Smithsonian National Postal Museum, Washington DC

(750+ reviews on the web)
Specialty Museum Museum
Learn about the history of the U.S. postal system and discover the stories behind its impressive collection of mail memorabilia at Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Located inside the capital's central post office from 1914 until 1986, this arm of the Smithsonian Institution boasts a vast collection of stamps, mail-carrying vehicles from across the ages, and significant letters. The collection extends to some rather curious post-related items, such as the preserved remains of Owney the dog, the postal system's unofficial mascot in the late 19th century. Take a look at our Washington DC vacation builder to schedule your visit to Smithsonian National Postal Museum and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • From the inverted Jenny airmail stamp to the British Guiana magenta, this museum has it all. Great collection of world stamps and much interesting material about the making of postage stamps and the h...  more »
  • Wow, didn't expect this, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum is just excellent. Don't miss the moving exhibition called "PostSecret" which is honestly very special and actually not always easy to v...  more »
  • This museum exceeded our expectations. Easy to get to - just across the street from Union Station. Cool, air-conditioned place. No crowds. Good exhibits. Well worth 1-2 hours. Friendly staff.  more »
Google
  • Quite possibly the most underrated museum in DC. We stopped by for the novelty experience and because the Smithsonian Museums are free. It turned out to be a really amazing find. All of the staff working in the museum is super happy to help with any questions. The entire museum is full of interactive exhibits. It really helps you see how the postal service can change history. Go visit!
  • I was fascinated with this post office museum. They have done an extremely good job at displaying the history of the us postal service. The early days of postal delivery is highlighted here in a way that is thought provoking. It makes me really feel like we take advantage or take for granted the delivery of mail to our residence.
  • A real diamond in the rough. Who knew a Postal Museum would be that much fun? The kids loved the interactive exhibits, the train and truck they could climb into, and the airplanes suspended from the ceiling. We went on a miniature train display day and it was awesome!
  • I came here to see the PostSecret exhibit, and I was blown away by how cool the whole museum is! For those thinking that the postal system might not be the neatest thing to base a museum off of, your mind will be changed after coming here! The exhibits are well-made, and the interactive stuff was wonderful for children and adults alike. I had a blast turning my face into a stamp and taking home some awesome souvenirs. Loved it!
  • We had a great experience at the Postal Museum! I know it's often overlooked since it isn't on the Mall with the main Smithsonian Museums, but this one is every bit as good. It is incredibly informative, with an amazing collection of all kinds of stamps, letters, and other artifacts. I learned quite a lot, and am glad we were able to make it over. Make sure you include this in your list of museums to see in the area! I only wish we had more time to explore it.