Tips for a successful Spy Museum visit
Tips for a Successful Mission
- How long should I spend at SPY?
- 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?
- What about parking?
- Bringing young children 9 and under?
- What accessibility options does the Museum offer?
1. 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 here.
2. What if I'm running late?
You may enter the Museum at your ticket time or later. Please note that late arrivals will be accomodated based on capacity, if possible. There is no early entry. If you would like to take a break, ask about reentry options (not valid for groups).
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. What about parking?
While the Museum is easily accessible by Metro (L’Enfant Plaza Station – Green, Yellow, Orange, and Blue lines), 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 directions, please visit Getting to SPY.
8. 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, please visit our Accessibility web page.