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Being the capital city of the United States of America, it’s a pretty safe guess that Washington DC is home to a few museums and galleries. And of course, that is correct. But exactly how many? Well we’re not entirely sure, but the number 200 has been thrown round a bit! Chances are you’re not going to have time to see them all, so here’s a few of our favourites to choose from.
Museum of Natural History – National Mall
Part of the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of Natural History is the most visited natural history museum in the world and holds over 125 million pieces. Yes you read that right, 125 million! Highlights include the Hall of Paleobiology (dinosaurs!) with its battling T-Rex and Triceratops, the Hall of Mammals with its massive African Elephant, the Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals which holds the Hope Diamond worth about 300 million US Dollars, and the Insect Zoo which features way more live creepy crawlies than anyone could possibly want to see! Admission is free.
The Crime Museum – 575 7th Street NW
Inspired by Alcatraz Island, the Crime Museum brings together the history of crime, punishment, and crime scene investigation. A must visit for any budding police officer, a feature of the museum is its Forensic Workshops which are run by real Forensic Scientists and cover everything from arson to explosives. CSI fans beware, they also aim to right the inaccurate portrayals of the field by media too.
The International Spy Museum – 800 F Street NW
Just around the corner from the Crime Museum, the International Spy Museum traces the evolution of international espionage and tells the fascinating stories of professional spies from the USA, Russia, Germany and around the world. Upon entry you’re given an alias to memorise and will randomly quizzed on by staff members during your visit!
National Air and Space Museum – National Mall
Another of the Smithsonian museums located in the National Mall, the Air and Space Museum holds the largest collection of aircraft and spacecraft in the world. Aviation enthusiasts will absolutely love this museum which holds everything from the plane the Wright Brothers first flew in, to SpaceShipOne and the Space Shuttle Discovery. Admission is free.
Newseum – 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Housed in a stunning purpose built building, the Newseum is one of Washington’s newest and hottest museums. It showcases historic moments in news and journalism through 15 theatres and 15 galleries over a whopping seven floors. See the front page of over 80 newspapers from around the world during events such as September 11, and over 1000 Pulitzer Prize winning photographs.
The National Bonsai and Penjing Museum – 3501 New York Avenue NE
Certainly something a little different, the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum features an amazing collection of bonsai and penjing (the Chinese version of bonsai), the art of growing miniature trees. And if trees and flowers are your thing, the National Arboretum is conveniently located next door. Admission to both is free.
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