Travel Washington DC

Five Museums You Have to Visit While in Washington, DC

February 10, 2017

I’m the first to admit that I’m a huge museum nerd. I usually revolve trips I take around restaurants I want to try and museums I want to spend a few hours exploring, which I’m not even embarrassed to admit!

What I love about museums is that they’re not just for people who like art or design, but instead are institutions that have been set up to teach people about the culture and history of either their own society or another peoples’ lives–which I think is incredibly important in this day and age.

One of my favorite places to explore is Washington, DC mostly because they have the most amazing and diverse museums, all of which are within easy walking distance of each other! Here are five of my favorite museums in DC:


I actually hadn’t heard of the Newseum until a recent weekend trip to DC when a friend recommended that we check it out together. We only got to spend 2 hours in the museum, which definitely wasn’t enough time, but my favorite exhibits we saw that the day are the exhibit on the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, the FBI exhibit in which they discuss the FBI’s Most Wanted and they have Ted Kaczynski’s (the Unabomber) cabin, as well as a photography exhibit about refugees throughout the world that I believe everyone should spend time going through.

National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art is the perfect museum for all of my fellow art nerds out there, who love nothing more than to walk around a museum and ooh an ahh over your favorite painters and sculptors. There are several rooms dedicated to the Impressionist movement, as well as my favorite medieval religious paintings where you can tell that they didn’t really understand how to paint a baby which means that Jesus usually ends up looking a bit alien with a six pack.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Walking through the United States Holocaust Museum was one of the most heartbreaking experiences I’ve had–both when I visited in middle school and again when I came back with a friend a few years ago to spend an afternoon in the museum. The museum stands as a memorial to the millions of innocent people who died in the concentration camps under Nazi regime during WWII. The museum’s exhibits are incredibly emotional and I had to stop a few times to get a hold of myself, but I definitely recommend it for those who want to learn about the lives of those persecuted throughout Europe.

Renwick Gallery

Okay I’m not sure if Renwick Gallery actually counts as a “museum,” but their exhibits are always so much fun especially the first exhibition I ever saw after their huge renovation which was called Wonder and turned the gallery totally immersive with site-specific works that used unusual materials. The architecture of the building is also absolutely gorgeous, inside and out, as can be seen from the first picture in this post!

National Museum of Natural History

The Natural History Museum has been one of my favorite museums ever since I first visited with my dad 13 years ago. From the dinosaur bones, the live insect zoo, and the Hope Diamond, the Natural History Museum has something for everyone and from what I’ve seen, the exhibits have captured the hearts of the young and the old. You can easily spend a few hours getting lost in the Natural History Museum!

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  • Living on Cloud Nine

    You have me so intrigued! I love museums and we still have yet to get to Washington DC But all our boys have been. These will be some great places to visit in our nations capital! Happy sweet weekend beautiful!

    • I have a few friends who live in DC and so I always manage to convince them to go to at least one museum with me! I feel very lucky because of it!

  • Natural History is my favorite and I go every time I’m in DC, even if it’s just to see a rotating exhibit! My husband loves the Air and Space Museum.

    • I LOVE the Natural History Museum too! It’s definitely my favorite!

  • Renwick Gallery looks so divine and beautiful! I wish I could travel to DC to visit even one of these lol! Have a great weekend 🙂

    • The Renwick Gallery is so beautiful and I always love their rotating exhibitions!

  • Violette

    These museums look great and the architecture is beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    • All of the museums are so aesthetically gorgeous!

  • Wishing I had a trip to D.C. planned after reading this post! Love love love!

    The Style Scribe

    • I cannot wait until my next trip to DC! I usually try to go at least twice a year since I have so many friends who live in the city!

  • I went to DC last month, so happy I got to see some of these museums. I loved DC so much, thank you for sharing. Hope you have a great weekend xxx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

    • How awesome are all of the museums in DC??! I’m so happy that you had such an amazing time in DC!

  • I’ve always wanted to visit the museums in D.C….it sounds like it would be so much fun! Thanks for sharing this great list!

    • The museums in DC are some of the best in the country! Plus I love that they’re all within walking distance from each other!

