National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture
5
12:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Monday
12:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
About
This 10-story Smithsonian Institution museum is dedicated to showcasing the African-American way of life, culture, and experiences through America's history.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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The area
Address
How to get there
  • Federal Triangle • 6 min walk
  • Smithsonian • 7 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • Often_on_road
    426 contributions
    Exceptional but Too Crowded
    I have been to this museum before. The exhibit on the lower level is a must. However, even with timed tickets, the crush of people waiting to go through the lower level exhibit, which realistically takes at least two hours, was way too much to truly experience the exhibit. Other parts of the museum should be seen as well.
    Thank you for visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture and providing your feedback. We appreciate your enthusiasm for the museum, and we thank you for your comment on your visit. We hope you plan to return! Thank you for visiting and submitting a review. Sincerely, Visitor and Guest Services National Museum of African American History and Culture
    Written 9 January 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 6 January 2023
  • Greg2117
    Pace, Florida753 contributions
    Great(unpleasant) reminder of our nations past
    This museum is really well done and offers a lot of insight into how the first slaves were brought over and how our country progressed. Great examples of African culture and how our country benefited from it. Huge donations by Oprah and bill gates to this make this place what it is.
    Dear Greg Thank you for visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture and providing your feedback. We appreciate your enthusiasm for the museum and passion for African American history. We thank you for sharing your personal experience visiting the museum and hope you plan to return! Thank you for visiting and submitting a review. Sincerely, Visitor and Guest Services National Museum of African American History and Culture
    Written 19 February 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 13 February 2023
  • Patricia B
    Boston, Massachusetts76 contributions
    Disappointed
    It took me a year to get tickets and I'm afraid I was disappointed. There are no docent led tours so you explore on your own. The lobby is giant and offers lockers but you need to search for them. You start the exhibits on the lower level and follow history as you rise in levels. The actual exhibit space is tight and the lighting low, I found it difficult to read many of the explanations, which were wordy to start with. The cafeteria was large with a southern menu, we had already eaten so only ordered tea and cake. The gift shop was small with limited items. Considering the many museum options in Washington, I would not put this on my "must see" list.
    Thank you for visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture and providing your feedback. We apologize that we did not meet your expectations. We appreciate your honest feedback, even though it was very regrettable to read about your experience. We are very serious about ensuring that our visitors have a favorable experience. Please know we have taken your comment seriously. We ask that you allow us another opportunity to serve you, as we encourage you to visit our museum again soon. Sincerely, Visitor and Guest Services National Museum of African American History and Culture
    Written 6 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited January 2023
    Written 20 February 2023
  • Chimata-no-kami
    New York City, New York204 contributions
    Very eye opening and engaging
    Let me say that I am quite conservative and do not subscribe to the whole new wokeness craze. However, this museum is extremely well thought through, the content is quite informative and the exhibits draw your attention (I've spent hours reading some of the descriptions). It is also good that the content is not just about the suffering and struggle of African Americans, but also highlights their achievements in American society. I would give it 5 stars if it wasn't for poor logistics - to get into the history section there is a long line...
    Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate your enthusiasm for the museum and passion for African American history. We thank you for sharing your personal experience visiting the museum! Thank you for submitting a review. Sincerely, Visitor and Guest Services National Museum of African American History and Culture
    Written 6 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 23 February 2023
  • GretchenDK
    Montclair, New Jersey135 contributions
    A must visit for all
    The outside facade is just breathtakingly beautiful. All that iron scroll work is amazing. It covered a lot. One can see it all in one day, but only if you're not stopping to read every single placard. The restaurant left a lot to be desired. It took almost 40 minutes to get in. Then the food I had (which I admit was not the main offering of fried chicken, greens and mac-n-cheese) was from the grill and very overpriced. My bill came to $33.50 and all I had was a sandwich, chips, a cupcake and bottle of water. I did order an extra dessert to go, but still. I do recommend the banana pudding. What I loved most about the experience was seeing so many people who were not African-American, there consuming and learning about the contributions we have made on all aspects of this country. I also love the fact that they offer secured lockers to put your things in so you can move around more freely and unencumbered. Many of the museums in DC do not have this.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 23 March 2023
  • BRUCE H
    Green Valley, Arizona711 contributions
    Lots to read, little to see
    I was excited to get to go to the Museum of African American History and Culture, but I was disappointed because the experience fell far below my expectations, perhaps because my expectations were too high. I learned very little, and nothing of value. Many of the "exhibits" are primarily written descriptions, which are much more easily read in books than while attempting to see past the many other people who are trying to read the same thing. Few of the artifacts on display were meaningful to me, e.g., a saxophone, a costume, a car. But if you know nothing of African American History and Culture, this museum gives an introduction and overview that could be useful.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 1 April 2023
  • Alison S
    Springfield, Massachusetts995 contributions
    Museum tries to cover all aspects of the African American experience
    A wonderful museum attempting the impossible task of covering all aspects of African American history and culture. The layout is unique and important to understand to get the most from your visit. The information desk is very helpful, can provide maps, etc. VERY popular & thronged with school trips in March. We were not even allowed to go down to the history exhibits until the lunch time lull. We spent a lot of time on the culture floor and found many great clips and exhibits - packed! Sadly, we did not have enough time to complete the history exhibits. The exhibits on African origins and the slave trade struck me as quite bland, perhaps trying too hard to tell all sides of the story of what must have been one of the most horrific experiences in human history. Well worth several visits of several hours each.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 10 April 2023
  • Castle88
    Holmdel, New Jersey237 contributions
    Great museum
    Came here on mid March on a Friday afternoon. We picked a time slot to enter the museum in advance, However, the museum was pretty crowded that day. The museum contained lots of information and you may need at least 3 hours to see the highlights of the museum.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 28 April 2023
  • allezgently
    St. Petersburg, Florida188 contributions
    An experience for the generations
    The museum presents the journey from slavery to present day for African Americans, beginning in the basement of a slave ship and progressing upward on each floor to present day athletes. It was very crowded, and requires reservations. The building with is wire mesh screening is also evocative. Folks of different ages will experience it differently. Those of us who lived through the 50s and 60s and are still alive, remember much of what is portrayed of those times in the museum. For younger folks, those images might be more painful. It is an important museum, not to be missed. Take your time, at least 3 hours.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 3 May 2023
  • rsbdesign
    Carmichael, California66 contributions
    Amazing museum, huge crowds
    This museum is a must see if you're in Washington DC. Advance tickets are required, must be booked on line, available 30 days in advance. Best recommendation is book for 10am when museum opens, line up early. Once in, go downstairs to the concourse first. Best exhibits are there and by 11am the area is choked with visitors making it very difficult to appreciate what is displayed. The third floor also has great exhibits and is less crowded. The fourth floor has a wonderful art exhibit and the second floor has immersive activities and is the least crowded.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 May 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Olivia A
Hengelo, The Netherlands2 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Coming from Holland. This museum was a must for us. We grew up hearing so much about the Dutch colonial past. Something we Dutch are not proud of. Everything was amazing in the museum. I would recommend this museum to anybody that comes to Washington dc.
Written 3 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jennie T
Jersey City, NJ20 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
This museum is a MUST-DO for everyone, especially those who need a reminder of how strong and beautiful African American culture is.

