Washington DC Tourism Information
Memorials, Monuments, Museums, and Points of Interest
Bureau of Engraving and Printing | The Corcoran Gallery of Art Museum | Department of the Interior Museum | Ford's Theatre & Lincoln Museum | Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Memorial | Hall of States Building | Jefferson Memorial | Kennedy Center | Korean War Veterans Memorial | Lincoln Memorial | National Archives | National Building Museum | National Mall and Memorial Parks | National Mall Walking Tour | National Geographic Museum at Explorers Hall | National Museum of American Jewish Military History | National Postal Museum | The Pentagon | Phillips Collection | Smithsonian Museums | Supreme Court | Textile Museum | United States Holocaust Memorial Museum | United States Navy Memorial and Visitors Center | Vietnam Veterans Memorial | Voice of America | Washington Monument | White House
See how U.S. paper currency is printed and examined! Beginning every 15 minutes, Monday - Friday, the free 40-minute tour includes an introductory film and a gallery tour of the production process.
Tickets for public tours of the BOE are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The ticket booth is located on Raoul Wallenberg Place (formerly 15th Street) between C and D streets SW, and opens at 8:00 a.m. – Monday through Friday – and closes when all tickets have been distributed. Lines form early and tickets go quickly; most days tickets are gone by 8:30am. Please plan accordingly. The BOE is located at 14th and C Streets, SW.
For more information, contact the Bureau at 1-877-874-4114 or http://www.moneyfactory.gov/wdctourtickets.html.
*Please note that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BOE) does not produce coins. They are instead manufactured by the U.S. Mint at their production facilities in Philadelphia and Denver.
The Corcoran Gallery of Art focuses on making art available and understandable through innovative exhibitions and education programming, systematic research and scholarship. The musem prides itself on catering its collection to diverse communities. Predominantly American art, the Gallery's extensive collection spans eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century art.
The gallery is located at 17th Street and New York Avenue, NW - one block west and south of the White House. The main entrance is on 17th Street. A special needs access point can be found at 1701 E Street, around the corner from the 17th Street entrance. The closest Metro stop is the Farragut West station or Farragut North station on the Red, Orange and Blue Lines.
For general information, please call 202-639-1700. Doors are open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students and visitors under 18 years-old are free.
**The Museum is currently closed for renovations.
The Department of the Interior Museum strives to educate the public about current missions and programs of the DOI, the history of the Department, and the art and architecture of its headquarters building. Opened in 1938, the museum featured 1,000 objects in 95 exhibits. Today, the museum features two distinct collections: the Interior Museum Collection and the Office of the Secretary Art Collection.
A Murals Tour is offered at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The tours are limited to 20 people, so please call ahead: 202-208-4743.
The museum is located at 1849 C Street, NW. The closest Metro stop is at the “Farragut West” station on the Orange and Blue Lines.
The museum is free of charge and open to the public. Adults are required to show a photo ID upon entry.
The Ford’s Theatre campus traces the story of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, assassination and legacy. Take an audio tour, self-guided tour, a walking tour of the neighborhood or attend a talk by a National Park Service Ranger to learn more about the significance of the Ford Theatre. The Lincoln Museum features remarkable artifacts, including the deringer that John Wilkes Booth used to shoot Lincoln.
The Theatre is located at 511 10th Street, NW - between E & F Streets. The closest Metro station to the theatre is Metro Center on the Orange, Blue and Red Lines.
For general information, please call 202-426-6924. The theatre is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the schedule for daytime programming varies from day to day.
Advance tickets for a tour of the theatre are $2.50 each.
The Memorial is a presidential memorial dedicated to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the era he represents. The monument spans approximately 7.5 acres and covers 12 years of U.S. history through a sequence of four outdoor rooms – one for each of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s terms in office. Sculptures depict scenes from the Great Depression, including people listening to a fireside chat on the radio and waiting in a bread line. It is also the only presidential monument to depict a First Lady.
The monument is located at 900 Ohio Drive, SW, near the Jefferson Memorial and the Potomac River. The closest Metro stop is the Smithsonian station on the Orange and Blue Lines.
There are park rangers available from 8 a.m. to midnight every day except Christmas Day. There are no fees to visit any of the monuments or memorials in the park. For general information, please call 202-426-6841.
The Hall of States building houses many Washington offices of the fifty states, U.S. territories and associations of the state officials. Operated by the State Services Organization (SSO), the building is conveniently close to the Capitol and includes an extensive library.
The Building is located at 444 North Capitol Street, NW.
