Frequently Asked Questions
The following are questions the Museum often receives from visitors. Click on the question(s) or scroll down the list for the answer.
For additional information please contact us at any time:
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024-2126
Tel.: (202) 488-0400
When are passes necessary?
Beginning September 1, 2008, passes will not be required to enter the Permanent Exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum during the fall and winter months. We are making this change to better align Museum operations with Washington, D.C.’s seasonal visitation patterns.
Year-round, no passes are required to enter the Museum or to visit our special exhibitions, and passes will now only be required for the Permanent Exhibition March through August.
Do I need a pass to enter the Museum?
No. Timed, daily-use passes — which are free — are only necessary from March through August for visiting the Museum’s Permanent Exhibition and can be obtained each day at the Museum starting at 10 a.m. or online in advance. No passes are needed for entering the Museum, special exhibitions, and the many other resources inside the Museum.
What is the Permanent Exhibition? Why are passes necessary?
The Permanent Exhibition The Holocaust is the Museum’s main exhibition and spans three floors. It presents a comprehensive history of the Holocaust through artifacts, photographs, films, oral histories, and filmed eyewitness testimonies. Since this is a self-guided tour, timed-entry passes are required March through August. This provides visitors with the opportunity to take as much time as needed to go through the exhibition and keeps crowding at a minimum.
Visitors are also welcome to attend the Museum’s Family and Youth Programs. During your visit to the Museum, please check at the Information Desk for a schedule of programs and information on availability.
How do I get passes to the Permanent Exhibition?
There are a number of ways.
• Over 2,000 free same-day passes are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis each day from March through August, starting at 10 a.m. at the Pass Desk at the Museum’s 14th Street entrance. There is a limit of 20 passes per person. Passes are timed for every 15 minutes, from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
• Passes can be obtained in advance online. There is a small service fee and a limit of 40 passes per person. The passes will be mailed to you or you will be able to print them on your own.
• Become a Member. Members support the Museum’s mission and receive a number of benefits including Priority Entry passes for the Permanent Exhibition. Learn more »
• To ensure a high quality visit, groups of more than 40 people must obtain a timed-entry reservation from the Museum’s Group Scheduling Office. “Walk-in” groups can be accommodated for a same-day visit to the Permanent Exhibition only on a very limited basis. For details and access to the online group reservation form, please consult the Groups page.
How long does it take to see the Permanent Exhibition?
It can take several hours to see the entire exhibition, and most visitors spend about two hours. Selectively viewing the exhibition can reduce time. Visitors are free to explore the exhibition at their own pace.
How soon before my entry time to the Permanent Exhibition should I arrive at the Museum?
There are numerous other exhibitions and resources you may want to see before or after the Permanent Exhibition. Also, allow extra time when you first arrive at the Museum to pass though the building entry line that can form during the busiest times of the year, spring and summer.
Will I have to wait in line?
Two lines can form at the Museum during the busiest times of the year, but your stay in a line should not be a long one. From March through August, the first line is for obtaining same-day passes for the Permanent Exhibition; the second is for entering the building. You should factor in a little extra time for a line if your visit is during the spring or summer.
When is the best time to visit?
The Museum is busiest from April through the end of July. During that time, weekday afternoons are less congested than mornings. Throughout the other months, particularly December through February, there is far less congestion and passes for the Permanent Exhibition which can run out quickly in busy months are generally available throughout the day.
What if I only have an hour to visit? What can I see?
While the Permanent Exhibition can take over two hours to visit, there are a number of other exhibitions, displays and resources you can visit for as little or as much time as you might have available. No entry passes are necessary for any of the items listed.
Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story (First Floor – takes approximately 30 minutes) Learn about the history of the Holocaust from the perspective of a young boy growing up in Nazi Germany.
Wexner Center (Second Floor – takes approximately 45 minutes) Includes: Witness to History: Documenting the Path of American Liberators Army Signal Corps photographs illustrate the trek U.S. soldiers made across Europe and their encounters with concentration camps. Also on view: animated maps, personal accounts, artifacts, and eyewitness testimony. Genocide Emergency – Darfur, Sudan: Who Will Survive Today? A display of photographs and extensive resource materials documenting the need for urgent action in the Darfur region of Sudan. Meed Survivors Registry Touch screen monitors provide access to the Museum’s database of nearly 200,000 survivors and their families from 49 states and 59 countries.
Antisemitism: Protocols of the Elders of Zion (Gonda Education Center, Lower Level; approximately 15 minutes) A potent display that focuses on one of the most notorious works of antisemitic propaganda in modern times.
Memorials (length of visit time is personal): Hall of Remembrance Our nation’s memorial to victims of the Holocaust. (Second Floor) Children’s Tile Wall The 1.5 million children murdered in the Holocaust are memorialized at the Wall of Remembrance (Children’s Tile Wall). American schoolchildren painted the more than 3000 tiles. (Lower Level).
In addition, the Museum offers a number of Public Programs – including First Person and What Makes this Building Talk?
What exhibitions should my children see?
