U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol, Washington DC

U.S. Capitol
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
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.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Plan your visit
The area
How to get there
  • Capitol South • 7 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

6,988 reviews
Very good

New York City, New York10 contributions
Dec 2019
We visited over the holiday break and booked a Capitol tour which was one of the highlights of our trip. I highly recommend securing tickets in advance for the tour to avoid the ticket purchase lines (which are long). We had advanced tickets and were able to pick up our tickets immediately and had a short wait for our tour to begin. I also recommend arriving 30 minutes early to get through security. Otherwise, you may miss your scheduled tour time.

I was a little nervous that our pre-teen son might be bored by the tour but he loved it and said he learned a lot. It helped that the tour starts with a video in a theater. There is also a lot of movement with multiple tours happening at the same time and lots to see to keep your interest. Our tour guide also did a great job of speaking to particular statues and topics that were most of interest to the people in our group. Overall, the tour is not long either so it does not get boring.

I definitely recommend a visit for anyone who has not visited before.
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jean B
Springfield, VA157 contributions
Feb 2020
Tours are free and you can reserve a time on-line, which is a good idea since the Capitol building is a popular destination. The walking tour is about an hour long and includes mostly the central ceremonial spots such as the rotunda and statuary hall. More detailed tours can be arranged elsewhere, such as through your congressional representative. Listening devices are provided to everyone, since the halls echo and the place is crowded.

The underground visitors center is beautiful and has nice restrooms, historic displays, good gift shops, and a very good and reasonably priced cafe. Security is tight, at least as thorough as airport security, so don't pack in anything the least bit dangerous. Also, young children and strollers can be a pain due to the stairs, the crowds, and the noise. Kids 10 or older would probably enjoy it. The closest metro station is Capitol South.
Written February 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Seattle, WA2,350 contributions
Feb 2022
We went on a random day of the week, around 1pm, when it had been drizzling out so it was pretty quiet in the area. The sun had started to come out, though, and therefore, the crowds were starting to as well.

We weren't sure the best location to go or how close you could get and we didn't have a lot of time. Still, we strolled on the grassy area right in front and it looked like perhaps you could have started climbing the steps to the building but we opted, due to time, to just admire it from afar. It would be nice when we have more time to actually do one of the tours (if they do them anymore - didn't check into it at all) and really experience the Capitol.
Written April 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dalton, GA100 contributions
Oct 2021
Great photo opportunities here. The grounds are open to the public but at the time of our visit, there were still metal barricades set up so you could only get maybe within 200 feet of the building.
The Capitol is just one of those places that you read about or see on t.v. and you just have to go see it for yourself.
If you're in D.C., go see it.
Written October 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Haifa, Israel1,379 contributions
Oct 2019
We didn’t pay attention and had to return the day after to take the tour… The security is tighter than the one you would go through on a flight – no food of any kind (not even closed wrapped food) no liquid of any kind and you will have to enter 30 min before your scheduled tour to go through security. Print a hard copy of your tour pass. We booked in advance the tour (free) online – the tour starts from the visitor center and as mentioned – you have to get there earlier to go through security.
Once inside you will stand in line again to replace your voucher for timed stickers, then follow the signs to the tour entrance hall – where you will get headphones and explanations in foreign languages if needed. Our guide Lisa was the best!!! She filled us with informative knowledge and lots of humor which boosted our attention greatly. After seeing a short film (very well edited) you will continue to the Rotunda – which is the highlight of this tour – so detailed and pretty… try to stand under the dome and just imagine how it was like when all these historic epics were happening… The tour ends at the visitor center which has a souvenir shop - tour took approximately 1 hour – 2 hours with security and after tour visitor center. Highly recommended if you’re a tourist visiting DC for the first time!
Written January 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chattanooga, TN10 contributions
Jan 2020
We did the guided tour and loved it! Our guide was so informative and I know we got so much more information than if we just walked around ourselves. The tour is fairly quick, but you can go back and take a longer look at things after its over. We also ate there and thought the food was really good, the staff was super friendly and the prices were very reasonable. We waited in a line for about 30 mins to get in, which isn't terrible, but we learned later that the Library of Congress is attached to the Capitol by a tunnel. So, once you enter either one, you can access the other without going through security again. When we left through the LOC, I noticed that there was no line to get in. My tip would be to maybe see if you can get in quicker through the LOC, then walk over to the Capitol, especially if you have a tour booked in advance and are in a time crunch or if the weather is bad (it rained on us).
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chris D
Athens, GA45 contributions
Apr 2022
Take a quick stroll around the exterior, check out the visitor’s center, or get lucky and take a tour of the interior. Any of these are great options. The building itself is one of the most recognizable in the city (likely in the world). The building is beautiful in the bright sunshine or at night when it is lit up and glowing.

Since moving the visitor’s center below street level, the area in front of the Capitol is much cleaner looking and makes for wonderful photos. There’s always something going on, whether inside or out. At any given time a Representative or Senator is giving a press conference outside and, of course, there’s always business being conducted inside.

As impressive as the Capitol is from almost anywhere in the city, it is so much more so up close.
Written May 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kittygal 🇺🇦 🌻
Los Angeles, CA7,173 contributions
Jan 2020 • Solo
Just back from my second DC trip. In addition to the general tour of the capitol, I highly recommend the additional tours offered. I've done the Senate murals tour (last spring), which shows the opulent and colorful murals that grace the Senate chamber halls, and the new Votes for Women tour (last week), which focuses on the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Both tours were excellent. And they can be smaller and more personal, too. You can see what's being offered by checking the Visitor's Center calendar on its website. Tour tickets (free) are available at the info desk each morning. You can come by first thing and get a pass and then go do something else (I went to the Supreme Court for oral arguments last week and returned for my tour at 1:00). Or you can get a bite at the cafeteria (try the Senate bean soup!)
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wirral, UK2,290 contributions
Mar 2022 • Couples
When we visited you could not go into the building itself due to covid restrictions. We would love to revisit to look inside.
The outside though is incredible - such a huge structure. It was just fantastic to see it at the end of a road or at the end of the national mall.
It was nice to sit on the steps by the reflecting pool and take it in.
Written April 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Long Beach, CA370 contributions
Feb 2020 • Family
I’ve always been here in the summer and super crowded but there are no crowds in the winter. I was here with teens and they loved seeing all the hoopla with the impeachment. All they could see were cameras set up but it got them excited. Tour is informative enough to keep the teens engaged. It took an hour. By the time we left there were even less people in the lobby waiting for a tour. We made reservations but didn’t need them. We were there on a Friday at 8:30 for the 9 am tour. I mentioned the crowd situation during summer but she explained that spring break is the busiest time of the year for DC.
Written February 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol is open:
  • Mon - Sat 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking U.S. Capitol tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 128 U.S. Capitol tours on Tripadvisor