The Spy Museum was an interesting experience. At $13 it is quite expensive for a museum in this town. So I felt a sense of obligation to see it all. It became overwhelming somewhere about the 3/4 part. But still I did enjoy it. It is one of my favorites in the city. Just be aware it is not the best place for children unless they are really into the topic.
I HIGHLY recommend seeing the International Spy Museum. Unlike the free public museums, this one costs $13.00 for adults. But I found it highly entertaining.
They present a complete history of spying throughout the ages and offer several computer applications to test your wits as a spy.
Give yourself at least 3 hours to go through the museum.
Now, there are several ways you can approach the International Spy Museum.
1) Spy Museum - you can pay you entry fee and see the neato displays they have there complete with historical descriptions and interactive displays or you can do the following
2) Lectures, Courses, and Symposiums - you can attend their variety of lectures and classes on topics regarding espionage. They will help you to look at the world from a spy's point-of-view.
3) Kidspy Events - good for children and families. This provides and interactive way for families to learn about espionage. They can learn about code breaking, disguises, etc.
4) Workshops and Demonstrations - you can actually join them to discover and practice the art of espionage.
5) Spy City Tours - go into the depths of the city and discover the spy within the walls of Washington DC.
I personally went on one of the spying missions one night in March. It was really neat and I highly recommend it for a fun and original night out. We got a brief class in espionage and then we were sent out into the streets to uncover the conspiracy. It was a really neat experience. You have to check out the website for more information on upcoming events.
the international spy museum is a very interesting museum on the history of espionage. the museum has a video on the life of a spy and a collection of over 200 artifacts related to espionage. the most intersting items are a german WWII cipher machine, a soviet shoe transmitter and a wristwatch camera. an interesting place to visit when in washington.
OK, this was the COOLEST place! Don't be afraid of the line - it wrapped around the building when we were there, but were inside in about 20 minutes. When you first enter, you are given a briefing video and asked to pick a "cover" from the many posters and displays around the room. You are supposed to memorize the information on the poster (name, age, origin, line of work, etc), because once inside the museum you will be quizzed (via computer) to see if you rouse the suspicion of a virtual guard. You are given your assignment, and check that on another computer further inside.
Once inside, you get to see tricks and tools of the spy trade; all the "James Bond" stuff of fact and fictions (amazing how much of it is FACT). You learn about the history of espionage (referred to as the Second oldest profession), and famous spies. You get to test your stealth by crawling through an air duct (see the illicit photo attached). It was fascinating, and a little overwhelming. We were there for 3 hours, and the last part just flew by because at that point we had "museum brain" and were no longer absorbing information...
Gift shop has some great stuff! I really need to go back and by that Spy Garden Gnome - too cute!
Admission is $18 for adults, and worth every penny!
Museums like this supposed to be fascinating, at least funny but I was disappointed because most of the stuff seemed so dated although the fans of James Bond will be more than happy inside here. I have to admit that some interactive exhibits are interesting the $18 entrance fee creates much more expectations. Of course that’s my humble opionion, some teenagers next to us were screaming out of joy while they were trying some spy techniques but we got bored quickly. Maybe we were very tired of so many museums the previous days, so we weren’t really in mood to read tons of information about spy history since the medieval times.
They don’t allow you to take any pics inside, they don’t really care for VTers that’s for sure.
The museum's store was interesting with many nice little items that are really unique and make great gifts like miniature cameras, invisible inks etc
The entrance fee is $18. It’s open daily 9.00-19.00(some days till 18.00) with time tickets because they only let in a certain number of people.
The Spy Museum is a fun place to visit for both kids and adults. It has a world of information, artifacts and gadgets related to what it refers to as the ?second oldest profession.? In the first room, called ?Introduction to Espionage? you are asked to create a cover with false identity, age, address, etc. and throughout the museum you may be asked about it to test your spy savvy. There are sections on ?School for Spies? with all kinds of spy equipment, bugs, cameras, etc.; ?The Secret History of History? relating to the story of spying throughout history; ?Spies Among Us? which relates espionage activity during WWII; the ?War of the Spies? deals with the Cold War; and ?The 21st Century? deals with new challenges. There are lots of hands on things so it really appeals to young people.
Hours of operation can vary but generally run from 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 or 8:00 p.m. You can check on their website. Prices are $15 for adults and $12 for children 5-11 years.
