Most Washington, DC museums are Free seven days a week. Crowds and parking are always an issue in the Capitol, so some planning and patience will make your visit more enjoyable. Also, see transportation and parking info below the list.
Can’t make the free days? Consider purchasing a Washington DC Power Pass (low price guarantee), which includes admissiosn to The Crime and Punishment Museum, the I Spy Museum, and The Newseum, along with more than 20 DC attractions and tours, providing a combined value of more than $500 in admission fees. One, two, three, and five day DC Power Passes available.
Washington DC Museum Free Days
National Air and Space Museum – Free 7 days a week
National Air and Space Museum, Independence Ave at 6th St, SW Washington, DC 20560
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, Virginia 20151. Parking at Udvar-Hazy $15.
National Gallery of Art – Free 7 days a week
4th and Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20565
National Museum of Natural History – Free 7 days a week
10th St and Constitution Ave, NW in Washington, DC 20560
National Portrait Gallery – Free 7 days a week
Eighth St and F St NW, Washington, DC 20001
National Postal Museum – Free 7 days a week
2 Massachusetts Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002
National Zoological Park – Free 7 days a week
National Zoological Park 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
SAVVY TIP: The Zoo is a very popular destination, and parking lots often fill up early in the day, especially in spring, summer, and during ZooLights. Parking rates are $16 for the first three hours, and $22 for more than three hours. Parking is free for FONZ members. Street parking in the neighborhood is quite limited. Save yourself time and stress with a new option – you can now reserve a parking spot by calling FONZ Guest Services at 202.633.4486 Monday to Friday between 11am-3pm. Minimum of 48 hours’ notice required, $30 non-member/$20 member.
Smithsonian American Art Museum – Free 7 days a week
Smithsonian American Art Museum – 8th St and F St, NW.
Renwick Gallery – 1661 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., at 17th Street, Washington, D.C. 20006
Smithsonian Museums of Asian Art: Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery - Free 7 days a week
Freer Gallery of Art – Jefferson Drive at 12th St SW. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery – 1050 Independence Ave SW. Washington, D.C.
U.S. Holocaust Museum – Free 7 days a week
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW Washington, DC 20024
SAVVY TIP: During the busy months of March through August, a free pass is required to enter the Permanent Exhibition, ‘The Holocaust – a chronological history’. Passes are available online or in person. The Museum has no public parking facility. Paid parking is available on D St, SW, between 13th St and 14th St. Also, some metered parking is available along Independence Ave. Expect to walk a minimum of three to five blocks to the Museum entrance if you are traveling by car.
U.S. National Arboretum – Free 7 days a week
3501 New York Ave, NE Washington, DC 20002
SAVVY TIP: There is ample free parking. Large lots are located near the Grove of State Trees, near the R Street entrance, and near the New York Avenue entrance. Smaller lots are scattered throughout the grounds.
U.S. Navy Museum – Free 7 days a week
Washington Navy Yard – 805 Kidder Breese St SE, Washington, DC 20374
SAVVY TIP: Individuals above the age of 16 are required to have a valid government-issued ID card, such as a driver’s license, State ID, passport, or Common Access Card (CAC). Guests accompanied by children under the age of 16 will be responsible for those children. Large handbags and backpacks may be searched by Security. Personal vehicles are permitted on weekends ONLY. Vehicle registration and proof of insurance or rental agreement are required. During the week, parking is available for a fee in the lot adjacent to the Navy Yard at the intersection of 6th and M St SE.
Folger Shakespeare Library – Free 7 days a week
201 East Capitol Street, SE Washington, DC 20003
Free docent tours of the Folger Shakespeare Library are available on Monday – Friday at 11am and 3pm, and on Saturday at 11am and 1pm. Ticket required performances most evenings.
National Building Museum – Free access to the Great Hall, and free historic building tours. Exhibition access requires admission: $8/$5/$3. 401 F Street NW Washington, D.C. 20001.
Washington DC Parking and Transportation
You’ll find a limited number of free, 3-hour limit, on-street parking spaces near National Mall museums along Jefferson and Madison Drives. Visitors often find it more convenient to use public transportation, including taxis because free parking is limited and posted times are generally enforced. Metrorail, Washington’s subway system, and Metrobus link the city with nearby communities in Maryland and Virginia.
The Federal Triangle and Smithsonian stations, on Metrorail’s Blue and Orange lines, are located near the Mall. Every subway station is equipped with an elevator and most with escalators. There is no public parking facility at the Smithsonian on the National Mall.