Read up on need-to-know info and before-you-go tips as you plan a visit to DC’s famous Smithsonian museums
Know Before You Go
The Smithsonian Institution offers numerous resources to ensure any visit to any of its DC museums is satisfying. Here are a few need-to-know facts as you plan a trip that requires access services. Make sure to visit the Access Smithsonian website for a full overview, including additional general museum tips.
- Manual wheelchairs are available at no cost at all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Visitors are welcome to use their own personal mobility devices in Smithsonian museums.
- Access services for public programs, such as real-time captioning and sign language interpretation, can be arranged by emailing [email protected].
- Open captioning is provided on all museum exhibition videos.
- Assistive listening devices are available at all Smithsonian museums.
- Tactile and visual description tours can be arranged by contacting the individual museums or by emailing [email protected].
- Tactile elements are available throughout many Smithsonian museums.
- The Smithsonian Institution guide and map are available in braille and large print at each museum’s information desk.
- Bathrooms are located throughout the Smithsonian museums. All bathrooms have an accessible stall, and some museums have a Family/Companion Care restroom. Inquire at the museum Information Desk or look at the museum’s map to find bathroom locations.
- Visit Access Smithsonian for more information.
Accessibility Options for Each Smithsonian Museum in DC
Each link below will take you directly to pertinent accessibility information for each museum located in the area, including parking, wheelchair access, restrooms, available services and more.
- National Museum of African American History and Culture
- National Museum of African Art
- National Air and Space Museum (reopens Oct. 14, 2022)
- Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (Chantilly, Va.)
- American Art Museum & Renwick Gallery
- National Museum of American History
- National Museum of the American Indian
- Anacostia Community Museum
- National Zoo
- National Postal Museum
- National Portrait Gallery
- National Museum of Natural History
- Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
- National Museum of Asian Art
Accessibility Map for Smithsonian Museums On and Near the Mall
- The map is printable and includes a detailed diagram of entrances with wheelchair access, curb cuts, paved walkways, designated parking for persons with disabilities and more.
- Aira, a visual interpreting service, is also available to all Smithsonian visitors.
- Access Smithsonian features a bevy of pre-visit materials to assist you in getting acquainted with its DC museums ahead of your trip, including social narratives, exhibit breakdowns and entry information for each location.