Everyone knows that Washington is the capital of the United States. During the year, it is visited by a large number of tourists who are most attracted by the main symbols of this great city. The most interesting locations are Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, Washington National Cathedral and Washington Monument. However, in metropolises such as Washington, there are many more interesting buildings and places that every tourist should visit.
Today, we decided to present you the top 10 best interactive museums in Washington D.C. In the following text that we have prepared for you, you will be able to read some interesting information about museums that certainly worth your attention and which you should not be circumvented if you are visiting the capital of the United States. So, if you’re ready, let’s start.
1. Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is an institution founded in 1829. It has an impressive collection of works of art dating from the colonial period to the present days. A huge number of exhibits include objects that have marked American culture in the past centuries. For example, you will be able to see artworks from African American art or Latino art.
In addition to this museum, Renwick Gallery, a branch of SAAM, is also a significant part. This gallery is located in the National Historic Landmark building and there you will be able to see artworks of contemporary craft and decorative art.
The gallery was closed for renovation for two years and was reopened on November 13, 2015. If you want to visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum, you will be able to do this every day from 11:30 AM to 7 PM, while the Renwick Gallery is open from 10 AM to 5:30 PM.
2. International Spy Museum
The International Spy Museum is definitely one of the most interesting places on our list and we believe that all people who are interested in spying exhibits coming from different countries around the world are very glad to visit this museum. The interesting fact is that the Spy Museum is the only museum of this type in the United States.
The collection of artifacts that have become part of the exhibition that tourists can see is the largest in the world. Some of the most interesting spy things are the lipstick pistol and the Aston Martin DB5 that was first introduced in the Goldfinger movie about the legendary secret agent James Bond.
As for the term when you can visit this interesting institution, the Spy Museum is open every day from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
3. Museum of the Bible
The next on our list of museums that you need to visit when you are in Washington is the Museum of the Bible. This institution was officially opened on November 17, in the year of 2017. In its large collection, it has items that are older than 3500 years old. As we can conclude from the name, the main theme of the museum is Bible and its impact on people and culture during the past millennia.
During the visit, you will have the opportunity to look at some of the 1,150 artifacts owned by the museum, as well as about 2,000 items that are related to the Bible and which are part of the exhibition, but are owned by some other museums.
The museum is open to all interested visitors every day from 10 AM to 5 PM and is definitely a place that worthy of the money you pay for the ticket.
4. Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
Previously, we mentioned Capitol and the Washington Monument as the symbols of Washington. Well, the Hirshhorn Museum is located between these two buildings, which means it is in a great location when it comes to tourist attractions. The statistical data from 2017 says that this museum has been visited by more than 1.1 million tourists.
As far as history is concerned, the Hirshhorn Museum was established in the year of 1974. The idea of such a contemporary art museum emerged during the 1930s when Congress introduced plans to establish an institution. However, the Second World War was the cause of the delay, so it was awaiting establishment until 1974. One of the founders and investors was Joseph H. Hirshhorn who had his personal collection of artworks of modern art that later became part of the museum exhibition. Also, we must say that the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden is part of the Smithsonian Institution.
You can visit this institution every day from 10 AM to 5:30 PM, except for Christmas when they do not work.
5. The Kreeger Museum
The Kreeger Museum is another museum of art and it contains a large collection of artworks of modern art as well as contemporary art. This institution is located on a property that once belonged to David and Carmen Kreeger, according to whom the museum was named. The location of the Kreeger Museum has a surface of 5 acres.
As you can assume, most of the works exhibited in the museum are from the 19th and 20th centuries. All visitors can see works by famous artists such as Cezanne, Picasso, Monet, Chagall, Stella, Miro and Renoir. In addition to European art, very interesting exhibits of traditional African and Asian art can be seen.
As we have said, the founders of the museum are David and Carmen Kreeger who invested money in their own collection of artworks. On one occasion, Mr. Kreeger said:
“I never bought art as an investment. I bought it for love and I was lucky. Art that embodies the creative spirit of men transcends the value of money.”
With this statement, he showed that the importance of art is huge and it is worth visiting a place like the Kreeger Museum. You can do this every day from 10 AM to 4 PM except Sundays and Mondays, as well as for federal holidays.
6. National Portrait Gallery
When we talk about favorite places that tourists visit, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington is definitely one of them. This is witnessed by the high number of visitors, since every year, the National Portrait Gallery is visited by more than a million tourists. This institution was founded in 1962, however, it was waiting for its first visitors until 1968. Like some other museums we mentioned earlier on our list, Gallery is part of the Smithsonian Institution.
