First Posted: Aug 3, 2012
Jan 20, 2020

Free Washington, DC Tours-Call Your Senators or House of Representative for More Information and Help to Get Tickets to Tours!

Archives (National Archives and Records Administration) and Visit the National Archives Experience
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408
Daily Visits: The National Archives Experience is open every day except Thanksgiving and December 25 (see Museum Hours for operating schedule). Reservations are not required for individuals or groups wishing to enter the National Archives Experience through the general public entrance. The general public entrance is located at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 9th Street.

Reserved Visits: Visitors may wait in the general public line for entry at any time the museum is open. However, advance reservations are highly recommended and will allow visitors to avoid the exterior portion of the line to see the Charters of Freedom during the height of the tourist season (mid-March through Labor Day) and during holiday seasons such as the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. The convenience fee for online reservations is $1.50 per person and admission to all of the National Archives Experience exhibits is free.

Reserved visits are available at the following times: Guided Tours, 9:45 a.m., Monday through Friday
Timed Visit Entry, 10 a.m. to 90 minutes before closing, daily

The Rotunda of the National Archives Building in downtown Washington, DC, displays the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence.

Bureau of Engraving and Printing
14 and C Streets, S.W. Washington, DC
The nearest metro stop is Smithsonian on the orange and blue lines.

See how money, postage stamps, and Treasury securities are made at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The tour features the complete process of currency production, and how millions of dollars are created from sheets of paper to wallet-ready bills during your visit. The bureau offers Congressional tours at 8:15 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. During the peak months, May through August, Congressional tour hours are extended to include 4:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 4:45 p.m.

Public tours of the bureau are available from 9:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. and from 12:30 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. leaving every 15 minutes. During peak season, from May through August, hours are also extended to include the hours of 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tickets are required for all tours from the first Monday in March through the last Friday in August, on a first-come, first-served basis. The ticket booth is located on Raoul Wallenberg Place (formerly 15th Street). For public tours, the bureau offers same day tickets only. The Ticket Booth opens at 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, and closes when all tickets have been distributed. Lines form early, and tickets go quickly. In fact, most days' tickets are gone by 9:00 a.m. Please plan accordingly.

During the non-peak months, September through February, no tickets are required. You may line up at the Visitors' Entrance on 14th Street. Please allow 45-50 minutes from the time you enter the building until the end of your tour.

Kennedy Center
2700 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20566
New Hampshire Ave, NW and the Rock Creek Parkway.
The nearest metro stop is Foggy Bottom on the orange and blue lines.

The Kennedy Center provides Congressional tours Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The tour features the Hall of States, Hall of Nations, the Center's theater, and dozens of paintings, sculptures, and other art works given to the center by foreign countries. The 4:30 p.m. tour ends with the must-see Millennium Stage, where a free concert from different award-winning performers takes place each night. For more information,Free Guided Tours given by Friends of the Kennedy Center Tour Guides To arrange a Congressional tour, call your one of your Senators or your House Representative.

Library of Congress and Library of Congress YouTube Channel
The Library of Congress is located at 101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC
Nearest metro stop is Capitol South on the orange and blue lines.

The Library of Congress offers tours daily for the public, as well as special themed tours. These themed tours include; the Jefferson Building tour, Creating the United States, Thomas Jefferson: The Man and his Ideas and Music and Performing Arts at the Library of Congress.

The Library of Congress is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. To get information on these tours and other exciting events happening at the Library of Congress please visit Library of Congress Tours and Activities.

National Cathedral and National Cathedral Tours
3001 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016
Nearest metro stop is Tenleytown-AU on the red line.

Experience the beauty of one of Washington DC's most magnificent landmarks. Major Pierre L'Enfant wanted a church that could be used by all denominations to convene for national purposes such as funeral orations, public prayer, and thanksgiving. The Cathedral is the site where our nation gathered monthly for services during World War II, gave thanks after the American hostages were freed in Iran, and President Bush held a National Prayer and Remembrance service on September 14, 2001.

Old Post Office Pavillion
1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20004
Clock Tower Hours of Operation:
Winter Schedule/(Labor Day to Memorial Day) Monday-Saturday, 9 am-4:45 pm/Sundays, 12pm-5:45pm
Summer Schedule/(Memorial Day to Labor Day) Monday-Saturday, 9 am-7:45 pm/ Except for Thursday's: 9am 6:30pm/Sunday, 12pm-5:45pm
Holidays: Please follow Sunday schedule

"Originally built in 1899, The Old Post Office Pavilion embodied the modern spirit that was sweeping the country. Today, our architecture and spirit of innovation continues to evolve and thrive...A highlight of the Old Post Office Pavilion is its 315 foot Clock Tower and unparalleled vistas. Offering a sweeping 360 degree view, National Park Service Rangers give free Clock Tower tours everyday! From individuals to large tour groups, all are welcome.

