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Smithsonian's NMNH

National Museum of Natural History

Science Museum and History Museum
Northwest Washington, Washington
  • The experts at Wired and Michelin Travel & Lifestyle recommend this place
    • Wired
    • Michelin Travel & Lifestyle
  • The Ritz-Carlton
    "infamous 45.52-carat Hope Diamond"(32 Tips)
    tarsila y.
    "Visit the Hall of Human Origins ;)"(18 Tips)
    Parker T.
    "Amazing rocks and minerals, some of the most famous gems"(12 Tips)
    Devin S.
    "Really enjoying the butterfly exhibit and just about everything else"(11 Tips)
375 Tips and reviews
  • museums
  • dinosaurs
  • hope diamond
  • mineral
  • halls
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  • Nikki C.
    Nikki CopenhaverJuly 28, 2015
    The geology exhibit was actually one of the coolest attractions. I though it was going to be the section that I was least interested in, but the museum's collection of gems and crystals is amazing!
  • Paul F.
    Paul FraitesApril 20
    Besides being free, you can give a $1 donation for their map. I highly recommend it, the museum it's really fun to walk. My favorite section was the metal and mineral stones! Go to the gift shop!
  • Rodrigo V.
    Rodrigo VeraDecember 8, 2014
    This museum is very well maintained and clean. There's a visitor services desk for guests needing directions and a guide map. My favorite part was the area that covers human origins
    Upvoted Apr 14
  • IWalked Audio Tours
    IWalked Audio ToursOctober 12, 2012
    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
  • Kelly W.
    Kelly WongNovember 6, 2014
    Hands down one of my favorite museums where hours would be lost. Definitely check out the ocean hall if you are limited in time and the Hope Diamond by Harry Winston!
  • Richard E.
    Richard EfthimSeptember 21, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Q?rius is the coolest place for teens and adults with Ober 8000 objects toy can take to a table to study like real scientists. Research quality microscopes. Expect to spend an hour here! Worth but it!
    USA TODAYJune 22, 2012
    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
  • Lily M.
    Lily M.April 28, 2014
    The Dinosaur Hall will be closing in the next month or so until 2019. They will reopen with a new T-Rex skeleton. You should visit this exhibit in the Smithsonian NMNH while you still can.
  • Mark B.
    Mark BJune 26, 2015
    Very popular museum that is free to public. One of the busier museums. Definitely recommend the IMAX movies.Get a Smithsonian Membership: family is $12. Gets you discounts in gift shop and IMAX movies
  • Khrystal K. D.
    Khrystal K. DavisMarch 12, 2016
    Don't miss the hope diamond and other jewels. The kids loved the aquariums and fossil skeletons. We ate in the cafe, and the food was pretty good. There was a large selection.
  • Justin T.
    Justin TaylorJune 4, 2016
    Pro Tip💡Major 🔑 whatever you like. Briefly scan through #Foursquare tips before you enter. Then walk the museum like a boss 👑 (with pink diamonds in your crown🤔)
  • Aniruddha M.
    Aniruddha MandkeJuly 28, 2015
    One of the most fascinating places ever. Best way to spend an entire day with family or kids. Do look into their suggested routes within museum - it helps make things interesting.
  • Maureen G.
    Maureen GJuly 7, 2013
    Butterfly exhibit, they land on the people including this one that stayed on this little boy's foot .the flowers are vert pretty but it is a hot 15 minutes.
  • Alejandro M.
    Alejandro MariscalJuly 1, 2013
    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
  • AFAR Media
    AFAR MediaAugust 4, 2014
    The museum offers a tremendous look at both the history and current technology in the field of aerospace and is fascinating regardless of your age or knowledge of physics. Read more
  • Mariah E.
    Mariah EismanMarch 12, 2014
    Down by the entrance from Constitution Ave is the brand new hands on discovery center, Qurious. Open from 2-5 PM, Mon-Fri & Weekends. Lots of hands on activities for students!
  • Insider Perks
    Insider PerksFebruary 24, 2012
    You will never be able to see it all so don't even try. Figure out your top priorities (dinosaurs, diamonds etc.) then head to the atrium and start there. Anything else is a bonus. Read more
    USA TODAYAugust 12, 2013
    One of the best places in the world to see dinosaurs. It's also the most popular museum in D.C. for families, so get there early to avoid the crowds. Read more
  • The Ritz-Carlton
    The Ritz-CarltonJuly 29, 2015
    Take in the infamous 45.52-carat Hope Diamond, the largest deep blue diamond in the world. The stunning gem has a long and mysterious past, and is said to be cursed.
