Trip Planner:   USA  /  District of Columbia  /  Washington DC  /  Museums  /  National Building Museum

National Building Museum, Washington DC

(480+ reviews on the web)
History Museum
Tour a museum for architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning when you visit National Building Museum. View detailed drawings, rare photographs from the early 20th century, and original building fragments. Take your younger kids to the Building Zone to build a fort, or construct a soft-block arch in the museum's Great Hall. Tour the building itself, which is a National Historic Landmark and was completed in 1887. The museum's shop is considered the "best museum shop" by several publications, including The Washington Post and National Geographic Traveler's blog. Make National Building Museum a part of your Washington DC vacation plans using our Washington DC tourist route planner.
Create a full Washington DC itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Washington DC

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Washington DC by other users

15 days in East Coast of USA BY A USER FROM ITALY July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA June, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in United States, Mexico & Iceland BY A USER FROM CANADA July, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Shenandoah National Park & Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 5 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, kids, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: February, kids, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 27 days in United States & Canada BY A USER FROM FRANCE August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in United States & Ottawa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM INDIA June, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, romantic, museums, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, romantic, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Treat the admission as a donation to the Museum and you will feel better about spending your money. The building is beautiful but there really isn't much to do or see to justify the admission cost.  more »
  • This was probably my fifth visit to the National building Museum. They have an outstanding exhibit on landscape architect Lawrence Helprin. Every time I've been there they've had a number of outstandi...  more »
  • Exhibits change regularly, of course, but it's an interactive museum housed in a great building. If you're interested in the history of American architecture and its cultural artifacts, perfect place ...  more »
Google
  • The only reason this place gets 2 stars is because the building itself is beautiful. However, that is pretty much all this place has to offer. As a civil engineer, I was excited to visit this museum. We paid the $10 admission to see the exhibits and quickly realized that there wasnt much to see. Very little information on architechture or construction, mainly photos of buildings and landscapes, not all of which were even interesting. Struggled to find 45 minutes worth of stuff to do. Not worth the money at all. Come in, see the buidling for free, and then leave.
  • This is one of my favorite buildings in DC. The museum is run impeccably, features some of the most magnificent architecture in town, and hosts well-planned and interactive exhibits regularly. A+ attraction in DC...
  • I have visited the National Building Museum on three trips to Washington, and have enjoyed my visit each time. The architecture is striking from the interior and exterior, and of a different style than most in DC. The permanent exhibitions are very informative and worth the modest cost. The temporary exhibits have been great as well. Each exhibit generally describes the history of building materials and methods, which has had a greater impact on U.S. history and culture than most realize. The Museum Shop is easily one of the better ones in DC.
  • I have always enjoyed visiting the National Building Museum: it's a great space, I've never seen it as crowded as the museums on the Mall, and it's had some very interesting and unique shows in the past. But the $16 ticket fee just too high in a town packed with free museums that have so much more to see, comparatively. The gift shop, (pricey as all museum gift shops), has some really cool stuff, focusing on well and unusual design items for home and office as well as a fascinating array of architectural and design books. It is convenient, just one stop from Union Station and an easy walk to either the Mall or Chinatown area.
  • Didn't get to visit the whole exhibition but joined the free tour of the building. Very informative, we were in a small group, so it was easy to listen to the explanations. Beautiful place