The Old Post Office Clock Tower also proudly houses the official United States Bells of Congress, a bicentennial gift from England celebrating the end of the Revolutionary War. The Washington Ringing Society sounds the Bells of Congress every Thursday evening and on special occasions.

Visit us any day of the week for a free tour of the Old Post Office Clock Tower. Dial (202) 606-8691 for more information. It's a great opportunity to learn more about American history; this is a landmark not to be missed no matter your age."

The Pentagon
The Pentagon metro stop is on the Blue and Yellow line.

Visit the headquarters of the Department of Defense. Since the beginning of its construction in 1941, the Pentagon has grown to over 6.6 million gross square feet. It is one of the most demonstrative icons of the strength of the United States Armed Forces.

To take a guided tour of the Pentagon, you must make a reservation in advance. Tours are offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Note that tour schedules can fill up quickly, so it is advisable to book your tour well in advance of your visit. Reservations may be booked from 8 to 90 days in advance. Reservations will not be accepted for tour dates within 7 days or more than 90 days away.

Tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. A conformation letter and a security roster will be provided to the requestor upon approval through e-mail. The security roster must be filled out and returned to the Pentagon 3 days prior to your confirmed tour date. The confirmation letter must be provided to the tour guide upon arrival.

State Department
Tours for the Reception Room enter the State Department at 23rd Street, between C and D Streets, NW.
The closest metro station is Foggy Bottom located on the Blue and Orange lines.

The State Department offers public tours of the historical Diplomatic Reception Room, Monday through Friday, at 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 2:45 a.m. View the rooms where Chiefs of State, Heads of Governments, and foreign ambassadors meet with and are entertained by US officials. The rooms are decorated in 18th and 19th century décor with great American cultural artifacts: truly a mirror of our history and culture for other states to behold.

To visit the Diplomatic Reception Room tours must be arranged prior to visiting. Reservations for tours must be made in 90 days in advance. To make reservations please visit the tour website at Diplomatic Reception Room Tours The Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the Department of State, which are used for official functions hosted by the Secretary of State and other high level government officials, are open for pre-arranged tours at no charge. These rooms hold a premier collection of 18th century American furniture, paintings and decorative arts. You may see a preview of the collection on the Diplomatic Reception Rooms website.

Guided tours are conducted Monday through Friday at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, and 2:45 pm. Tours are 45 minutes in duration. Reservations are required and should be made approximately 90 days in advance, due to the large volume of requests. This is a fine arts tour. We do not recommend the tour for children under the age of 12. Strollers are not permitted and there are no facilities for storage of personal belongings.

Supreme Court and Touring the Building
1 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20543
The Supreme Court Building was designed by Cass Gilbert and built from 1931 to 1935. The Court first sat in the building on Monday, October 7, 1935. The building, majestic in size and rich in ornamentation, serves as both home to the Court and the manifest symbol of its importance as a coequal, independent branch of government.

The Supreme Court offers several educational programs for visitors, including exhibits, which are changed periodically, and a theater, where a film on the Supreme Court is shown. Lectures in the Courtroom are typically given every hour on the half-hour, on days that the Court is not sitting, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and concluding at 3:30 p.m. The building is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is closed Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays.

Treasury (United States Treasury Building)
Tours of the Main Treasury Building are available by advanced reservation through your Congressional offices. For more information on tours and reservations, visit the Treasury Curator web site. Also, please visit our "Virtual Tour" to view some of the historic spaces and decorative art. Location: 15 St. and Hamilton Place, NW, Washington, DC.
Dates: Saturday mornings, excluding some holiday weekends.
Times : 9:00, 9:45, 10:30 and 11:15 a.m. Do not be late for your tour time. You will not be able to join another group. Please arrive ahead of your scheduled tour.
Reservations: Advance reservations are required and must be made through your Congressional offices. Tours are available at this time for citizens and legal residents of the United States. The name, date of birth and social security number for each visitor must be provided when making a reservation. In addition, everyone must have a photo I.D. to gain admittance to the building on the date of their scheduled tour. Please contact your senator or representative to make a reservation.
Tour Length: Approximately one hour.
Note: Strollers and backpacks are not permitted in the building and there is no storage area onsite. It is suggested they be left in the car or hotel room. Additionally, photography (still or video) is not permitted in the building.
Tour Entrance: Visitors must enter through the south building entrance located at 15th Street and Hamilton Place, NW (Washington Monument side). Enter through the gate in the iron fence by pressing the call button for admittance. Special arrangements must be made, in advance, for wheelchair access to the building. Admission: Tours are free of charge.
Transportation: We strongly recommend that you use public transportation because nearby parking is limited. The closest metro stations are Metro Center or McPherson Square. From McPherson Square, follow the street signs to the White House. We are next door on the east side. Metrobus and Metrorail information is available by calling 202 637-7000.

