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International Spy Museum in Washington, DC


International Spy Museum in Washington, DC
Photo © International Spy Museum

Washington, DC is the home to the only spy museum in the United States. The International Spy Museum showcases more than 200 gadgets, weapons, bugs, cameras, vehicles, and technologies used for espionage throughout the world. Learn about microdots and invisible ink, buttonhole cameras and submarine recording systems, bugs of all sizes and kinds. Find out why and how these artifacts were developed. Uncover stories of individual spies from Moses to Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth I to George Washington, Cardinal Richelieu to Joseph Stalin.

The International Spy Museum offers lectures, films, book-signings, and family activities covering a wide range of spy-related topics. There is a museum store offering unique gifts and a restaurant next door, the Spy City Cafe.

See Photos of the International Spy Museum

Redevelopment and Expansion: The International Spy Museum has announced the relocation of the museum from its current location to the historic Carnegie Library just a few blocks away on K Street, NW between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. The redevelopment project would add additional space for exhibit areas, a new café and retail store. The museum will remain open at its F Street location until the project is complete.

Exhibits and Interactive Tours

  • Permanent Collection - The permanent exhibition presents the tradecraft of espionage through the stories of individuals and their missions, tools and techniques. Exhibits include: School for Spies providing an introduction to the world of espionage and describes many of the skills and tools essential to a spy; The Secret History of History chronicling the history of spying from biblical times to the early 20th century; Spies Among Us showcasing real-life spy stories; War of the Spies exploring the Cold War, using Post-war Berlin as the backdrop for engaging exhibits detailing the Berlin Tunnel, the Stasi, the internal security force for East Germany’s Ministry for State Security, and the fall of the Soviet Union; The 21st Century examining challenges facing intelligence professionals world-wide in the 21st Century are addressed in the Museum’s final film, Ground Truth. The looming threat of Cyber War is addressed in Weapons of Mass Disruption.
  • Operation Spy - In an action-packed hour, participants take on the role of U.S. intelligence officers on an international mission to locate a missing nuclear device before it falls into the wrong hands. This intense experience combines live-action, video characters, themed environments, special effects, and hands-on activities.
  • Spy in the City - See Washington DC through the Eyes of a Spy. This interactive gps-based outdoor walking mission allows you to solve a spy case on your own. Your spy skills of observation, evasion, and code-breaking will be put to the test.
800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC.

The International Spy Museum is located in the Penn Quarter neighborhood, a revitalized arts and entertainment district of Washington, DC.

See a map

The closest Metro station is Gallery Place/Chinatown.

$19.95 - Adults (ages 18-64)
$15.95 - Senior (ages 65+) Military, Law Enforcement
$14.95 - Youth (ages 7-17)
Free - Children age 6 & under
$14.95 - Operation Spy
$14.95 - Spy in the City
Combination packages are available.

To control crowding, tickets are assigned an entry time. Purchase tickets online. These exhibits can be very crowded even with the assigned entry times. The best time to visit this museum is during the week and early in the day.

Open Daily, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The Museum is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. On occasion, the Museum closes for private events. Call (202) EYE-SPYU for up-to-date information.

Website: www.spymuseum.org

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