National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture
5
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
12:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
About
This 10-story Smithsonian Institution museum is dedicated to showcasing the African-American way of life, culture, and experiences through America's history.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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The area
Address
How to get there
  • Federal Triangle • 6 min walk
  • Smithsonian • 7 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • eastiseast
    107 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Make time for this
    This is an excellent museum. Probably one of the best I have ever been to -- and I live in London. So well designed and informative, covering so many aspects of the African American experience, from history, sport, music and film and TV. I have studied a fair bit of modern history but seeing how slavery started and spread was so interesting. Should be part of the curriculum, not just in the US but in European countries so they are aware of the part they played in the slave trade. Amazing building design too.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 July 2023
  • jennifera399
    170 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing, Informative, and Worthwhile Experience
    Amazing experience, some of the very beginning parts were quite lengthy, very detailed museum. Loved all the icon pieces that went according to its time period. The Afrofuturism exhibit has the more modern day items including items from Prince, Michael Jackson, and Jimi Hendrix, and who could forget the Black Panther costume. Go early to get your free passes to the museum and avoid having to "wait" to see any part of the museum. Don't forget to check out upstairs where you can do a virtual simulation to be part of the Harlem Step team.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 July 2023
  • Shaun C
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We finally made it!
    Amazing. So glad we finally made it. So much to see and just take in. Truly a point of pride to visit this museum with my son and show him our history. Only downside was how crowded the museum was in spite of timed tickets.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 July 2023
  • Thomas T
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see attraction when you are in Washingron DC
    This museum has been on my "bucket" list for many years. The pandemic delayed my trip, but this year, I made a special effort to secure tickets. From my initial entry into the museum, I knew this was going to be a special trip. I walked up to the information desk and asked the employee, "As a first timer, where do I begin?" She answered by saying, "The museum is decided into two main sections, History and Culture. Which are true most interested?" With a slight pause, I said,"Let's start with history." She showed me where to take the elevator 3 stories down at the start of the History section and work my way back up to the main level. Even though I visited at 2 pm on the 4th of July, the museum was not overly crowded. The exhibits were well documented and presented in a way to allow a person to take all the time they needed to absorb the content without feeling rushed or in the way. The most impactful display to me was the exhibit of the segregated railway car. To visually see the difference between the "colored" and "white" section allowed me to "experience" the shame a person felt during that time. Please take the time to schesule a visit to this museum. The tickets are released one month in advance. I would recommend setting aside 2, 3 hour days, at a minimum. You will not be disappointed.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 23 July 2023
  • TravelNerd
    Tirana, Albania63 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unique experience as a foreigner
    Each floor gave you interesting information about history, unlike any I've seen before. I took my time, didn't schedule much else for the day and I'd suggest it. It's a huge museum and don't want to miss any of the exhibitions.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 27 July 2023
  • Iponema
    Bronx, New York93 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This museum is wonderful!
    This is my second time visiting this museum since b4 the Pandemic. I was able to view exhibits this time that l was not able to view the first time that l had visited. Great museum, great information about African American/Black culture & history throughout the years Wonderful museum to visit for all people to learn about African American/Black history.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 3 August 2023
  • RoadTripperNYC
    70 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing History
    The 3 hours I spent here was not enough! There is so much to take in, every word needs to be read and absorbed. What an amazing museum! I even overheard a couple white women say, “How can anyone deny this, there’s so much history right here?!” I wholeheartedly agree. Because there was so much, I felt like they crammed alot into the below space, and even with timed entry, it got pretty crowded. I was also not so happy with the cafe, which felt very ordinary with hot dogs and fried chicken and bbq. And they charged almost $5 for a bottle of water!!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 12 August 2023
  • EastCoastCanada
    234 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great experience
    I didn’t know what to expect and almost didn’t go. Stayed for 4 hours. So glad I did and I learned so much. The way the visit was structured it was an experience : the museum visit and learning started in floors below ground and through gradually walking up ramps you ascended to street level and then could visit upper floors that more focused on celebrating accomplishments and achievements. One of the most well-planned museums I have visited. Great use of video footage and exhibits throughout to contribute to the overall experience.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 14 August 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles3,742 reviews
Excellent
3,149
Very good
408
Average
100
Poor
31
Terrible
54

