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. Reservations are not required. 

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 with Map 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 

Entry to the National Archives is free. 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. A nonrefundable $1.00 advance reservation convenience fee will be charged for each reserved ticket. Changes are allowed on a ticket order at no additional charge. If you cancel, reservation fees are nonrefundable. Same-day reservations are permitted.

Reservations

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.

Virtual Tour of 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. Only one bag is allowed per person; bags cannot be larger than 17 x 26 inches (43 x 66 centimeters) in size.
  • 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  (Not available at this time)
    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

Face Coverings

Face coverings are not required in the National Archives Museum.

Social Distancing

Practice social distancing during your visit by staying at least 6 feet from anyone not in your group. 

Enhanced Cleaning Measures

The National Archive Museum is conducting enhanced cleanings of the museum and high-touch areas. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the museum.

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 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.

For information regarding scheduling a military promotion or re-enlistment ceremony at the National Archives, please contact A1Visitors@nara.gov or 202-357-5020.

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