Fancy yourself as the next James Bond? Or perhaps even a code cracker? Then the International Spy Museum is for you!
Located in the heart of Washington DC, it is the only place in the United States that is solely dedicated to presenting a world perspective about the espionage profession. But even if you aren’t interested in Aston Martins or fighting criminals with sparkling steel teeth, you will still be blown away by this place – promise!
Upon entering the International Spy Museum, I was challenged to adopt a cover identity and remember particular information about myself. I don’t know whether I had ‘holiday brain’ or hadn’t consumer enough ‘brain food’ over the past few days, but I was totally hopeless at this task!
The display of over 200 spy artefacts is absolutely incredible and I spent a long time examining a lipstick pistol and a fountain pen camera. I also had a giggle at the doggy doo transmitter, which I must say looked quite realistic!
Another interesting item was the spectacles with concealed cyanide pills – as the display stated, a spy captive could casually chew on his/her spectacle arm and ultimately choose death over torture. I hope it never came to that…
Two other highlights were seeing an original letter penned by George Washington in 1777, enlisting Mr Nathaniel Sackett as his spymaster, as well as learning more about the Enigma Code, which was used by the Germans in World War II.
Interactive exhibits were also prominent in the museum. I climbed up an air conditioning vent to listen to other visitors’ conversations. My fiancé tested his arm strength by hanging on some bars as they moved up and down (I smiled proudly as he passed with flying colours).
My favourite exhibition, however, was the Bond tribute. It was full of cars, costumes…and THOSE steel teeth!
General admission price: $21.95
Address: 800 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004