For more information, call the Council of State Governments at 202-624-5386.
The Jefferson Memorial is a tribute to the Founding Father who was a prominent revolutionary, statesmen, diplomat and political leader. At 19 feet, the bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson towers tall under a shallow dome on the bank of the Tidal Basin. A quote near the statue reads, “I have sworn upon the alter of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
The Memorial is located on the South bank of the Tidal Basin. The closest Metro stop is the Smithsonian station on the Orange and Blue Lines.
The park staff offers daily interpretive tours every hour on the hour from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. There is no fee to visit the monument. At the Swan Boathouse, you can also rent a paddle boat to cruise on the Basin.
For general information, please call 202-426-6841.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is one of the country’s most celebrated cultural centers. Situated on the banks of the Potomac River and overlooking the Washington cityscape, the Center encompasses a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, the Hall of States Hall of Nations, five performing arts theaters, three grand performance halls, and gifts and artwork from a multitude of foreign countries and renowned artists.
Tour reservations for groups under 20 individuals are not required for the Kennedy Center. Rather, walk-ins are always welcome, and tours begin about every 10 minutes. Just visit the Tour Desk on the A Level. For groups with more than 20 individuals, follow the instructions on this form.
For more information, contact Kennedy Center Visitors Services at 1-800-444-1324 or http://www.kennedy-center.org/.
The Korean War Veterans Memorial commemorates the sacrifices of the 5.8 million Americans who served in the U.S. armed services during the Korean War. During the three year war, more than 54,000 Americans gave the ultimate sacrifice. The Memorial features 19 stainless steel statues of soldiers and a Mural Wall, depicting Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel and their equipment. The Korean War Veterans Memorial is part of the National Park System, one of more than 360 parks representing our nation's natural and cultural heritage. A bookstore in the nearby Lincoln Memorial sells informational items relating to both the memorial and the Korean War.
The Memorial is located at the western end of the National Mall, adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial in West Potomac Park.
The park staff offers daily interpretive tours every hour on the hour from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. There is no fee to visit the monument.
The Lincoln Memorial is an iconic symbol of our nation and our ideals. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of this memorial to uphold and reinvigorate the message Abraham Lincoln had a century earlier: all men are created equal. That event amplified the relevance of this memorial for all Americans. The building is shaped like a Greek Doric temple and inside sits a statue of Abraham Lincoln. Two well-know speeches by Lincoln are inscribed inside: The Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address.
This monument is located at the West Potomac Park at the foot of 23rd Street, NW. The closest Metro stop is the Foggy Bottom station or the Smithsonian station on the Orange and Blue Lines.
There is no fee to visit the monument and it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except December 25th. For general information, please call 202-426-6895.
Housing the original Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, the National Archives is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The entrance is located at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 9th Street, NW. The last admission is 30 minutes prior to closing, and admission is free.
For more information and reservations, contact the National Archives at 877-444-6777 or www.archives.gov/nae/visit/reserved-visits.html.
The National Building Museum tells stories of architecture, engineering and design. The permanent collection highlights the building process, changing architectural styles and construction techniques. The collection contains about 75,000 photographic images, 68,000 architectural prints and drawings, 100 linear feet of documents and 4,500 objects.
The Museum is located at 401 F Street, NW, between 4th and 5th streets. The Museum includes wheelchair access at 4th and G streets, and the closest Metro stop is Judiciary Square on the Red Line.
The Museum is open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children and seniors.
For General Information, please call 202-272-2448.
The sprawling lands of the National Mall & Memorial Parks extends from 3rd Street near the Capitol to 14th Street, including the:
- Jefferson Memorial
- Korean War Veterans Memorial
- Lincoln Memorial
- Roosevelt Memorial
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Washington Monument
- World War II Memorial
Explore the National Mall with this free, self-guided walking tour provided by National Geographic. This walking tour stops at five of the most well-known and “must-see” memorials and sites in Washington, D.C. These include: Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Freer Gallery, U.S. Botanic Gardens and National Gallery of Art.
Print an informational guide here.
From interactive experiences to stunning photography exhibitions, experience this museum for everything National Geographic has come to be known for over its 125 years of existence. The planet’s far-flung stories come to life through the vivid images and film of National Geographic explorers, photographers and scientists.
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at 1145 17th Street, NW. The closest Metro stop is the Farragut North station on the Red Line.
Admission is $11 for adults, $9 for seniors, students and military and $7 for children. For more information, please call 800-NGS-LINE (800-647-5463); 800-548-9797 (TDD).
