National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC

4.8
Part of the Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery displays portraits of famous Americans. The gallery began with Charles Willson Peale's private collection of portraits, formerly called American Pantheon or Peale's Collection of Portraits of American Patriots. Since the gallery's inception in the 1960s, the collection has grown exponentially with acquisitions from around the world and a triennial portrait competition. Be sure to visit the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, an architectural marvel with a glass roof. Make National Portrait Gallery a part of your Washington DC vacation plans using our Washington DC trip itinerary planner .
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National Portrait Gallery Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
2,925 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We visited here mainly to see Barak and Michelle Obama‚Äôs portraits. Seeing their portraits is worth the trip to this gallery alone! We went mid-week and there was just a short, 2 minute line! After se...  more »
  • For many of us, the reason for visiting DC is to attend a conference. We attendees are busy with meetings all day. Few of the sights, other than the monuments, are open in the evening so I love that t...  more »
  • I have been to the Portrait Gallery many time and to the hall of Presidents, but I have never been moved by any of the portraits as I was moved by Obama's portrait. Maybe it is our current political c...  more »
Google
  • After many visits to DC I finally made it here. Amazing. Definitely a must see. The center courtyard is a great place to bring a box lunch as well, or purchase a lovely lunch from the cafe. Free lockers for bags make it easier to go through museum. Portraits give a different historical view of the US and the American Art Museum is great. Definitely check out Contemporary art on third floor.
  • Really lovely place. The staff in lobby are very informative and helped me plan my first visit. I am so happy that I took their advice. Sometimes there are so many things to see you get overwhelmed but the layout here offers different experiences for each visit.we spent 2 hours on second floor only the portraits and the exhibitions we're well thought out with a variety of medium. We will be back after lunch and even next visit this summer
  • The National Portrait Gallery is amazing! It is beautifully organized, and easy to navigate. The portraits are beautiful, and all indicative of times and places within our countries history. I was especially happy to see the new picture of President Obama, and an older portrait of the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Low. There is also a very neat area with American musicians, and that was very cool. We will definitely be back!
  • Fantastic and so much more! I spent a little over an hour here and only saw a fraction of what there was to see. The building itself is conveniently located near a subway station and a busy downtown full of food places and the likes. Also, the building is beautiful! Now to the art. So many famous paintings and sculptures lie here, some you may even recognize in an "oh, I know I've seen that one!" In my opinion, the coolest part of the museum is the Presidential portrait section, they have portraits of every US president (yes, even Obama's, Michelle's is also in the museum on a separate floor). Overall, I loved this museum and hope to return one day to see more!
  • I recommend going on the tours. They have docent that will guide you through the exhibits. They are very knowledgeable and are always willing to answer any questions you might have. Most of the tours that I've been on are scheduled for 50 minutes but they usually run long because the tour guides are answering questions along the way. Everyone has been very helpful and knowledgeable, I can't wait to go back again.

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4 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC September, culture, outdoors, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 7 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 47 days in United States BY A USER FROM EGYPT August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Washington DC SEE PLAN August, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA September, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM PERU October, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM MEXICO September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 7 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM BRAZIL September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 29 days in United States BY A USER FROM INDIA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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