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Castle to Capitol: Museums of the National Mall Walking Tour

Starting at the Smithsonian Castle, we'll visit the original home and oldest museum on the Mall. We'll see the crypt of James Smithson, the founder of the Smithsonian who never came to this country in his lifetime. We'll take a look at some old photos of Washington, showing the transformation of DC over the past 150 years, and an original model of the Castle. Next, we'll head outside to the gardens- "backstage" National Mall. We'll stop at the second home of the Smithsonian, the Arts & Industries Building, one of the most colorful and eclectic structures in the city. We'll pass the Hirshhorn Museum, our spaceship on the mall, and peek at the modern sculpture garden. We'll also stroll by the most popular museum in the U. S. , the Air and Space Museum, and one of our most underappreciated, the Museum of the American Indian. Heading through the Botanical Garden to a hidden gem known mostly by hill staffers, we'll wrap up at the foot of Capitol Hill with beautiful views of the US Capitol.

per adult from




2 hours


Mobile ticket

Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • Local guide
    What's excluded :
    • Gratuities
  • This is a typical itinerary for this product

    Stop At: Smithsonian Institution Building, 1000 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington DC, DC 20560-0008

    Your tour begins outside the Smithsonian Castle, the headquarters of the largest museum complex in the world!

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, 900 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington DC, DC 20560-0004

    We'll discuss the beautiful and unique design of this second home of the Smithsonian Institution.

    Duration: 5 minutes

    Stop At: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th St & Independence Ave. SW Smithsonian Institutions, Washington DC, DC 20560

    Our spaceship on the National Mall.

    Duration: 5 minutes

    Pass By: National Air and Space Museum, Independence Ave SW 600 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC, DC 20560

    The second most popular museum in the world!

    Pass By: National Gallery of Art, Constitution Ave NW 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC, DC 20002

    We'll examine the stark contrast between the Neoclassical West building and Modern East building of the National Gallery of Art.

    Stop At: National Museum of the American Indian, 4th St SW Independence Ave SW, Washington DC, DC 20560

    Meant to look sculpted by the wind and water, this beautiful building has a tumultuous past.

    Duration: 5 minutes

    Stop At: United States Botanic Garden, 100 Mayland Avenue SW At the east end of the Mall, Washington DC, DC 20001

    A hidden gem among museums along the National Mall!

    Duration: 10 minutes

    Stop At: Bartholdi Park, Independence Avenue, Washington DC, DC

    A secret spot off the National Mall with a historic and beautiful fountain, sculpted by someone unexpected!

    Duration: 5 minutes

    Stop At: Capitol Hill, First St and East Capitil St NE, Washington DC, DC 20004

    We'll wrap up at the foot of Capitol Hill, with breathtaking views of the US Capitol and the National Mall!

    Duration: 10 minutes

  • Departure Point :
    Smithsonian Castle, 1000 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, DC 20560, USA
    Return Detail :
    Garfield Monument, 2436 Rayburn House Office Bldg, Washington, DC 20016, USA
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    • Minimum numbers apply. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, an alternative or full refund will be offered
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
    • Face masks required for guides in public areas
    • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
    • Guides required to regularly wash hands
    • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.



Age Req.


Fitness Req.


Group Size


Organised by DC Design Tours

Activity ID: V-33458P2

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