National Building Museum, Washington DC

3.6
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. Work out when and for how long to visit National Building Museum and other Washington DC attractions using our handy Washington DC day trip planning site .
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National Building Museum Reviews
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541 reviews
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4.1
TripAdvisor
  • October 2, 2017
    Minimal security (let me look in your bag), no admission fee to enter the main hall. A nice sandwich shop, great place for a cup of coffee, one of the best gift shops in all of DC. The main hall, site...  more »
  • September 11, 2017
    Small exhibits. Favorite is the asulem exhibit on mental hospitals. Very cool. But rest of museum is not worth $10 admissions fee.  more »
  • September 6, 2017
    Housed in a beautiful building, current exhibits feature tributes to classic americana, as well as an environmental feature on wood and forests. There are also kid-focused exhibits, so it's a rare mus...  more »
Google
  • June 8, 2017
    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.
  • March 21, 2017
    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!
  • June 13, 2017
    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.
  • July 3, 2017
    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.
  • April 9, 2017
    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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