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National Spy Museum Washington Dc

Can I Bring My Baby To The Museum

The International Spy Museum – Washington, DC

Spies of all ages are welcome! Umbrella strollers and compact travel strollers that fit within these dimensions are allowed: 30 length and 25 width and 43 height . Parts of the exhibit contain narrow pathways. To ensure a safe and pleasant visit for all guests, we limit the size of strollers in the galleries. Guests with larger strollers can store them in the Cloak Room located in the Museum Lobby. There are gender-neutral family restrooms with baby changing tables on every floor of the Museum.

Exhibits Are Now More International And Comprehensive

The new International Spy Museum journeys well beyond the Western focus of its first iteration. In total, 39 countries are featured in the museum, with spies from Asia, Europe and the Middle East all showcased. New exhibits also go into much deeper detail regarding the science, technology and analysis used in spycraft. Controversial topics, including the use of torture and secret surveillance, are also covered, with multiple perspectives shared that inspire rumination and debate.


Tickets To The International Spy Museum

Don’t Pay Full Price: Save $2/per ticket when paying in advance with Trusted Tours or get 20% – 40% with several tourist attraction discount cards including the DC GO Card and CitySights Sightseeing cards. Learn more about these cards before paying full price for attractions and tours.

Unlike the Smithsonian Museums, the International Spy Museum is a private museum and does charge admission.

Tickets are timed entry tickets, which means you are free to enter the museum after the time printed on your ticket. You are able to re enter the museum throughout the day, as long as it is after the time printed on your ticket. Tickets can be purchased in advance, same day, and for larger groups.

Advanced Tickets

Tickets can be purchased in advance of your visit through the International Spy Museum website or by calling 202.654.0991 . You will be able to select the date, time, and quantity when you click Buy Tickets.

It is recommended that you purchase tickets ahead of time, especially during the busier spring and summer seasons. This option will save you from having to wait to purchase same-day tickets, which can be up to an hour long.

When purchasing tickets online, you have a choice on whether to print tickets at home or to pick up tickets at will call. Will call is located in the lobby of the museum at the same location where tickets can be purchased.

Same Day Tickets


Family Extras

International Spy Museum Hours

Security and Visitor Policies

  • Other Gallery Policies

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See All The Top Landmarks

Our carefully designed sightseeing tours take you closest to the Washington DC’s famous landmarks.

Take in the neo-classical grandeur of the USA’s capital city with Big Bus. We’ll take you to all the famous landmarks, including The White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, National Cathedral, and many more. Sit back, relax and capture the sights from our open-top double-deckers, or hop off to explore and visit the city’s world-renowned attractions.

What Is The Undercover Mission

Go Undercover at the International Spy Museum in ...

Undercover Mission is an optional experience that is included with Museum admission. Undercover Mission allows you to take on a cover identity and test your spy skills. It uses cutting-edge technology to track your performance at interactive stations and provides you with a debrief upon conclusion. Access will also be granted to a website where you can meet spies like you and access your full debrief and photos.

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What Is The Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum is the only US museum that is solely dedicated to espionage and features the largest collection of espionage artifacts ever placed on public display. It is the only museum in the world to showcase a global perspective on the roles spies have played and on the men and women who have participated in this profession, shaping history and continuing to have a significant impact on global events.

Don’t Pay Full Price: Save $2/per ticket when paying in advance with Trusted Tours or get 20% – 40% with several tourist attraction discount cards including the DC GO Card and CitySights Sightseeing cards. Learn more about these cards before paying full price for attractions and tours.

A Reimagined Spy Museum In Washington Doesnt Flinch From The Darker Side

Built for $162 million, the museum features flashy interactive exhibits but also grapples with intelligence failures, out-of-control surveillance and torture.

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WASHINGTON The intelligence craft in American history and culture is a decidedly mixed bag. It has served up intrigue, genius and heroism, clever undercover operations and brain-boggling gadgetry, making it a linchpin of popular entertainment. Yet the spy trade also has a darker strain: Prone to epic failures and frequently in ethical trouble, the agencies have been embroiled in recent years in scandals involving brutal torture and secret surveillance.

Think Bond and Bourne vs. waterboarding and warrantless eavesdropping.

The challenge taken on by the new, vastly expanded International Spy Museum, opening May 12 in a striking glass-and-steel building not far from the National Mall, was to capture all of these disparate threads. The curators had to appeal to rambunctious 8-year-olds along with somber retirees, tourists whose notion of intelligence comes from The Spy Who Loved Me and hypercritical visitors from the ranks of the C.I.A., the National Security Agency and all the secret crannies of the security state.