The first photo of the shoe reminds me of the old Don Adams show, 'Get Smart.' The image is downloaded from the museum site where they have images just for that.
If you are looking for a fun attraction, after all the serious stuff in the Smithsonian, I suggest visiting the International Spy Museum on 800 F street. The exhibits are interesting and interactive, you get a fictitious identity when you go in, and you're in for a few more surprises inside...
This is a great hands-on museum that gives a historical look at the spy business. They go all the way back to medieval times, renaissance times, the 1800s, etc. They have info about weapons, surveillence, and disguise stuff.
The museum is open from 10-8 during the summer. They close at 6pm in the winter.
Tickets are time and date specific. They only let a certain number of people in at a time so that it's not so crowded.
Walk in get you alter identity and proceed through the museum to learn how it was all done. Tours start on the hour and I recommed you get your ticket earlier before the hour as the line to get in is long as is the wait. We were told that in the latter part of the day there are less people so you can enjoy the exhibits more. Cost is $18.00 per person.
If you happen to have a longer wait. Try walking around the block to tenth street to see the old Ford theater. Open again Feb 2009.
The Spy Museum cost $16 which may catch you by surprise because all the other museums in the city are free but this was is privately run. It is well worth the visit apparently Washington, DC has more spies than any other city in the world. Really that is probably not that hard to believe at all.
You have to buy a ticket to enter at a certain time, the place is very busy and it was sold out each of the days I visited in February the non peak season so it is popular. When you get checked through it is interactive and you are asked to assume a different identity and you are tested at the end.
After this they usher you into a briefing room and then on to a training section where you go through some spy training. The rest of your visit you get to see lots of artifacts and tools of the trade. You learn about some of the worlds most famous spies and the consequences of getting caught. As it said at the end of the tour the worlds best spies you will never know who they are.
I thought the information there about the former KGB was interesting too. I found it a little hard to navigate the museum and it was hard to really read much and be comfortable because there were so many people there. I really found the whole experience intriguing though and it would be neat to learn more about this secret world.
There is a spy café and gift shop also on site. Enjoy your visit!
800 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20004 *202.393.7798*
Located right between the National Portrait Gallery and the FBI Building, is located the museum of spies .... where one can go and learn of the cunning and glamour of spies. Building is host to the Spy City Cafe - open for breakfast and lunch, as well as a pretty cool shop and museum store - selling invisible inks, disguise kits, miniature cameras, clandestine recording devices, ciphers, books, CDs, and collectibles. You start out in a florescent elevator that leads you to a chamber with a guard who tells you to collect your alternate identity and to choose the mission - as you go through halls and chambers where you will be taught the history of spies, famous spies, the tools, the techniques, the skills, the disguises, the arts. You will learn how to place bugs. You will learn how to make a microdot. You will learn how to pick locks. You will learn how to crawl silently through the airducts. You will learn how to listen and eavesdrop. One of the largest collections of international espionage artifacts and weapons. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. Visited 1/8/2007.
This is the best museum i've ever been to! Me and my friends found it while we were on a politics trip and didn't fancy the Smithsonian.
Its so exciting when you go in because you get giving a briefing and a fake-name. Its a very hands-on museum, great for kids and has loads of really, really interesting things in there too - even a secret tunnel that channels through the ceilings! Its the type of place i can imagine middle-aged men would love! I'd really recommend it to everybody!!
Definately check out the website aswell because it gives a taste of what its like.
Now it can be told. Throughout all of history, espionage has played a key role in the affairs of nations. Political, military, and economic intelligence had been instrumental in maintaining our own national security. And intelligence failures have cost many countries dearly, including ours.
The Spy Museum provides the casual tourist a chance to learn about this arcane but fascinating subject. There is still a great deal that cannot yet be revealed. However, this is one of Washington's best new attractions. Sorry, but no photos are allowed inside.
Tickets to the International Spy Museum should be bought in advance, this new museum is very popular. When we went they had a cool exhibit with props from various TV and Movie spies, such as 007 and Maxwell Smart.
Add to that fun exhibit the more traditional spy gear from various eras including the cold war, and you get an interesting overview of the reality and fiction of espionage that takes a few hours of your time.
Tickets are $14 for adults, $13 for students and military people, and $11 for chidren under 12.
Take the Metro to the Gallery Place/Chinatown exit. Head South past the National Portrait Gallery, hang a right and you'll see it.