Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle)

Smithsonian Castle
1000 Jefferson Drive, SW
Washington, DC

See on Map

8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily
Closed Dec. 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; Building America's National Collection: 175 Years of Collecting, an exhibition displaying items from across the Smithsonian; docent tours highlighting the history and architecture of the Castle; 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).
    10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Outdoor Carts
    Open seasonally

We encourage the use of public transportation.

Metro Station: Smithsonian (Mall exit)

There is no public parking facility for Smithsonian museums on the National Mall. Limited 3-hour metered parking and commercial lots are available. Reserved parking near the museums can be purchased in advance through ParkWhiz.

Note: ParkWhiz is a third-party vendor (ParkWhiz Privacy Policy).