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National Gallery of Art, Washington

National Gallery of Art, Washington

National Gallery of Art, Washington: Our most recommended tours and activities

Washington DC: Monuments Self-Guided Walking Tour

1. Washington DC: Monuments Self-Guided Walking Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Note: This 2+ mile-long tour covers the essentials of Washington DC in 1-2 hours. Visit the most iconic landmarks of America’s capital city on this flexible self-guided walking tour. See the White House, Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol Building, and much more, and learn the revolutionary history behind the creation of Washington, D.C. Along with being developed by local guides, creative writers, and professional voice artists, most stops along the tour have animated videos allowing you to visualize what you cannot see, such as snapshots from different centuries or interior rooms. You'll begin your adventure next to Pershing Park, right across from the White House south lawn. From there, make your way to the White House itself, where you can admire the seat of American power and learn some fascinating tidbits about its construction. From here, head south toward Constitution Gardens and pick up some insight into D.C.’s complicated history along the way. Through the gardens, you’ll find what was once the city’s most controversial monument: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Next, head to the Lincoln Memorial, one of the most iconic memorials in D.C. The Korean War Veterans Memorial is next, where you’ll hear about the fraught political struggle which wracked the White House during this bloody conflict. As you continue east, you’ll be filled in on the aftermath of the War of 1812 and how D.C. grew into what it is today. The next monument you’ll arrive at will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, honoring the nation’s most revered civil rights leader. Then, cross the Kutz Bridge and learn why the Potomac River is so significant to this city’s history. From this bridge, you’ll also be able to see the impressive Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Later, reach the National Mall, which you’ve definitely seen on TV plenty of times. Get an up-close look at the Washington Monument and learn the history of George Washington’s connection to this important city. If you like museums, the next stretch of the tour is absolutely for you. You’ll pass the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the National Gallery of Art. On the final leg of the tour, visit three of the most crucial buildings in the city: The Library of Congress, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court of the United States. The tour concludes amid these three awe-inspiring structures.

Washington DC Must See Sights Half-Day Tour

2. Washington DC Must See Sights Half-Day Tour

Washington D.C. showcases some of the most majestic monuments and memorials in America. With so much to see this sightseeing bus tour makes for a great orientation option, especially for those with little time. Tailored to offer you a historic journey through the rich heritage of the United States, the tour is a quick and efficient way to learn the history of the capital. Ride past the essential monuments, museums, and attractions to relive the history of America on a 3-hour tour. You will stop at the following memorials and monuments on your tour to take pictures: • U. S. Capitol (exterior only and a photo stop only) • White House (exterior only and a photo stop only) • World War II Memorial • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial • Korean Memorial • Vietnam Memorial • Vietnam Women's Memorial • Lincoln Memorial (tour ends at this memorial)

Washington DC: See the City Segway Tour

3. Washington DC: See the City Segway Tour

Arrive 30 minutes before the tour time for instruction on how to ride a Segway, then head off on a thrilling guided Segway tour of Washington DC and its main landmarks. Listen as your guide recounts fascinating stories about these iconic locations, narrated via a state-of-the-art radio system. Before departure, receive training and get fitted for your equipment. Watch a brief video and presentation, then receive one-on-one instruction from the experienced staff. Don't be nervous! Many of the visitors are first-time riders and most people get the hang of it within a few minutes.  Once everyone is comfortable, you will do a quick soundcheck and off you go!  The first stop is the White House, just across the street from your starting point! From there, continue to explore as many of the following sites as possible: Lafayette Square US Treasury Constitution Gardens Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Vietnam Veterans Memorial Korean War Memorial DC War Memorial Tidal Basin WWII Memorial Washington Monument Smithsonian Museums National Gallery of Art US Capitol National Archives US Navy Memorial FBI Building Freedom Plaza and more!

Washington DC: National Archives and US Capitol Guided Tour

4. Washington DC: National Archives and US Capitol Guided Tour

Experience the full story of US democracy from the Founding Fathers to the present day. Start your day at the steps to the National Archives, where you’ll meet your expert guide and get VIP-style entry to the building. The number-one thing visitors to the National Archives want to see are the Charters of Freedom: The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. That’s why you’ll go directly to the Rotunda where these documents are kept. Seeing them with your own eyes is a real treat, and your guide will be on hand to provide extra information to make this experience even more meaningful. Many visitors barely glance up to the murals above while they’re here, but your guide will tell you exactly why you shouldn’t overlook them! Afterwards, you’ll move on to the Public Vaults. Opened in 2004, this interactive exhibit allows you to explore the documents you’ve just seen for yourself, along with a number of other records that are integral to the founding of American democracy as we know it today. You’ll find surprise after surprise as you continue to explore the National Archives. See recent presidents as children, hear one of the only voice recordings from Theodore Roosevelt, and gain an insight into the people behind the most important office in the world. You’ll step into the vaults for your last stop in the National Archives to see an original copy of the 1297 Magna Carta. Revered for providing the inspiration for the American Revolution, learn about its history and the last-minute auction bid that secured its place here! Step outside the archives and take in the beauty of the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art. Your guide will show you the most interesting pieces as you pass through this scenic walkway. After you exit, you’ll pass through the National Mall where your guide will point out some of Washington DC’s most important buildings, including the Smithsonian Castle, Hirshhorn Museum and the National Air and Space Museum. Making your way to the US Capitol next, you’ll have time to admire the stately reflecting pool and memorials outside as you hear about their significance. Once again, entry is pre-reserved so you can step in without any delay. See the original House of Representatives and tour the crypt as you discover how the Capitol continues to make history both nationally and internationally.