  • Lisa F.
    Lisa FulmerJuly 18, 2012
    You really need to take your time here. LOTS to see. In the Hall of Human Origins, the MEanderthal exhibit is fun. If the line is too long, download the app. The Smithsonian apps helped LOTS.
  • The Bozzuto Group
    The Bozzuto GroupAugust 7, 2012
    Everyone feels a little bit like a kid walking through the Hall of Dinosaurs. Questions? Snag the attention of one of the scientists walking around to chat about the exhibitions.
  • 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
  • Lexi H.
    Lexi HaJuly 26, 2013
    This museum is gorgeous. Although I still think the Natural Museum in NYC is much bigger and has more to see. So I went with bigger expectations as usual.
  • Angela P.
    The Gems exhibit is a must see! The insect zoo has hands on demos that are informational as well as fascinating. Good family outing!
  • Andreas T.
    Andreas TMay 7, 2013
    If you to stare at stuffed dead animals or their bones, then you are in the right place. Good educational value (for some stuff), but overall an above-ground-graveyard
  • Shannon
    ShannonMarch 17, 2011
    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!
  • Plaza S.
    Plaza ScienceMarch 19, 2014
    This museum is fantastic! On this link you can see a photo of a mammoth on PlazaScience! The social network for people who likes science and photography Read more
  • Don J.
    Don JJune 1, 2014
    The Fossil Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is now closed for a long-planned — and, officials say, long-overdue — five-year, $48 million renovation. Reopens 2019.
  • Amber D.
    Amber De WildeJanuary 14, 2016
    a very nice museum with a lot's of interesting facts. It also shows you how you would look like as a homosapien, which is kind of funny
  • Reaux P.
    Reaux PackardAugust 29, 2014
    A close second on my list of must-visit museums (next to Air and Space). Some of the animal exhibits are so lifelike you'll gasp.
  • Laura B.
    Laura BrenskelleJune 27, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Say hi to those cool people working in the FossiLab! ;) And enjoy the museum! Go soon before the Dino Hall closes in about a year for a long time for renovation.
  • Lily J.
    Lily JungJuly 7, 2016
    The Human Origins and Gem sections are great. The Hope Diamond is worth seeing.
  • loran j.
    loran jonakApril 1, 2015
    Lots of good things to see here. I don't think it's quite as good as the one one in NY, but it is maintained better and it's free!
  • Tonika B.
    Tonika BerkleyJune 5, 2016
    Excellent exhibits! This is my first time coming back since they started renovating the exhibit halls and they're better lit than before.
  • Casie S.
    Casie SmithJuly 3, 2012
    Start to the left with the animals till you hit the dinosaurs, take the ramp, follow that up to the Hope diamond and around the second floor! No need for searching and no backtracking.
  • Rafa O.
    Rafa OlivaNovember 15, 2015
    Free museum with a lot of things to see and to do! You have lockers thay cost only U$0,25, live butterfly where you pay only 6 dollars and have an amazing experience.
  • Capital Spice
    Capital SpiceFebruary 13, 2012
    Head to the 2nd floor for the Butterfly Pavillion. For $6 you can walk through a room filled with hundreds of butterflies. Worth it!
  • 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
  • Santi C.
    Santi CaamañoJune 2, 2015
    Awesome, the variety of exhibitions will leave you speechless. Please say hi to bones the T-Rex for me! :)
  • Kenny
    KennyJanuary 3, 2013
    My favorite museum by far. I've been here 4 times and still haven't seen everything. Check out the architeuthis specimen.
  • Nils B.
    Nils BuurmanApril 15, 2014
    So much different things to see and nicely clear explained. Very interesting to see all this animal in real size!
  • Jackie D.
    Jackie DOctober 18, 2012
    The gem exhibit is phenomenal as it goes in depth about the chemical composition of all kinds of obscure gems.
  • Ann
    AnnMarch 25, 2015
    It's fun & educational. A must go spot if you are traveling with young children. Both adults and children. Will enjoy it.
  • Michelle H.
    Michelle HurtekantFebruary 25, 2012
    Another must see on your bucket list! words cannot describe the sites you will see! Truly a walk back in time! Awesome just AWSOME!
  • Richard E.
    Richard EfthimAugust 15, 2014
    Great I MAX theater. New Q?rius education space w 1000s of collection objects for hands on closeup study. NOTE! dinosaur hall is closed for renovations til 2017. A few are still on view tho.
