U.S. Capitol
U.S. Capitol
4.5
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
About
Please note that tour reservations are required for entry. The Capitol is among the most architecturally impressive and symbolically important buildings in the world. The Senate and the House of Representatives have met here for more than two centuries. Begun in 1793, the Capitol has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored; today, it stands as a monument not only to its builders but also to the American people and their government.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
How to get there
  • Capitol South • 7 min walk
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See what travelers are saying
  • teknoge3k
    Rocky Mount, Virginia1,597 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Capitol is beautiful!
    We had timed tickets to visit the Capitol and it was very organized. There were a TON of people however. You need to wear the headphones the tour guide gives you otherwise you cannot hear anything. You see the crypt, the rotunda and the statue room. It's a fantastic building and you learn a lot from the free tours they offer. I highly recommend this!
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 19, 2023
  • Samantha M
    Sacramento, California57 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Crowded but we’ll organized. Learned a ton of history!
    I’m so glad I booked a free tour months ago. It was crowded but organized. The tour guides give their groups headsets tuned in to their specific frequency, so we could hear our specific guide without their needing to shout over the din. My kids had a few things they were searching for, from their scavenger hunt book, so that kept them engaged. We loved finding and identifying specific state statues. And when they couldn’t find a particular one, any staff in a red sweater could help them either by memory or by consulting the pocket guide that they call carry. I was very impressed by how the plentiful, warm, knowledgeable staff managed the chaos of tourists!!!!
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written May 28, 2023
  • mabjohnson
    Albuquerque, New Mexico18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    get tickets for a tour
    We were able to get 11 tickets for a Capitol tour from our NM Congresswoman (there are limited tickets available at the entrance). We were impressed to see the Rotunda. If you want to see the actual Senate and House chambers you need to get special passes from a Congressperson.
    Visited May 2023
    Written June 1, 2023
  • Jessica K
    Tarpon Springs, Florida281 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    US Capitol
    Any visit to DC must have a Capital visit. Although free to visit, there is time stamped “tickets” and reservations are a good idea. Very informative tour guides take each group through different areas of the Capitol. The statues and artwork are really grand. Always crowded and a bit noisy, but worth it. Although there are elevators, most of this tour was staircase access.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 25, 2023
  • justalittlebitocd
    Melbourne, Australia412 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    If you visit Washington you must visit the Capitol
    as with all places if you are travelling from overseas I highly recommend pre booking tickets ​​ ​​We booked for the 9am session. We arrived at the line up approximately 8.50. Once the doors open you get straight in. First we saw an information video and then sort you into groups for a tour ​​ ​​You will see the crypt, rotunda and statue room ​​ ​​All up it took exactly one hour ​​ ​​We then went to the house and senate info desks with our license and got tickets to see both of these areas which in our opinion was worth it . We wish they did tours of these areas versus just us looking in. If you do this add another 30 mins to your planned time
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 28, 2023
  • Brian
    Lewisburg, Pennsylvania21 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing
    We had an amazing experience! There is a huge difference between booking a tour with your Congressman and the general tour. We contacted our Congressman about 60 days prior. We had a private tour with someone from his office... they showed us around for nearly 2 hours, bypassing a lot of lines. We even got to go into the Galleries. Our children (11, 7, 4) felt comfortable asking staff questions and had a great time too. The general tour is with a group of 30-50 people. They give you headphones to hear your tour guide. I am so thankful Our Representative's office was able to give us a personal tour. And it was free!
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 28, 2023
  • Bob Kramer
    Ankeny, Iowa243 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Free Tours - put this on your bucket list!
    TAKE THE TIME to visit the United States Capitol building while in D.C. Such a beautiful building, and while walking through we were in awe. Guided tours are available and we highly recommend making your reservations well in advance. And, the tours are free of charge.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 2, 2023
  • Fleckney
    Fleckney, United Kingdom447 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    So much to see - and it is free.
    We booked our free tour online about a month before our visit and found that everything was extremely well organised and strictly by time of booked visit. The guided tour was brilliant and very informative and we managed to get tickets to visit both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Senate was in session and we were able to sit in the room and listen to the debate - which we had not expected. An extremely informative half day visit
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 6, 2023
  • Sarah Merly
    Purcellville, Virginia139 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful tours of this beautiful building!
    This is a must-do if you're visiting D.C.! Be sure to book ahead of time with your representative. Also, if you'd like to visit the house chamber on your tour, make sure you visit when Congress isn't in session.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled on business
    Written July 10, 2023
  • Lse1313
    Shavertown, Pennsylvania60 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fast but beautiful
    Free. Plan ahead for this tour, though. You have to get tickets through your US Congress Representative or Senator. This is a guided tour, but there are at least 4 going on at one time with about 20-30 in each tour. That eans it's hard to get pics without strangers in them. Our tour guide was knowledgeable but the tour seems very rushed. You can either try to get pictures or hear what he has to say. Additionally, the whole tour is just 3 floors of the rotunda. If you expect to see more than awesome architecture and statues, this tour is not for you. ADA Accessible
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 16, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles7,140 reviews
Excellent
4,772
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504
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121
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andyh67186334
Coalville, UK6,854 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
The day I visited the outside of the U.S. Capitol, it was a beautiful day, where prior to this it was overcast and misty.
You have to obtain a ticket for timed entry and as I was in DC during Spring Break, it was impossible to book one. However you could go the Visitor Centre to check if there were cancellations, but the queue was too long. I've been inside before so it wasn't an issue.
It's an impressive Neo Classical building with great views of the National Mall and beyond from the steps of the front of the building.
Written April 14, 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.

