Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle)

images for Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle)
1000 Jefferson Drive, SW
Washington, DC

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8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily
Closed December 25

Admission is free


Completed in 1855, the Castle is our signature building and home to the Smithsonian Visitor Center. As such, it makes a great starting point for your journey—here you can get a grasp of the scope and scale of the Smithsonian, see collections highlights from each of our museums, tour the Castle’s 19th-century architecture, see what’s going on today at all the museums, and consult with our in-house experts about what to see and do.


Volunteers and interactive tools to help with visit planning; tours highlighting the history and architecture of the Castle and beyond; Castle Café; Museum Store; free visitor Wi-Fi. 

  • Castle Café
    Specialty sandwiches, soups, pastries, organic salads, antipasti, Peet’s coffee, espresso/cappuccino bar, teas, bottled beverages, beer, wine, and novelty ice cream (seasonal).
    Discounts available for Smithsonian Members.
    Free visitor Wi-Fi
    8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

    Outdoor Carts
    Open seasonally

    Group dining packages »

Parking is limited to street parking and commercial lots and garages. See map.

Smithsonian (Mall exit)