Is the Smithsonian Natural History Museum Free?

The Smithsonian Natural History Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Washington D.C. and a must-visit for anyone interested in the natural world. But a common question among visitors is whether or not the museum is free. In this article, we will explore the answer to this question in-depth.

Is the Smithsonian Natural History Museum Free?

Yes, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum is free to visit. It is one of 19 museums and galleries that are part of the Smithsonian Institution, which is a group of museums and research centers funded by the United States government.

What Can You Expect from Your Visit to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum?

The museum is home to an extensive collection of natural history artifacts, including dinosaur fossils, gems and minerals, animal specimens, and more. There are also several permanent exhibits that cover topics such as human evolution, ecology, and ocean life.

In addition to these exhibits, there are often temporary exhibits that showcase special collections or themes. These temporary exhibits may require a ticket or reservation, but they are still free to visit.

How Can You Plan Your Visit?

The museum is open every day except for December 25th (Christmas Day). Hours vary throughout the year, so it’s best to check their website for current information before planning your visit.

When you arrive at the museum, you can expect long lines during peak tourist season (summer months and holidays). However, these lines move relatively quickly due to security checks at the entrance.

Once inside, you can pick up a map or download one from their website to help guide your visit. The museum is quite large, so it’s helpful to have a plan before you start exploring.

What Else Should You Know Before You Go?

There are several amenities available at the museum to make your visit more comfortable. These include:

  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Gift shops
  • Restrooms and water fountains
  • Wheelchair and stroller rentals
  • Locker rentals

It’s also worth noting that photography is allowed in most areas of the museum, but there are some restrictions. Flash photography is not allowed in certain exhibits, and tripods are not permitted anywhere in the museum.


In conclusion, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum is free to visit and offers a wealth of knowledge and entertainment for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re interested in dinosaurs, gems, or ecology, there is sure to be something to capture your interest. So next time you find yourself in Washington D., be sure to add the Smithsonian Natural History Museum to your list of must-see attractions!