Venue Details

210 Star Starred
International Spy Museum
800 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20004
202-393-7798
Venue website Get directions

Member Tips

dress

Casual
1 said this

travel

Take public transit
3 said this
Arrive early
1 said this
Parking is expensive
1 said this

dining

Pack a picnic
1 said this
Goldstar Member
If you go early on Sunday, you can find street parking for free.
info Jan 15 2010 star this tip starred
MJ
Comfortable shoes are a amust
info Jan 18 2010 star this tip starred
MJ
Parking in area garages is expensive. Take Metro!
info Jan 18 2010 star this tip starred
green-hunter
See my comment above
info Oct 26 2010 star this tip starred
leyoder
Great restaurants nearby. Matchbox is great and just a couple blocks away.
info Feb 01 2010 star this tip starred
Porsha
Metro!
info Feb 22 2010 star this tip starred
View All 218 Tips

Reviews & Ratings

787 ratings
4.2 average rating
  • 327
    5
  • 315
    4
  • 104
    3
  • 34
    2
  • 7
    1
11 events
7 reviews
5 stars
attended Jan 26 2010

My husband and I found it fascinating. The museum suggests that it takes about two hours to take a self-guided tour. Well, we took three and a half hours to walk through... continued

star this review starred report as inappropriate
4 events
3 reviews
26 stars
attended Feb 27 2010

THE MUSEUM WAS GREAT AND THE GIFT SHOP, MY ONLY ISSUE WAS IT WAS A BIT CROWDED OVER THAN THAT IT WAS GREAT!!!!

star this review starred report as inappropriate
27 events
9 reviews
9 stars
attended Apr 27 2011

There is so much to see and do, it's almost too much. I spent nearly 3 hours there. There are lots of truly interactive displays, short films, and fun facts. Good souvenir shop too.

star this review starred report as inappropriate
View All 571 Reviews
Member Photos
Dsc01492 Image
More Information

Website

http://www.spymuseum.org/

Quotes & Highlights

Visit the International Spy Museum website for more information and games.

Description

The International Spy Museum features the largest collection of international spy-related artifacts ever placed on public display. The stories of individual spies, told through film, interactives and state-of-the-art exhibits, provide a dynamic context to foster an understanding of espionage and its impact on current and historic events.

The Permanent Exhibit: Introduction to Espionage

Welcome to the International Spy Museum and the world of espionage. What interest brings you here? Is it a love of spy “who-done-its” from film noir and the movies, or spy page-turners from literature? Perhaps a fascination with history and a desire to learn secrets behind world events? Or an urgency to understand the complexities of our world today and the need for solid intelligence now, more than ever? No matter what motives brought you here…leave your preconceptions behind. Learn about the authentic tradecraft that has been used throughout time and around the world. Hear spies, in their own words, describe the challenges and the “game” of spying. A spy must live a life of lies. Adopt a cover identity and learn why an operative needs one. See the credentials an agent must have to get in — or out, as in the case of six Americans exfiltrated from revolutionary Iran in 1979, courtesy of the Canadian Ambassador — and the CIA. Proceed directly to the Briefing Film where you’ll come face to face with the real world of spying. Spies are motivated for very different reasons — what might motivate you? Patriotism? Money? A compromising situation? Your own ego?

Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains

Meet Bond’s villains, uncover their evil schemes, and explore their exotic lairs and weapons in this special exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Bond films. See over 100 film artifacts from the archives of EON Productions, the Bond film producers.

*School for Spies *

What do you need to be a spy? Examine over 200 spy gadgets, weapons, bugs, cameras, vehicles, and technologies. Learn about microdots and invisible ink, buttonhole cameras and submarine recording systems, bugs of all sizes and kinds, and ingenious disguise techniques developed by Hollywood for the CIA. Uncover the stories behind the spycraft, why and how these artifacts were developed, and by which side. Survey over 50 years of spy technology, developed by agencies from the OSS to the KGB, and still in use today. Professional intelligence training, no matter the country or the era, focuses on developing innate skills, possessed to some degree by all of us. But in spies, these abilities must be honed to an extraordinary degree, to insure success, personal safety and expected results. Test your skills of observation, analysis, and surveillance at interactive stations. Can you do it? Do you have what it takes to be a spy? _*

The Secret History of History*_

Travel back through the centuries to trace the earliest moments of the second oldest profession. Uncover the stories of famous men and women, considered above suspicion, and doubly effective as spies. Be surprised by spymasters from Moses to Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth I to George Washington, Cardinal Richelieu to Joseph Stalin—all relied on intelligence to be effective leaders. Track today’s satellite technology back to its first stirrings. Photography and flight were both evolving—and a camera-carrying pigeon became a decorated World War I “veteran.” Learn about the earliest codes—who created them and who broke them. Meet the Sisterhood of Spies, a select few of the many women who were capable and unsuspected agents from the U.S. Civil War through the first decades of the 20th Century. Track the evolution of Russian spying from its Chekist beginnings under the “Father of the KGB,” Feliks Dzerzhinsky. You know the history, now you’ll know the secret history. _*

Spies Among Us*_

See the storm clouds gathering as World War II draws near, and the fronts which concealed German and Russian spy rings operating right under our noses. Consider the unheeded intelligence that warned of Pearl Harbor. Learn about Ultra, the top secret Allied code-breaking successes—as close as Arlington Hall, and as secret as Bletchley Park. These efforts shortened the war and laid the groundwork for the development of the computer. Test your code-breaking skills while learning about how the Enigma worked and was eventually broken. Understand the brilliance of Navajo codetalkers. Be amazed by ingenious deceptions, double crossed agents and properly placed propaganda that ultimately made D-Day a success. Recognize the celebrity spies, who traded on easy access and provided invaluable intelligence—such luminaries as chanteuse Josephine Baker, Oscar-winning director John Ford and pro ballplayer Moe Berg. Meet as well, the relatively unknown agents, who risked everything to work behind enemy lines—and who paid the ultimate price. Behold the biggest secret of the 20th Century—the atom bomb and how that secret was lost. _*

War of the Spies*_

The war ended but an Iron Curtain descended—and with it came a modern conflict—the war of the spies. Step into divided Berlin to see world powers facing off with spies as foot soldiers, and their efforts to keep the Cold War from growing too hot. Tune in on the Red Scare that suspected a Commie under every bed. Experience the pervasiveness of Stasi spying where neighbors spied on each other, children on parents, husbands on wives. Visit the Berlin tunnel that tapped Soviet communication lines. Follow the further advances in spy technology from spy planes to satellites. See how pop culture provided new heroes and villains and made sense of—by making light of—the crises of the Cold War. Move through the “wilderness of mirrors”—a time defined by some of the biggest spy stories of the Cold War, some still unfolding today. Observe how spies from Kim Philby to Robert Hanssen operated; their covers, how they were caught, and what devastating consequences resulted. _*

The 21st Century*_

The Berlin Wall came down, the Cold War ended, “the dragon” had been slain, but a bewildering variety of poisonous snakes emerged as new threats. In the Ground Truth Theater confront the contemporary challenges that intelligence faces today when it is needed by all governments more than ever.

Please be advised that the permanent exhibition is most appropriate for children ages 12 and older. Children must be accompanied by an adult. An average visit lasts two hours.

About the Ticket Supplier: International Spy Museum

The mission of the International Spy Museum is to educate the public about espionage in an engaging manner and to provide a dynamic context that fosters understanding of its important role in, and impact on, current and historic events. In the words of the Museum's Founder and Chairman, Milton Maltz: "The International Spy Museum is more than history - more than information or entertainment - its mission is to reflect the significance of intelligence as a critical component of national security."