The Permanent Exhibition is recommended for visitors who are age 11 or older. For younger children and for all visitors there are many other exhibitions and resources, including: Remember The Children: Daniel’s Story (highly recommended for all children and families); the multimedia Wexner Center; the Children’s Tile Wall; and the Hall of Remembrance.
Where is the Museum located, and what’s the best way to get there? Is there parking?
The Museum is close to the National Mall, just south of the intersection of 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW, and is between 14th Street and Raoul Wallenberg Place SW. A block away from the Washington Monument, the easiest way to get to the Museum is by Metro (Washington’s subway system). The Museum has no public parking and there is limited metered street parking in the Mall area. The closest Metro stop is Smithsonian.
For more details on parking, please consult the Getting here & Parking page.
Where should I stay while in Washington?
A listing of area hotels can be found at www.washington.org along with other information that may be helpful in your trip planning.
Is food available at the Museum?
The Museum Cafe, located in the Ross Administrative Center adjacent to the Museum, is open every day from 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Only food and beverages purchased from the Museum Cafe may be consumed in the Cafe. No food or beverages are allowed in the Museum itself.
To ensure a kosher meal is available for you in the Museum Cafe, please e-mail email@example.com or call 202.488.6151 before your visit.
In addition to the Museum Cafe, there are often vendors along 14th Street offering beverages and snacks for purchase, and several cafeterias in nearby federal buildings and Smithsonian museums are open to the public.
What is available for people who have disabilities?
Museum facilities are accessible to persons with physical disabilities. Elevators serve all areas, and each exhibition incorporates program accommodations (films are subtitled in English, and audio-only portions have text accompaniments). Wheelchairs and some visual aids may be borrowed at the Check Room free of charge.
Individuals with vision impairments may receive a guided highlights tour with two weeks advance notice.
Theaters are equipped with infrared hearing assist devices. ASL interpreters are provided upon two weeks advance request for Public Program events.
The Guided Highlights program offers tours to all interested visually impaired, blind, and blind-deaf individuals and their friends and families. The three-hour tours cover highlights from the Museum’s Permanent Exhibition, using visually descriptive language, tactile reproductions of objects and architectural elements, and visual aids. Please make reservations for the tours at least two weeks in advance. Tours can be arranged for any day the Museum is open for times before 1:30 p.m.
Make accessibility accommodation requests by contacting:
Voice: (202) 488-6100
TTY: (202) 488-0406
Fax: (202) 488-6568
Access Parking: The Museum has no public parking facility. Staff are ready to facilitate passenger drop off at the driveway by the 14th St. entrance for visitors needing personal assistance. For vehicles bearing the appropriate access tags, the National Park Service has designated approximately ten accessible parking spaces at and around the Washington Monument, along Independence Avenue west of 14th St., and at the Tidal Basin parking lot.
What benefits do I have as a member?
Members of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum provide essential funds for the Museum’s programs and operations. Your membership gift to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is fully tax-deductible. Make a donation to become a member today.
Additional benefits are available in the categories listed below:
$25-$35 Associate Member
•Two priority entry passes for one-time admission to the Museum’s Permanent Exhibition to be used at any time within the year by you, your family or friends
•Official Membership Card
•10% discount in the Museum Shop
•Associate Member benefits, PLUS
•The Museum’s award-winning note cards and calendar
•Exclusive members-only content and behind the scenes information
$100-$499 Supporting Member
•Member benefits, PLUS
•Four additional priority entry passes to the Permanent Exhibition—a total of six!
•Handsome Insignia Pin
$500-$999 Sustaining Member
•Supporting Member benefits, PLUS
•Invitations to special exhibition previews and Museum programs, including events in your area
$1000 and over Contributing Member
•Official Membership Card
•10% discount in the Museum Shop
•Handsome Insignia Pin
•Invitations to special exhibition previews and Museum programs, including regional programs
•Your name listed in select Museum publications
•Personalized Certificate of Appreciation
Please call the Membership office at (202) 488-2642 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Where can I find information on making a planned gift?
Bequests and Life Income Gifts
For information about including the Museum in your Will or other opportunities that benefit you, your family, and the Museum, please visit the planned giving page.
What if I’ve lost my membership card?
Please call the Membership office at (202) 488-2642 or write to email@example.com.
How long did the Museum take to build? And, how much did the construction cost?
Construction took nearly four years. Ground was broken in July 1989 and work was completed in April 1993. The cost of building the Museum $168 million was paid for entirely by private donations.
- Eating, drinking, and smoking are not permitted.
- Open food and drink containers are not permitted in the building.
- On entry, all visitors must pass through metal detectors and have their belongings scanned.
- Video/audio-recording is not permitted.
- Cell phone use and photography are not permitted in the exhibitions.
- Flash photography is not permitted in the Hall of Remembrance.
- Unauthorized use of Museum classrooms, theaters, and meeting spaces by outside groups or organizations is prohibited.
- The Museum cannot guarantee entry to groups that arrive more than 30 minutes after their scheduled group reservation time.