International Spy Museum
The shadowy world of espionage comes under the spotlight in a museum where nothing is quite as it seems.
Since opening in 2002, the International Spy Museum has prided itself on holding the most comprehensive collection of espionage-related artifacts anywhere in the world. Marvel at the deadly ingenuity of devices like the lipstick pistol and cyanide spectacles. Let your imagination run wild, listening to the fascinating stories of real-life spies, and try your own hand at espionage and deception.
You can easily spend hours in this museum located in the downtown district. Exhibits display a complete range of spy secrets and methods, from espionage organizations the world over, including the CIA, the KGB, MI5 and more.
Learn the art of spy craft in School for Spies, an exhibit showcasing all the tricks of the trade from coded messages to the use of genuine spy gadgets. Highlights include the Bulgarian Umbrella, which can fire a deadly poison pellet, a Hairbrush Camera and fatal Drop Dead Spikes. The Spies Among Us exhibit features interviews and confessions with real secret agents, while 21st Century looks at the sophisticated techniques used by modern-day spies. You can watch genuine spy training videos used in World War II, while James Bond aficionados will drool over a replica of the Aston Martin used in the movie Goldfinger.
If you think you have what it takes to be a secret agent, take up the challenge in the interactive exhibits. Operation Spy puts you in the shoes of a U.S. spy racing to get his hands on a nuclear device before the enemy does. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this video exhibit’s lively characters and realistic special effects. In Spy in the City, take a GPS-guided tour of D.C., the spy capital of the world, testing your wits and guile to solve a crucial case.
The museum has an events calendar brimming with lectures and family activities. And should you develop a taste for espionage, gift shop specialties such as the walkie-talkie watch and the camcorder pen will get your career off to a flying start. The museum is open daily, except holidays, with variable hours. Ticket prices are reasonable and there are discounts for seniors, younger visitors and law enforcement and military personnel. Kids under 7 are free. The museum is just under a mile from the Zero Milestone, under a 20-minute walk. Ticket prices are reasonable and there are discounts for seniors, younger visitors and law enforcement and military personnel. Kids under 7 are free. The museum is just under a mile from the Zero Milestone in downtown, under a 20-minute walk away.