Top 5 Free Museums In DC | Best Washington DC Museums

Top 5 Free Museums In DC | Best Washington DC Museums

Who doesn’t like free things? Especially when you are traveling to the 7th expensive city of the U.S. There are so many interesting things to do in Washington DC which can easily escalate your budget up to $5000. Thankfully, these free museums will let you save some bucks.

Wondering, what’s so exciting about those hubs of history, art, and culture? Everything is interesting right from the artworks to the pieces telling the stories of the past to modern innovative sculptures. The only thing to know is where to go.

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We have answers to all your questions like where, what, and when. Here’s our guide to the best museums in DC where unlimited fun is guaranteed. 

5 Best And Free Museums In DC You Must Visit At Least Once

1. National Gallery Of Art

Merely entering the museum will force you to spend more time here. The wide 6-acre garden full of beautiful sculptures will capture your attention at first. And as soon as you enter either of the 2 buildings, you’d further found yourself in the past of city and modernity at the same time. 

More than one lakh paintings including works of Pablo Picasso, incredible LED lightings inside the tower, and abstract arts on walls will blow your mind. 

Location: Constitution Avenue NW Washington DC 20565

Opens Hours- 10 am to 5 pm

Direction: Metro trains running on yellow and green lines will take you to the museum, Circulator bus is also the easiest option for commuters.  

Not To Miss: Ice skating during winter and creative wall works of East building

2. National Air And Space Museum

free museums in dc

Ever dreamed of going to space, watch the earth from the moon, or touch the moon’s surface? All your dreams would come true at this museum. This place has been inspiring future astronauts and pilots with its aviation collection and objects from historical space flights. It is one of the best museums in DC.

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Not To Miss:

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1. See the Apollo 11 spacecraft, spacesuit of world’s first man to reach on space “Neil Armstrong” at Udvar-Hazy Center

2. Watch the stars from closest at Public Observatory 

3. World’s first flying machine built by Wright Brothers 

4. Learn how ballons were invented

5. Watch all the instruments of satellites, aviation, missiles, and everything related to pioneer aviators

Location: Jefferson Drive, SW

Direction: Take a ticket to L’Enfant Plaza metro station or catch a bus to the National Mall Route. Both are the fastest and cost-saving options.

Opening Hours-Regularly opens at 10 am and closes at 5:30 pm

Time will quickly fly by at this one of the best museums in DC as there’s so much to see and describing all is nearly impossible.

3. Ford’s Theatre

free museums in dc

One of the most popular leaders and 16th U.S President Abraham Lincoln got a place at Ford’s Theatre. The museum portraits his final few hours and recreates the American Civil War with artifacts of the past.

You will get a chance to learn about his assassination, conspiracy, and investigation details via stories, theater shows, and digital resources on the virtual video tour. 

1. Ford’s Theatre has Lincoln’s clothes and secret messages inside his overcoat

2. One of the most interesting objects on display is the gun used by Abrahim’s murderer John Wilkes Booth

3. Petersen House should be on your top list as this is the house where Lincoln died. It has kept the legacy of Abrahim Lincoln alive. 

4. The 40-minutes play “One Destiny” is a must-see as it depicts the real scenario at the time of the assassination and will leave many questions behind in your mind. 

5. After such a memorable visit, enjoy dining at one of the featured restaurants by Ford’s Theatre. Asia Nine, Clyde’s, Succotash, and Hamilton are few among them. 

Also Read: 10 Perfect Children’s Museums For A Virtual Vacation With Kids

Visiting Details Of Ford's Theatre And Museum

best museums in dc

Location- 511 10th St.NW Washington, DC 20004

Opening hours- 10 am to 1 pm from Wednesday to Sunday

Directions- The Metro center station is very close to the theatre and accessible from the 11th street section. Gallery Place-Chinatown station is another closest station.

4. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

best museums in dc

Hirshhorn is not just a building with a collection of artworks across the world, its interior and exterior are equally amazing. It has in-depth exhibits of modern and contemporary art. The 1.3 acres wide sculpture garden is another eye-catching feature. 

Here are the collection highlights of the museum:

1. The Big Man Sculpture by Ron Mueck is the main attraction

2. Wish Tree by Yoko Ono

3. Immersive multimedia installations by Ann Hamilton will take you to a different place. The concept is about the slow rhythms and silent movement of blank paper in the air by the invisible artist. 

4. The Asthmatic Escaped II by Damien Hirst is about conquering death with the help of science

There are so many such incredible and mind-blowing artworks at the Hirshhorn. It allows visitors to be a part of their projects. 

Location- 7th Street, Independence Avenue SW

Opening Time- Every day from 10 am to 4:30 pm

Nearest Metro Station- Smithsonian 

5. National Postal Museum

best museums in dc

Last in our list of free museums in DC is for the avid stamp collectors. This postal museum is the right place for researchers, scholars, and philatelists. They can learn the evolution of postal services in America right from colonial times to present-day mail services. 

It has rare stamps and collectibles that visitors can explore via docent-led tours. 

Location- 2 Massachusetts Ave, NE, Washington DC 20002

Opening Time- New schedule will be soon updated on the site as the museum re-opens from August

Roadmap- Museum is next to Massachusetts Avenue exit of Union Station on Red Line 

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So our list of best museums in DC ends here. Although they are free, some ask for advanced tickets at minimal cost so you must check the official websites before you reach them. 

And if you wish to explore more places and your budget doesn’t restrict you, here are the best things to do in Washington DC.

Lose Your Pocket For These Best Things To Do In Washington DC

things to do in dc

  1. Go for a never-ending adventure at Rock Creek Park. Good for biking, horseback riding, skating, and other Sports.
  2. Dine at European restaurant Le Diplomate. Must-try the signature seafood tower
  3. Play with adorable pandas at National Zoological Park, it is free!
  4. Party hard at 9:30 Club and enjoy the live music
  5. Taste the delicious bun cha and BBQ pork away from the hustle-bustle of the city at Eden Center
  6. For water sport activities, Key Bridge Boathouse is the ideal spot.
  7. Lose yourself in the serenity of the United States National Arboretum. The park has dwarf conifers, herbarium, and a collection of boxwood trees.

Now, you can finally end your journey here and take all the beautiful memories home. Don’t forget to buy souvenirs from the shops at the free museums in DC. 




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