National Gallery of Art

#6 in Best Things To Do in Washington, D.C.
National Gallery of Art picture
James P. Blair/Getty Images

Key Info

Sixth and Constitution Avenue Northwest

Price & Hours

Free
Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Details

Museums, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.5

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

If you're any kind of art connoisseur, you should make a stop at the National Gallery of Art. Composed of the East Building, which houses the gallery's more modern works (think: Henri Matisse and Mark Rothko), and the West Building, which contains the collection's older works (from Sandro Botticelli to Claude Monet), this museum has enough to fill an entire afternoon; pace yourself and maybe order a coffee, gelato or lunch at one of the gallery's five bars and cafes.

Also, if you're traveling in the summertime on a Friday evening, past visitors recommend heading into the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for some jazz. Or, travelers suggest catching one of the free concerts offered in the East Building's auditorium and the West Building's East and West Garden courts. The latter are available every Sunday evening from February to June.

The museum welcomes visitors 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. There are a variety of free self, guided and audio tours available. Complimentary guided tours for larger groups and special exhibitions are also offered based on availability. You can reach the National Gallery of Art by taking the Metro's Yellow or Green lines to Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter station. For additional information, consult the National Gallery of Art website.

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Lincoln Memorial

Although the Lincoln Memorial is just one of the District's many monuments, the larger-than-life Honest Abe is also among travelers' favorites. History buffs might enjoy the man of few (albeit powerful) words' two famous speeches, the second inaugural address and the Gettysburg Address, which are both etched into the memorial's opposing walls. Meanwhile, art history and architecture aficionados will enjoy admiring the building's striking design by Henry Bacon, complete with 38 Doric columns, 36 of which signify the states in the Union at the time Lincoln passed away.

Though most agree the Lincoln Memorial is worth checking out during the day or at night, many recent travelers say the most captivating time to visit is after dark when the attraction is lit and less crowded. Plus, evening temps will make peak summer visits more comfortable.

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