National Gallery of Art, Washington

National Gallery of Art, Washington: Our most recommended tours and activities

Washington DC Must See Sights Half-Day Tour

1. Washington DC Must See Sights Half-Day Tour

Washington D.C. showcases some of the most majestic monuments and memorials in America. With so much to see this sightseeing bus tour makes for a great orientation option, especially for those with little time. Tailored to offer you a historic journey through the rich heritage of the United States, the tour is a quick and efficient way to learn the history of the capital. Ride past the essential monuments, museums, and attractions to relive the history of America on a 3-hour tour. You will stop at the following memorials and monuments on your tour to take pictures: • U. S. Capitol (exterior only and a photo stop only) • White House (exterior only and a photo stop only) • World War II Memorial • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial • Korean Memorial • Vietnam Memorial • Vietnam Women's Memorial • Lincoln Memorial (tour ends at this memorial)

DC: Tour with U.S. Capitol Ground Access

2. DC: Tour with U.S. Capitol Ground Access

See the most important sights in DC on the most comprehensive, top-of-the-line, and exciting tours of the historic city. Experience an 6-hour day in DC jam-packed with stops while making memories to last a lifetime.  Join your expert live guide, both on and off a climate-controlled touring bus, for an entertaining, fact-filled tour highlighting the history, culture, architecture, and sights of this beautiful city.   Your day includes the city's important monuments and memorials (listed below) including the exterior of the a visit to the outside of the Capitol Building, the White House, World War 2 Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, Dr Martin Luther King Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Women in the Vietnam Memorial, The Iwo Jima Memorial (The Marine Corp Memorial).  Have a lunch break at either the Georgetown waterfront (April-October) or The Wharf (October-April) where you can purchase lunch from one of several delicious locations. From April to October, you’ll also take a 1-hour boat ride on the lovely and historic Potomac River to experience DC's monuments and views from the unique perspective of the water. At each stop, your guide will accompany you on foot giving an informative, insider's view and great photos of each special place, before conveniently boarding the bus again.   Tour includes the following stops: Capitol BuildingWhite House (exterior)World War II MemorialKorean War Veterans MemorialVietnam Veterans MemorialVietnam Women’s MemorialMartin Luther King, Jr. MemorialFranklin Delano Roosevelt MemorialWashington Monument Time permitting there will be additional surprise stops. Sights seen from the bus include the National Archives, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Castle, Treasury Building, and much more.

Washington DC: See the City Segway Tour

3. Washington DC: See the City Segway Tour

Arrive 30 minutes before the tour time for instruction on how to ride a Segway, then head off on a thrilling guided Segway tour of Washington DC and its main landmarks. Listen as your guide recounts fascinating stories about these iconic locations, narrated via a state-of-the-art radio system. Before departure, receive training and get fitted for your equipment. Watch a brief video and presentation, then receive one-on-one instruction from the experienced staff. Don't be nervous! Many of the visitors are first-time riders and most people get the hang of it within a few minutes.  Once everyone is comfortable, you will do a quick soundcheck and off you go!  The first stop is the White House, just across the street from your starting point! From there, continue to explore as many of the following sites as possible: Lafayette Square US Treasury Constitution Gardens Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Vietnam Veterans Memorial Korean War Memorial DC War Memorial Tidal Basin WWII Memorial Washington Monument Smithsonian Museums National Gallery of Art US Capitol National Archives US Navy Memorial FBI Building Freedom Plaza and more!

Washington DC: Monuments Self-Guided Walking Tour

4. Washington DC: Monuments Self-Guided Walking Tour

Visit the most iconic landmarks of America’s capital city on this flexible self-guided walking tour. See the White House, Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol Building, and much more, and learn the revolutionary history behind the creation of Washington, D.C. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Along with being developed by local guides, creative writers, and professional voice artists, most stops along the tour have animated videos allowing you to visualize what you cannot see, such as snapshots from different centuries or interior rooms. You'll begin your adventure next to Pershing Park, right across from the White House south lawn. From there, make your way to the White House itself, where you can admire the seat of American power and learn some fascinating tidbits about its construction. From here, head south toward Constitution Gardens and pick up some insight into D.C.’s complicated history along the way. Through the gardens, you’ll find what was once the city’s most controversial monument: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Next, head to the Lincoln Memorial, one of the most iconic memorials in D.C. The Korean War Veterans Memorial is next, where you’ll hear about the fraught political struggle which wracked the White House during this bloody conflict. As you continue east, you’ll be filled in on the aftermath of the War of 1812 and how D.C. grew into what it is today. The next monument you’ll arrive at will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, honoring the nation’s most revered civil rights leader. Then, cross the Kutz Bridge and learn why the Potomac River is so significant to this city’s history. From this bridge, you’ll also be able to see the impressive Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Later, reach the National Mall, which you’ve definitely seen on TV plenty of times. Get an up-close look at the Washington Monument and learn the history of George Washington’s connection to this important city. If you like museums, the next stretch of the tour is absolutely for you. You’ll pass the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the National Gallery of Art. On the final leg of the tour, visit three of the most crucial buildings in the city: The Library of Congress, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court of the United States. The tour concludes amid these three awe-inspiring structures.

