U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
4.5
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
About
Duration: 2-3 hours
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Top ways to experience U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Upper Northwest
How to get there
  • Capitol South • 7 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • David H
    Bury, United Kingdom1,634 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing experience
    Although booked online, you still have to go to the Visitor desk and obtain a ticket, with queues for both this and entry to the tour. Once it was time for our tour we took the elevator to the main building. It was fascinating to see the enormous dome with all the statues and paintings around it. The tour continued to the main Senate hall after which we were free to wander back into the main building. The restaurant was busy but well organised and fast moving with a good selection of food and drink. Overall quite an effort to book in advance, and to queue several times but worth doing to see such an historical venue.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 27 July 2023
  • ScandiMum
    17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Capitol visitors tour
    A great visit to the Capitol, guided by Mary-Ellen from the visitor centre. Mary-Ellen was such knowledge and approachable guide and her enthusiasm and pride really shone through her 45min tour of the history of the Capitol. Before the tour started, we were shown a 15min film in the auditorium. Restroom, cafe and water fountain facilities available indoors.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 August 2023
  • Raintree_Thailand
    Bangkok, Thailand4,206 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Access to the Capitol Building!
    The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center is where most people's tours of the Capitol Building begin. I found the staff to be helpful and courteous, despite the obvious need to maintain security (these days, perhaps more than ever!). There are a few displays to see while awaiting your tour and the Capitol Restaurant is just off the Visitor Center.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 7 September 2023
  • MrMrsHappyR
    Liverpool, United Kingdom1,441 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ann was brilliant
    Amazing and well worth a visit. The tour is excellent and very well organised. Ann was brilliant as a guide. Also they don't allow any food or drink, but you can take an empty water bottle and fill it up inside. We took sandwiches and consumed them just before going into the visitor center. We also booked the tour to the Library of Congress just afterwards which can be accessed via the underground tunnel
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 10 September 2023
  • Wayne
    Tokoroa, New Zealand308 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A fantastic building
    We all arrived to take photos outside, then ended up in a tour for free. A beautiful building and so much history. The tours were so well organised and we got plenty of photos. Some people can get free tickets to the gallery of either the Senate or the House - which we did on Monday. There is a fantastic cafeteria as well, it was so good we came back another day to eat there.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 12 November 2023
  • Kittygal 🇺🇦 🌻
    Los Angeles, California8,793 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Special Tours are Wonderful
    In addition to the general overview of the Capitol, the visitor's center offers a variety of special topic tours. These include a tour of the murals in the old Senate hallways, the history of votes for women and others. I'd taken several of these offerings on prior visits, so was pleased to do the Heroes of Civil Rights on my recent return, my first since The Before Times. As luck would have it, I was the only participant so got a wonderful one on one. My guide included the old Supreme Court chamber, with the curious cornstalk topped columns nearby (I'd asked to see them, as I'm a dedicated Atlas Obscura fan) as well as the stunning tobacco blossom column rotunda nearby. Unfortunately, the old marble bathtubs in the basement are now an IT storage room, but my guide confirmed they did exist. We visited the old Senate chamber, where I learned about the scandalous goings on of long ago, and admired the beautiful design of the ornate setting. The tour also took me through the Capitol rotunda and into statuary hall, where I got a glimpse of the new Amelia Earhart statue. Tickets are free and available daily on a first come, first served basis. The visitor center website details the times and offerings. If you can stop by early in the day for tickets, then you can spend your day on the Hill seeing other sights with a spot assured. As a former educator, I love these tours. They really are great. And, they are free!
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 16 November 2023
  • Tony C
    Sutton, United Kingdom44 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    American History
    My wife wouldn't choose to see too many historical tourist places but this 1 hr free tour was the perfect balance for her. I could stay longer to hear more of American history. It was fascinating to see the statues and architecture of this wonderful building steep in history. We visited the Rotunda, the first chamber for debate and the Crypt. Book your place in advance to guarantee your peace but definitely worth a visit.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 December 2023
  • moodblu
    West Valley City, Utah1,436 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lunch and Interesting Intro before Tour of the Capitol
    Our US History Tour took us to the Capitol Building Visitors Center. We first had our lunch at the cafeteria, then we were shown around and given information by our own licensed tour guide before going on to the Capitol Building. In the Visitors Center we toured the Exhibition Hall, which was interesting and informative. We saw models of the capitol building, and history of its construction and additions over time. We saw the Emancipation Hall, which features statues from states, representing the diversity and contributions of the different states, and the enormous Statue of Freedom. Our guide showed us a skylight where we were able to take a picture of the Capitol dome and flag. There were gift shops, restrooms and information desk. This was a good introduction before going into the Capitol itself.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 May 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,033 reviews
Excellent
580
Very good
308
Average
88
Poor
32
Terrible
25