The National Museum of American Jewish Military History documents and preserves the contributions of Jewish Americans to the freedom of the United States, educates the public on the heroism and sacrifices made by Jewish Americans who served in the Armed forces and works to combat anti-Semitism. The collection is made up of more than 5,000 artifacts dating from the Civil War to the present, including photographs, letters, diaries, films, military documents, and newspapers relating to Jewish-American military history.
The Museum is located at 1811 R Street, NW. The closest Metro is the Dupont Circle station on the Red Line (leave through the Q Street exit, walk one block north on Connecticut Avenue to R Street. Turn right and walk east two blocks to 18th Street).
The Museum is free and open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For general information, please call 202-265-6280.
The National Postal Museum showcases more than 200,000 stamps and postal operations artifacts. The national collection originated in 1886 with the donation of a pane of 10-cent Confederate postage stamps. The national collection grew until its first curator was hired in 1914. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Internal Revenue Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Library of Congress have also transferred significant material to the collection.
The museum is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE in the Washington City Post Office Building on Capitol Hill (next to Union Station).The closest Metro is located on the Red Line at the Union Station stop (exit through the Massachusetts Avenue exit. As you get off the escalator, the National Postal Museum will be to your left).
The Museum is free and open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Lasting about an hour, tours of the Pentagon include discussion of each branch of our armed forces, and displays that highlight significant moments in military history. As you walk through approximately 1.5 miles of one of the world’s largest office buildings, you will be introduced to the extensive structure that serves as the headquarters of the Department of Defense.
All guided tours of the Pentagon are free and available by reservation only. Tours are conducted Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tours are not conducted on weekends or federal holidays. The Pentagon requires a minimum of 14 (maximum of 90) days prior notice to schedule a tour and tour groups may not exceed 60 persons.
Opened to the public in 1921, The Phillips Collection features an intimate collection of modern art from some of the most famous painters of all time: Renoir, Rothko, Bonnard, O’Keeffe, Diebenkorn and van Gogh. More than 3,000 works make up the masterful permanent collection. The collection continues to develop with selective new acquisitions, many by contemporary artists.
The Phillips Collection is located in the former home of its founder, Duncan Phillips, at 1600 21st Street, NW. The closest Metro stop is on the Red Line at the Dupont Circle station (exit to Q Street. At the top of the escalator, go left on Q Street one block to 21st Street. The museum entrance is located halfway up 21st Street on the left).
Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and visitors under 18 are free. The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
For offices and visitor information, please call 202-387-2151.
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex. It includes 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park.
The entrances to the West Building are located on Constitution Avenue at 6th Street, NW, on Madison Drive at 6th Street, NW, and on 4th Street between Constitution Avenue and Madison Drive, NW. The entrance for the East Building is located on 4th Street between Constitution Avenue and Madison Drive, NW. The majority of the Smithsonian museums can be accessed via the Smithsonian Metro stop on the Orange and Blue Lines.
Most of the Smithsonian museums and the Zoo are free and open every day of the year except December 25th.
Although the Supreme Court does not offer guided walking tours, visitors can tour the building on their own and take advantage of a variety of educational programs, including Courtroom Lectures, a visitors’ film, and court-related exhibitions. The Courtroom is located on the First Floor, and court sessions are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Please refer to the Oral Argument page on the Court’s website for additional information on attending a court session.
For more information, contact the Supreme Court at 202-479-3000 or http://www.supremecourt.gov/.
**The Museum is currently closed as it prepares for its move to George Washington University. The new space will open to the public in the fall of 2014.
The Textile Museum is one of the world’s foremost specialized art museums. It seeks to increase the public’s appreciation for local, national, and international textiles and their artistic merits and cultural importance. The collection includes objects that span 5,000 years, dating from 3,000 B.C.E. to the present. The collection represents a full spectrum of non-Western textile arts.
The Museum is located at 2320 S Street, NW. The closest Metro stop is the Dupont Circle station on the Red Line (leave the station via the Q Street exit and walk north on Connecticut Avenue. At the intersection of Connecticut Avenue, Florida Avenue and S Street cross Florida Avenue and go left. Take immediate right onto S Street. Continue walking up S Street 2 long blocks; the Museum will be on the left).
Tours are offered on a drop-in basis every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. There is an admission suggestion of $8 for non-members. For general information, please call 202-667-0441.