Washington DC: National Mall Self Guided App Walking Tour

5. Washington DC: National Mall Self Guided App Walking Tour

On our location aware smart phone guided walking tour you will see D.C.’s best-known monuments and museums with a few hidden gems in between using the power of our patented walking tour technology and story telling. Go at your own pace, and schedule. On our adventure you’ll see the Vietnam war, Lincoln, Washington, Korean War, world war 2, General Grant, Garfield, Buffalo Dancer, Joan Miro and Marc Chagall monuments, memorials and statues, to name a few. You will also see the Smithsonian museums of American History, Natural History, Air and Space, American Indians, the National Gallery and the sculpture garden, all free to enter, if they are open of course. And along the way I’ll share with you the stories of each site, it’s hidden secrets, and how they influenced and changed the United States. I’ll even suggest a spot to grab lunch and have a picnic along the way.

Washington D.C: Self-Guided Walking Tour and Scavenger Hunt

6. Washington D.C: Self-Guided Walking Tour and Scavenger Hunt

Spend the day exploring Washington D.C., listening to the history narrated by professional voice artists, and reading the information curated by creative writers. See the iconic monuments and buildings of this historic city on this self-guided tour. Begin next to Pershing Park, right across from the White House south lawn. From here, make your way to the White House itself, admire the seat of American power, and learn some facts about its construction.  From here, head south toward Constitution Gardens and pick up some insight into D.C.’s complicated history along the way. Through the gardens, find what was once the city’s most controversial monument: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Next, head to the Lincoln Memorial, and then the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Hear about the fraught political struggle which wracked the White House during this bloody conflict. Discover the aftermath of the War of 1812, and how D.C. grew into what it is today. The next monument will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, honoring the nation’s most revered civil rights leader. Then cross the Kutz Bridge and learn why the Potomac River is so significant to this city’s history. From this bridge, see the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Then, reach the National Mall. Here’s you’ll get an up-close look at the Washington Monument and learn the history of George Washington’s connection to this important city. Along this route, pass many museums. This includes the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the National Gallery of Art.  On the final leg of the tour, arrive at three of the most crucial buildings in the city: The Library of Congress, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court of the United States. The tour will conclude here, amid these three awe-inspiring structures.

DC: Tour with U.S. Capitol Ground Access

7. DC: Tour with U.S. Capitol Ground Access

See the most important sights in DC on the most comprehensive, top-of-the-line, and exciting tours of the historic city. Experience an 6-hour day in DC jam-packed with stops while making memories to last a lifetime.  Join your expert live guide, both on and off a climate-controlled touring bus, for an entertaining, fact-filled tour highlighting the history, culture, architecture, and sights of this beautiful city.   Your day includes the city's important monuments and memorials (listed below) including the exterior of the a visit to the outside of the Capitol Building, the White House, World War 2 Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, Dr Martin Luther King Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Women in the Vietnam Memorial, The Iwo Jima Memorial (The Marine Corp Memorial).  Have a lunch break at either the Georgetown waterfront (April-October) or The Wharf (October-April) where you can purchase lunch from one of several delicious locations. From April to October, you’ll also take a 1-hour boat ride on the lovely and historic Potomac River to experience DC's monuments and views from the unique perspective of the water. At each stop, your guide will accompany you on foot giving an informative, insider's view and great photos of each special place, before conveniently boarding the bus again.   Tour includes the following stops: Capitol BuildingWhite House (exterior)World War II MemorialKorean War Veterans MemorialVietnam Veterans MemorialVietnam Women’s MemorialMartin Luther King, Jr. MemorialFranklin Delano Roosevelt MemorialWashington Monument Time permitting there will be additional surprise stops. Sights seen from the bus include the National Archives, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Castle, Treasury Building, and much more.

Washington DC: National Gallery of Art - Guided Museum Tour

8. Washington DC: National Gallery of Art - Guided Museum Tour

Your local English speaking guide will not only be an expert on the museum, but they will also share the stories and scandals behind these paintings, discuss the techniques used to create these important works and explain how the museum itself transformed from a nearly empty building to a world-class museum in less than 100 years.   Tour highlights include (if artwork is not on loan or being restored etc.): • "Ginevra de’ Benci" by Leonardo da Vinci – the only painting by this artist in the USA • "Little Dancer" by Edgar Degas • The famous portrait of "George Washington" by Gilbert Stuart • "Self Portrait" by Vincent Van Gogh • "Venus with a Mirror" by Titian • "Woman with a Parasol" by Claude Monet • "The Alba Madonna" by Raphael With the collection featuring roughly 141,000 paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and forms of new media that stretch all the way back to the Middle Ages, you’ll be thankful to your passionate and engaging guide for navigating you, bringing a personal touch to each tour, adding own favorite anecdotes and tips along the way. 

