Do I need to purchase a ticket to visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC? I searched online and I couldn't found any online source to buy tickets. Is this a free entrance museum?

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    All Smithsonian museums in the Washington, D.C. area are free to enter, including the zoo. At this writing, only the National Museum of African American History & Culture requires a timed entry pass.
    – choster
    Aug 21, 2017 at 16:01
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    @choster however, the timed entry pass is free. It exists to keep crowd levels to a manageable level, not to make money. If someone tries to sell you a pass, you may be being scammed. Aug 21, 2017 at 16:41
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    There are no entrance tickets; entry is free. There are various ticketed activities within the downtown Air & Space museum and also the Dulles annex, including IMAX movies and simulated flight rides (not to be confused with a flight simulator where you're actually piloting the plane). These can get quite expensive depending on the size of your party.
    – C8H10N4O2
    Aug 21, 2017 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


The museum is free to enter. The Virginia annex of the Air and Space Museum, the Udvar-Hazy Center, has a parking fee but it also is free to enter. The reason that you cannot find a source for buying admission tickets is that no such tickets exist.

I have visited both museums several times over the past few years and there has never been an entrance fee.

There are security checkpoints to enter the main and annex museums, but no documents are required to pass. They are mostly concerned about checking bags. Sometimes you may be required to walk through a metal detector. Leave the guns at home. The lines for the security checkpoints can get very long during peak visiting times such as weekends in midsummer. Plan accordingly.

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    Once I was not allowed to enter the Air & Space Museum in DC because my pocket knife had a screw driver on it. I think the knife would not have been a problem, but the screw driver was. Perhaps they were worried I would try and disassemble some historical plane or space craft.
    – Justsalt
    Aug 21, 2017 at 19:55
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    @Justsalt - I'd have expected the problem to be that your pocket screwdriver had a knife in it. Weird that it was the screwdriver they objected to.
    – Bobson
    Aug 21, 2017 at 23:11

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