Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC

Natural History Museum · Museum
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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12,206 reviews
  • One of the best in the world!!! Clean! Great line / people management. Nothing worse that not being able to enjoy yourselves because of overcrowded lines and mismanagement. That is the best part of...  more »
  • There is so much to see here and I didn't finish seeing all the exhibits. You will find the famous T-Rex here and some of the films like Night at the Museum were taken in this museum too.  more »
  • A great museum! Helpful, nice people. Bring a lunch, as the vendors food prices are totally ridiculous.  more »
  • Really big museum so plan to spend 3+ hrs here. Every minute is worth the experience. Lots of different exhibits so there's something for everyone. Very impressive collection of gems. The mummies were one of my favorite displays. Lots of people so prepare to maneuver around them. Bring comfortable shoes.
  • I've been visiting since I was an infant and somehow it never ceases to amaze. Incredible taxidermy, beautiful habitat reconstructions, a gorgeous array of minerals and examples of mine shafts and layouts, and SO much more. Animals, rocks, fossils, insects, human history, anything you're interested in is probably here. I particularly enjoyed the staff members at certain areas that offered some extra fun activities and knowledge. Five-year-old twins had an incredible time and ask to go back at least once a week. Parking on the street was $3 for two hours and it was readily available. Only had to walk about a block.
  • We visited several of the Smithsonian museums while in Washington and the Natural History museum had something for all ages to see. We spent three hours in the museum, but could have stayed the whole day because there’s just that much to see. This and National Air and Space Museum were the two best museums and they’re directly across the Mall from each other. Recommend you enter any of the museums your planning to visit from the street sides of the buildings (Constitution Ave for Natural History and Independence Ave for Space) versus the Mall side as the line ups to get in are much shorter. Definitely worth visiting while in Washington.
  • My teenagers' favorite of the Smithsonian museums. Spacious with tons of exhibits to interest even the most difficult sight seers. The gem collection is always a favorite (the mineral hall is truly impressive) as are the dinosaurs. Didn't realize there are Egyptian mummies and artifacts as well. The temporary butterfly exhibit requires an extra fee but it is worth it to see them up close and even land on you. Something for everyone and the gift shop is the best one anywhere... you can even purchase real fossils, nice jewelry and minerals there. Loved it!
  • If you have limited time in the city, this museum is worth the visit. Allow yourself about 3 hours to work through the entire museum at a brisk pace. Highlights include the Hall of Human Origins (mostly casts, but all the key fossils are there; very few stone tools) and the Hall of Gems, which includes the Hope Diamond. Kids will enjoy the Dinosaur Fossils and Mammals. Expect to line up outside on weekends to get in - about 20-30 min. The cafe is nothing special, overpriced, but convenient.

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