Natural History Museum & American History Museum

9. Natural History Museum & American History Museum

The best way to see the most famous items in the Smithsonian Institution’s vast collection. Start your day with the largest Natural History collection in the world. Stones, bones, and bugs clamor for your attention at the Smithsonian Natural History museum as the largest taxidermied elephant in the world trumpets your welcome (his name is Henry!). But of course, these aren’t just any stones, bones, and bugs from someone’s backyard. From the (supposedly) cursed Hope Diamond to the recently renovated Fossil Hall with Mastodon, T-Rex, and Diplodocus looming over you, your inner child will remind you of how fascinating the natural world’s mysteries are. After a break to recharge, the Smithsonian Museum of American History’s treasures are next. Gaze upon Dorothy’s ruby slippers which rival the Hope Diamond in notoriety. Walk amongst the First Ladies exhibit — the most visited exhibit in the history of the Smithsonian! You’ll see touchstones of American struggle, identity and culture from the “Star-Spangled Banner” that flew over Ft. McHenry at dawn’s early light signifying the turning point of the War of 1812 and inspiring the song that would become the Nation’s Anthem in the 1930’s to the Greensboro Lunch Counter that reminds us that our battles have taken many forms. Cars, trains, kitchens, military uniforms, political ephemera, and Hollywood memorabilia will take you down the twists and turns of memory lane navigated by your expert guide.

Washington, DC: Self-Guided Audio Tour

10. Washington, DC: Self-Guided Audio Tour

Welcome to the Washington, D.C. self-guided audio tour, a captivating journey through the heart of the United States capital. This immersive experience allows you to explore the rich history, iconic landmarks, and cultural gems that define this historic city at your own pace. As you embark on this self-guided adventure, you'll be accompanied by a curated audio narration that unveils the stories behind the renowned monuments, memorials, and government buildings that make Washington, D.C. a symbol of democracy and freedom. Whether you're strolling along the National Mall, standing before the majestic Lincoln Memorial, or wandering through the corridors of power on Capitol Hill, the audio tour provides insightful commentary to enhance your understanding of each site. Designed for flexibility, the self-guided nature of this tour lets you tailor your exploration to your interests and schedule. Simply click access links of the audio guide onto your preferred device, put on your headphones, and set out to discover the cultural tapestry that weaves together the past, present, and future of the nation's capital. From the somber reflections at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the inspiring views from the Washington Monument, this self-guided audio tour offers a personalized and informative way to experience Washington, D.C.'s unique blend of history, politics, and culture. Learn more about the top 19 tourist attractions in Washington, DC. Its history, culture, myths, architecture, and other important facts are in this audio commentary which starts from the city's central location then the itinerary gradually moves one by one. 1. Lincoln Memorial 2. Korean War Veterans Memorial 3. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial 4. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial 5. Thomas Jefferson Memorial 6. Vietnam Veterans Memorial 7. World War II Memorial 8. National Mall 9. Washington Monument 10. National Museum of African American History and Culture 11. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 12. International Spy Museum 13. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History 14. The National Archives Museum 15. National Gallery of Art 16. National Air and Space Museum 17. Museum of the Bible 18. Library of Congress 19. National Portrait Gallery So, get ready to immerse yourself in the spirit of the city and uncover the stories that have shaped the course of American history.

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What people are saying about National Gallery of Art, Washington

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 507 reviews

Solo traveller from the UK. I have been on a Segway before, but needed a little refresh to regain confidence. The practice run that was held at the start for each person was a great way to ensure everyone built confidence. I liked the way the tour was carried out, although I was alone, I never felt like that as we were mostly riding in single line due to safety and public. So, groups and couples that came together were not doing their own thing. I thought the tour was well worth the money and the weather was gorgeous too. I loved Dominique and Ryan’s jokes a particularly the ones about Clinton and the advanced Segway trick 🤣 Really good value for money. We started at about 1315 and came back around 1515. I was pretty much exhausted in the end lol - great day out! Only improvement I would suggest (and it’s minor!) is to be aware of the headphones used for radios. I’ve got small ear canals and they weren’t great for me (only held in place by helmet/hair). Overall, thank you so much!

The tour with Ryan was really great. Entertaining and interesting, especially because he also mentioned various background and additional information that you would never have noticed yourself. You can tell his historical background and that he knows his city. We were more than satisfied.

Tour was amazing. Amanda was very friendly, informative and went out of her way to experience all aspects of the tour… even some of her hidden secret spots!

Ayana was an excellent guide, native to DC she offered an excellent perspective and was very knowledgeable and funny!!

Everything was really good, for example I listened Martin Luther King's 14 min speech at the Lincoln Memorial.