Alireza123
Tehran, Iran786 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We tried to register for free online ticket but we were not successful. As there are limited ticket onsite we were there 8:30 am. And we got tickets. All kind of tickets are free the point is the capitol is popular and the daily amount of visits are limited.
They start with a movie and then a guided tour.
It was great . Lots of things to learn.
There was a big coffee shop and we ate our break fast there.
It takes about 2 hours to see everything.
The library is connected to capitol by tunnel if you register for both you can go there by tunnel and scape the library queue.
Written April 7, 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.

Terry V Lucas
Edinburgh, UK10 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
Book tickets about two months in advance and try to get early morning slots of possible. Two indoor breathtakingly stunning areas are covered during the tour and they are absolutely gorgeous. Do leave about an hour to walk around the outside grounds and take lots of pictures. The cafeteria had fantastic cakes and other food but slightly expensive. Our tour guide was very friendly and enthusiastic. The tour lines ticket South American checker lady in red coat was terribly rude and horrible to a few disabled older people. She punished the poor folks by asking them to move 5-10 feet in reverse to stick their tour stickers on their shirts. The ticket lady continued speaking loudly and harassing the women visitors for nothing. It was very sad to see that ordeal and wish I had not witnessed this unfortunate craziness.
Written April 6, 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.

Bill F
Indianapolis, IN15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
The tour of the Capitol is interesting and informative. To get tickets, contact your Congressman or Senator’s office.
Written March 19, 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.

Lisa G
3 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Meh. Very crowded! Tour lasted about 1 hour and we saw 3 rooms. Was expecting so much more. Texas capital is so much more beautiful!
Written March 16, 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.

LesleyDublin
Dublin, Ireland217 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We booked this in advance. There is no charge. You get a tour of the building, it's very interesting. If you want to go into the Gallery of the Senate or House of Representatives you need to contact your Public Representatives in advance to get passes. I don't know the details of this as I'm not American. There is a gift shop in the Capitol building and also a large cafeteria downstairs. This building is the heart of the American politics system and well worth a visit.
Written March 9, 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.

415Cyclist
San Anselmo, CA129 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
This is for the free capital tour. I received a reservation via my senator.

