Step into a spy thriller in Washington, D.C.

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Step into a spy thriller in Washington, D.C.

Do spy thrillers like Mission Impossible or James Bond really make your day? The American capital boasts a number of surprising places steeped in espionage.

Step into a spy thriller in Washington, D.C.

Become a secret agent

Do you know the first spies from 2,000 years ago? Learn all about them at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. You will dive straight into a mysterious ambiance – when you arrive, you will have to choose a secret identity. Your mission if you choose to accept it? Keep your real name a secret. Throughout your visit, interactive kiosks will test you in an experience that will be fun for the whole family.

The many thematic galleries will give you an inside look at the world's most terrifying spies like the ninjas, the most famous ones such as Mata Hari or the most unique like the pigeons used to send coded messages during the Second World War. Among the museum's most surprising objects, you can admire the fascinating Enigma machine used to decode German messages during the war. There is also an interesting tube of lipstick a little further along the route that is, in fact, a pistol! James Bond should be on his best behaviour.

International Spy Museum
800 F St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
United States
+1 202 393 7798
www.spymuseum.org/

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Step into a spy thriller in Washington, D.C.

The FBI's secret stakeouts

 

Washington, D.C. has more than 200 sites where spies lived, worked and schemed to change the world. Just steps away from the White House is one of the most remarkable, The Exchange Saloon. If the walls of this seemingly run-of-the-mill sports bar could talk, they would tell you stories of surveilled senators, secret diplomatic negotiations and double agent meet-ups.

A way down the street, you will see another important spy haunt: the FBI Spy House, right across from the Russian Embassy. This historic house, now privately owned, was once a spy house for the FBI during the Cold War where American Agents scrutinised the comings and goings of Russian diplomats. At the time, a mysterious plan called Operation Monopoly was created to dig a tunnel under the embassy to record conversations in the embassy building. While the American authorities do not deny the existence of this tunnel, its entrance has never been found. Keep your eyes peeled – it just might be somewhere in front of the house.

The Exchange Saloon
1719 G St NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
United States
+1 202 393-469
theexchangesaloon.com/

FBI Spy House
2619 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington DC 20007
United States

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Step into a spy thriller in Washington, D.C.

Deciphering cryptology

About half an hour from the capital in Annapolis, you can plunge into the history of secret codes at the National Cryptologic Museum, which is affiliated with the National Security Agency (NSA). Here you will find an impressive collection of encryption machines. They have lived through the many conflicts of the 20th century and attest to the encryption methods used by the belligerents of the Second World War and the Cold War.

Learn about the first encryption methods used before the advent of technology and data storage by the NSA, and even see secure telephones including the one used by former President George W. Bush. As you explore the collection, it will almost feel as though you are following the adventure of the greatest cryptographers who broke the coded messages from America's enemies. And who knows – perhaps Washington will reveal new espionage secrets in the years to come.

National Cryptologic Museum
8290 Colony Seven Rd
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701
United States
+1 301 688-5849
www.nsa.gov/about/cryptologic_heritage/museum/