Washington, DC is one of the best museum cities in the world, and this reputation is largely due to the magnificent Smithsonian Institute. But the Smithsonian isn’t the only cultural institution in town. A number of other museums are equally as impressive, yet remain under the radar for most visitors. Here, with respect to The Smithsonian, we share our favorite museums that aren’t under its umbrella.

The International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum is one of the city’s more unique destinations, and among the best places to bring your kids in Washington, DC. Come here to learn about the history of espionage, and see a wide variety of spy-related memorabilia.

The International Spy Museum. 800 F St. NW

National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art is a national art museum located right on the historic National Mall. Here you can find exceptional works from iconic creators like Jackson Pollock, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso.

National Gallery of Art. 6th and Constitution Ave. NW


The Newseum is an interactive museum that focuses on educating visitors on freedom of expression and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The exhibits also focus on tracing the long history of journalism in our country.

Newseum. 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

National Museum of Women In The Arts

The National Museum of Women in the Arts is shockingly the only major museum in the world dedicated to celebrating women in visual, performing, and literary arts. It’s a fascinating institution with a wide variety of exhibits and events.

National Museum of Women In The Arts. 1250 New York Ave. NW

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The United States’ official memorial to the Holocaust, this museum is heavy with its content, and superb with its presentation. Located right by the National Mall, it offers an important look into one of the darkest times in history for those who want to learn and pay their respects.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl. SW