Secrets Revealed at NSA's National Cryptologic Museum - Atlas Obscura
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Annapolis Junction, Maryland

Secrets Revealed at NSA's National Cryptologic Museum

Travel through cryptologic history and break some codes along the way.

Visit the only public museum in the world where you can code and decode messages using an authentic World War II Enigma machine. 

Opened in 1993 as a collection of National Security Agency (NSA) employee mementos, the National Cryptologic Museum now houses thousands of rare unclassified and declassified artifacts. Take a peek at a copy of Polygraphiae, the first book on cryptology published in 1518. Gander at Enigma, the so-called "unbreakable" cipher machine used by the German military during WWII. You can even marvel at SIGSALY, a replica of the 55-ton voice encryption communications system used by President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill. 

Join National Cryptologic Museum Curator Patrick Weadon, his team, and Atlas Obscura Society DC Field Agent Julie Seigel for a private after-hours tour that will delve into the history and mechanics of cryptology, from the Pre-American Revolutionary War to "hobo" survival codes during the Great Depression, and beyond. Guests will even be able to partake in a little spycraft of their own... 


  • The museum is accessible by car.  
  • For security reasons, photography is only permitted inside the museum. No photography will be allowed outside the building or of the surrounding areas.
  • No children under 12 years old please. 



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Advance Tickets Only. All Sales Final. No Refunds or Exchanges.