In addition to a large collection of exhibits that is very interesting, we must mention the history of the building itself. The gallery was built in 1836 when it was used as U.S. Patent Office. The architectural style that is represented is the Greek one, and that can be seen by the pillars that are in front of the building. It should also be mentioned that during the 1950s it was demolished, but was later rebuilt and renovated.
If you choose to visit the National Portrait Gallery, you can do that every day from 11:30 AM to 7:00 PM, except for Christmas. The important information that we must emphasize is that admission is free.
7. National Law Enforcement Museum
Unlike the previous objects that we have written about, the National Law Enforcement Museum is an institution that is partly underground, which can be attractive to many tourists. This institution was founded less than a year ago, on October 13, in the year of 2018. The main theme of this museum is American law enforcement. In possession of the National Law Enforcement Museum, there are over 20,000 different exhibits and there is no doubt that it will be interesting for every visitor to find out more about these things and some interesting facts from the history of law enforcement.
If you think that the National Law Enforcement Museum is the place you need to visit during your trip to Washington, you will be able to do this from 10 AM to 6 PM every day.
8. The Newseum
The Newseum is another place that is visited annually by a large number of visitors. According to statistics, the average number is over 815,000. When we talk about numbers, The Newseum is located in a building that has seven floors and a total area of 23,000 m2. It is also important to note that the exhibits are in 15 galleries and that 15 theaters are available to visitors.
Another interesting fact is that the Newseum wasn’t originally located in Washington, but was located in Rosslyn in Virginia. The original museum was opened on April 18, in the year of 1997. After 11 years, the museum was moved to Washington, to the present location. This happened on April 11, 2008.
As for the tickets, the admission fee was quite high. For example, the current adult price is $ 24.95, while in 2017 the admission fee was even higher and amounted to $26.38. However, this museum is worth every dollar you invest in buying a ticket.
You can visit it from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Saturday, while on Sunday, it is open from 10 AM to 5 PM. The museum is not open for some holidays such as Thanksgiving Day or Christmas.
If you want to visit the 21st-century museum that offers multimedia art exhibitions and technological innovations in the field of art, then the right solution for you is the Artechouse Museum. Above all, we must mention that artists used modern technologies to present new ways of expressing and displaying art.
As for Artechouse history, the museum was founded in 2015. The founders of this interesting modern and innovative exhibition space are Tatiana Pastukhova and Sandro Kereselidze. After two years since the establishment of the Artechouse Museum, the first exhibition was held on June 1, in the year of 2017.
Thereafter, four more exhibitions of the same year were held, followed by another five exhibitions held in Washington in 2018. In addition to the capital, exhibitions were organized in Albuquerque, in New Mexico, and in December last year in Miami.
There is currently an In Peak Bloom exhibition that will last until June 2nd. Visitors can view the show from Sunday to Thursday in the period from 10 AM to 7 PM, as well as during Friday and Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM.
10. National Air and Space Museum
In the end, we prepared another museum belonging to the Smithsonian Institution. It is about the National Air and Space Museum which has an impressive collection of various exhibits related to aviation and space flights. There is no doubt that all these very interesting artifacts attract a large number of tourists and visitors from all over the world because the National Air and Space Museum collection is definitely the largest in the world. According to statistics, this museum has been visited annually by an incredible eight million visitors, which is truly incredible. This incredible figure set this museum at the very top of the list of the most visited museums in the United States as well as in the top three museums in the world.
But what is it that attracts so many people? Simply, everyone who comes to the National Air and Space Museum is available to see great number of interesting contents such as educational activities, performances, as well as numerous lectures. In addition, the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies is also available. The interesting fact is that this museum has a very long history. It was established more than 73 years ago, in the year of 1946.
Another interesting thing about the National Air and Space Museum is that it is located in two locations. The first site is in Washington D.C., and the other building is located in Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, in Virginia. Regardless of which of the two sites you decide to visit, there is no doubt that you will see a lot of interesting artifacts.
As for visits, both locations are open at the same time and are available to visitors and tourists from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM. As for prices, the admission fee is free, so this may be another reason to visit this museum.
Now that you’ve found out what are the best interactive museums in Washington, we believe that you will enjoy and will spend a great time in viewing the exhibits.