The Smithsonian Institute operates 12 museums and galleries on the National Mall, as well as many other facilities in the area. Museums are free to visit, and most are open 10am-5:30pm all days except December 25. Several metro stations on all lines get you close to the museums, including Smithsonian, Federial Triangle, and L’Enfant. See 10 Metro stops for popular DC attractions for more station information.
1. National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the newest addition to the Smithsonian Institute’s National Mall museums. The museum views the history of America through the lens of African Americans, from the realities of slavery through to contemporary culture.
2. National Museum of American History
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History oversees the institutes collection of items with cultural, political, and historical significance in the history of the United States. Visitors will learn about the events and cultures that have shaped the nation, including military conflicts, political and social events, and scientific discovery. Exhibits include the First Ladies dresses, the original Star-Spangled Banner, and much more.
3. National Museum of Natural History
The Natural Museum of Natural History features exhibits showcasing the natural world, including flora and fauna to minerals and geological history. Find everything from real dinosaur bones to a butterfly exhibit to the Hope Diamond.
4. National Museum of the American Indian
The Smithsonian Institution’s National National Museum of the American Indian is dedicated to the history and culture of the native peoples of the Americas, including all of the Western Hemisphere. The museum’s facility on the National Mall houses the Smithsonian Institution’s collection of Native American artifacts, hosts events and festivals, and teaches visitors about the diverse native cultures.
5. National Air and Space MuseumThe Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum is spread across two facilities, holding and displaying the Institution’s collection of aircraft and spacecraft; the largest in the world. The museum’s primary facility is located on the National Mall, with a larger building and grounds, the National Air and Space Museum – Udvar-Hazy Center located in Virginia near Dulles International Airport.
6. Hirshhorn MuseumThe Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the National Museum of Modern Art. Find a variety of exhibits featuring modern art and sculptures, including regular installations and rotating exhibits.
7. Arts and Industries Center
The Arts and Industries building is closed for renovation. It occasionally hosts special events.
8. National Museum of African ArtThe Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art is home to the Institution’s collection of African artwork. Exhibits include paintings, ceramics, textiles, pottery, and other forms of artwork from African artists representing styles and cultures of the continent. The museum’s includes the Walt-Disney Tishman collection, with over 500 items collected by Paul and Ruth Tishman, donated to the museum to the Smithsonian in 2005.