  • All of these museums look fantastic! That Renwick Gallery looks amazing. Hope to visit these one day!

    • The Renwick Gallery is so gorgeous and I always love their rotating exhibitions!

  • All these museums look incredible! I have to bookmark this page for a later visit

    Lizzie | Takeoffs & Landings

    • I love all of the museums in DC, but these are some of my faves! I’m a bit of a museum nerd!

  • Both the interior and exterior of these museums look amazing, thanks for sharing!

    Jacqui || Jaqventures

    • I totally agree! The museums are all so gorgeous, inside and out!

  • These all sound fanatstic, I always visit art museums whenever I’m in a different city 😉

    Nati xx

    • I do too!! Not all of my friends (including my boyfriend) are as big of fans of art though so I try to switch it up sometimes!

  • Blaire Bingham

    We keep trying to visit the Newseum every time we hit D.C., but we never seem to make it. The National Museum of NAtural History is one of my all time favorites.

    xo, Whitney and Blaire

    Peaches In A Pod

    • I can’t believe that it took me so long to visit the Newseum!! The Natural History Museum is one of my all-time favorite museums too!

  • I loved reading through this. These museums look so cool and I really want to visit now. Added in my bucket list now! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • I always love visiting museums when I’m traveling, even if I have to drag my companions along with me!

  • La Veine

    I love natural history museums! Wherever I go, they’re a must-see 🙂


    • The Natural History Museum is my favorite! I always love visiting those kinds of museums when I’m traveling, especially abroad!

  • Dolce Nina

    Love all these photos!

  • These all sound so great! I also love going to museums or exhibits – in fact I usually go alone so no one rushes me through, LOL. Thank you for sharing!

    Kathryn •

    • I do the exact same thing!! Sometimes when I’m in NYC and I can’t get anyone to go with me, I’ll just pop into the Met or the Whitney by myself!

  • The Renwick Gallery looks stunning – is that a Dale Chihuly chandelier that I see hanging there?

    • I think it is!! I thought the same exact thing when I saw it but totally forgot to ask one of the docents while we were walking around!

  • The museums themselves are works of arts too. Love the Renwick Gallery…

    Madame X
    The Flower Duet

    • The Renwick Gallery is one of my favorite smaller art museums in DC!

  • All amazing stops! I definitely want to check out the Holocaust museum next time I’m in DC which I hope is soon <3

    Green Fashionista

    • The Holocaust Museum is definitely a heavy museum to walk around, but 100% worth the visit. You leave so much more educated and it’s really interesting to see how history can repeat itself!

  • I haven’t been to D.C. in years! Definitely want to go to those museums. Nice roundup.

    • I love DC and I’m lucky enough to have a few friends who live in the city so I have an excuse to visit a few times a year!

  • Leah Cohen

    Gorgeous photos! I want to go to the Natural History museum!!!
    xx Leah

    • The Natural History Museum is one of my favorites!!

  • Len Dela Peña Parent

    Simply stunning! These photos are amazing! Thanks for sharing!
    Have a great weekend doll!
    Much love, Len


    My best friend is from Washington, I hope she will take me to visit these soon

    Filipa xxx | Instagram

    • I always drag my friends along to the museums with me! Luckily one of my best friends is a huge museum nerd too!

  • Whenever i travel with my parents our first stop is museums, I have never been in DC but is in my bucket list. Thanks for the recommendations!

    My Vogue Style |

    • My family is the exact same way!

  • I will definitely have to check these out! Washington is one of the cities I’ve always wanted to visit!

    • I absolutely love Washington, DC!! It’s such a gorgeous city!

  • Andreea Birsan

    Such a great museum guide! I will have to check them out when I make it to the US. Have a nice week ahead. x


    • Thank you so much! DC has so many amazing museums!

  • Glad to see I went to a couple on your list during my visit to D.C. I guess that just means I need to come back to visit the rest! 🙂

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • I’m so glad that you were able to make it to a couple on my list! The museums in DC are so amazing!

  • Ina

    So beautiful!

  • Shauna C

    I just love DC. I wish we had a trip planned back there soon!


