Washington D.C. Tour Destinations

U.S. Capitol

The Capitol Visitor Center is the main entrance to the U.S. Capitol. Visitors can enter the Visitor Center without tickets. It is located on the East front of the Capitol at First Street and East Capitol Street, NE.

The U.S. Capitol is open to the public for guided tours only. Tours will be conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The Capitol will be open on all federal holidays except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Presidential Inauguration Days. However, it may be closed to tours for special events on occasion.

The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center strongly advises that you make a reservation in advance to visit the Capitol (Spring and Summer months are particularly busy). Tickets, although free, are required for a tour of the Capitol and may be needed for other special events. Groups of 10 or less can make their own reservations through the Capitol Visitor Center up to two months in advance by clicking here or calling (202) 226-8000. Groups larger than 10 must make a reservation through a Congressional office. A limited number of same-day passes are available each day at the Information Desks in Emancipation Hall on the lower level of the Visitor Center.

If you are hoping to visit the House or Senate Galleries, please be advised that separate passes are needed for entry. Gallery Passes do not need to be used same-day, so you can pick them up at any time during your visit and use them at your leisure. Gallery passes for both the Senate and House galleries will be available at my office during normal business hours Monday - Friday. The Senate Gallery is only open to the public when the Senate is in session. The House Gallery is open to the public Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., whether or not the House is in session. You can visit the Galleries whether or not you have scheduled a Capitol tour. Entry to the galleries is through the Capitol Visitor Center, upper level. International visitors may obtain gallery passes at the Senate or House Appointment Desks in the Visitor Center.

For the latest recorded information on visiting the Capitol, please call: 202-225-6827. For special needs (wheelchair access, etc), please call: 202-224-4048 (voice) or 202-224-4049 (TDD).

For more information, and a current list of prohibited items, please click here.
Closest Metro: Capitol South or Union Station.

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White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Group tours are scheduled Tuesday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. These hours will be extended  when possible based on the official White House schedule. White House tours are subject to last minute cancellation. Occasionally, it will be necessary to deviate from the regular tour schedule and reschedule or change the time and date of an approved tour.

All attendees 15 years of age or older will be required to present photo identification with the  information exactly matching the name previously submitted for clearance. Individuals whose identification does not exactly match the name or data cleared for entry may be denied admittance.

Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, the following: handbags, bookbags, backpacks,  purses, food and beverages of any kind, strollers, cameras, video recorders or any type of recording device, tobacco products, personal grooming items (make up, hair brush or comb, lip or hand lotions, etc.), any pointed objects (pens, knitting needles, etc.), aerosol containers, guns, ammunition, fireworks, electric stun guns, mace, martial arts weapons/devices, or knives of any size. Umbrellas, car keys and cell phones are permitted. The U.S. Secret Service reserves the right to prohibit any other personal items. Neither the White

House nor the U.S. Secret Service will provide coat or package check facilities. Individuals who arrive with prohibited items will not be permitted to enter the White House. All necessary medications must be identified and remain in the custody of an adult chaperone or contact for the entire tour. All persons and items entering the White House will be screened through a security process. Individuals may be requested to consent to an interview or additional security procedures before they are admitted to the White House complex.

For more information please call the 24-hour Tour Information Line (202) 456-7041 or click here.

Closest Metro: Farragut North, Farragut West, McPherson Square, Metro Center or Federal Triangle

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Supreme Court

You may tour the building (not the courtroom) on your own. The building is open from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday and will be closed weekends and holidays. There is a great ground-floor cafeteria open to the public for breakfast and lunch, as well as exhibits, a film, and a gift shop.

A Court Term begins the first Monday in October and lasts through June, with breaks for summer.

The Supreme Court Visitor Information Line can be reached directly at 202-479-3030.

