Answers to frequently asked questions for a successful Spy Museum visit!
• Parking / Directions
• Museum Policies
• Exhibition and Undercover Mission
• Nearby Attractions / Food
• Tours and Events
Parking / Directions
1. What about parking at the Spy Museum?
Street, garage, and valet parking are all available close to the museum. SPY offers discounted parking with the L’Enfant Plaza Ace Parking Garage. Guests may redeem their parking ticket with SPY staff before returning to the garage to pay for the parking (20% off weekdays and 50% off weekends). For detailed parking and public transport directions including accessible parking options, please visit Getting to SPY.
2. What if I'm running late?
You may enter the Museum at your scheduled ticket time. Please note that late arrivals will be accommodated based on capacity, if possible. There is no early entry. Re-entry is not permitted due to safety and capacity requirements.
1. Why does the Museum charge?
The International Spy Museum is an independent nonprofit cultural institution. Your admission fee, together with donations, membership, and store purchases, make it possible for the Museum to care for its collection and exhibitions and provide a wide array of educational programs for our community.
2. Should I order tickets ahead of time?
Save time by purchasing your tickets online! Weekends and the Spring Break and summer touring seasons are popular at the Spy Museum. Guests may experience a wait or lines to enter the general exhibition. Available timed tickets may be for a later time than your arrival or could be sold out for the day. We strongly recommend guests purchase their tickets in advance or plan on visiting early (or later on in the day). If the day is sold out, please select another date to spy on us! For more information, call us at 202.654.0991 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
3. What is "Plan-Ahead Pricing"?
The Spy Museum is pleased to introduce plan-ahead pricing giving you the opportunity to get the best deal on tickets when purchasing in advance. This new structure allows you to plan a visit on the day that best accommodates your budget and schedule. The further in advance you purchase tickets, the more you can save!
4. Does the Spy Museum offer ticket discounts?
Yes! Children 6 and under can visit for free. We also offer discounts for Seniors and College Students, and for those in the Military, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Community. For more details, check out our visit page.
5. What if I'm running late?
You may enter the Museum at your scheduled ticket time. Please note that late arrivals will be accommodated based on capacity, if possible. There is no early entry.
6. When is the Museum busy?
The Museum is busier in the spring and summer touring seasons. The Museum is also popular on holidays and weekends. The Museum does limit capacity through timed ticketing, but cannot regulate how guests tour the self-guided experience.
1. What accessibility options does the Museum offer?
The Museum is committed to accessibility for all guests. For more information, please visit our Accessibility page.
2. Do we have wheelchairs available?
The Museum has a limited number of wheelchairs available on a first come, first served basis. Guests may be asked for a photo ID to secure use of the wheelchair (and given back when the wheelchair is returned).
3. Are service animals allowed?
Service dogs are welcome. Spy Museum follows the US Department of Justice’s ADA requirements for service dogs. The dog must be trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability. Visitors are not permitted to bring emotional support animals into the Spy Museum.
1. Can I bring my baby and/or stroller into the Museum?
Spies of all ages are welcome! Umbrella strollers and compact travel strollers that fit within these dimensions are allowed: 30” length and 25” width and 43” height (example images of strollers that meet size requirements are below). Parts of the exhibit contain narrow pathways. To ensure a safe and pleasant visit for all guests, we limit the size of strollers in the galleries. Guests with larger strollers can store them in the Cloak Room located in the Museum Lobby. There are all-gender family/companion restrooms with baby changing tables on every floor of the Museum.
2. Policies to remember when in the general exhibition
- No food, drinks, or chewing gum in the permanent exhibition. To stay hydrated on your mission, bottled water is welcome.
- Spies under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
- To succeed on your mission, we encourage the use of baby slings or backpacks as an alternative to strollers. Please note large strollers are not permitted in the exhibit. Strollers are stored in the Lobby Cloak Room before entering the permanent exhibition.
- Good spies travel lightly, please limit the number and size of the items you bring. A limited number of free storage lockers are available on a first come, first served basis. Large items, such as luggage, are not permitted in the permanent exhibition.
- Non-flash photography is allowed during your exhibition surveillance (unless specifically noted in the exhibition). Commercial photography and videography must be approved in advance by our Communications staff.
3. Where can I store my backpack? Are there lockers or a coat check?
Good spies travel lightly, please limit the number and size of the items you bring. A limited number of free storage lockers are available on a first come, first served basis. Large items, such as luggage, are not permitted in the permanent exhibition.
4. Can I visit the Spy Store without a ticket?
Yes! The Spy Museum Store is our official gift shop, where you can browse our selection of spy books, gifts, gadgets, toys, and apparel. You can visit the gift store without buying a museum admission ticket, or you can shop online anytime at www.spymuseumstore.org.
5. What if I'm running late?
You may enter the Museum at your scheduled ticket time. Please note that late arrivals will be accommodated based on capacity, if possible. There is no early entry and no guarantee we can accommodate late arrivals.
6. Does someone under the age of 18 need an adult with them?
Exhibition and Undercover Mission
1. What is the Undercover Mission?
Undercover Mission is an optional experience that is included with Museum admission. Undercover Mission allows you to take on a cover identity and test your spy skills. It uses cutting-edge technology to track your performance at interactive stations and provides you with a debrief upon conclusion. Access will also be granted to a website where you can “meet” spies like you and access your full debrief and photos.
2. I’ve never been to the Museum exhibition, what should I expect?
The Spy Museum general exhibition is a self-guided experience. The Museum displays close to 1,000 artifacts on two floors in 25,000 square feet of space. Interpretative copy, videos and more bring the artifacts and real spy stories to life. Guest may also choose to do over two dozen digital and physical interactives. Some of the interactives are part of the optional Undercover Mission. Staff and volunteers are on post throughout the exhibition to answer questions and help with your experience.
3. How long should I spend at Spy?
Most visitors spend 2 -3 hours touring the permanent exhibition at the Spy Museum; 1 – 2 hours on the fifth floor and 1 hour on the fourth. The last ticket is sold 1 hour prior to closing. Download a copy of our Spy Guide map to plan your visit.
4. Bringing young children 9 and under?
Although the Museum’s primary audience is ages 9 and older, we know that younger children can have a really fun and fulfilling experience at the Museum with a bit of support. Check out our Family Highlights Tour and More Tips for Parents.
Nearby Attractions / Food
1. Does the Spy Museum have a restaurant or cafe?
Our Spy Museum Store stocks chilled drinks and sweet treats to take away, but for a larger lunch or dinner, check out our guide to local food and drink options nearby the Museum.
2. Are the things to do within walking distance from the Museum?
The Museum is located at L’Enfant Plaza and is in easy walking distance to the waterfront District Wharf. The L’Enfant Plaza food court is steps away from the Museum. For more information, check out our Neighborhood page.
Tours and Events
1. Does the Spy Museum offer guided tours?
Yes, the Museum offers guided tours for a fee. Visit the guided tours page to learn more.
2. Does the Spy Museum have private event space?
Yes, the Museum has a 7th floor ballroom and rooftop terrace as well as other event spaces. Visit Host an Event to learn more.