National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC

(3.3/5 based on 1,700+ reviews on the web)
National Museum of the American Indian represents the first museum of its kind in America designed as a living display of the lives, history, and archaeology of the native peoples of the Americas. Part of the Smithsonian Institution's series of famous national museums in Washington, D.C., the facility's limestone facade and interior design were created with the help of prominent Native American groups. You can explore the museum's 800,000 objects on display, as well as its library and archives containing more than 120,000 photographs. Wander through the different regions of the Western Hemisphere, including the Amazon, Andes, California, Great Basin, Pacific Northwest, Mesoamerica, and more, and learn about the tribes and traditions. Check the museum's website for information on special events and traditional performances, temporary exhibits, and guided tours. Make National Museum of the American Indian part of your personalized Washington DC itinerary using our Washington DC itinerary maker.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • In addition to the rotating exhibits, the halls of this museum are packed with artifacts, literally. There are display cases and under the display cases are pull out drawers with more artifacts. We we...  more »
  • The displays at this museum are average. Could be a lot more history. Focuses more on spiritual aspect of life. Cafeteria has interesting food and great hot chocolate. Bag check personnel are very unf...  more »
  • This is a relatively new museum. It's exhibits are interesting and cover native american societies from Alaska to South America. I was surprised at the lack of Hawaiian exhibits but maybe they decided...  more »
Google
  • Before you go to this museum, remember that it's free. If it were a paid museum, I'd recommend skipping by it, but since it's free, it's worth popping in. Here is my pro/con list: Pros: 1) The exhibits tell a very important story filled with injustice. They present it in a way where they tell how both the Indian Americans and the Europeans viewed their history. It's an important and sad history to be aware of. 2) The bottom floor is a giant circle that hosts performances and events for all ages. 3) This museum has one of the most unique food courts out of the Smithsonian Museums. They have food from various tribes. The sweet fry bread is a MUST. Cons: 1) The museum is huge in stature but small in terms of exhibits. 2) It's a lot of reading. If you have an hour to spare, pop in. It's free!
  • We were pretty disappointed with this museum, especially since it's a Smithsonian. We went to an Indian museum in OK and it was much more complete. They're trying to tell the stores of all Indians here. There weren't many artifacts and the larger exhibits seem random in their topics, at best.
  • I really enjoyed going to this museum. I did not really come with any huge expectations, but was blown away by the intense details and beautiful design of this museum. I also appreciated that the museum included Latin american indigenous people from Mexico and Peru. Plus, the cafeteria at the museum is amazing! The cafeteria is divided into regions of the U.S and each region has food that Native Americans in those regions eat. It was a really cool experience to get to try the food from the different native american tribes, and the prices were not too exorbitant. I cannot believe this museum has no entrance fee! It was an incredibly educational experience and I would definitely plan on returning! P.S Heads up to anyone visiting the museum: everyone has to go through security before entering, just like in an airport. But, depending on the time and day security does not take that long.
  • A wonderful museum highlighting the many American Indian tribes. It's a great way to better understand the history of the many tribes as well as their diverse and beautiful culture. It also has one of the best cafes at the Mall serving authentic food. You can try dishes from a variety of regions and cultures. BUT, it's expensive. I also love the gift shop; it has beautiful souvenirs and handmade art and jewelry.
  • Very interesting collection. The information provided is easy to understand for all ages. A very quiet museum. The restaurant is very interesting - food provided is a regional selection from Native American Cultures.