The Best Museums In DC, Besides The Smithsonians

While we love DC’s set of free Smithsonian museums, the city is home to plenty of other galleries too. Here are our five favorite non-Smithsonian museums in the city.

Phillips Collection

Located a short-walk from the St. Gregory, this modern art gallery has an impressive collection by prominent painters and sculptors, including Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh.The museum also has a roster of regularly changing exhibitions by well-known artists.

1600 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20009
(202) 387-2151

National Gallery of Art

Although this well-known DC landmark isn’t a Smithsonian, it’s open to the public free of charge. Having trouble making up your mind about what type of art you want to see? The gallery is split into two wings: one for European artists from the medieval period until the late 19th century and one for modern art, so you don’t need to pick an era before you arrive.

6th & Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20565
(202) 737-4215

Hillyer Art Space

Make your way over to this cool Dupont Circle spot to browse DC’s homegrown gallery scene. This local museum features collections by up-and-coming artists and are a great way to get to know DC’s more small-scale art venues.

9 Hillyer Ct NW, Washington, DC 20008
(202) 338-0325

African American Civil War Museum

This museum, located in DC’s U Street neighborhood, provides fascinating insight into an important period in United States history. Come here to enhance your knowledge of the Civil War period and learn more about the African American troops who fought in the military. This is definitely an experience that you’ll want to share with the kids.

1925 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
(202) 667-2667

Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument

Interested in learning more about feminism? Head to this tiny DC museum, which focuses on the early women’s suffrage movement and is located in a 200-year-old home in the District. We recommend stopping by for a tour to get a full understanding of the history behind the place.

144 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
(202) 546-1210