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Tips for Your Visit


Getting to the Museum

Public parking is limited around the National Mall. The easiest way to get to the Museum is via Metro’s Smithsonian stop.

Getting Through Security Quickly

When arriving at the museum, all visitors and their belongings must pass through security screening. To expedite the process, listen to our security staff and follow their instructions. Visitors are allowed to bring bottled water into the museum. If you do bring a water bottle, have it in your hand while passing through security and be ready to take a sip.

Review our building policies before your visit to find out which items you can’t bring inside with you.

Building Policies

Building Policies

Find out which items and activities are not allowed at the Museum before your visit

Read Policies

Remember to Pack

  • Water in a capped bottle to drink during your visit.
  • Comfortable shoes, so you can take your time exploring the exhibits.
  • A sweater. Our spaces tend to be kept cold to preserve the artifacts.
  • Your patience. During our busiest times, it may take 15 minutes or longer to enter through security.
  • Your camera, but leave your selfie stick or tripod at home.

Exploring Our Exhibitions

The Museum contains multiple exhibitions. Our Permanent Exhibition, The Holocaust, presents a chronological history of the Holocaust through artifacts, photographs, films, and eyewitness testimonies. This exhibition is recommended for visitors 11 years and older. From March through August, visitors must obtain a timed entry ticket to see this exhibition. Learn more about tickets.

Our other exhibitions, located on the second and ground floors of the museum, do not require passes for entry and can be viewed anytime during Museum operating hours.

Finding the Restrooms

There are restrooms located on the Lower Level of the museum, outside the Rubinstein Auditorium. Additionally, restrooms and water fountains are located near the entrance to each floor of our Permanent Exhibition.

Checking Your Coat

Coat check is available on the First Floor of the Museum for coats, large bags, and other items you don’t want to carry with you through our exhibitions. Call the museum’s Information Desk on the day of your visit at 202.488.0400 to find out if coat check is open that day.

What to Do While You Wait

If you’re waiting in the Museum for the entry time on your Permanent Exhibition ticket, there’s still plenty to do:

  • Visit one of our other exhibitions. Ask the Information Desk if there are any tours of special exhibitions taking place that day.
  • Eat at the Museum Cafe.
  • Listen to a survivor share his or her story. Every Wednesday and Thursday from mid-March to mid-August, Holocaust survivors share their stories with Museum guests at 11 a.m. in one of our auditoriums. View a schedule of speakers.