A tour of DC’s art museums may have you wondering whether the capital has more paintings or politicians. Heavyweights such as the National Gallery of Art, which houses masterpieces from Monet, Cezanne and Renoir, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum with its impressive collection of large-scale contemporary works, are among the best museums in DC, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Even better for culture lovers, most of the city’s major museums don’t charge admission, making an afternoon of art appreciation one of the most gratifying free things to do in DC.
Best art museums and galleries in DC
From the National Gallery of Art, which houses masterpieces from Monet and Renoir, to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, with its collection of large-scale contemporary works
Known as the home of Duke Ellington and Shirley Horn, the capital has long had a thriving jazz scene
The programming at the Atlas Performing Arts Center emphasizes drama and dance
We're known as the “Hollywood for Ugly People,” after all
Whether catching your favorite band or discovering new musicians