Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to be a spy? Have you thought about whether you have the skills to pick a lock, break into a safe or do surveillance on your enemy? On our recent trip to Washington DC, we had the opportunity to take a tour through the International Spy Museum and see artifacts of real life spies plus a huge collection of James Bond memorabilia.
Hobbies on a Budget received tickets or discounts for the purpose of this article. All opinions are my own. Amazon Affiliate links are included for your convenience.
International Spy Museum – Washington DC
The International Spy Museum is located just a couple blocks way from the National Mall and around the corner from Ford’s Theatre. You can purchase tickets at the door but it is recommended to get them online early so you don’t have to wait in line.
Real life tip: Arrive at the museum early in the day to get ahead of the crowds! This is a popular museum and it fills up quickly!
For James Bond fans, this place is a treasure trove! You know you’re in for some fun when one of the first things you see is Zao’s Jaguar XKR from Die Another Day right in the lobby where you stand in line!
You start your tour in an elevator up to a room where you are given the opportunity to take on a secret identity. You are instructed to memorize your information and then watch a brief movie talking about the stories of spies.
Umbrellas are pistols, dead rats are microphones, femme fatales are men fatales. Gain access to a wild world of gadgets, weapons, bugs, cameras, vehicles, and spy-tech that defies classification.
There are hundreds of actual artifacts that have been used by spies throughout history, like the famous lipstick gun, cameras concealed in rings, briefcases, vases and jewelry. You get the chance to try out your skills at surveillance and can even sneak through the ductwork above the museum.
Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains
Once you get through the real life spy exhibits, you get the chance to walk downstairs and go through all the James Bond movies.
If you are a fan of James Bond, you will feel like you are in a paradise! You can see the outfits that have been worn in the movies, gear from the movies and even see Jaws’ teeth from Moonraker.
Things to Know
- You cannot take food and drink into the museum.
- Strollers are not permitted in the museum. There is a parking area before you enter.
- Plan to spend 1-2 hours
- Your ticket is good for all day, you may leave and reenter the Museum with a valid ticket.
- For younger children, make sure you ask for the museum scavenger hunt!
Find International Spy Museum
800 F Street, NW
Have you ever been to the International Spy Museum? What looks like the neatest thing you would want to see and explore? I’d love to hear!