Visit the National WW2 Museum in New Orleans
This post will cover the National World War II Museum, including details about how to get tickets, discounts on admission, how to get here, when to come and exhibits included.
This Museum is a venue in which visitors can experience virtually the challenges faced by the nations who fought in World War II.
Immersive and interactive exhibits recreate the world of those who lived through WWII, whether they fought overseas or remained on the Home Front.
We will cover these and other opportunities to save money in our discounts section.
- Adult: $28
- Senior (65+): $24
- Child (k-12): $18
- College Student (with ID): $18
- Military (with ID): $18
- WWII Veterans: Free
- Beyond All Boundaries film ticket – additional $7
- Final Mission: USS Tang Submarine Experience – additional $7
- Second Day Pass – additional $7
Walk-up tickets are available at the box office, but if you plan to visit during the busy season, we highly recommended that you buy your tickets in advance online.
Tickets purchased online may be picked up at the box office with a confirmation number. The box office is located at 945 Magazine Street (see below for directions)
If you need to cancel your purchase for any reason, they offer a full refund for all tickets returned at least 24 hours before their date of use.
General Admission tickets include access to the all the pavilions and centers listed in our exhibit section but does NOT include the film Beyond All Boundaries, the Final Mission submarine experience, or a second-day pass.
Those activities must be purchased for an additional fee.
There are many ways to save money on admission to the museum, including tourist attraction discount passes, discounts for active and retired military, special opportunities for Louisiana residents to save, and coupon sites like Groupon.
We will detail each of these discount opportunities below.
Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
If you’re planning to visit a lot of different attractions in the Big Easy, it’s worth noting that the National WW2 Museum is included with both the New Orleans Pass and the New Orleans Sightseeing Pass.
Each of these services allows you to pay one flat price for a variety of different activities in the city.
Depending on how many locations you visit, a tourist pass could save you 50% or more on general admission prices.
These tourist passes also allow you to skip the line at several popular attractions throughout New Orleans (though not at this museum), saving you time and making it easier to get inside.
For more details on these services, read our post covering New Orleans tourist passes.
Members of the military will receive a discount of $9 off general admission, making their ticket price only $18.
This discount is extended to both active duty service members and veterans, as well as their spouses.
In addition to that, veterans of WW2 are guaranteed free admission every day of the year.
These services also often provide additional discounts on various local activities with coupon codes, allowing you to save even more money on tickets.
Make sure to check the top of their front page for any current coupon codes that might help you save a few bucks.
Louisiana Resident Discount Month
If you live in Louisiana and you’re planning to visit the National WW2 Museum, consider making your trip during their LA Resident Discount Month.
Every September, the WW2 Museum offers its Museum Campus Pass for 50% off regular prices.
All you have to do is provide a state-issued photo ID!
This section will go into detail about all of the most interesting exhibits you can see at the museum.
We will also provide information about add-on experiences that you can enjoy for a small additional fee.
This 32,512 square-foot pavilion covers how the Allies were able to defeat two formidable enemies on two sides of the world simultaneously.
There are two exhibits – Road to Berlin: European Theater Galleries and Road to Tokyo: Pacific Theater Galleries.
These exhibitions are immersive and dynamic with dramatic displays, oral histories, digital artifacts, and newsreels.
Through recreated battle sites, beaches, jungles, and bunkers, visitors learn about the challenges that confronted the Allies in their effort to win the war.
This center relays the story of a country as it mobilized for war and the men and women who did their part on the home front by producing airplanes, submarines, and military machinery.
You will see vintage aircraft, tanks, and personnel carriers.
This is also where you will find the Final Mission: The USS Tang Submarine Experience.
This pavilion is dedicated to telling the story of the dozens of mass amphibian landings by the Allies, such as D-Day, that turned the tide of the war.
This is where you will find both the Train Car exhibit and the Home Front Gallery, two excellent exhibitions worth a closer look.
The impressive D-Day Planning and D-Day Beaches galleries give you first-hand insight into those who designed the successful battle plan.
Inside the pavilion is the Malcolm Forbes Theater that shows two films daily. Each runs approximately 45 minutes long.
The two films are Price for Peace showing at 9:30 am and 3:30 pm and D-Day Remembered at 2:30 pm.
Look through the pavilion’s glass to witness the restoration of WWII artifacts in progress.
Currently under restoration is a Higgins Industries PT boat, PT-305 that was built in New Orleans and saw service in the Mediterranean theater.
When restoration is complete the patrol torpedo (PT) boat PT-305 will be launched into her home waters of Lake Pontchartrain.
Following two to three months of testing, PT 305 will be moved to a custom-built boathouse and opened to the public.
This section will cover each of the additional experiences available at the National WW2 Museum.
We will provide details about the hours, ticket prices and what you can expect from each activity.
This complex is where you can view Beyond All Boundaries narrated by Tom Hanks.
Daily showtimes start at 10:00 am and run hourly until 4:00 pm. On Friday and Saturday, the last showing time is 5:00 pm.
Advance tickets are highly recommended and the price can be added on to your General Admission ticket purchase.
On the second floor, you will find the Merchant Marine Gallery, a 940-square-foot gallery honoring civilian merchant mariners.
Step aboard the most successful submarine in WWII history and relive its final mission.