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You Will Learn About Important Spies And Espionage Operations Throughout History

On the museums fifth floor, you can immerse yourself in the stories of spies that date all the way back to the 16th century. For the most part, these fascinating adventures are detailed through first-person video accounts by actors playing the spies, including Costa Ronin from The Americans, who takes on the role of Dmitri Bystrolyotov, a Russian intelligence officer who had no official cover, assumed dozens of identities and eventually spent 16 years in various Gulag camps. You can also get to know Queen Elizabeths spymaster and hear the tale of James Lafayette, an African American slave who spied for the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Morten Storm is a former spy still around to tell his incredible story, in which he successfully infiltrated Islamic militant circles after spending years as an Islamic radical.


Washington Dc Is A Hub Of Diversity And History Ripe With Educational Opportunities

The International Spy Museum – Washington, DC

From the museums, monuments and memorials on the National Mall to its neighborhood streets, DC is filled with stories and knowledge that inform both our present and our future. Introduce your students to the nation’s capital and the vibrant history and heritage within through both in-person and virtual resources.

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You Can Embark On Your Own Undercover Mission Throughout Your Visit

When you begin your adventure through the new Spy Museum, make sure to check in to receive your Undercover Mission. You will be granted a lanyard, which you can use to scan at a kiosk to begin your solo operation. You will be asked several questions, the answers to which determine your mission, cover identity and expertise. From there, you continue your mission on kiosks throughout the exhibit rooms. Along the way, you will be challenged to analyze clues, keep your cover, find and contact sources, collect intel at dead drop sites and much more. Your skills are monitored throughout and when you get home, you can access a personal score sheet online through the information on your lanyard, which then leads to even more content.


National Air And Space Museumvsinternational Spy Museum

Both National Air and Space Museum and International Spy Museum are highly recommended by professional travelers. On balance, National Air and Space Museum is the choice of most reviewers compared to International Spy Museum. National Air and Space Museum is ranked #7 in Washington DC with positive reviews from 7 reviews such as Time Out, Lonely Planet and Michelin Guide.

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Covert Actions From Around The World Are Highlighted

Clandestine operations going as far back as the Trojan Horse are exhibited at the new Spy Museum, illuminating the fact that covert actions have been a part of warfare for ages. Youll encounter sections on illusory magic, ninjas and propaganda, among many others. Anatomy of an Assassination takes you all the way through the process, from the identification of a target to the strategy employed to the act itself to the aftermath.


The Washington Dc Sightseeing Day Pass: Save Big At 15+ Monumental Attractions Provided By City Sightseeing New York

Spy Museum, reopening in May, is selling advance tickets ...
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  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
  • Instant confirmation
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
  • 24-hour 1 Day Express Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Choice of a 1, 2 or 3 Day Pass, granting access to 15+ destinations, tours, and experiences.
  • Discounts at Select Restaurants, Retailers, and Entertainment Options.
  • Entry/Admission – National Mall
  • Entry/Admission – Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
  • Entry/Admission – Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
  • Entry/Admission – Jefferson Memorial
  • Entry/Admission – National World War II Memorial
  • Entry/Admission – Korean War Veterans Memorial
  • Entry/Admission – George Washington’s Mount Vernon
  • Entry/Admission – International Spy Museum
  • Entry/Admission – The Observation Deck at CEB Tower
  • Entry/Admission – National Museum of American History
  • Entry/Admission – Capitol Hill
  • Entry/Admission – Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • This pass is valid for the number of days you selected when purchasing your pass
  • The pass is activated the first time you use it.
  • Entry process and hours of operation for individual attractions vary, especially around holiday periods stay informed and check with each attraction prior to visiting.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Advanced reservations may be made for tours included on the pass.
  • Most travelers can participate

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Exhibits At The International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum is designed to be an immersive experience, where visitors learn to become spies. The typical museum experience lasts about two hours and is self-guided.

Highlights of the International Spy Museum?

  • Pretending to be a spy! — You can go undercover where you are assigned a secret identity. It is then your job to withhold that identity and keep your cover. You are tested on whether or not you succeeded in that mission with 17 different interactive stations.
  • Dive into the history of espionage! — You’ll see amazing inventions use to steal secrets, keep covers, and crack codes. The museum’s section on spying during the Cold War is especially fascinating.