In Session: When the court is in session, oral arguments are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis (limited seating). To see whether oral arguments are occurring during your visit click here and open the Supreme Court Calendar for the appropriate Term. The Court generally hears two one-hour arguments a day, at 10 a.m. and 11 p.m., with occasional afternoon sessions scheduled as necessary. Arguments are held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays in two-week intervals through late April (with longer breaks during December and February). In mid-May, after the oral argument portion of the Term has concluded, the Court takes the Bench Mondays at 10 a.m. for the release of orders and opinions. This practice continues until all the cases heard during the Term are decided, usually the last week in June. These sessions, which typically last between 15 and 30 minutes, are also open to the public.

For information on how to attend an oral argument please click here and open the Visitor's Guide to Oral Argument.

Not in session
: When court is not in session there are free lectures every hour on the half hour from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. No reservations are necessary. Anyone wishing to attend a lecture should line up on the Front Plaza of the Supreme Court Building. If your group size is smaller than 25, they recommend that you arrive 10 minutes prior to start of lecture, 25-50 in group then 20 minutes prior, 50-75 in group, 30 minutes prior, 75-100 then 45 minutes prior, larger than 100 then 60 minutes prior. Lecture schedules may vary and it is best to call and confirm times before your visit.

For the most current updates on the Courtroom Lecture schedule, please contact the Supreme Court Visitor Information Line at 202-479-3030, and when prompted, press "4" for Lecture Information.

Lectures can also be arranged through Congressional offices on a limited basis. These reserved lectures are only available on days when the Supreme Court will be open to the public. Congressional offices are limited to 6 guests for any 2pm lecture. Group of 6 people or more must go through the public lecture line.

For more information please click here or call the Supreme Court Visitor Information Line at 202-479-3030

Closest Metro: Union Station or Capitol South

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Library of Congress

Public tours are offered at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Saturday tours are offered at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., as well as 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.. These free tours are open to individuals and small groups with no more than 10 participants. No reservations or tickets are required.

Groups of 10 to 60 participants may reserve private tours with advance notice by filling out the form provided by the Visitor Services Office through their website (click here), or calling 202-707-0919. These tours are designed for organizations and schools (fifth-grade level and above). Reserved group tour times are offered Monday - Friday, at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m., subject to availability.

Tours can also be arranged through Congressional offices. These tours are only available on days when the Library will be open to the public. These tours can be requested for either 9:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., and 1:45 p.m. A 3:45 p.m.tour is also available during extended summer hours.

All tours commence in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson building.

For more information please click here.

Closest Metro: Capitol South

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Bureau of Engraving

Free public tours are available. Photo identification is required. The Bureau is closed on weekends, federal holidays and the week between Christmas and New Years. The Bureau is open on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but please be advised that this is one of the busiest tour days of the year, so plan ahead.

September - February
No tickets are required. Line up at the Visitor Entrance to the BEP (14th & C Streets, SW). Allow 45 - 50 minutes from the time you enter the building until the end of your tour. Public tours are offered 9 a.m. - 10:45 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. (every 15 minutes).

From the first Monday in March through the last Friday in August, tickets are passed out on a first-come, first-served basis. The ticket booth is located on Raoul Wallenberg Place (formerly 15th Street). They offer same day tickets only. The Ticket Booth opens at 8 a.m. Monday - Friday, and closes when all tickets have been distributed. Lines form early (some days as early as 5:30AM) and tickets go quickly, most days (especially during the first two weeks in April ~ Cherry Blossom/Spring Break) tickets are gone by 8:30 a.m.. Please plan accordingly.
Extended Hours (May-Aug) 2 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. and 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. (every 15 minutes)

Tours can also be arranged through Congressional offices on a limited basis. These tours are only available on days when the Bureau will be open to the public. From April through August, these tours can be requested for morning (8-9 a.m.) or afternoon (4-5 p.m.). During the rest of the year, these tours are only available in the morning. Congressional offices are limited to 10 guests per day.

Offered from 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. (every 15 minutes) (50 people max per tour)
Please complete a Group Reservation Request Form (click here) and fax it to 202-874-6331.

For more information please click here or call 202-874-3188.

Closest Metro: Smithsonian

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