National Museum of Natural History

Vacation Travel Guide
National Museum of Natural History featuring interior views

One of the world’s most popular and comprehensive natural history collections is housed in a glorious domed building larger than 18 football fields.

Noticeable for its magnificent golden dome and columns, the National Museum of Natural History contains a great variety of fossils, stuffed animals and ancient artifacts that trace the story of our planet. One of the largest natural history museums in the world, it provides an array of activities for kids and adults alike.

Arrive at the immense museum by strolling between the trees of the National Mall. Venture inside and notice the majestic interior layout of the spacious atrium, with a multi-level perimeter of terraced stories. One of the most impressive specimens is an elephant called Henry in the African Bush Elephant display.

Inspect the skeletons in the Bone Hall and learn about evolution in the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils and the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins.

Visit the Q?rius, the Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center for all types of interactive tools to help you and your kids learn.

Take a break while enjoying a healthy meal at the Ocean Terrace Café. It sits beside the Mega-Toothed Shark exhibit, where a model of an enormous shark with sharp teeth hangs. You can also try the burgers and pasta in the Atrium Café.

Find the National Museum of Natural History on the northern side of the National Mall. Travel by bus to an adjacent stop or take the metro to the Federal Triangle Station and walk southeast for several minutes to arrive here. The museum is open daily from morning until late afternoon and is free to enter.

While you’re in this fascinating part of Washington D.C., visit other nearby sights such as the National Museum of American History, the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and the National Gallery of Art.

Top things to do in National Museum of Natural History

Top Hotels Close to National Museum of Natural History

Hotel Harrington
Hotel Harrington
3 out of 5
436 11th Street NW, Washington, DC
The price is $98 per night from Jan 1 to Jan 1
Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ford's Theater and Capital One Arena. White House and Smithsonian Institution are ...
3.5/5 Good! (1,637 reviews)
"Great hotel for anyone that's not looking for a hotel 4-5 star stay. Great location in walking distance of almost every main attraction, monument, or eatery. Also close to bus stops and sub rail stations for people who like to car pool with locals."

Reviewed on Dec 6, 2021

Hotel Harrington
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
550 C St SW, Washington, DC
The price is $99 per night from Jan 2 to Jan 2
Located in Capitol Hill, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and National Mall. Capital One Arena and Washington ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (2,102 reviews)
"The hotel is okay. The staff was friendly. It’s a no frills place thanks very well located."

Reviewed on Dec 6, 2021

Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
3 out of 5
400 E Street SW, Washington, DC
The price is $131 per night from Dec 15 to Dec 15
Located in Capitol Hill, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of National Mall and Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. United States Capitol and National ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,240 reviews)
"Well maintained with very friendly and accommodating staff."

Reviewed on Dec 4, 2021

Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Plan a trip to see National Museum of Natural History

Hotel Zena, a Viceroy Urban Retreat
Yours Truly DC
The Dupont Circle Hotel

Read travel guides and advice on visiting National Museum of Natural History

Popular places to visit in National Museum of Natural History

National Museum of Natural History

Choose one or more items to build your trip:

Best Lodging Options Near National Museum of Natural History

Hotel Harrington
Hotel Harrington
3 out of 5
436 11th Street NW, Washington, DC
The price is $98 per night from Jan 1 to Jan 1
Hotel Harrington
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
550 C St SW, Washington, DC
The price is $99 per night from Jan 2 to Jan 2
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
3 out of 5
400 E Street SW, Washington, DC
The price is $131 per night from Dec 15 to Dec 15
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
3 out of 5
901 L Street NW, Washington, DC
The price is $98 per night from Dec 19 to Dec 19
Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
Grand Hyatt Washington
Grand Hyatt Washington
4 out of 5
1000 H Street NW, Washington, DC
The price is $125 per night from Dec 22 to Dec 22
Grand Hyatt Washington
JW Marriott Washington DC
JW Marriott Washington DC
4 out of 5
1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC
The price is $179 per night from Dec 19 to Dec 19
JW Marriott Washington DC
Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel, a Marriott hotel
Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel, a Marriott hotel
4 out of 5
999 9th Street NW, Washington, DC
The price is $103 per night from Dec 17 to Dec 17
Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel, a Marriott hotel
Hyatt Place Washington DC/White House
Hyatt Place Washington DC/White House
3 out of 5
1522 K Street, NW, Washington, DC
The price is $116 per night from Dec 19 to Dec 19
Hyatt Place Washington DC/White House
Hyatt House Washington DC/The Wharf
Hyatt House Washington DC/The Wharf
3.5 out of 5
725 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC
The price is $143 per night from Dec 19 to Dec 19
Hyatt House Washington DC/The Wharf
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.