David H
Bury, UK1,634 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
Although booked online, you still have to go to the Visitor desk and obtain a ticket, with queues for both this and entry to the tour. Once it was time for our tour we took the elevator to the main building. It was fascinating to see the enormous dome with all the statues and paintings around it. The tour continued to the main Senate hall after which we were free to wander back into the main building.
The restaurant was busy but well organised and fast moving with a good selection of food and drink.
Overall quite an effort to book in advance, and to queue several times but worth doing to see such an historical venue.
Written 27 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MrMrsHappyR
Liverpool, UK1,441 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
Amazing and well worth a visit. The tour is excellent and very well organised. Ann was brilliant as a guide. Also they don't allow any food or drink, but you can take an empty water bottle and fill it up inside. We took sandwiches and consumed them just before going into the visitor center. We also booked the tour to the Library of Congress just afterwards which can be accessed via the underground tunnel
Written 10 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

moodblu
West Valley City, UT1,436 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Our US History Tour took us to the Capitol Building Visitors Center. We first had our lunch at the cafeteria, then we were shown around and given information by our own licensed tour guide before going on to the Capitol Building. In the Visitors Center we toured the Exhibition Hall, which was interesting and informative. We saw models of the capitol building, and history of its construction and additions over time. We saw the Emancipation Hall, which features statues from states, representing the diversity and contributions of the different states, and the enormous Statue of Freedom. Our guide showed us a skylight where we were able to take a picture of the Capitol dome and flag. There were gift shops, restrooms and information desk. This was a good introduction before going into the Capitol itself.
Written 4 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Raintree_Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand4,206 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Solo
The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center is where most people's tours of the Capitol Building begin. I found the staff to be helpful and courteous, despite the obvious need to maintain security (these days, perhaps more than ever!). There are a few displays to see while awaiting your tour and the Capitol Restaurant is just off the Visitor Center.
Written 7 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Deanne D
Wellington, New Zealand1,409 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
This is where you go to start and end your tour of the Capitol building. The staff here were very helpful. There is a good restaurant to eat at. Something for all the family and good prices. There are lots of clean bathrooms and two coat check places. They have an informative guide to the statues that are around the main hall. Love the one of Helen Keller amongst others.
Written 18 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CrazyBelgianTraveler
Toronto, Canada93 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
The highlight of our DC trip. Really worth the visit, however do book in advance to make sure you can go. We had Garet as our guide, he’s truly a historian and knows EVERYTHING about the Capitol and general US history. Great guy and great experience. Must do when in DC 👌
Written 25 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ScandiMum
17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
A great visit to the Capitol, guided by Mary-Ellen from the visitor centre. Mary-Ellen was such knowledge and approachable guide and her enthusiasm and pride really shone through her 45min tour of the history of the Capitol. Before the tour started, we were shown a 15min film in the auditorium. Restroom, cafe and water fountain facilities available indoors.
Written 9 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

phvi2617
Anaheim, CA631 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2023
We took the basic Capitol tour, which starts with a film and then takes you to the crypt, rotunda, and statuary hall. Our guide was good, and the building is beautiful and monumental, but the tour was pretty short and rather crowded. Our original tour reservation got cancelled, but thankfully we ended up finding an opening for the next day.

We wanted to visit the House and Senate galleries, which involves getting passes from your Representative's office, but we ran out of time after our tour. As we learned, the galleries are managed directly by the House and Senate (not the Visitor Center), so their hours can be different than the Visitor Center and subject to sudden changes.

Aside from the tour, the Visitor Center has some nice exhibits about the Capitol building and Congress. Overall, it was still a nice visit and worth the time.
Written 20 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John B
Norristown, PA285 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
The U.S. Capitol building is one of my favorite places in Washington DC. I've had the privilege to have been there twice and would easily go again. As other reviews have noted, book in advance. You can also request tickets from your congressman/woman or one of your Senators. I was able to book tickets through my former Congressman. To see where are laws are debated and formed is an amazing experience. You can even see the old chambers where they used to debate. It truly is an amazing experience.
Written 7 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tony C
Sutton, UK44 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
My wife wouldn't choose to see too many historical tourist places but this 1 hr free tour was the perfect balance for her. I could stay longer to hear more of American history.

It was fascinating to see the statues and architecture of this wonderful building steep in history.

We visited the Rotunda, the first chamber for debate and the Crypt.

Book your place in advance to guarantee your peace but definitely worth a visit.
Written 4 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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U.S. Capitol Visitor Center - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

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