Tips for a successful Spy Museum visit
Tips for a Successful Mission
- What about parking at the Spy Museum?
- What if I'm running late?
- Why does the Museum charge?
- Should I order tickets ahead of time?
- Policies to remember when in the general exhibition
- What is the Undercover Mission?
- How long should I spend at Spy?
- Bringing young children 9 and under?
- Can I bring my baby to the museum?
- What accessibility options does the Museum offer?
- Is the Spy Museum open? What safety measures are in place?
- Does the Spy Museum have a restaurant or cafe?
- Does the Spy Museum offer guided tours?
- Does the Spy Museum have private event space?
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, 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.
3. Why does the Museum charge?
The International Spy Museum, a 501(c)(3) private non-profit, operates completely independent of tax money or government funding. Your admission fee, together with retail and membership revenue, supports the Museum's collection, exhibitions, and education programs.
4. Should I order tickets ahead of time?
Save time by purchasing your tickets online! Weekends and the spring 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 recommend guests purchase their tickets in advance or plan on visiting early (or later on in the day).
5. Key Policies to Remember:
- 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, is 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.
6. 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.
7. How long should I spend at SPY?
Most visitors spend about 2.5 hours touring the permanent exhibition; 1.5 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.
9. Can I bring my baby to the museum?
Yes! We welcome visitors of all ages - even the smallest of secret agents. You can use small umbrella-style strollers throughout the museum, and larger strollers can be stored in the Cloak Room located in the Museum Lobby. There are gender-neutral family restrooms with baby changing tables on every floor of the museum.
10. What accessibility options does the Museum offer?
The Museum is committed to accessibility for all guests. For more information, please visit our Accessibility Web page.
11. Is the Spy Museum open? What safety measures are in place?
Yes! The International Spy Museum is open. We are now open with new safety measures in place including capacity limitations, social distancing guidelines, mask requirements, and enhanced cleaning protocols. We encourage you to book contactless tickets online.
12. 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.
13. Does the Spy Museum offer guided tours?
Yes, the Museum offers guided tours for a fee. Visit the guided tours page to learn more.
14. 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 the private event spaces page to learn more.