Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC

4.6
Discover the many wonders of the natural world at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the most-visited museum in North America. View the vast collection of more than 126 million plants, animals, minerals, and human cultural artifacts, which are spread throughout dozens of interactive and themed exhibits. Learn more about our beginnings in the Hall of Human Origins. Get up close to a life-size Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton at the Hall of Dinosaurs, where you can interact with your favorite prehistoric creatures in the simulated Walking with Dinosaurs experience. See the most famous diamond in the world, the Hope Diamond, in the Hall of Minerals. Admission is free year-round. Using our international travel planner, Washington DC attractions like Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
9,833 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • My son and I went one day and we were limited for time. We asked the desk for instructions and suggestions. They gave us a plan and my son loved all that he saw. He is 13 and we agreed to look around ...  more »
  • A perfect Museum. Organized, great, with beautiful collections. In addition to experiencing the location of the movie night at the Museum 2
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  • I really enjoyed this Museum, though a certain queue. Has several galleries and a vast history of animals. Very good! Among the several museums of Washington, worth prioritizing this.
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Google
  • Great museum with tons of things on animals and living things. There are lots of interactive things here and also there are lots of big animal displays for kids to look at. There are also really neat displays on minerals here. Another cool thing is that you can touch a piece from mars. Great day trip for something to do in the city. So many different exhibits here. I would really recommend it to people especially people or groups with kids along, who want to spend a day filled with lots of fun.
  • Very busy and popular. My kids love coming here. The gem and mineral exhibit is so impressive and we learned about the whale too!!! The place is so big that we only did a couple exhibits in 3 hours. Definitely a place to spend time and all day in. The place is free, open all year excerpt Christmas day. Make sure you empty your pockets and open all zippers of bags. No drinks except water bottles allowed. We found Street parking but there are some parking garages near by.
  • Another great free museum. The security check people are real slow though. Big museum. The butterfly exhibit in extra and have to buy tickets but is nice. There is a possibility for butterflies to land in your for a nice photo-op. Plenty to do in this museum with multiple floors.
  • Great museum with an exceptional educational value especially for younger persons. Also a big plus is that it is free of charge! I also really liked the exposition of the best photographs related to animals! Really outstanding pictures! I highly recommend to visit this museum as a priority in your list with things to do if you are a tourist to Washington and have only a limited amount of time available.
  • The museum is large and has a variety of child and adult friendly exhibits. Currently there’s a live butterfly pavilion (extra charge for tickets) on the second floor. The Hall of Mammals is a great stage for its many models and stuffed species, and the Hall of Gems holds dazzling minerals and gems from all over the world. The ocean section has a tank of live fish, and also serves as a strong information source for how our activities as a species are affecting the world’s waters. Other interesting sections include the African Cultures hall, the section honoring nature photographers (has some spectacular photographs on display!), and the dinosaur section (complete with a T-rex skeleton). There are two entrances, and you will be subject to a metal detector/bag search.

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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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