Library of Congress
Library of Congress
4.5
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
Though the Library of Congress doesn't own every book ever published, it sure has most of them, with 532 miles of shelves and 115 million items, with 7,000 added each working day.
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  • ccarlson2022
    Niles, Michigan92 contributions
    Library of Congress
    The architecture in the building is truly amazing and reflective of most of the national buildings in DC. You do need to reserve times entry tickets online but they are free. Volunteers and very friendly and knowledgable about the entire collection.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written February 26, 2023
  • 690CT
    McLean, Virginia151 contributions
    A MUST VISIT! Most beautiful building in DC!
    The absolute BEST docents are at LOC! We've had the pleasure of learning from Mr. Rod on several recent visits and this time Mr. Norm! We've brought 3 out of town guests, including our 9 yr old granddaughter, and all thoroughly enjoyed the building and exhibits. A must see for all!
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 25, 2023
  • Lynn S
    League City, Texas619 contributions
    Absolutely spectacularly beautiful building
    Such a beautiful building! Words cannot adequately describe and pictures do not do this building justice! In every nook and cranny there is something new to see and some symbol or drawing or artwork. The library itself is over several buildings and the largest in the world. The building you go in is the Jefferson Building. Don't forget to go upstairs to the overlook to the reading room. It is so beautiful. One day I hope to have a week to just go and research while in the Library. You can also view Thomas Jefferson's library which was donated to Congress to begin the library. It is awe inspiring seeing Jefferson's actual books. They are currently digitizing the library. Make this a must see when you're around Capitol Hill
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 27, 2023
  • Kathryn H
    Ballwin, Missouri8 contributions
    Good
    The audio tour did not work for us. Not sure if the wifi service was the problem but after multiple attempts, we gave up. That was disappointing. It was very crowded but gorgeous. Such a thrill to see the main hall and the reading room.
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 27, 2023
  • Jen H
    32 contributions
    Best Library
    The library of Congress was absolutely amazing, and by far the most beautiful library. The architecture was phenomenal and so beautiful, the staff was incredible, the walls and ceiling were super pretty as well. It was as amazing as the White House, if not more, and would definitely recommend to anyone visiting DC. It is fascinating for almost any age, and was overall just incredibly beautiful, and has books in 470 languages while being the biggest library in the world.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 17, 2023
  • jill2bz
    Green Bay, Wisconsin88 contributions
    Reservations Needed and Worth it!!
    I’ve never been here before and didn’t look up anything beforehand. Absolutely loved it!! Marble, paintings, the history. Everything was amazing. Elevators are available. Questions? Many docents are around to ask them. Biggest thing everyone needs to remember is to make reservations!!! This includes almost everything that you want to do in DC
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written April 18, 2023
  • Samantha M
    Sacramento, California57 contributions
    Understated history and beauty, engaged us all
    This was actually my favorite of all the landmarks and historical buildings we visited in DC. The mosaics and quotes about wisdom were breathtaking. The “I Spy” activity given to kids upon entering engaged my 6- and 9-year-old (as well as me, to be honest!). The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, explaining the Latin, etc. My husband spent most of the time waiting in line for a reader’s card, so he could access the stacks. He is so proud to have it, even though we’ll return to California and likely not use it. It’s a fun souvenir! We’re so blessed to be able to celebrate wisdom and learning!
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written May 28, 2023
  • tonyl46
    Baltimore, Maryland22 contributions
    Old World Craftsmanship and Styling - Awesome
    We joined a local photography group, Washington Photo Safari, for our visit into the Library of Congress. Excellent experience, no need to be concerned if you are a photo beginner, novice, or experienced....cell phone, DSLR, or a new mirrorless camera...all levels are handled through an expert guide who explains to your level and satisfaction. And, there was lots of "free time" to meander, look, and explore the interior details as well as take a "few" pics. I was awestruck with the colors and architectural details inside our US Library...and the LC staff is very knowledgeable and polite. We visited in the late afternoon (2:30) and the crowds were light.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 5, 2023
  • Shana M
    Lubbock, Texas8 contributions
    Tour guide not always needed
    This was not a great tour, but definitely handy for getting in and seeing many of the spots you might skip over. Because this was a combo tour, we didn't spend much time on any one thing...but that was ok too. I think I would recommend either starting earlier in the day or just doing one place at a time.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 15, 2023
  • flo220
    New York City, New York331 contributions
    Self guided tour of the Thomas Jefferson building is very interesting
    We love libraries and how could we miss the national one? Entry to the Thomas Jefferson building (the only one you can get to) is free but you do need to make advance reservations. We were there when kids were in school and tourism was low so it was easy to get reservations and then we got right in. No guided tour but you walk around yourself following their map and see the beautiful building, the main reading room and more.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 27, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Popular mentions

4.5
9,140 reviews
Excellent
7,162
Very good
1,590
Average
327
Poor
43
Terrible
18

Shayla
Chicago, IL174 contributions
Jan 2020
We went here in January, so it was pretty cold out and there weren't a ton of people. The exhibits were great and we really enjoyed the Women's Suffrage exhibit. You can't actually go into the library portion but you can view it from the top. It's a free stop and the best place to start your day in DC. There's a tunnel connecting the Library of Congress to the Capitol building, which will save you time since you won't need to go through security a second time. With the colder weather, it was really nice to do this. We spent about about an hour and a half here, skipping only one main exhibit.
Written March 15, 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.