    • DC is definitely one of my favorite cities on the east coast! The city is just so gorgeous!

  • Coco Cami

    Amazing post, thanks for sharing. I would love to visit Washington so this is great inspiration for when I finally make it there!

    Camille xo

    • Thank you so much! I hope that you get to visit DC someday!


    Beautiful photos! I’d love to visit Washington one day, amazing city!



    • DC really is such an amazing city!!

  • They all sounds so lovely! I usually love National Gallery Of Art in whatever country I’m in. Lovely way to get an image over the country’s art history. Would, of course, love to visit the on in DC!

    Have a lovely week love! Xx

    • I totally agree! I love visiting art galleries when I travel!

  • The Newseum sounds really cool! I’ll definitely keep these in mind if I visit!

    Treats and Trends

    • The Newseum is one of the best museums I’ve visited in the past few years! It had such fascinating exhibitions!

  • Katie Schubert

    Great recommendations! They all look SO beautiful!

    Katie | Willow and White

  • I love museums will definitely check these out if I’m ever in town.

  • Thanks for sharing these museums with us, girl! I’ve been to DC twice and I can recall only visiting the Natural History museum, I’ll have to be sure to visit the rest whenever I visit again. Thanks for sharing and have a great week ahead!



    • The Natural History Museum is one of my favorites though so I’m glad that you got to see it for yourself!

  • Nina

    Great suggestions. I will keep them in mind when I visit DC. Wish you a wonderful week ahead, xx
    Nina’s Style Blog

  • I hadn’t realised you were such a fan of museums how lovely! I completely agree, I think being reminded of the past is a brilliant way of knowing how best to move forwards into the future, and museums certainly cater to that. The Renwick Gallery looks spectacular!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • I usually keep it on the DL but I actually really do love museums! And learning about the past really is so important if we want to continue growing in the future!

  • Holly

    With all of the political stuff happening in America at the moment, it hasn’t been high up on my list of places to go but I am desperate to see some of the art galleries! I am also a big museum fan so may have to add DC to my list of places to go! x

    • I totally understand where you’re coming from and the atmosphere in DC since the election certainly has changed. The Newseum though is a wonderful museum that has brilliant exhibitions about the importance of the media and the struggles others face throughout the world!

  • yes to all of these, but the last one is new to me! add to the list!!

    • The Renwick Gallery is so gorgeous!!

  • I’ve never been to DC, but need to travel there soon. Great post!

    • I hope that you make it to DC soon!

  • I actually remember going to a few of these as a child but would really like to go again as an adult. I hope I find myself back in the DC area at some point, it has been so long!


    • If I had written this post 10 years ago, my favorite museum probably would have been the Spy Museum haha!

  • I have never been to Washington, but I would definitely have to check out these museums!!

    • All of these museums are wonderful!

  • Laura

    beautiful pictures! I’ll keep these in mind if I ever visit DC x

    Pink Frenzy

  • The Renwick Gallery is so beautiful! That’s the only one I haven’t been to, dang it. The Holocaust Meseum is a must for everyone in this lifetime. It’s truly a heartbreaking yet educational experience. It’s done so tastefully. Great list of museums! I need to get back to DC soon. 🙂


    • The Holocaust Museum is heartbreaking to visit but I totally agree that everyone absolutely must visit. And I hope that you get to visit Renwick Gallery the next time you’re in DC!

  • I am dying to visit D.C. again sometime soon. I haven’t been since I was in 7th grade and would love to explore it as an adult. I visited a couple of these museums on that trip but am dying to check out the others!

    • I visited DC a few times in middle school but it’s definitely a lot more fun as an adult!

  • I would love to visit Washington D.C! I will be bookmarking this for later!!!
    Dora xx

    • I hope that you get to visit DC soon! It’s such a wonderful city!

  • Zorica
  • Doreen’s Style Diary

    Thank you for these great recommendations. I hope to visit D.C again one day.

  • DC has bee on my list of places to visit, I’ll have to keep these in mind!

    xo Annie

    New England Romance

    • I absolutely love DC and definitely recommend a trip asap!

  • Such an amazing place to visit! lovely photos.

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