Visiting the Museum

Visitors waiting to enter the National Archives Museum
Map showing the location of National Archives Museum entrances

Hours and Location

10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Last admission is 30 minutes prior to closing.
Open every day except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Admission is always free.

701 Constitution Avenue, NW
[between 7th & 9th Streets]
Washington, DC 20408

  • The General Public Entrance is near the corner of Constitution Avenue and 9th Street, to the left of the stairs.
  • The Special Events Entrance is near the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, to the right of the stairs.
  • The National Archives Research Center entrance is at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter (Green/Yellow Lines)

Visitor's Guide and Information in other languages:
EnglishEspañol | Français | Deutsch | 中文 | 日本語

Tips and guidelines to make your visit to the National Archives Museum more enjoyable:

Reservations

Reservations are not required for individuals or groups wishing to enter the National Archives Museum through the General Public Entrance, but reservations are strongly suggested between March and Labor Day to avoid potentially long lines outside.

Reservations

Guided Tours

We offer guided tours of the National Archives Museum at 9:45 a.m., Monday through Friday, for individuals and groups of up to 15 people.

Guided Tours

Things to Do and See

Explore our five exhibition galleries and enjoy other family-friendly activities:

We recommend that you allow at least 90 minutes to visit the exhibit galleries.

Tour the Museum in English and American Sign Language (ASL):

 

Tips

  • Waiting Time: It can take up to 1 hour or more to enter the building during the months of March, April and May, Thanksgiving weekend, the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, and other times when there is heavy visitor traffic. We encourage you to come prepared for inclement weather while waiting outdoors.
  • Security & Bags: Visitors are required to go through a security screening. Leave backpacks, large bags, and metal jewelry behind in order to expedite the security check.  Backpacks, luggage, and other personal items are permitted in the museum but must remain with the visitors at all times.  There are no lockers or coat check available.
  • Parking: There is no parking available at the museum. There is limited metered parking along Constitution Avenue, or visitors may take advantage of a number of public parking garages within a few blocks of the building. Use of the Metro system is highly recommended.

Accessibility

wheelchair iconThe National Archives Museum is accessible and ADA compliant. More accessibility and disability services.

Amenities

  • National Archives Store and Gift Shop
    The National Archives Store is open daily, 10 a.m. to closing.
  • Café
    The Charters Café is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. A small seating area with vending machines and an ATM is open all day.

Rules & Guidelines

Photography

Photography is prohibited in all exhibition areasCameras are permitted but should be put away in pockets, bags, or backpacks before entering exhibition areas.

Food

Food, chewing gum, and beverages are prohibited in the theater and exhibition areas.

Group Visits

We’re excited to have your group visit the National Archives Museum, but ask that you follow the following guidelines:

  • Please arrive at the museum at your scheduled arrival time. The museum is not responsible for reuniting late arrivals with their groups.
  • Students and youth groups are required to break into groups of 10, with one chaperone assigned per group.
  • Unchaperoned or misbehaving students or youth who cause or risk damage to the museum or disturb other visitors will be escorted out of the museum and the group may not be allowed admission in the future.

Tips for Other Visitors & Groups

Families and Visitors with Children

Suggestions for kid-friendly activities and other tips for visiting with children.

School Groups & Students

Reservations are not required, but you can reserve a timed entry or book a guided tour.  

Or schedule a visit for your school, scout troop, or civic group to the Boeing Learning Center’s Learning Lab for an immersive group experience.

Armed Forces

As a special tribute to our Armed Forces, service personnel in uniform or presenting a valid military I.D., and veterans presenting proof of service may enter through the Special Events entrance on the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Street. Family and guests are also welcome.

National Archives Foundation 

Members of the National Archives Foundation and their guests may enter through the Special Events entrance at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Street by showing their membership card.

Visitor Services Contact Information

For additional questions, please contact Visitor Services at visitorservices@nara.gov or 202-357-5061