Show times begin at 9:35 am and run at 15, 35 and 55 after the hour until 4:35 pm.
On Fridays and Saturdays, shows are at 4:55 pm, 5:15 pm and 5:35 pm will also be available.
You must purchase it as an add-on to your general admission ticket. Purchasing tickets in advance for the USS Tang is highly recommended.
In this section, we will go over all the details you need to plan a trip to the National WW2 Museum, including information about how to get there, best times to visit, and nearby attractions.
Getting to the Museum
The museum is located at 945 Magazine Street, nine blocks from Canal St. and the French Quarter (Use this link for exact directions from your departure point.)
One of the easiest ways to get here is by using the streetcar. The closest stops are served by line 12 on St Charles Street at Lee Circle.
For more details, please read our post about how to ride the streetcar in New Orleans.
Alternatively, there are also bus stops very close to the National WW2 Museum on Magazine Street. These stops are serviced by lines 10, 11 and 100.
The New Orleans hop-on-hop-off bus tour also provides a stop at the museum.
Best Times to Visit
The National WW2 Museum is a very popular destination, so it can get pretty busy at certain times of the week.
Unlike some attractions in New Orleans, this museum doesn’t really have any slow days where visitors can expect smaller crowds.
The only way to avoid the most crowded times is to come either early in the morning (9 am – 12 pm) or later in the day (2 pm – 5 pm).
That said, most people will stay for at least 4 hours, so it’ll be difficult to completely evade the crowds, but you won’t have as much trouble getting into the museum at these times as you would in the middle of the day.
Navigating the Museum
The Museum’s campus is quite large and you may want to plan in advance which pavilions you will visit and in which order.
Most people who visit this museum feel overwhelmed by the amount there is to see and are disappointed when they can’t squeeze it all into the amount of time available.
For a cursory visit seeing just the highlights, give yourself at least 3 hours. If you want to go deep, you’ve got 8 hours to use your ticket as the Museum is open 9 am-5 pm.
If 8 hours is STILL not enough for you – and it might not be if you are fascinated with the history of World War II – you can buy a second-day pass for just an additional $7.
For a well-rounded trip in 3 hours, we recommend that you visit The Campaigns of Courage Pavilion and check out either Road to Berlin or Road to Tokyo.
Both of these will take you through the path of the war, but on different fronts – the European Theater of War or the Pacific Theater of War.
Take time to check out the U.S. Freedom Pavilion with planes and bombers suspended over the attractive indoor space.
If you have purchased your tickets in advance online, (highly recommended), choose one of the add-on multi-sensory exhibits: either The Final Mission or the longer Beyond All Boundaries.
If you want to be victorious in your quest to see it all, arm yourselves with these weapons before you go:
Restaurants and Food
This section covers all of the different restaurants and eateries that are available directly at the National WW2 Museum, including one location that offers live entertainment during special events throughout the year.
This location is open every day of the week and serves lunch from 11 am – 4 pm and dinner from 4 pm- 8 pm.
Happy Hour includes discounts on drinks from 4 pm -7 pm daily. Reservations are suggested.
The restaurant has a 1940s theme to complement the Museum’s atmosphere. The food is American, with salads, sandwiches and assorted meat, poultry and seafood entrees.
Prices are ok and it is certainly a convenient location, but the consensus seems to be that you probably want to eat somewhere else.
With many other finer restaurants in the area, you have many options to consider.
This cute eatery recreates a typical mid-20th Century “soda fountain” shop where you can grab a milkshake and a burger at lunch or late in the afternoon.
If you’re just looking for a quick bite or a snack that won’t take a lot of time out of your day, this is an excellent option.
The Soda Shop is open from 7 am – 5 pm each day.
Unlike other restaurants at the museum, this is a live show venue that showcases the music that served as the soundtrack to the WWII era.
Listen to swing bands and other musical performances like the signature Victory Belles vocal trio. It is highly recommended that you purchase tickets in advance online.
Check their schedule to see what’s happening during your visit to the National WW2 Museum.
There are several nearby restaurants ranging from simple and satisfying to world-renown and classic New Orleans cuisine.
This location is just a lone block north of the Museum at 869 Magazine Street. It has a casual environment that is kid-friendly.
They serve up burgers, sandwiches, salads and New Orleans classics like a Shrimp Creole Po-Boy.
This pizza joint is one block south of the Museum and they make creative and delicious pizzas, as well as calzones and finger foods like mozzarella sticks. Seating space is limited but you can grab your food to go.
If you walk west two streets along Andrew Higgins Drive you will find a few restaurants to choose from including the following:
One part actual butcher shop, the other part sandwich shop/wine bar. Just next door is the sister restaurant, the world-renowned Chochon known for its authentic Cajun cuisine from fried alligator to incredible Gumbo.
Speaking of gumbo, if you aren’t sure where to get yourself some, we’ve got the low-down on NOLA’s best gumbo. See our post on where to eat the best Gumbo in New Orleans.
Here are a few other locations you may want to visit that are located within walking distance of the National WW2 Museum.
- Mardi Gras World
- Louisiana Children’s Museum
- Lafayette Square
- Audubon Aquarium
- Audubon Butterfly Garden
- Harrah’s Casino
- Creole Queen Cruise
- Fulton Alley Bowling