ActivitiesWashington DC

A visit to the Newseum in Washington DC – with discount tickets!

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Update: the Newseum closed to the public on December 31, 2019

Due to the “burdensome financial obligations associated with operating the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue”, the Newseum closed to the public on December 31, 2019. The Newseum website reads: “The Freedom Forum hopes to find a suitable location to serve as the Newseum’s next home but that process will take time.”

Washington DC, the capital of the United States of America, is known for its wide array of museums. A lot of them are free, but some are worth paying for as well. The Newseum is one of those museums.

In this post we’ll explain what to expect and where to buy Newseum discount tickets.

What’s on display in the Newseum in Washington DC?

According to their website, the Newseum promotes, explains and defends free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. In our own words, the Newseum is a museum about news (clever name, right?), news coverage, journalists and photographers in important events that affect the entire world.

Facade of the Newseum in Washington DCFacade of the Newseum in Washington DC

The facade of the Newseum has the 45 words of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution etched into it. On a smaller scale, at eye level, you can read the front pages of that day of a selection of newspapers.

Inside the museum are both permanent and temporary exhibits, just like in most museums. You can plan your visit beforehand using the Newseum website, or you can go with the flow once you’ve arrived, like we did.

The Newseum – Our visit

We started our visit to the Newseum in Washington DC on the lower floor with an orientation video on how to visit the museum. Surprisingly it was quite interesting.

As instructed we continued to the Berlin Wall Gallery. This impressive permanent exhibit displays 8 concrete sections of the original wall. What does this have to do with news? Well, it’s the information that somehow passed this immense wall that helped bring it down.

Part of the Berlin Wall at NewseumPart of the Berlin Wall at Newseum
View from Pennsylvania Avenue TerraceView from Pennsylvania Avenue Terrace

After taking a glimpse inside today’s FBI, fighting terrorism and cybercrime, we took the glass elevator to the 6th floor. Make sure to check out the   Pennsylvania Avenue Terrace here. It grants a panoramic view of America’s Main Street, running from the Capitol to The White House. You can walk through the history of this ceremonial avenue by reading all about it on the 25 metre (75 foot) exhibit rail.

Back inside the Newseum we learned that the Vietnam War was the first war to be reported on TV. Reporting Vietnam told the stories of the journalists reporting the Vietnam war. Unfortunately it was just a temporary exhibit, marking the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

A permanent exhibit in the Newseum is the News History Gallery, covering over 500 years of news. It has nearly 400 historic newspaper front pages on display. A couple of small theatres show short productions covering the issues that journalists get confronted with.

The Newseum has a Big Screen Theatre as well, showing historic news broadcasts, original Newseum documentaries and breaking news on a 30 metre (100 foot) video wall. Every hour on the hour you can watch the live news from different news outlets.

We visited the Newseum in 2016, when the CNN Politics, Campaign 2016 exhibit followed the presidential campaign in real time. It was very interesting, with interactive screens helping you find out which candidate fitted your beliefs best. The exhibit also explained how social media influences a campaign nowadays.

The 9/11 Gallery is part of the collection of permanent exhibits as well. It tells the story of how journalists struggled to get the news of the terrorist attacks as quickly and accurately out into the world.

The impressive Big Screen TheatreThe impressive Big Screen Theatre
Learn about history at NewseumLearn about history at Newseum
Try being a news reporter in the Interactive NewsroomTry being a news reporter in the Interactive Newsroom

Another permanent exhibit on level 4 is the First Amendment Gallery, explaining the meaning and context of the five fundamental freedoms throughout their existence.

By the way, did you know you can spot celebreties at the Newseum, if you’re lucky? It’s because of the Knight Broadcasting Studios that are located in the museum. We didn’t see any, but fingers crossed you do!

Not everyone can make it into those studios, but you can practice your journalistic skills in the Interactive Newsroom. Read a news report from a teleprompter to see yourself in action, or check out the tools you need to prepare a front page news story on one of the individual touch screen stations.

Lastly, if there’s one exhibit you should definitely go through, it’s the Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery. Photographs capture just a fraction of a second, but at the same time it can mean or tell so much. It can warm your heart or break it, but that’s when you know it’s a good photo.

The Newseum in Washington DC – Practical information

Panoramic view from NewseumPanoramic view from Newseum

Where to buy Newseum discount tickets?

Yes, we’re finally getting to the good part: Newseum discount tickets. There are several options to buy tickets for this news museum in Washington DC. Most people pay the entrance fee at the admissions desk when entering the museum. In that case you pay $24.95 plus tax per adult.

When you decide to buy your tickets online beforehand through the Newseum website, you can save 15%. This means you’ll only pay $21.21 plus tax per adult. That’s what we did for our visit to the Newseum in May 2016.

When you’re booking online, make sure to check the GetYourGuide website for Newseum discount tickets as well. Last time I checked these tickets were slightly more expensive than when booking through the Newseum website, but they might have a promotion at GetYourGuide right now.

Make sure to check GetYourGuide for Newseum discount tickets!
Click here:

Are you planning on visiting several paid tourist attractions in Washington DC? Then you might want to check out the Washington DC Explorer Pass. You can save up to 40% by choosing 3, 4, or 5 attractions and tours from 17 options and buying this multi-attraction pass to enjoy them all. Click here to check out the Washington DC Explorer Pass.

When should you visit the Newseum?

We wandered around the Newseum for about 3.5 hours in total. As the museum is popular with schools as well, they recommended to visit the Newseum in the morning. We ended our visit around 12:30, when it started getting busy with school kids.

The Newseum in Washington is definitely worth its money. Considered one of the most interactive museums in the world, you won’t be bored for a second and on top of that learn a lot about the history of news. We certainly had a blast and hope you will too!

Have you already visited the Newseum in Washington DC? We’d love to read about your experience in the comments!

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A visit to the Newseum in Washington DC - with discount tickets!A visit to the Newseum in Washington DC – with discount tickets!