  • Jessica K.
    Jessica KiaDecember 29, 2013
    But your tickets to the butterfly exhibit as soon as you get there- you usually have time to kill before your time is called.
  • Norie W.
    Norie WrightMarch 7, 2015
    Love the jewelery collection. The hope diamond is often crowded, but they have a more extensive collection. Very cool.
  • SJ8544123 L.
    SJ8544123 LNovember 16, 2014
    free admission n has three floors of exhibits space. really cool, interactive, fun place!! love it♥
  • April H.
    April Holifield-ScottAugust 20, 2014
    Grab lunch next door at the National Gallery Sculpture Garden- amazing fountain and art makes for a great lunch spot.
  • Alan B.
    Alan BruceJanuary 10, 2012
    Amazing museum! The insect zoo is a must but a picture behind the jaws of a shark in the ocean room is really cool!!!
  • Lori B.
    Lori BonicelliApril 21, 2012
    Amazing renovation of the exhibits!! So modern and MUCH better. Have been countless time years ago. Now I need to go more!
  • Amanda G.
    Amanda GJuly 25, 2013
    Make sure your toddler uses the restroom before you go to the second floor. There's only one bathroom tucked at the end of the bones exhibit.
  • Mary N.
    Mary NamestnikNovember 28, 2015
    Exhibits are amazing!! Multiple gift shops and so much to see.
  • Chevrolet
    ChevroletSeptember 21, 2010
    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.
  • Sheley H.
    Sheley HarpJanuary 7, 2015
    Free activity that is fun for all ages. Within walking distance from the Metro, too. Loved it!
  • Fordcast Tour
    Fordcast TourAugust 22, 2011
    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!
  • Russ C.
    Russ CoonradJanuary 22, 2014
    Have fun with the interactive science area. It is to the right of the main entrance. Great learning for kids!
  • Sophia A.
    Sophia AlexApril 26
    The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C, is opening a new exhibit that includes hundreds of rarely displayed objects. Read more
  • Markus T.
    Markus TarjamoNovember 20, 2015
    One of the best museums in the country. Free. Plenty of fascinating exhibits relating to human history.
  • Derek T.
    Derek TaylorJuly 19, 2013
    A must see. Wish I had more days to see every thing. Make sure you see the Air and Space and Natural History Museums.
  • Devin S.
    Devin SpainMarch 14, 2015
    Really enjoying the butterfly exhibit and just about everything else
  • Charla P.
    Charla PayneDecember 12, 2015
    The best lunch sandwich I've eaten in DC. Deserts looked wonderful but I let the temptation pass me by! And very clean-
  • Dimka P.
    Dimka PronikDecember 24, 2015
    Great museum where you can touch different bugs and caterpillar
  • Kiley K.
    Kiley KDecember 9, 2016
    THIS PLACE IS AMAZING great gift shops and prices. Large and lots to see very fun
  • Rachel G.
    Rachel GironOctober 9, 2012
    Three big gift shops are found down at the Ground floor!! Make sure you have time to see those!
  • Josh E.
    Josh E.September 30, 2014
    The fossil room with all the dinosaur bones is currently being renovated (as of 9.29.14) so check their website before heading down if that's your main attraction.
  • Smithsonian
    SmithsonianJune 7, 2012
    Check out the museum's mobile website for events, exhibitions, floor plans and more (
  • Derek F.
    Derek Flanzraich3 weeks ago
    Honestly, the NYC Museum of Natural History is way better... Gems & rocks are great, though!
  • Roberto M.
    Roberto MachorroJuly 28, 2013
    Organic food selections at the Atrium. Eat there before noon, it can get crowded for lunch.
  • Christina S.
    The gems and minerals are great! Also check out the stardust in the vial at the start of the universe exhibit!
    HISTORYMarch 31, 2010
    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.
  • Michael D.
    Michael DuntzJuly 8, 2011
    For whatever reason, the a/c was not working causing the entire place to be extremely hot and the massive amounts or people doesn't help this issue. Dinos are the highlight (Hope Diamond second.)
  • Dora
    DoraJuly 21, 2010
    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
  • Tripsetc T.
    Very Interesting Gem and Natural Minerals collection, the largest I have ever seen in all of my travels.
  • Alina H.
    Alina HBJuly 6, 2015
    Go early morning on sunday is free, Great museum, lo es the dinosaur area.
  • Bryan B.
    Bryan BenoitJanuary 27, 2016
    Beautiful exhibits. One of the most breathtaking places in the world!
