You are here

Visiting the Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Enjoy a vast collection of stamps, postal artifacts and informative exhibits for all ages.

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 informative exhibits for all ages. Visitors will learn the fascinating evolution of how Americans have used the mail to communicate with each other and the world.

What’s inside?

Smithsonian National Postal Museum - Washington, DC

Whether it be early automobiles on dirt roads, stagecoaches chugging across the country, prop-planes in the skies above, or being pulled by real horsepower, guests will take a walk through history and see how mail has been transported in a variety of eye-catching displays.

Visitors to the Postal Museum will also discover the art of stamp making and design, as well as how to start their own collection, allowing patrons to see the diversity of postage from around the globe. Collectors will marvel at the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, the largest of its kind. Don’t miss the 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, dubbed “The World’s Most Famous Stamp,” on display through Nov. 2017.

The Postal Museum houses an atrium sporting a 90-foot-high ceiling and vital objects from the postal past. Three airmail planes hang overhead, while a stagecoach from 1851 and a 1932 Ford Model A postal truck also adorn the room. Take a journey on a colonial post road, browse through a 1920s-style post office and experience the National Philatelic Collection, which features more than 5.9 million items.

Planning your visit

Smithsonian National Postal Museum - Washington, DC

The National Postal Museum resides at 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE and is open from 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily. December 25 is the only day of the year that the museum is closed. Admission is free.

Street parking is available nearby and all-day paid parking can be had at Union Station, located right next to the museum. If you elect to use public transportation, take the Metro's Red Line to Union Station and use the Massachusetts Avenue exit – the museum is across the street. The DC Circulator also connects the museum and Union Station to the National Mall. Check their website for route maps and schedules.

The museum is accessible by wheelchair, with ramps at its 1st Street entrance and North Capitol Street entrance, via the U.S. Post Office.

Interested in seeing what other Smithsonian Institution museums are in Washington, DC? Explore all the Smithsonians the District has to offer.