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National Cryptologic Museum
Based on 78 traveler reviews
Lots of interesting stuff, could have better presentation
Aug 09, 2014 by: Everellie from Atlanta, Georgia
This museum has loads of cryptolotical equipment and spy stuff. But the presentation and set up of the museum is not very impressive. My kids did the kids' quest piece, but they weren't engaged in the actual material. The paid International Spy Museum in Washington DC has less stuff, but presents theirs in a more manageable way. This is worth a visit, especially if you're in DC and on your way to Baltimore. The best part for me was to hitch in with a docent that was already speaking to another group when I arrived. He talked about the code talkers in World War II, and how they did what they did. He also talked about the earliest computers and how they were engaged in cryptology. My boys did like the free puzzle game they got for finishing the spy quest.
Really a great place for the history buff.
Jul 27, 2014 by: tlee3379 from Huntsville, AL
Free, but a little out of the way. Could use a little paint and freshening up, but it is an absolute must if you are a history buff. Contains several German Enigma Machines - one that you can even use yourself. A U.S. Navy Bombe used to decode Enigma takes up most of a room and there were eventually over 200 of these running 24/7. Of interest was the Sigaba/ECM machine used by us that was never broken. A deciphering machine used the read the Japanese Purple Diplomatic code is on display. It was the actually machine used to read the Fourteen Point memo to the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC, on December 6/7, 1941. We actually decoded it before the Japanese did, but it was too late.
Jun 09, 2014 by: Brad F from Fayetteville, Pennsylvania
This museum has a lot of military history and other cryptography history. Plan on 1-2 hrs to see everything. This museum is free. This museum is recommended for people who want to learn about military history and code breaking.
A haven for the geek
Jun 06, 2014 by: Lil B from
If you're into the history of cryptography this is a must visit. Housed in an old motel on the grounds of the NSA you can easily spend a hour or so touring the exhibits which include an early Cray supercomputer and a fully functional Enigma encoder/decoder which you can use. You're allowed to photograph the exhibits and there are enough 'kid friendly' exhibits to keep most kids ten or older amused.
Slightly above average but don't go unless you live history, spy games, Wars and code Breaking
Jun 02, 2014 by: jdreynoldsjr from Los Angeles, California
Lots of reading! Lots of displays but the quality of many displays represents high school level science fair. Many interesting facts...worthy picture taking. Lots of stuff on the Russian and Japanese as well as the code talkers during WW II. The place is behind the Shell Gas Station. It is not adjacent to NSA so it can be tricky to get to the place. Parking and Admission is free however the hours are not user friendly. They are only open One Saturday a month and they close at 4PM Daily. The volunteers and staff are very helpful and professional. If you enjoy this stuff I recommend requesting a tour guide in advance or see if you can join in on a group tour. There were many items that despite the reading was still confusing like the big Cray Super Computer. If anything, You get an appreciation for what the NSA does. They also have a few videos. Given the hours, you have to plan your visit very carefully because you will encounter NSA traffic. I would say 45 Minutes is all you need unless you have a high interest in this field of work.
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