Stories of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
  • COVID-19protected
  • Walking tour
  • Family
See Itinerary
  • duration 1 days
  • tour type Group
  • max group size 12
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
  • Starts Washington D.C., USA
  • Ends Washington D.C., USA
  • Get an insider overview of the world’s most popular natural history museum 
  • Experience the many ways the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History tells its story, from older style galleries to 21stcentury digital integration  
  • See some of the most famous items in the museums like the Hope Diamond, the Neanderthal Skeleton and the Giant Squid 
  • See some fascinating artefacts that may be even more interesting than those mentioned above, like the Inquisition necklace, the 3,000yearold mummy’s sarcophagus, a Rhino shot by President Theodore Roosevelt and meteor fragments that far predate the Earth  
The Stories of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum tour starts and ends in Washington D.C.. The Stories of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum is a walking tour that takes 1 days taking you through Washington D.C., USA and other destinations in the USA.

Join us for a guided tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, one of the world’s most popular museums, and explore fascinating artefacts and historic treasures and hear the riveting stories behind them. Make the most out of your time at the museum with a local by your side!
5 - Excellent
Based on 802 reviews
  • Mr. Daniel
  • On Aug 10 2016
4 - Very Good
Mr. Daniel's review for another Urban Adventures tour
“Great experience :)”
  • Mr. Sheri
  • On Aug 06 2016
5 - Excellent
Mr. Sheri's review for another Urban Adventures tour
“Matt and Coops were fantastic!!”
  • Mr. Robert
  • On Jul 02 2016
4.5 - Excellent
Mr. Robert's review for another Urban Adventures tour
“The only reason I put "Good" for no. 5 is because I had already done 4 Urban Adventure walks (in Delhi, Paris and Budapest) and all had been excellent so my expectations were extremely high!! The "Hygge and Happiness" walk was a very enjoyable way to begin a stay in Copenhagen. A very pleasant walk with an excellent guide (and a very pleasant "shadower" too). Thank you so much. My only criticism would be that the starting point is a little difficult to find (as one of the roads does not seem to appear on the maps and the locals I asked did not know where it was: I was not late arriving there but I did allow plenty of time!).”

Your tour begins next to Henry the Elephant, the museum’s much loved mascot. After a brief introduction to the museum by your local guide, we will make our way to the Mammals Hall. Some might find this exhibit a bit creepy as it is filled with the bodies of animals that have been stuffed. Yet, it is important to understand the context behind it; while the animals are real, the majority died from old age before being donated to the museum. 

Next up, we’ll check out the White Rhino (this is misleading, he’s actually gray!) who was shot by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1909, then we’ll move on to the Morganucadon Oehler, one of the earliest of the known mammals who lived during the age of the dinosaurs.

In the Ocean Hall we’ll meet Jason Statham’s nemesis, the giant megalodon, and we’ll see the Right Whale and the Giant Squid (the only one of its kind in the world). 

The newest exhibit in the museum, the Hall of Human Origins, is next on the agenda, where we’ll marvel at the story of human evolution and the many achievements of man. In this gallery there is a booth where visitors can ‘neanderthal themselves’ and also compare themselves to the different average heights of early humans. We will give you some time to explore this fascinating space on your own before re-grouping to move on to the next room. 

We’ll continue with the evolutionary theme by spending some time with Lucy, a famous early human relative from Africa and the famous Neanderthal Skeleton. 

Space is next in the World At Night, a composite image taken by NASA in 2003, taken from thousands of satellite images showing the world at night with no clouds. 

After checking out the museum’s oldest exhibit, the creepily monikered ‘Bone Hall,’ we’ll explore the mummies… One of the coffins here is 3,000 years old, pre-dating the Bible!

At the (temporary) Dino Hall, we’ll check out t-rex and triceratops fossils and learn a little about paleontology. 

Geology and gems are next. Grab your opportunity to swoon at the cursed Hope Diamond (which inspired Rose’s Heart of the Ocean necklace in Titanic!), the world’s largest aquamarine and a beautiful Inquisition-era necklace with a fascinating backstory. 

Our final stop will be the Q?rius Gallery, the 21st-century part of the museum, where you are encouraged to explore, examine and touch historical objects to find out more about them.  You can scan the objects and learn more about them at computer stations. If you scan the card that was given to you at the beginning of the exhibit, a digital version of what you looked up on the computer is created so you can have a digital souvenir version of the exhibit, personalised to your own historical interest! Great, huh? 

Your tour ends here, close to the museum’s restaurant should you wish to indulge in some refreshments. Before you go, don’t forget to ask your local guide what else there is to see, do and eat in Washington, DC.  

Please note: The tour itinerary is very flexible, depending on the needs and interests of the group. This itinerary also doesn’t consider temporary exhibits, although the route we take around the museum will take in the temporary exhibit space, so rest assured we will stop here too! This itinerary will be slightly updated when the renovations are completed to the permanent Dinosaur Hall, which is a full wing of the museums that is closed at the time of this tour’s creation. 

  • English-speaking guide.
  • Additional food and drinks
  • souvenirs and personal shopping
  • tips/gratuities for your guide.
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Cancellation for this Stories of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum tour is free up to 48 hours before the chosen start date -full refund will be given. If cancellation is made less than 48 hours before the chosen start date, no refund applies.


For any tour departures within 25 September 2021, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 25 September 2021, a deposit of 100% is required to confirm this tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 0 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

Stories of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this Stories of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Meeting start point :

In the lobby of the Madison Drive entrance of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History under the large Elephant (Henry) in the center of the Rotunda.

Meeting end point :

The Q?rius Gallery inside the museum.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • This tour follows established guidelines that are in line with the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ framework against COVID-19.
  • This tour follows the local government(s) recommendations for gatherings and group sizes.
  • Wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing is highly encouraged on this tour. Frequently touched surfaces are regularly disinfected.
If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.
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