This museum is a living memorial to the Holocaust, inspiring citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. It emphasizes the importance of preserving democratic values. Since its opening in 1993, the Holocaust Memorial Museum has welcomed more than 34 million visitors through its doors. The Permanent Exhibition recounts a narrative history of the Holocaust, featuring historical artifacts, video footage and personal stories.
The Museum is located just south of Independence Ave., SW between 14th Street and Raoul Wallenberg Place (formerly 15th St.). There is an entrance also on 14th street, next to the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. The closest Metro stop is the Smithsonian station on the Blue and Orange lines (exit the metro at 12th and Independence Avenue).
The Permanent Exhibition is recommended for ages 11 and up. Daniel's Story is recommended for ages 8 and up. The Permanent Exhibition and special exhibitions are open from 10 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. daily, with extended hours in the spring. The visit will take from one and a half to three hours. Only the Permanent Exhibition requires a timed entry pass to begin the self-guided tour of the Museum's primary exhibition.
Passes are free and are not required for the Museum's other exhibitions, memorials, resources and facilities. For more information, please call 202-488-0400.
It was in the early days of America’s national independence that Washington, D.C.’s city architect, Pierre L’Enfant, envisioned a memorial “to celebrate the first rise of the Navy and consecrate its progress and achievements.” However, it wasn’t until the twentieth century that his vision of a memorial to sea service members was realized. Dedicated in 1987, the United States Navy Memorial includes both a commemorative public plaza and a Naval Heritage Center. The Heritage Center has interactive exhibits and screens several movies daily.
The memorial is located at 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. The nearest Metro stop is the Archives/Navy Memorial station on the Green and Yellow Lines.
The Heritage Center is free and open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
The Memorial offers a Concert Hotline for updated schedules or cancellations due to weather: 202-737-2300, ext. 768.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is made up of three parts: the Three Soldiers stature, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The Memorial Wall lists more than 58,000 names of servicemen and women who gave their lives in the Vietnam War. With the names engraved in stone, many family members take a pencil and paper to rub the name of their loved one as a souvenir. Tokens of appreciation, such as flowers, flags or photos, often lay at its base in tribute.
The memorial is located at Henry Bacon Drive & Constitution Avenue, NW. The closest Metro stop is the Smithsonian station on the Orange and Blue Lines.
Admission is free and the memorial is open 24 hours a day. For more information, please call 202-426-6841.
The Voice of America Studio Tour is a behind-the-scenes look at live broadcasting in radio, television and the Internet in several of the 44 languages used by the VOA. Started in 1942 as a radio news service for people living in closed and war-torn societies, overtime, the VOA has expanded and embraced multimedia journalism. The VOA prides itself on delivering accurate, balanced and comprehensive news to an international audience.
Voice of America is located at 330 Independence Ave., SW., off of the Federal Center SW Metro stop on the Blue and Orange Lines.
Tours are free to the public, guided with audio and video features and last 45 minutes. Reservations are recommended but not required. Tours are offered at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For more information, please call 202-203-4990.
*The Monument is currently closed to visitors. You can still walk around the base, however, and take beautiful pictures of the Mall.
This monument is one of the most prominent structures in Washington, D.C. A tribute to the nation’s First President of the United States, George Washington, it stands 555 feet, 5-1/8 inches tall. It symbolizes the awe, respect and gratitude the nation felt for one of its leading Founding Fathers. Inside is a museum, bookstore, restrooms and an elevator-accessible observation deck at 500 feet.
Located on the National Mall at 15th Street, SW, the closest Metro stop is the Smithsonian station on the Blue and Orange Lines.
Tickets are required for entry. They are free and available at the booth located on the west side of 15th Street, NW, on the Mall. If you wish to reserve tickets in advance, a small fee of $1.50 per ticket will be assessed. You can reserve your tickets by calling: 202-432-7328 or 1-800-551-7328.
For more information, please call 202-426-6841.
**Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, White House tours are subject to very limited availability.
Home to the President and First Family, White House tours are available during the following times (excluding federal holidays):
- Tuesday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
- Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- Saturday: 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The tour is self-guided and free of charge. Tour requests can be submitted up to 6 months in advance and no fewer than 21 days before your trip (although at least 30 days advance notice is strongly encouraged). Following September 11, the White House implemented new, more restrictive security standards for tours, including a limit on the number of visitors that are allowed entrance per day. For this reason, tours are subject to limited availability.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Nearst metro stop: McPherson Square. All White House tours are free of charge. Tours are subject to last-minute cancellations or time changes. For the most up-to-date information about touring and visiting the White House, call the 24-hour Visitors Office Info Line at 202-456-7041 or visit www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events.