Free Attractions

Explore DC’s museums, memorials and other attractions without breaking the bank. There are more than 100 free things to do in Washington, DC.

Visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History opened in 1910 to invoke discovery and education of the natural world. Its green dome and immense size (comparable to 18 football fields) are signatures, as well as the 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts that the museum...

@ray.payys - Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall - Free Museum in Washington, DC
Visiting the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, DC

Since its opening in 1993 in the historic City Post Office Building, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum has served to honor and celebrate America’s proud postal history. Located next to Union Station in DC’s NoMa neighborhood , the museum houses a vast collection of stamps, postal artifacts and...

Smithsonian National Postal Museum
Free Things to Do: Off the Beaten Path in Washington, DC

Of all the free things to do in Washington, DC, many are offbeat and unusual, but essential sites to see all the same. These hidden treasures should be on everyone’s DC bucket list. So, survey our unique things to do below and take your DC exploration off the beaten path without having to pay a...

Children on Albert Einstein Memorial - Off-the-beaten path memorial in Washington, DC
Which Attractions & Museums in Washington, DC Require Tickets?

Many of Washington, DC's major attractions are open to the public and do not require tickets, including the Smithsonian museums , the Smithsonian National Zoo , the National Gallery of Art , and the monuments and memorials on the National Mall . You can buy tickets for some of Washington, DC's most...

Family at the Freer Gallery of Art on the National Mall - Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC
Visiting Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, DC

The National Zoo is right for you It’s not all elephants and donkeys in DC. At the National Zoo , visitors can find all sorts of animals that don’t subscribe to party lines. Lions, tigers, giraffes and the zoo’s beloved giant pandas are just some of the 2,000 animals that call the 163-acre park...

Smithsonian National Zoo Giant Panda - Washington, DC
Visiting the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC

What and where is the National Gallery of Art? The National Gallery of Art and its gorgeous Sculpture Garden (which features an ice rink in the winter time) are located on Constitution Avenue NW between 3rd and 9th Streets NW. Through its East and West Buildings, the museum preserves, collects and...

National Gallery of Art East and West Buildings at night - Museums in Washington, DC
Free Things to Do: Outdoor Activities in Washington, DC

You will have no issue finding free outdoor activities in DC. From hiking and running trails such as the Billy Goat Trail in Great Falls Park to awesome places like Rock Creek Park, there are so many things to do outdoors in the nation’s capital, including activities just for kids. Check out some...

Free Outdoor Activities and Things to Do in Washington, DC - Runners at sunrise on the National Mall
Visiting the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Mother Teresa, Pope Francis, Pope John Paul II and other religious figures have visited the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception , paying tribute at the largest Roman Catholic Church in North America, and the 10th largest in the world. With its dozens of chapels devoted to the Virgin Mary,...

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception - Washington, DC
Free Things to Do: Family-Friendly Washington, DC

There’s no shortage of free things to do in DC with kids, as well as family-friendly events that won’t cost a cent. From kid-friendly attractions to cool activities that the entire family can enjoy, the nation’s capital is a great destination for a vacation any time of the year. We’ve put together...

Family on the National Mall - Free family-friendly things to do in Washington, DC
Visiting the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC

What and where is the National Portrait Gallery? Painting a picture of the many influential people throughout America’s history, the National Portrait Gallery is a must-see for pop culture fans, history buffs and art lovers alike. From activists and actors to presidents and poets, the museum...

America's Presidents Museum Exhibit at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery - Free Museum in Washington, DC