Tips for a successful visit to the International Spy Museum.
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 around the Spy Museum?
- Bringing young children 9 and under?
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. Download a copy of our Spy Guide map here.
2. What if I'm running late?
Your ticket is valid up to 15 minutes after your scheduled ticket time. Late arrivals will be accommodated based on capacity. You may be required to wait until the next possible open time slot. We encourage all guests to arrive before or at your scheduled time to avoid any delays and enjoy immediate access to the exhibition.
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 and money purchasing your tickets online! Weekends and the summer touring season are popular at the Spy Museum. 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.
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. 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?
Go undercover and test your spy skills on a mission as you travel the Museum’s permanent exhibitions. This RFID-enabled experience tracks your performance on interactives 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. The Undercover Mission is included with Museum admission.
7. What about parking around the Spy Museum?
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.