Smithsonian's NMNH

National Museum of Natural History

1000 Constitution Avenue NW (at 10th St. NW), Washington, D.C. 20560
Hours:
Closed until 10:00am (Show more)
  • Mon–Sun
    • 10:00 AM–5:30 PM
Credit Cards:
Yes (incl. American Express)

Opened in 1910, the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s preeminent museum and research complex.

9.5/10

Based on 3211 votes

Popular with out-of-towners

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218 Tips

People talk about:

  • "... the well known Hope Diamond, the largest blue diamond in the world with..." (16 tips)
  • "... through the Hall of Dinosaurs. Questions? Snag the attention of one of..." (17 tips)
  • "The butterfly exhibit is free on Tuesdays!" (7 tips)
  • HISTORY

    The Smithsonian Institution was founded for the "increase and diffusion" of knowledge from a bequest to the United States by the British scientist James Smithson, who had never visited the US himself.

    HISTORY · March 31, 2010
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  • Danielle F.

    Go to the dinosaurs

    Danielle F. · July 1, 2010
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  • Chevrolet

    The N.M.N.H. houses over 500 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and human cultural artifacts; Let us know when you've seen them all.

    Chevrolet · September 21, 2010
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  • Michelin Travel & Lifestyle

    Get an up-close look at stunningly colorful creatures as you stroll among butterflies & exotic plants in the enclosed Butterfly Pavilion. -- Green Guide Editor

    Michelin Travel & Lifestyle · August 2, 2011
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  • Fordcast Tour

    The world's largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums, 9 research centers and more than 140 affiliate museums around the world. Make sure to bring a camera!

    Fordcast Tour · August 22, 2011
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  • Russell T.

    The new year old exhibit on the oceans is one of the best exhibits in any of the Smithsonians.

    Russell T. · September 24, 2009
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  • Shevonne P.

    Don't forget to check out the Insect Zoo

    Shevonne P. · July 8, 2010
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  • Michael S.

    Always take Metro. Parking is a bear. Make sure you leave plenty of time to see the entire museum. One could spend at least 5 hours there.

    Michael S. · July 13, 2010
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  • Adrienne

    Forget the giant elephant. Have you seen the GIANT SLOTH!?!?

    Adrienne · July 29, 2010
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  • Monica

    The Human Origins exhibit just opened. Be sure to check out the morphing station. Read more

    Monica · March 23, 2010
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  • DC Preservation League

    Built 1910 (Hornblower & Marshall, architects); DC Landmark - November 8, 1964.

    DC Preservation League · May 11, 2011
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  • NMNH Social Media Team

    If you're hungry and find the Atrium Cafe closed, check out the Fossil Cafe located in the Dinosaur Hall. Read more

    NMNH Social Media Team · August 11, 2010
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  • USA TODAY

    For something so lovely, the 45.52-carat jewel of the Smithsonian Institution has a sinister tale. Several owners of the blue diamond have suffered misfortune, including Marie Antoinette. See it here. Read more

    USA TODAY · June 22, 2012
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  • Dora

    If your kid goes crazy for the stuffed elephant in the entrance, head straight to the Hall of Mammals for more exotic creatures frozen in time. Powered by ParentsConnect.com

    Dora · July 21, 2010
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  • Michelin Travel & Lifestyle

    After your visit here, see national icons like Star-Spangled Banner, Julia Child's kitchen, and a 1926 Model T Ford at the National Museum of American History next door -- Green Guide Editor

    Michelin Travel & Lifestyle · August 13, 2012
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  • Ryan C.

    Check out the bone exhibit. Awesome!

    Ryan C. · June 25, 2010
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  • Bryant C.

    I love this place. Almost 30 and still act like a big kid here

    Bryant C. · June 17, 2010
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  • Ellen S.

    Watch the Wild Ocean 3D @IMAX! It's amazing footage.

    Ellen S. · March 27, 2010
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  • Smithsonian

    Check out the museum's mobile website for events, exhibitions, floor plans and more (http://www.mnh.si.edu/mobile/)

    Smithsonian · June 7, 2012
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  • Stephani S.

    The best museum in Washington D.C. especially the rocks and minerals wing. Go if only to see the Hope Diamond

    Stephani S. · October 14, 2010
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  • Dan M.

    Written in Bone exhibit is very interesting - a must see for any criminology or forensic science enthusiasts!!

    Dan M. · June 15, 2010
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  • Scott T.

    so much to see!!!