Pia S
katy207 contributions
Feb 2020
This is just an awesome building, there is so much art here its impossible to see it all. I was impressed about how they could have every square inch covered with art and it still didn't seem to clash at all. If you have the time you can spend hours in there as I said every square inch are covered from floor to sealing. You can take pictures in there no flash. It may not be the best place for very small children but young teenagers will be fine. If you want to see the library you have to check and find a day where there is no research that are the only days you can go in there.
Written March 2, 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.

Miss Savvy Travels
Palm Bay, FL65 contributions
Aug 2023 • Business
I was looking for something to do after our work obligations for myself and a few coworkers and because the Library of Congress is open Thursday evenings until 8 pm, this was chosen. I had NO idea when I picked this (because it was free and open) that is was going to be so grand! It was also raining so we stayed longer than planned, opting not to go explore the monuments of the National Mall in the rain.

We reserved our free tickets online, some of us reserved them just a couple hours prior. We arrived, went through security and realized we were more in a museum than a library. The feel of the architecture and arches, marble, columns and intricately decorated spaces was breath taking. We went into several of the reading rooms and while we were more browsing everything, some of my coworkers did opt to get library passes which are good for two years and allow for certain benefits. If you plan to return more than once, I recommend getting the card.

I have been impressed by the NY Public Library, and this is on that level of architectural quality. This being the largest library in the world, housing some very unique collections certainly holds them all significantly. It feels huge, and creates the feeling of awe.

I do have a blog where I write about visiting in more detail, giving tips and traveling tricks for DC and itinerary building help. My link is in my bio if you are planning a trip there soon and want more information. I appreciate affordable stops and high-quality experiences! After we did walk to Mr. Henry's for dinner and it was a short walk through a lovely area.
Written August 6, 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.

Garvp175
Bethesda, MD425 contributions
Jan 2020
The Library of Congress is not just a building with books! it is a work of art, and has terrific exhibits to just amaze you. Take a guided tour, the guides are a wealth of know, and make the art murals come alive wit their messages. it is a spectacularly beautiful building too. Just helps make history, learning, and books and media come alive! Good for the whole family.
Written January 18, 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.

JP Explorer
Vienna, Austria461 contributions
Feb 2020
Most impressive is certainly the building itself. Opulent staircases and decorations throughout the building. If you are only a tourist - the main library hall (is to be seen from a glassed window on the top level). You may have to queue for it. Several highly interesting exhibitions (e.g. Rosa Parks currently) throughout the building including one of a few Gutenberg Bibles. Personally, I also enjoyed the artifacts and maps documenting the early conquest of Mexico by the Conquistadors. I would highly recommend a visit, even if you don't otherwise care about libraries and focus more in Instagram snapshots.
Written February 8, 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.

Deanne D
Wellington, New Zealand1,458 contributions
Jan 2020 • Family
You can access the library from an underground tunnel connected to the Capitol building. This will mean you avoid a walk In the snow or rain. The library is lavishly decorated with beautiful mosaic floors and stunning ceilings covered in paintings. The reading room Itself is highly decorated and a quiet haven for reading. There are very interesting exhibitions on to see. Worth a visit.
Written January 18, 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.

Michelle L
73 contributions
Mar 2020
This extremely beautiful building can easily compete with some of Europe's treasures.
Although not as spacious as many places, the marble, the carvings, the ceilings, the deep wood contrast is exquisite. You can view the same books that Jefferson held and read, a unique representation of Rosa Parks, early colonization, one of only a few copies of the Guttenberg Bible printed on vellum, and more. It really is one of DC's must see.
Written March 8, 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.

Lynn and Rich
Lake Geneva, WI141 contributions
Feb 2020
You will be reminded in full of the talent of the craftspeople who built this building and the artistic splendor that was put out by all. It is an amazing building and this history of it is fascinating. Get Kevin for your tour guide if possible, he was generous with his info and so enthusiastic.
Written March 5, 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.

jwillisbarrie2019
Barrie, Canada14 contributions
May 2019
First time to visit the Library of Congress. Self guided tour - they have a good website - check it in advance. If you are wanting to see both Library of Congress and the Capitol follow the signs and you have to only clear security once to see both.
They have changing exhibits and option to take guided tour.
Written February 11, 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.

Brian S
12 contributions
Sep 2019
Inside this official looking building adjacent to Capital and Supreme Court is a beautiful (ornate, elegant, breathtaking) interior. Often there are displays of historical or artistic works from the collection. You can go to a gallery to look down on scholars (in another gorgeous chamber) who are busily doing their work in the archives. Not a lengthy visit, but very well worth it.
Written March 5, 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.

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Library of Congress, Washington DC

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