Your museum experience will start when you enter the first floor and will wait for the elevator to take you up to the 5th floor. In the lobby you will see various artifacts and props that will give you an idea of what is in store for the rest of your visit. In the lobby, you wait for an elevator to take you up to the 5th floor where you will learn if you have what it takes to be a spy.

Fifth Floor

The permanent collection starts on the fifth floor as you work your way down through the permanent and later special exhibits.

The museum is an interactive experience so your museum experience is centered around the idea of being a spy.

The fourth floor takes you through the history of espionage.

There are also often special exhibits on display!

Canden Arciniega

Excellent Museum Very Interesting And Very Contemporary

Excellent museum very interesting and very contemporary, from Mata Hari to the ciberwar it presents many interesting incidents and situations related to the undercover information gathering, was my first time at the museum and was really great, try to take all the experiences in the interactive screen as the Al Qaeda hunt, this are fantastic

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Should I Order Tickets Ahead Of Time

Save time by purchasing your tickets online! Weekends and the spring and summer touring seasons are popular at the Spy Museum. Guests may experience a wait or lines to enter the general exhibition. Available timed tickets may be for a later time than your arrival or could be sold out for the day. We recommend guests purchase their tickets in advance or plan on visiting early .

You Will Be An Active Participant In The Museum

The International Spy Museum, Washington DC

The new International Spy Museum is filled with interactive elements. In addition to your Undercover Mission, theres also Mind Games, which showcases the mental patterns and biases that can foil intelligence operations. Red Teaming allows you to help the CIA examine a compound that may or may not contain Osama Bin Laden, a replica of the actual exercise that the organization went through in order to properly assess whether Bin Laden was present and if a raid was necessary.


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Spy On Us On May 12 2019

The International Spy Museum is pleased to announce the construction of a new permanent home in Southwest Washington, DC. The landmark building will be a cultural resource at LEnfant Plaza in the nations capital when it is completed in spring 2019.

At 140,000 square feet, the new Spy Museum will provide more than double the floor space of the existing building, and will include new resources for educational programming, a lecture hall/theater, and multi-function event space with sweeping views of DC.

The Malrite Company and JBG collaborated extensively on plans for the new 140,000-square-foot facility, which will sit directly in front of the glass atrium on the Plaza. Renowned London-based architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners created a design for the iconic building that will have a distinct and dynamic identity. Powerful sloped columns, folded metal panel skin, and a pleated glass veil, all emphasizing: hidden in plain sight.” Gallagher and Associates is the museum exhibition designer. Washington-based Hickok Cole Architects is the architect of record for the project, with Clark Construction leading the building charge as the general contractor.

Please note that our original, F Street location closed on January 2, 2019.

Read our press release to learn more.

Learn about Naming Opportunities for our new building.


The Museum Contains Thousands Of Espionage Artifacts

Thanks to the immense donation of collector H. Keith Melton, who contributed thousands of items, the new Spy Museums collection of spy gadgets and tools is more robust than ever before. You can look at and learn about items used for surveillance and counter-surveillance, escape and evasion, disguise, secret entry and more. Highlights include a coat fitted with a buttonhole camera , a 1922 silver dollar equipped with a suicide pin and a Steineck ABC Wristwatch featuring a tiny camera .


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International Spy Museum Reviews

The International Spy Museum is highly rated with consistently good reviews from guests of all ages. It is a popular choice for families with teenagers and adults who are young at heart and enjoy getting into interactive games.

Most negative reviews stem from its popularity as it can be crowded during peak times.

Insider Tip: The museum is less busy before 11 am and after 4 pm. It stays open late during the peak summer months.

How To Get To The International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum is located in downtown Washington, DC near L’Enfant Plaza. The museum is on L’Enfant Plaza SW near D St SW just south of Independence Ave SW.

  • Metro

The closest Metro station is the L’Enfant Plaza station . There are many exits from this Station, but the 9th and D St SW L’Enfant Plaza Promenade is the closest. Use our guide to using the Metro to get there.

  • Bus

Many of the Hop on Hop Off Bus Tours have stops nearby. Read more about the best Washington DC bus tours to find a company and a bus pass that fits your itinerary.

  • International Spy Museum Parking

The museum does not have any on-site parking, but they have partnered with Spot Hero to help visitors find parking in nearby parking garages. They recommend reserving parking ahead of time through this partnership.

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