Washington DC: National Gallery of Art - Guided Museum Tour

5. Washington DC: National Gallery of Art - Guided Museum Tour

Your local English speaking guide will not only be an expert on the museum, but they will also share the stories and scandals behind these paintings, discuss the techniques used to create these important works and explain how the museum itself transformed from a nearly empty building to a world-class museum in less than 100 years.   Tour highlights include (if artwork is not on loan or being restored etc.): • "Ginevra de’ Benci" by Leonardo da Vinci – the only painting by this artist in the USA • "Little Dancer" by Edgar Degas • The famous portrait of "George Washington" by Gilbert Stuart • "Self Portrait" by Vincent Van Gogh • "Venus with a Mirror" by Titian • "Woman with a Parasol" by Claude Monet • "The Alba Madonna" by Raphael With the collection featuring roughly 141,000 paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and forms of new media that stretch all the way back to the Middle Ages, you’ll be thankful to your passionate and engaging guide for navigating you, bringing a personal touch to each tour, adding own favorite anecdotes and tips along the way. 

Washington D.C: Self-Guided Walking Tour with GPS & Audio

6. Washington D.C: Self-Guided Walking Tour with GPS & Audio

Spend the day exploring Washington D.C., listening to the history narrated by professional voice artists, and reading the information curated by creative writers. See the iconic monuments and buildings of this historic city on this self-guided tour. Begin next to Pershing Park, right across from the White House south lawn. From here, make your way to the White House itself, admire the seat of American power, and learn some facts about its construction.  From here, head south toward Constitution Gardens and pick up some insight into D.C.’s complicated history along the way. Through the gardens, find what was once the city’s most controversial monument: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Next, head to the Lincoln Memorial, and then the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Hear about the fraught political struggle which wracked the White House during this bloody conflict. Discover the aftermath of the War of 1812, and how D.C. grew into what it is today. The next monument will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, honoring the nation’s most revered civil rights leader. Then cross the Kutz Bridge and learn why the Potomac River is so significant to this city’s history. From this bridge, see the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Then, reach the National Mall. Here’s you’ll get an up-close look at the Washington Monument and learn the history of George Washington’s connection to this important city. Along this route, pass many museums. This includes the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the National Gallery of Art.  On the final leg of the tour, arrive at three of the most crucial buildings in the city: The Library of Congress, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court of the United States. The tour will conclude here, amid these three awe-inspiring structures.

Washington DC: National Mall & National Gallery Guided Tour

7. Washington DC: National Mall & National Gallery Guided Tour

This tour is one of the best ways to visit DC’s iconic sites including the White House. Explore the history of the nation’s capital, as well as the monuments and memorials of the National Mall that feature figures like George Washington (the Washington Monument) and Abraham Lincoln (the Lincoln Memorial). Your engaging private guide will share the stories about the major players and events in American history that have earned memorials on the Mall, including the Korean War, World War II and Vietnam.  After a break, visit the National Gallery of Art and follow your guide through one of America’s best collections of artwork produced by Renaissance artists, French Impressionists and great American painters. See works from Claude Monet, Raphael, Gilbert Stuart, Vincent Van Gogh and Edgar Degas, as well as more modern artists like Picasso, Pollock, Warhol and O’Keefe, as you learn what’s really behind the creation of some of these pieces. Some pieces you’ll see on this tour include Ginevra de’ Benci by Leonardo da Vinci, Self Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh and Woman with a Parasol by Claude Monet. Listen as your guide fills you in on the techniques behind some of the paintings, as well as some of the history and scandals that happened because of them.

Natural History Museum & National Gallery of Art Guided Tour

8. Natural History Museum & National Gallery of Art Guided Tour

With more than 126 million artifacts housed in the National Museum of Natural History, and approximately 141,000 works of art to see in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, this guided 5-hour tour will make sure you get to see the absolute highlights. More than just storytellers, your passionate and engaging guide will approach touring in a different way bringing a personal touch to each tour, and being sure to answer all your questions.  The 5-hour combination tour starts at the National Museum of Natural History. The collection is housed in a purpose-built structure that covers the area of 18 football fields, but your guide will be there to make sure you don’t waste a second exploring the best parts. See an amazing array of wonders from the 46-karat Hope Diamond, to real mummies, to an arctic narwhal and everything else in-between. After a break for lunch, visit the National Gallery of Art for a guided highlights tour of an eclectic mix of art of Renaissance artists, the French Impressionists and great American painters, all under one roof. Your guide will make sure you get to see such famous works of art as "Ginevra de’ Benci" by Leonardo da Vinci, "Little Dancer" by Edgar Degas, the famous portrait of "George Washington" by Gilbert Stuart and much more.

Other Sightseeing Options in National Gallery of Art, Washington

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What people are saying about National Gallery of Art, Washington

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 488 reviews

Great price for what you get! We did the three hour tour with our two young kids. Everyone had a fun time! Knowledgeable and engaging tour guide, we got to see all of the well known monuments (including the White House!), and were driven around on a fully enclosed shuttle (just a little bit of walking involved). Highly recommend!

There were passengers who were talking loudly; so loud that it was difficult to hear the guide tell us about the beautiful buildings and history of DC. It’s important to respect other passengers and keep private conversations as quiet as possible.

Loved it! I am here for a work conference and only had a morning to explore. I covered ten miles on foot, this tour was great!

Excellent, knowledgeable guide! His name is Duke, and he made the whole experience enjoyable.

It was very interesting and the tour guide Duke was very informative