MidwesternParent
186 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
This museum is definitely worth going to and there is an astounding amount of exhibits highlighting African American history and culture. I obtained an entry ticket on my phone while standing outside the museum. Once inside the museum, it was quite crowded. We asked at the front desk where to start and was told it didn't matter whether we started up or down. We worked our way down from the top floor. In retrospect, I would have preferred to start in the basement. The exhibits were crowded and there was an overwhelming amount of displays in them. From an educational standpoint, it might be better to edit the exhibits down, make the print descriptions larger, and rotate the exhibits. Visitors might remember better what they saw. There was a huge emphasis on sports and entertainment figures and fashion. The history galleries are in the basement and the exhibits are difficult to see and read about, not just because of the history, but because the light is dim. I'd either like the museum to have been physically bigger so exhibits could be displayed and better viewed and read about or better curated for the size of the building.
Written 10 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diana L
Omaha, NE135 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
Hands down my favorite museum I went to on my trip. Shout it out loud that this is a museum you need a full day for. Or at least don't make any hard fast plans the day you do this museum. I went for 5 hours and I didn't even make it to all the levels. That being said it is so well put together, so informative I will suggest this museum over and over to anyone who will listen. You do need timed tickets though so make sure you reserve those (it's free just need to make a reservation). The layout is easy to follow. Lots of places to sit down if needed. GREAT cafe if you're hungry. The gift shop is ok, lots of book options.
Written 20 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

arnottdavies
London, UK306 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Mind boggling for its elegance and architecture with a wonderful collection. This museum is modern, accessible and easy to navigate. The staff were freindly and helpful (I visited twice) although one of the security hards seemed to think her job was to be a bit rude to visitors. Allow at least two visits to scrape the surface and either get there early or avoid the lower galleries in the afternoon as they get very crowded. Would love to see more fo the work from their home movie project.
Written 17 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ryan W
London, UK29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
I think I can safely say that this is the best museum is DC. Beautiful building from the outside, but an extensive collection of African American history on the inside. The exhibitions are so well thought out and really delicately put together. The highlight for us though was the truly stunning reflection pool and beautiful fountain. A must see if you’re around DC!
Written 14 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jay
Phoenix, AZ155 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
It is no understatement that the National Museum of African American History and Culture is one of the best museums I've been to in my life. As someone who prides themselves in visiting a variety of museums, this one takes the cake. The curation is fantastic, I feel like I learned so much and wish I had spent more time here. When I come to DC again, this will be the first museum I visit. It wasn't too difficult to get tickets if you book them early enough, and they are of course free! The subject matter of the museum of course is very heavy, and I think if you have kids that are older (at least high school) they will be able to appreciate it more. I'd highly recommend this museum and if you are on the fence about visiting - still do it!
Written 7 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelinGal1029
Madison, WI101 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Tickets- get them in advance. Ours were for 10:30am but they let us in a little early because there was no line.
Go thru security- ours was quick because we didn’t have a backpack.
Use the lockers if you can because it’s a long hard walk if you are carrying everything.
Started at the first history exhibit, lowest level. For us it was the most difficult part- physically, mentally and emotionally. They really should have places to sit and rest but they don’t. The history starts in africa and goes thru how slavery became racialized. Good to learn about all the slave revolts. Took us about 2 hours so we stopped for lunch at their Sweet Home cafe upstairs. Tasty food! Fried chicken with extra sides $27. Fried fish with 1 side $18.
Back to the next exhibit- the civil rights era, then the present. Now there were some places to sit and watch short films about the history.
Elevator up to “culture” with exhibits of art, music, theater, dance etc. We missed the sports because by now we were exhausted! If you really want to see everything, plan for 2 visits. Because there really is that much to see.
Written 27 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lmr1
25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
There is so much to discover in this museum beyond what one might expect. I spent several hours and learned much more about a major part of American history and events that occurred during my lifetime, and are part of today and the future.
I had a little trouble finding the correct link for the timed ticket reservation that you need for this museum. Possibly because it was a busy time. A guard at the tour entrance to the museum directed me to a QR code for the tickets and I get one for that afternoon.
Written 24 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2TravelLuvers
Sioux Falls, SD768 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
There is a great balance of somber history, uplifting nostalgia, and hope provided for the future. There are four floors and a three-level concourse. You will need a few hours to properly experience this amazing museum.
Written 22 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

s david
4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Building is beautiful but the exhibits leave something to be desired. I love the outside of the building and can’t wait for the Latino museum to be open. The curation here though is okay and our son wasn’t in to it
Written 11 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Enrique G
Mexico City, Mexico27 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
The museum offers new ways of undestanding african american history through different times and its impact in the world
Written 8 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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