Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC

4.5
Constructed of Seneca red sandstone in a faux Norman style that combines elements of late Romanesque and early Gothic architecture, Smithsonian Institution houses a visitor center and the administrative offices of over a dozen specialized museums. Nicknamed the "Castle" and finished in 1855, this building consists of a central section, two extensions, and two wings. Four large and five smaller towers are primarily decorative. Two galleries on the second floor contain the visitor information area, which offers free Wi-Fi, interactive displays, and maps. Use the visitor center's computers to find answers to most common questions about this complex of museums, or walk through the northern entrance to visit the tomb of the institution's founder, chemist and mineralogist James Smithson. Plan to visit Smithsonian Institution and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Washington DC attractions using our Washington DC itinerary planning site .
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Smithsonian Institution Reviews
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3,410 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • September 26, 2017
    Smithsonian Castle housing the Smithsonian Institution has a large collection of artifacts from history, dating back to native american life before the gold rush. There are very interesting informatio...  more »
  • September 25, 2017
    Note that this place and other museums close at 5PM weekdays. Not sure if it's open during weekends. It's a nice big house with fabulous gardens, including some explanations on the foliage. It gives a...  more »
  • September 24, 2017
    We didnt spend much time inside the castle. Has a nice overview of all the museums along with a gift shop and a place to grab a snack. You dont need to visit the castle as much as you need to download...  more »
Google
  • June 21, 2017
    My favorite museum! It's free admission too! The displays are beautiful. They have great exhibits. The current fashion exhibit has so much wonderful talent in the world of Indian Fashion. There were many pieces I wish I could own! I love the moccasins! There are three or four large rooms of clothing and accessories on display. Beautiful designs. The museum has the subway right at the front door. It's located close to food spots and Battery Park. A lot of history in the neighborhood.
  • June 23, 2017
    you better release all the ancient artifacts you keep hidden from the public. I discovered more cover ups of yours and will gladly reveal truths in hopes of another lawsuit against your crimes. Your bible is nothing to keep in line with. I will start a movement against your corporation in hopes to end it if you continue to withhold the truth about some of the artifacts you keep well hidden or destroyed. There is evidence out there of this circling till the right time to file another lawsuit. To avoid this you better comply.
  • May 15, 2017
    Awesome place. Make sure you have enough time for this place. Lots to see and learn. Wear comfortable shoes! And there's always a long lineup to enter the museum.
  • June 19, 2017
    A mind blowing experience. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
  • March 13, 2017
    My great-grandpa was a photographer for the US Navy for 40 years. Some of his pictures made it in here. Pretty cool.

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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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