It would take many hours to thoroughly explore the museum. If I lived close by, I'd try to go once a month and conquer each floor. Tickets are always free, but reserving a time slot is necessary to guarantee a chance to view this wonderful exhibit.

You can learn at your own pace, going to any floor you want, but I recommend starting from the ground up. This would have you begin at the horrendous origins of slavery through the civil rights movement. There is so much to cover, and the crowds can sometimes be uncomfortable to stand in, but fortunately there are places that expand space for guests so they are not all bunched up together.

The museum was clean, no complaint about the staff, and I loved that the history spanned to modern time, showing just how far African Americans have come to fight for freedom through various forms of expression including: cooking, music, fashion, etc.

I didn't see any places to eat, but there were a ton of food carts surrounding the building and you're in the core of D.C where the most popular attractions are based in, so you're bound to find something after walking around.

This is not a museum just for African Americans; it is for every human who desires to learn about history. They can see the brutality of the past, so they can improve in the present, and make a better future. This was a worthwhile visit that will stay with me for a long time.
Written 1 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert F
Dallas, TX3 contributions
Mar 2023 • Family
Great museum! Very well done. It might take two days to really do it well. Be prepared, the first part in the sublevels is heart-wrenching and disturbing.
Written 29 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cynthia C
2 contributions
Nov 2023 • Solo
My first time there. It ain't how fast you get there just as long as you show up. So I showed up solo
Written 24 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sfuhere
uk780 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
We were very impressed with this museum. Starting off at the history galleries beneath, it’s obviously a disturbing start, with slavery, but it never gives way to despair and always keeps an element of hope. As you move on through the history of segregation, make sure you don’t miss the divided railroad car, which is a bit hidden. Upstairs, there are all sorts of displays. We managed to take a brief look at the music section before we ran out of time.

You could quite easily spend the whole day here. I strongly recommend going to the cafe. We had absolutely delicious food. Fried chicken with apple salad and sweet potato. It could not have been tastier. All in all, this museum is a great place to go but make sure you book ahead. There are no walk-ins due to its popularity.
Written 19 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

montanapescado
Albuquerque, NM1,184 contributions
Nov 2023 • Friends
There is so much to see here! There's 400+ years of history along with excellent interpretation of the cultural evolution over that period. It's easy to forget what a huge part of American life (both heartbreaking and joyful) is borne of the African experience, and this place will definitely expose you to something along those lines you don't already know.
Written 17 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shetrips89
Dallas, TX52 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
I cannot say enough great things about my visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum is beautifully and thoughtfully designed, and the layout does an excellent job of reviewing African-American history and culture. There's plenty of help at the museum's information desk to assist with navigating the museum. I won't say too much without giving away the subtle delightfulness the museum considers but don't miss the Contemplative Court, the Emmitt Till exhibit, and enjoy one of the many delicious African-American-inspired meals offered at the Sweet Home Cafe. It truly felt like home to me. I've already planned a return trip with my family!
Written 12 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mam Rubi
3 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
It was very enlightening to visit from Japan. While the history of slavery may be known, I believe the history of segregation is not as widely recognized internationally. However, by studying the history by era, we can understand the foundations of these issues, and I have learned a great deal. I think the situation is steadily improving. I sincerely hope that in 20 years' time, the world will be a place where people interact based on their humanity, regardless of skin color.
Written 6 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ashley L
5 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
NOT TO BE MISSED. 2 hours is not nearly enough but I'm more than happy to have reason to come back for more another time. Start from the bottom and work your way up, you get the full experience. It is a LOT to take in emotionally (and I'm white, I can only imagine how it feels for Black americans ) but soooooo important. After you finish the bottom to main floor route, head on up to the upper floors for even more. The one on music and cultural influence was incredible, and there were other exhibits we didn't even make it to and as it was we spent a good 4 hours in the building.
Written 23 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cat
London, UK17 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
FABULOUS! Spent 3 hours in here. Hugely informative and so well done - honestly the best museum I have been to in a long time. Huge shout out to Diane and Jackie the most incredible guides, their dedication and knowledge blew us away!
Written 18 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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National Museum of African American History and Culture (Washington DC) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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