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International Spy Museum

The shadowy world of espionage comes under the spotlight in a museum where nothing is quite as it seems. 

Since opening in 2002, the International Spy Museum has prided itself on holding the most comprehensive collection of espionage-related artifacts anywhere in the world. Marvel at the deadly ingenuity of devices like the lipstick pistol and cyanide spectacles. Let your imagination run wild, listening to the fascinating stories of real-life spies, and try your own hand at espionage and deception.

You can easily spend hours in this museum located in the downtown district. Exhibits display a complete range of spy secrets and methods, from espionage organizations the world over, including the CIA, the KGB, MI5 and more. 

Learn the art of spy craft in School for Spies, an exhibit showcasing all the tricks of the trade from coded messages to the use of genuine spy gadgets. Highlights include the Bulgarian Umbrella, which can fire a deadly poison pellet, a Hairbrush Camera and fatal Drop Dead Spikes. The Spies Among Us exhibit features interviews and confessions with real secret agents, while 21st Century looks at the sophisticated techniques used by modern-day spies. You can watch genuine spy training videos used in World War II, while James Bond aficionados will drool over a replica of the Aston Martin used in the movie Goldfinger.

If you think you have what it takes to be a secret agent, take up the challenge in the interactive exhibits. Operation Spy puts you in the shoes of a U.S. spy racing to get his hands on a nuclear device before the enemy does. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this video exhibit’s lively characters and realistic special effects. In Spy in the City, take a GPS-guided tour of D.C., the spy capital of the world, testing your wits and guile to solve a crucial case. 

The museum has an events calendar brimming with lectures and family activities. And should you develop a taste for espionage, gift shop specialties such as the walkie-talkie watch and the camcorder pen will get your career off to a flying start. The museum is open daily, except holidays, with variable hours. Ticket prices are reasonable and there are discounts for seniors, younger visitors and law enforcement and military personnel. Kids under 7 are free. The museum is just under a mile from the Zero Milestone, under a 20-minute walk. Ticket prices are reasonable and there are discounts for seniors, younger visitors and law enforcement and military personnel. Kids under 7 are free. The museum is just under a mile from the Zero Milestone in downtown, under a 20-minute walk away. 




Guide to Exploring around International Spy Museum


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Lodging Near International Spy Museum

See all 819 Hotels near International Spy Museum
$100
Hamilton Hotel Washington DC

Hamilton Hotel Washington DC

1001 14th St NW, Washington
4.3
of 5, from 1,915 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This hotel is 5 blocks from the White House and 8 blocks from the National Mall. The Washington Monument, National World War II Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial are all about a mile away.

$109
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill

400 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington
4.2
of 5, from 4,686 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This Washington, DC hotel is within 3 blocks of Union Station, the Capitol, and Senate offices, and 4 blocks from the Judiciary Square courthouse complex and the National Mall.

$119
The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, D.C.

The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, D.C.

2100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington
4.4
of 5, from 2,988 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This Washington, DC luxury hotel is in a shopping district, 2 blocks from Dupont Circle, 4 blocks from Georgetown, and 1 mile from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

$89
Club Quarters Hotel in Washington DC

Club Quarters Hotel in Washington DC

839 17th St NW, Washington
4.1
of 5, from 3,360 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Club Quarters is in a prime location in the center of the business district, and two blocks from the White House and key government buildings. A short walk to Lafayette Square and the monuments and museums, including the Smithsonian. Minutes from Georgetown.

$119
Hotel Harrington

Hotel Harrington

436 11th Street NW, Washington
3.2
of 5, from 1,217 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Northwest, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ford's Theater and Verizon Center. Smithsonian Institution and White House are also within 15 minutes.

$71
POD DC

POD DC

627 H Street NW, Washington
4.2
of 5, from 630 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Chinatown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Verizon Center and Ford's Theater. White House and United States Capitol are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$137
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC

700 F St Nw, Washington
4.3
of 5, from 1,000 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

This National Historic Landmark hotel, within 1 block of the Verizon Center and Penn Quarter, is across the street from the National Portrait Gallery and the Spy Museum and 4 blocks from the National Mall.

$89
Washington Plaza

Washington Plaza

10 Thomas Circle NW, Washington
4.3
of 5, from 8,066 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Ideally located on Thomas Circle, near Massachusetts Avenue in the heart of Washington DC, this Kennedy-era hotel is 0.3 miles from MCPherson Square Metro Station and 0.7 miles from the Smithsonian Museums. The White House is 6 blocks from the hotel.