  • Bobby M.
    Bobby MMarch 6, 2011
    The female giant squid is about 40 feet and incredible. Makes u wonder how big the adults get if she's just juvenile .....
  • Mariah E.
    Mariah EismanMay 29, 2013
    Phoenix the Right Whale is 45 feet long. Ths species got its name because they were the "right" whale to hunt.
  • Puck P.
    Puck PeijnenburgOctober 13, 2014
    Amazing museum! Great for kids of all ages.
  • Andrew C.
    Andrew ConklingApril 28, 2015
    What a great place to pop in and take in some curiosities.
  • Lauren B.
    Lauren BaconMarch 24, 2014
    Admission to certain exhibits - otherwise a lot to see
  • Richard B.
    Richard BomanSeptember 23, 2016
    Hope Diamond, gems, dinosaurs, and a fine example of stuffed animals.
  • Jeff M.
    Jeff MeadeFebruary 10, 2011
    Been here 25+ times
    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!
  • K12 Inc
    K12 IncJune 23, 2011
    Did you know? The museum has 126 million specimens and artifacts, including 30 million insects, 4½ million plants, 7 million fish and 2 million cultural artifacts.
  • Helena N.
    Helena NacinovicMay 17, 2012
    Don't miss the evolution exhibition, the new wing with African mammals and the fish x-ray expo.
  • Dan B.
    Dan BetzAugust 23, 2014
    Worth every penny of admission. Seriously though, not much to look at compared to the one in NY.
  • Elizabeth
    ElizabethJuly 22, 2015
    The butterfly exhibit was awesome. The dinosaurs are temporarily upstairs.
  • Breon R.
    Breon RandonFebruary 18
    food is available but very expensive. Dinos are under construction. canf speund all day there, it's amazing!
  • Cassandra L.
    Cassandra LeszekDecember 4, 2012
    One of the coolest museums in the Smithsonian Institute! Spend the $6.00 and hit the buttery exhibit - it's awesome!
  • Miss K.
    Miss King 👑June 18, 2013
    The structure and how the building is set up with the exhibits is just beautiful!
  • Lisa H.
    Lisa HaghverdiMarch 20, 2013
    Bring lots of money if you plan to eat a normal size meal here in the cafe. It was $70 for lunch for 4 people.
  •  Frank S.
     Frank StonehouseMarch 28, 2011
    Visted last April when the new Human Origens exhibit opened. Wish theybwoukd have had more Darwin tshirts in a variety of sizes. Really wanted one. Nice exhibit for a start... Hope it expands beyond j
  • Puck P.
    Puck PeijnenburgOctober 13, 2014
    Amazing museum but way too much to see in one day!
  • Paige K.
    Paige KaliskiApril 10, 2016
    very geared towards kids. the human origins exhibit is pretty awesome.
  • Elvis T.
    You can spend the whole day here. Great for kids. Usually crowded.
  • Julie
    JulieAugust 22, 2015
    So much to do!! I could get lost in here because there's so much to see and do. Prepare for several hours.
  • Chad M.
    Chad MurrayJanuary 19, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    Go see the giant squid, one of the coolest things to see here!
  • Mary G.
    Mary GhazarianOctober 30, 2011
    The BEST Smithsonian. Grab a stuffed bison from the gift shop. We named ours Bart
  • Maggie M.
    Maggie MacGDecember 23, 2015
    Still my favorite Smithsonian. Amazing exhibits on early civilizations, dinosaurs, and animals.
  • uncapd
    uncapdFebruary 17, 2014
    The restrooms are way behind the elephant, thru the ocean exhibit entrance, make a right.
  • Alina H.
    Alina HBJuly 14, 2015
    Fantástica en particular el ala de mamíferos y de dinosaurios, vale la pena si estas en DC, muy diferente al de NY, aunque no lo supera, aunque este es mas didáctico, baja la App.
  • Jean C.
    Jean CitéAugust 7, 2014
    Excelente para ir con niños. Además de los esqueletos de dinosaurio tienen animales disecados de muchísimas especies. Impresionante el corredor con las mariposas vivas que revolotean sobre ti.
  • Alina H.
    Alina HBJuly 14, 2015
    Hermoso vale la pena si estas en DC, visita la sala de mamíferos y dinosaurios, muy interactivo, baja la App y al menos inviertes 5-6 horas.
  • Дмитрий Ю.
    Музей просто сказка. С детьми или без них, у вас останутся яркие воспоминания об этом музее! Одного дня не хватит посмотреть всё.
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