National Gallery of Art
National Gallery of Art
5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
This national art museum holds over 141,000 works of western art, spanning from the middle ages through today. Bonus: It's completely free to visit.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest
How to get there
  • Archives • 5 min walk
  • L'Enfant Plaza • 8 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • Jamal H
    Waco, Texas71 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Extensive Collection but Limited in Scope
    The National Gallery is a partially federally funded museum, so while it isn't as large as the Art Institute in Chicago or the Met in New York, it does have some level of prestigious works due to its funding sources and it is also fairly large. One point to make note of: the gallery is entirely focused on Western (European and American Art) but given that context, the collection it does have is rather massive. I would recommend skipping the East Building if you're in a pinch. The Sculpture Garden was closed due to air quality on the day I visited so I don't have much to say there. The West Building is where most of the notable paintings are found and the names are notable: da Vinci (albeit just one work), Rembrandt, Vermeer, among others. It's not the largest collection, but absolutely worth visiting for fans of Western and Renaissance era art.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 1, 2023
  • DTE441
    Manchester, Vermont12 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great but management can do more
    Impeccable permanent collection and exhibits in stunning buildings. Great idea to ask for donations to those buying something in the gift shop. Management falters on lack of drinking fountains and inability to fill a water bottle anywhere but a bathroom sink. No apparent recycling. Also we would like to see circulation of thr enormous amount of art in storage to the multitude of small museums in the USA and beyond. Help those small museums thrive and NG can take full credit!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 14, 2023
  • Shana M
    Lubbock, Texas8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    West Wing Tour
    We saw the West Wing of the Gallery with the tour guide. She was kind and considerate. I appreciated her taking us to all the "important" rooms, but also some of the lesser known rooms. We were then able to go explore on our own. It was a great tour.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 15, 2023
  • Carin Z
    Washington DC, District of Columbia70 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Museum van wereldklasse
    Topmuseum. Zoveel kunst en zoveel topstukken in 1 museum. En nog eens gratis ook. Niet druk. Zeer de moeite waard! Ook prima koffie in het cafe bij de hoofdingang!
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 3, 2023
  • William W
    Ogden, Utah111 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    World Class Art Museum
    Enjoyed another fantastic visit to the Gallery after not visiting for 20 years. It was everything I remembered. This museum ranks among the best I have visited worldwide. The galleries are well organized and easily identified. The free maps were useful in guiding me through the galleries. My biggest disappointment was that a significant part of the museum was closed due to renovation. That being said, my favorite area was open—the American artist displays. My visit brought back many happy memories of other visits.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written August 15, 2023
  • GSM_uk
    Crawley, United Kingdom287 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Art lovers this is a must
    As I love arts, I really enjoyed this visit. It has two wings and both with are entertaining. You can go from one wing to another either from outside or indoor ( there’s like a tunnel that connects the two) please see pic.. there’s shop for souvenirs and snack outlet. They also have an interactive drawing area to show your skills which is fun.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 23, 2023
  • F4981JCmichaels
    Vancouver, Washington2,650 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The two main art buildings in Washington D.C.
    The National Gallery of Art as a title can be misleading. There are two large buildings across Fourth Street NW from each other, connected underground by a moving walkway. One can also walk on a regular floor to access them as well, and you can cross Fourth St. NW at ground level too between the two buildings, but underground is the easiest way to see them both. The East Building is dedicated to "modern art." The West Building is dedicated to all the other types of art. But...in Washington D.C. itself, there are many other art galleries. There are many within walking distance from these two, and further away is a portrait gallery. One within walking distance is dedicated to Asian art, another holds a lot of Whistler artwork, and there are more, so if art museums are your thing, go to Google Maps and type in "Washington D.C. art museums" to see them all at once. Details for them can be found there, as well as here at Trip Advisor. As far as the East & West buildings go, plan on taking your time. They have massive collections, on multiple floors for each separate building. Downstairs in the West building is an excellent cafeteria style location with ample seating. The food is exceptional, especially for what it is. Prices are reasonable too. Selection is quite varied. If you are hungry and are here, don't pass it up! There is also a limited cafe on the third floor of the East building, near the restrooms. Next to the cafeteria in the West building, is a gift shop, also with a good selection. As for the two museums themselves, be prepared to see things you've only seen in books before. The only two museums I've seen in the U.S. that can rival them are the Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Oh, and parking sucks in D.C. But you probably already know that. There is no convenient parking anywhere near anything of note in Washington D.C. I wish they would take a clue from the Canadian capital. You park under their art museum, which is also impressive in its own right. Parking garages are located around D.C., blocks from the Mall, and parking along the streets there is limited to three hours at a stretch, assuming you can find a spot. I parked nearby off Second Street NW. Expensive ($26) but worth it since it was for all day.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written November 3, 2023
  • montanapescado
    Albuquerque, New Mexico1,367 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An absolute must!
    I'll never forget my first visit here at age 19. First, I was astonished by how many great works from European masters were in permanent collection here. Second, the volume of the place was mind blowing. Even though I knew little of art at the time and previously had little interest, I was gobsmacked and spent a great deal more time there than planned. In the 40 years since then, I've been back a half dozen times and I always find something else amazes me, even within the permanent collection which I've seen before. I will never grow tired of going here, although now, I try to pace myself and focus on just one or two areas rather than try to absorb it all. It's especially nice that it's free so I never feel the need to "get my money's worth."
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written November 17, 2023
  • sfuhere
    800 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Packed with treasures
    There is no need to pre-book, just turn up. Compared to the National Gallery in London, this is a much more relaxing gallery with plenty of space. You’re not overwhelmed with other people, so you can relax and concentrate on the paintings so much more. I went on a one hour long free tour with Barbara around the gallery. I’d highly recommend it - she is engaging, humorous and insightful and will draw your attention to pictures you might have overlooked. My particular favourites were the colourful French impressionists. Generally the gallery has a great collection of Pisarro, Renoir, Degas, Monet, Manet and Seurat. It must be one of the best collections of French paintings outside of France. Plenty else too! It’s also a calm and cool interior with plenty of comfortable seating. What better way to rest your weary feet after a hard day’s walking up and down the National Mall! I found this place an oasis of calm and elegance. I loved it so much I came again the next day. Please do give it a chance. It’s free!
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written November 19, 2023
  • DesmondJH
    83 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Old and New: a major collection
    The National Gallery has a superb collection, but a big section is now closed. Where the excellent Italian Renaissance collection is usually housed, there are huge blocked off doors. Some of those paintings, notably the daVinci, the Raphael madonna, and a few others, are scattered around in other spaces (including downstairs) but the context of the really good collection is lost. The Dutch paintings are great, and most seem to be on view, including three of the Vermeers. Pay special attention to the "School of Rembrandt" painting of the small boy with the broom. It is one of those canvasses that got downgraded in the great Rembrandt Re-shuffle, but for my money, it's as good as anything Rembrandt painted. The possible attribution to Fabritius has merit, in the sense that it has the same level of charm as The Goldfinch in The Hague. Also try to find the gem of a portrait by Michael Sittow of Diego de Guevara. He's somewhat obscure, but finding really good paintings by relatively obscure artists is what makes museums fun. The East Building does not appear to have a separate spot on TA so I'll mention it here. It's the Modern Art collection, so don't be surprised by the very modern architecture and atrium space, which is overseen by a gloriously powerful Motherwell elegy. There is room for major sculpture, including the Andy Goldsworthy stonework that occupies space both within and outside of the building. However, the openness of the atrium space means there is limited wall space for pictures. The collection on view in December 2023 is fine, with some excellent early Picassos and a fine fauve collection, but it's only a few rooms. The highlight for now is a startling show of Mark Rothko's Works on Paper. There are a number of sets of works, some from before he developed his signature style, and many from the later years of his life when a Rothko was a Rothko. Fascinating detail on technique to go with scores of smaller, but very fine "stacked squares." Be prepared to walk up a lot of steps and across inside breezeways as you negotiate the grand space in this striking museum. Given how terrible the Hirschorn is, it's nice that they seem to be getting this one right. The focus on politically correct artists is not overwhelming, so most of the art is good to look at.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written December 6, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles9,362 reviews
Excellent
7,722
Very good
1,357
Average
208
Poor
50
Terrible
25

