 8 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael C
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
It is always interesting, fascinating, and educational when you visit this museum. Easy access, free, and a lot of hustle and bustle.
Written 4 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

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