Washington, D.C. So many museums, so little time! Maybe Washington is the city with the longest list of free museums after London. But wait… I haven’t finished with the good news. Many of the free museums are located between Independence Ave and Constitution Ave which means that they are all within walking distance. That sounds great, right? You are surrounded by museums, galleries, archives – a heaven for every tourist.
However, you will hardly have the time to visit everything for a single day. The collections are huge, the buildings – too. I am telling that because we were in Washington only for a day. Here’s our list of museums that were interesting to us. Maybe it might help you to plan your visit!
The interesting fact is that the largest research, scientific and educational center is situated in Washington – the Smithsonian Institution. It was established in 1846 as a legacy of James Smithson who worked his whole life “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge”. The Institute initially started operating as a museum but then has grown to an institution with a huge number of exhibits. Let’s see some of them below. Maybe you have heard of it in many documentaries if you haven’t seen some of the museums part of Smithsonian Institute down below.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History has a fascinating collection of exhibits growing from the very beginning in 1910 when for the first time the museum opens its doors. We took some photos showing only an insignificant part of what the museum hides in its halls. In the main hall, you can see the symbol of the Museum – the African Elephant welcoming the visitors from the late 1950s. The exhibition halls are grouped by theme and a large number of exhibits are unique and can be seen only here. There are several specialized stores in the museum, where you can find various sculptures, souvenirs, books, cards, and other educational materials.
You can find a useful map of the museum here.
Smithsonian National Museum of American History
National Museum of American History has in its collection objects of all kinds, in order to preserve the past of the American people. The museum has more than 3 million artifacts, constantly renovating. The story of the US is presented in an attractive and interactive way and some of the objects really stop the breath of the visitors. The history of the Second World War, Vietnam War and other military conflicts in which the Americans were involved; history of the presidential institution from the very beginning of the U.S.; interesting fact of the history of the democracy and women’s place in the public life of the States some artifacts showing the technological progress; and even some remains of the terrorist attacks from 2001.
Download the museum map from here.
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
In the National Air and Space Museum every visitor can find remarkable information about The Space, a huge number of videos, photographs, and documents. The artifacts are more than 60,000. Here you can see real rockets, engines, uniforms, artworks, satellites, etc. This museum is famous for its unique exhibits, which includes planes, spaceships, and so on. The museum works with NASA and with the visitors is shared interesting data. I was really impressed to see all the halls and be so close to the history of the first flights in space.
We also passed by the National Gallery of Art and we saw the sculpture “Craft” of Roxy Paine а famous contemporary American artist who is working with naturе and different natural phenomena.
Do you like to visit museums? Which one impressed you the most during your travels? Share your stories and opinion in the comments section below.