Aatira B
32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Friends
By far the best art gallery I’ve ever been to in U.S.

I think anyone touring the East coast must check out a few museums in the DC area with National Gallery of Art topping the list.
Written June 11, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cgriffin
22 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Beautiful museum, wonderful exhibit. Would be nice if they offered an audio guide. Impressed that they have a DaVinci, picture does not do it justice. Love that DC museums are free!
Written June 2, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diana L
Omaha, NE135 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
Art isn't something I know a lot about, so I always like listening in when the workers/volunteers are talking about paintings. Very nice that they had a coat/bag check, so I didn't have to carry around all my gear. It was a last-minute stop during my day, and it was lovely just walking around looking at art.
Written May 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian R
Horsens, Denmark760 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
Extraordinary experience. You could easily spend a week there if you’re into art. The works are skillfully presented not only by timeframe but also themewise. Turner, Rembrandt, Botticelli, Holbein and a myriad of other great artists.
Written May 17, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

andyh67186334
Coalville, UK9,691 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
The day I visited the National Gallery of Art was the first good day of weather on my trip. To be honest I desperately needed the loo, and entered the gallery to use their facilities.
Had the weather been inclement, I would have stayed inside for hours.
The few exhibits I saw were world class, so well worth a visit.
Written April 14, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bj thapa
Patan (Lalitpur), Nepal28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Solo
For art lovers, this is a must-go. It mainly depends upon you about the time it takes to move around. If you love arts more than yourself then even a day or month does not suffice otherwise just two hours or may be an hour is great.
Written March 21, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ashley D
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Friends
Its stunning collection spans centuries and continents, showcasing masterpieces from renowned artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, and Claude Monet. The museum's elegant architecture and peaceful atmosphere provide the perfect setting for appreciating these timeless works of art. Whether you're a seasoned art lover or just curious, the National Gallery of Art offers an unforgettable cultural experience.
Written March 19, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

D M
Cincinnati, OH31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
Top notch art and experience. I sat in the gallery on a couch and sketched for an hour.
Clean bathrooms and secure. Beautiful sculptures and art.

Easily accessible on the national mall.
Written February 29, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

C C
Pennsylvania50 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
My favorite place with lots of gorgeous Dutch paintings.
However, during this visit, I was harshly scolded by a security when I mistakingly put a map on the plastic-guarded display in German art section on 1st floor. A map on a plastic!
Sure, I made a mistake, but she could have talked to me a little differently.

I found other people complaining about the security guards here on TripAdvisor. so, I am not alone. Please take action to change the culture.
Written February 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ilene
massachusetts779 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
I wish we had more time. This is a place to truly take your time. One of my top 3 favorite DC museums along with Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the National Portrait Gallery.
Written February 14, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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