Museums & Galleries

A photo guide to Washington DC’s museums and galleries.

Exhibits in the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington DC

African American Civil War Museum

The African American Civil War Museum is dedicated to preserving and telling the stories of the United States Colored Troops involvement in the American Civil War.


Sackler Gallery

The Sackler Gallery joins the Freer Gallery of Art to form the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art for the United States of America.

Smithsonian Castle, Washington DC

Smithsonian Castle

The Smithsonian Castle looks like it should housing exotic treasures. But it doesn’t really–at least, not many and not any more. The Smithsonian now sprawls across 19 different facilities, but this is the original building.

185-154133825 Freer Gallery of Art Peacock Room Wide Shot.

Freer Gallery of Art

Originally opened in 1923 to display the collections of Charles Lang Freer, the Freer Gallery has since been merged with the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery to form the National Museum of Asian Art for the United States of America.

Exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington DC

National Museum of African Art

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, out the back of the Smithsonian Castle, showcases ancient and modern African art.

Photo of Smithsonian American Art and Portraiture Museum Interior Courtyard

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery

The Reynolds Center, in the heart of downtown Washington DC, combines two museums in one: it houses both the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. It has paintings, sculptures, photos, and drawings ranging from classical oil paintings to folk art to modern art.

Photo of Berlin Wall at the Newseum


The Newseum is a celebration of Freedom of the Press, featuring exhibits focusing on print, radio, and television media. It also features exhibits of superb photography, a section of the Berlin Wall, and a large collection of historic newspapers.

Photo of National Aquarium Tropical Reef

National Aquarium in Washington DC

While it’s not especially well known even to locals, the original National Aquarium is still in the heart of downtown Washington DC. It’s nowhere near the biggest public aquarium in the United States, but it is the oldest. And it’s in a place you would never expect.

Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

If there’s a combination that can draw the museum crowds almost as much as spaceships and airplanes, it’s dinosaurs and whopping huge diamonds. And having a life-size elephant just inside the main entrance doesn’t hurt either.

National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC houses one of the finest collections of paintings and sculptures in the world. On permanent display are works by Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Goya, Manet, Monet, Rodin, Degas, and many, many more.