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National Building Museum, Washington DC

3.7
#23 of 46 in Museums in Washington DC
History Museum 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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
522 reviews
Google
4.1
  • I never get tired of visiting this building as it is stunning inside and out. There are often very good special expos inside on the subject of architecture and DC history. And it's a great space for s...  more »
  • We are staying right next to this amazing looking building and decided to check it out. Looks like alot of fun activities for young kids but with all the free museums a few blocks away didn't seem wor...  more »
  • Every year when my granddaughters & I come to Washington with my husband for a meeting we have to go to this museum! The exhibits are always fascinating: fun & unusual mini golf the first year, ice be...  more »
Google
  • This place is amazing for kids. I have lived here basically all my life and walked by this building numerous times. It just never made my list of places to go. Finally went there with my daughter. Great kid activity area for building stuff. They have a special area with building materials for the kids but you need to get tickets and get them early. You can reserve your 45 minute time slot for every hour. We got there when it opened on the weekend and the 45 minute time slots where full until noon and you have to pay. Tldr: great cool building, lots of stuff for kids.
  • This is such a historic building and phenomenal museum because of how much you can learn just by taking the free, self-guided tour! Sure you can pay for a docent to take you around, and I encourage you too (especially as you'll learn a LOT more and see restricted areas), but if you're strapped on time and wanna enjoy a quiet tour, this is the place to do it. If you have little ones this is also a top choice on the museum list, as there is little to break, a massive Blue Room to play in, and the Builder's Corner. Not to mention the massive, carpeted atrium with interactive building options. Being immediately above the Judiciary Square Metro stop also makes this an ideal option no matter the weather!
  • Super neat museum. The architecture in the building itself and its history are fascinating. Was kind of underwhelmed with the great, but few exhibitions for adults. I have heard it is better to go with kids.
  • This space is huge, and interesting, but seems to be lacking in overall structure and organization. It kind of feels like a bunch of separate galaries, rather than a museum. There's a fee to get in here as well. Interesting exhibits, none the less, but pretty expensive for the total experience.
  • Historic, grand location often used to host elegant political events, trade shows and private parties. A White House favorite for entertaining political leaders and VIPs. Headquarters for the design industries, a favorite for tourists, small shops on site, services offered for children, with handicap accessible ramps. A paid valet parking area is available during special events. Located 3 blocks from the Judiciary Square Metro stop and 4-5 blocks away from the Gallery Place Metro stop. Small eateries are within a 3 block radius. History lovers will be in heaven.

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Where to stay in Washington DC

Most visitors to Washington, D.C., end up in the East End, the old downtown district containing most of the city's major cultural attractions. For a more authentic Washingtonian experience, consider staying at a smaller hotel just a little north or east of this busy area. Neighborhoods outside downtown offer less expensive accommodations and affordable street parking, as well as opportunities to meet more locals and fewer tourists. Alternatively, try a hotel in Georgetown, packed with high-end shops and Colonial architecture.
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