This tour was just ok. Really you only get to see 2 rotundas. The main one and a smaller one that I think was the original senate chamber.

This was a Sat. No access at all to the House or Senate chambers. A little disappointed with this. Other then the rotundas, not much else to see. The self guided museum in the visitor center was the best part.

Would have enjoyed more of the behind the scenes, offices, chambers, etc. But I bet more and more access is being cut off due to security.

I've read other reviews that mention getting personal tours from your local member of congress. It's worth the try to inquire.
Written March 9, 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.

LostInTime
Pittsburgh, PA11,845 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Business
It’s a beautiful old building. I think it looks best after dark. It’s bigger than it looks on TV. It’s a nice walk around it.
Written March 5, 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.

montanapescado
Albuquerque, NM1,323 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
Set aside any political biases and just marvel at the architectural design and architecture! Walk around the open areas awestruck. Take a tour for additional historical context. I wish it was easier to visit; I'd do it more often.
Written March 1, 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.

Erin H
99 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Business
As someone who has lived in worked in Washington for a long time, I think I've been able to see a lot of the capital, including its many reception rooms. I've had several seminars for work being held there, and especially with its Annex Office Buildings, which are kind of part of the complex, it's a big overwhelming place. That said, I would encourage any US citizen to go visit their local representative in the house or Senators office. You can request a gallery pass. That means that you can get into the capital without a tour, and sit in the gallery to watch any floor action. Basically you did the opportunity to walk around anywhere in the capital see what you want to see, and watch Congress live and in person. I think many visitors to Washington don't see their government in action. But there are a lot of ways to do this and I think the exercise of going to one's Representatives Office is helpful. Furthermore being able to walk about the capital is so amazing and to see live floor action is watching democracy in action. They also have a very special gift shop that is generally reserved for people who work in the Capitol complex. I don't know if they even take tour groups there. But they have a lot of official type and it's really cool to see some of the very high-end pieces they offer. For example I want spot a White House Tiffany silk scarf. Because my life revolves around government and Congress, this all excites me. But if it doesn't you can just see the visitor center out front, and below ground. The lawn in back of the monstrous building, which is a slope, is a popular destination for picnicking and chilling on the weekends for local. On this very expansive hell there is also a secret to graveyard and a few other interesting things to see that nobody will tell you about unless you can find a local. Or you can do your research online. But if you are here when the weather is Pleasant, stroll by the back of the capitol and you will not regret your experience. It's also very close to the National Botanic Gardens, which is kind of a misnomer, but it's a giant Victorian Greenhouse with the most amazing ambiance and collection of orchids. They have a few other spaces as part of their complex, including kids activities, holiday decorations, and special exhibits. This is also free and it is a beautiful space. They also have a lot of gorgeous teak tables and chairs as well as benches to enjoy a meal on. I think this greenhouse is either on the Capital Property, or at least adjoines it. And one last thing, which can be a great way to meet lawmakers on the hill, as well as staff and other Professionals in Washington whether you are from here or not, is through the state societies. You can always look up and call the states society that represents your state, and a quarter about attending any events that look interesting. Most events are held on the Hill. I know in the past that any states or at least my state had a lot of corporate subsidies, and membership was very low, like $20 a year, but I think it's going up. Regardless, there is often plenty of food and endless amounts of alcohol included. So even if you just use your membership to attend one event it can be totally worth it! Plus it's just a really cool experience to have on the Hill. And if you are a foreigner visiting, you can technically sign up for a state Society. Usually it's just some kind of affiliation or affinity with a particular state. So if you have that already, great. If not you can always be a little Coy and join a state Society that interests you. I was a member of the California state Society for many many years because I'm not only from there but they were always known to have the very best events. Most of the attendees were not from California and I'm not convinced had any substantive ties to the state. They were there because they just wanted to go to the best parties!
Written February 9, 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.

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U.S. Capitol, Washington DC

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