Visiting the Smithsonian

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Aerial view of Castle and surrounding Smithsonian museums.

When you visit the Smithsonian, you’re entering the world’s largest museum complex, with approximately 155 million artifacts and specimens in its trust for the American people. As a center for research, we are also dedicated to public education; national service; and scholarship in art, design, science, technology, history, and culture.

As we reopen, we’re putting safety first. See our hours and admission information and safety protocols to plan your visit. Timed-entry passes are required at three locations.

Timed-entry passes are only required at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Zoo, and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. All Smithsonian museums and the zoo are closed on December 25. 


Anacostia Community Museum
Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Wednesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sculpture Garden open daily 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

National Air and Space Museum
Thursday through Monday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

National Air and Space Museum Steven F.
Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia

Open daily 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

National Museum of African American
History and Culture

Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Reserve Free Passes »

National Museum of African Art
Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

National Museum of American History
Friday through Tuesday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

National Museum of the American Indian (DC)
Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

National Museum of Asian Art Freer Gallery
Friday through Tuesday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

National Museum of Natural History
Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

National Portrait Gallery and
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Wednesday through Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

National Postal Museum
Friday to Tuesday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Renwick Gallery of the
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Smithsonian Institution Building (Castle)
Open daily 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Smithsonian's National Zoo
Open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Reserve Free Passes »

Smithsonian Gardens
Haupt Garden open daily dawn to dusk
All others open 24 hours


New York

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Thursday through Monday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Reserve Tickets »

National Museum of the American Indian (NY) 
Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 


Note: In November, the historic Arts and Industries Building will open to the public for the first time since 2004 with a new exhibition, FUTURES, in honor of the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary. 

Keeping Us All Safe 

As the Smithsonian reopens, safety comes first. We’re putting new safety measures in place to protect the health of our visitors, staff, volunteers, and collections based on guidance from the CDC and local governments:

  • All visitors ages 2 and over are required to wear face coverings indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
  • We’re providing hand-sanitizing stations for visitors throughout our facilities and conducting more frequent and enhanced cleaning. 
  • We’re recommending that visitors maintain a safe social distance between households or groups. 
  • We’ve installed protective safety shields at bag-check screening stations and registers.
  • We’re evaluating our exhibits, interactives, and indoor spaces on a case-by-case basis. Some of these features may be closed or operate at limited capacity.
  • Our staff will stay home when sick, wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and wash hands and practice good hygiene.

More Tips & Guidelines »

Please note: 

COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that is believed to mainly spread from person-to-person contact. The Smithsonian is doing its part to mitigate transmission intensity, and we ask you, our visitors, to do the same and help us reduce the spread of COVID-19. You must follow all posted instructions while visiting the Smithsonian, including instructions about wearing face coverings and social distancing. Despite our best efforts, the risk of contracting COVID-19 could increase by visiting the Smithsonian. By visiting the Smithsonian, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.  

The Smithsonian reserves the right to modify its hours of operations, capacity, or visitor guidelines as circumstances require and to deny entry or access to any person who fails to follow these guidelines or whose conduct puts Smithsonian staff, visitors, or property at risk.