The Main Treasury Building is the third oldest building in Washington, and dates from 1836. In 1833, Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument, was commissioned to design a new Treasury Building after the previous two Treasury structures were destroyed by fire. Mills' T-shaped building is noted for the grand colonnade, sweeping across the entire expanse of the structure. Each of the 30 columns is 36 feet tall and carved from a single block of granite. Subsequent wings were added from 1855 to 1869, all retaining the Greek Revival influence of the Mills design.

United States Capitol
Tours of the U.S. Capitol: 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Visitors with official business appointments may enter the Visitor Center as early as 7:15 a.m All tours now start from the new Capitol Visitor's Center, which is located below the East Plaza of the Capitol between Constitution and Independence Avenues. The nearest Metro station is Capitol South on the Orange and Blue lines.

Experience our nation's Capitol Building: the heart of the legislative process. Visit the famous Rotunda and view Constantino Brumidi's fresco, "Apotheosis of Washington". See National Statuary Hall and understand why it is called the "Whispering Room". Visit the Old Supreme Court, the site of historical decisions such as Marbury vs. Madison and Dred Scott. Visit on a day that Congress is in session and see the legislative process in action from the House of Representatives Gallery.

Special Activities at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Aside from the general tour of the U.S. Capitol offered Monday through Saturday from 8:50 a.m. until 3:20 p.m., there are a number of special activities. Take advantange of them:

  • Monday through Friday at 11 a.m., weather permitting, go on a 45-minute Guide-led outdoor tour of the Capitol grounds. Pick up a pass at one of the Information Desks, and meet at the North Gift Shop. No advance reservation is required.
  • In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, a special tour, lasting 30 to 45 minutes, entitled "Capitol and the Congress During the Civil War," is offered Monday through Friday at 3:30 p.m. With stops at the Old Supreme Court Chamber and other important areas at the Capitol, this tour will explore how the Capitol was used during the Civil War, critical debates that took place during the Civil War, and key judicial decisions made during this time period. No reservations are needed. Get passes for this tour at one of the Information Desks on the lower level of the Visitor Center.
  • A special tour of the Brumidi Corridors on the first floor of the Senate wing of the Capitol enables visitors to view and learn about the ornate paintings on the walls and ceilings designed by Constantino Brumidi between 1857 and 1859. This tour, which lasts approximately 30 minutes, is offered Monday through Friday at 10:30 a.m. No reservations are needed. Get passes for this tour at one of the Information Desks on the lower level of the Visitor Center.
  • Monday through Saturday at 11:30 a.m., the history of Congress comes to life through this 30-minute program in Exhibition Hall. Discover how the Capitol expanded over time, and unpack the details of a law and what goes into making a legislative decision. Meet at the entrance to Exhibition Hall on the lower level of the Visitor Center. No reservations or passes required.

The White House and Tours and Events
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
The closest Metrorail stations to the White House are Federal Triangle (blue and orange lines), Metro Center (blue, orange, and red lines) and McPherson Square (blue and orange lines). On-street parking is not available near the White House, and use of public transportation is strongly encouraged.

Public tours of the White House are available. Requests must be submitted through one's Member of Congress. These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Fridays, and 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturdays (excluding federal holidays or unless otherwise noted). Tour hours will be extended when possible based on the official White House schedule. Tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Requests can be submitted up to six months in advance and no less than 21 days in advance. You are encouraged to submit your request as early as possible as a limited number of spaces are available. All White House tours are free of charge. (Please note that White House tours may be subject to last minute cancellation.)

If you wish to visit the White House and are a citizen of a foreign country, please contact your embassy in Washington, DC for assistance in submitting a tour request.