    Scott T. · August 4, 2009
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  • -

    The dinosaurs are amazing !!!!

    - · June 16, 2013
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  • Shannon

    The gems & minerals section is awesome (the Hope Diamond is currently on display)! Allow yourself at least two hours to explore. You could easily spend a half day wandering around!

    Shannon · March 17, 2011
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  • Monica

    Go through the Written in Bone exhibit. Toast yourself with some wine from the Atrium Cafe. Read more

    Monica · January 26, 2010
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  • Wired

    The green-domed museum on the National Mall contains 325,000 square feet of exhibition and public space. Read more

    Wired · August 9, 2012
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  • Capital Spice

    Head to the 2nd floor for the Butterfly Pavillion. For $6 you can walk through a room filled with hundreds of butterflies. Worth it!

    Capital Spice · February 13, 2012
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  • Bob K.

    Don't get locked in after closing. I've heard strange things may happen overnight!

    Bob K. · May 20, 2011
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  • Nick C.

    The dinosaur bones are cool.

    Nick C. · May 26, 2010
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  • Traci A.

    The butterfly exhibit is normally $6 for adults, but is free every Tuesday.

    Traci A. · March 6, 2010
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  • Eric A.

    Don't miss the Ocean Hall!

    Eric A. · February 22, 2012
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  • Dayana B.

    Cafes are convenient but extremely over priced. Mcdonalds, subway and the post office pavilion are right out 10th and much cheaper.

    Dayana B. · April 17, 2011
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  • Bobby M.

    The female giant squid is about 40 feet and incredible. Makes u wonder how big the adults get if she's just juvenile .....

    Bobby M. · March 6, 2011
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  • Jeff M.

    Make sure you check out the whales over head too. I'm pretty sure it says that whales started in the early oceans, then moved to land for a few million years before becoming ocean creatures again!

    Jeff M. · February 10, 2011
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  • Jabe B.

    Don't carry the kids coats all day. Coat lockers to the left of the main enterance on ground floor require a quarter DEPOSIT!!

    Jabe B. · January 31, 2010
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  • Emily E.

    Love the Hope Diamond.

    Emily E. · July 4, 2013
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  • ThePurplePassport.com

    Don’t miss the outdoor butterfly garden where visitors can interact with these little critters in four distinct habitats. Be sure to bring your camera − this is a great spot for photo opportunities. Read more

    ThePurplePassport.com · June 27, 2013
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  • Miguel A.

    It smells dank in here

    Miguel A. · May 15, 2013
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  • Dwayne K.

    You can't come here without checking out the Hope Diamond - 45.52 carats of grayish-blue awesomeness! Read more

    Dwayne K. · December 18, 2012
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  • Scott B.

    Get me the hope diamond!

    Scott B. · February 18, 2012
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  • DC Preservation League

    Built in 1910, using the designs of noted architects Hornblower & Marshall. It is also within the National Mall Historic District.

    DC Preservation League · August 11, 2011
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  • Josh C.

    "Below the thunders of the upper deep;Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleepThe Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee" – Tennyson

    Josh C. · October 18, 2010
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  • tarsila y.

    Visit the Hall of Human Origins ;)

    tarsila y. · September 17, 2010
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  • IWalked Audio Tours

    Most popular Smithsonian museum with 7.4MM visitors/yr. Inside is 45.5 carat Hope Diamond & 65MM yr old Triceratops named “Hatcher” (for paleontologist who discovered him). Full site history via<LINK> Read more

    IWalked Audio Tours · October 12, 2012
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  • Kathy W.

    Dude!!! They like charge $2.00 for the Go Smithsonian guide now!! What a rip!!!

    Kathy W. · May 5, 2010
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  • Roy B.

    Must watch globe movie about the oceans.

    Roy B. · February 21, 2010
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  • Sam A.

    Awesome museum but....if you get hungry eat outside. Not great food and 5 times the price.

    Sam A. · December 22, 2013
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  • Mandar S.

    This is a must visit place if you are in DC!

    Mandar S. · August 30, 2013
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  • Alejandro M.

    You can never go wrong with this museum! It's filled with the worlds natural artifacts that you see on TV and are actually able to see first hand! They offer a good grip of hands on activities for all

    Alejandro M. · July 1, 2013
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  • Mariah E.

    Phoenix the Right Whale is 45 feet long. Ths species got its name because they were the "right" whale to hunt.

    Mariah E. · May 29, 2013
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