Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral, Washington DC

Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral
4.5
Architectural Buildings • Religious Sites • Churches & Cathedrals
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About
The sixth-largest cathedral in the world, Washington National Cathedral is an architectural masterpiece, a national house of prayer for all people, and a gathering place for the nation in times of sorrow and in times of celebration. It has been the site of presidential funerals, inaugural prayer services, and many historic moments, including the final Sunday sermon delivered by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Tours & experiences
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
3,083 reviews
Excellent
2,318
Very good
583
Average
140
Poor
25
Terrible
18

Pat B
Boston, MA50 contributions
Feb 2022
This was my second visit to the National Cathedral but the first time I was able to do the 30 minute walking tour. My volunteer docent knew the building well, the history of its construction and a great deal about the artists who created the stained glass windows. We also visited one of the crypts. Our group was only 10 people so we could ask questions and she deviated off script to educate us. There was a fee for entry but no additional fee for the tour. There was a parking garage, we did not pay on a Saturday but there is a gate so you may pay during the week. Unfortunately the gift shop was closed.
Written February 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DClocal
Washington DC, DC13 contributions
Jun 2021 • Friends
Situated in Cathedral Heights, right by American University and Tenley, the Cathedral is a staple for visitors. You can walk around the grounds for free and there is a parking garage (paid) as well. The grounds are great to meet people for coffee (there’s a coffee shop on the grounds) and I would also recommend the tour at some point. There are different levels of tour that you can do, I opted for self guided out of convenience. I’ve heard good things about the guided tours, though. They have many tributes to American history as well as a great tower to look out of that grants you beautiful city views. I know the Cathedral isn’t often considered to be an Observation Deck but, the vantage point from the hills of Upper Northwest is incredible.
Written June 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jessicafb_16
King George, VA163 contributions
Jul 2021
Well worth a visit whether you are religious or not. This building is amazing and filled with art, architecture, and history. It has not quite fully re-opened from the Covid pandemic, so we could not take the tour, use the giftshop, or have tea. They did have an art installation going though, so we bought tickets to that and wandered around on our own. (they did have qr codes you could scan to do your own phone tour if you wanted.) The origami doves were really lovely and fit right in to the awesome space. The stained glass light poured in rainbows of color, and they had music playing with bird wing noises and church bells interspersed. I took dozens of great photos and wished I'd brought a tripod. The 2011 earthquake damage is all fixed inside, but just barely begun on the outside. They had scaffolding up on several areas. We enjoyed walking all around the building, including the fountained courtyard, and the bishops garden. I will be going back once the tour reopens, and bringing my binoculars to better view the gargoyles.
Written July 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dean_Amy-2004
Gettysburg, PA5,558 contributions
Feb 2022 • Family
Be sure to get a guided tour; the docent was very friendly and knowledgeable; made the visit that much more interesting with information you are likely to miss self-guided. Be sure to go to the observation floor for amazing views.
There is a lot of information about the ongoing repairs from the 2011 earthquake that damaged the exterior.
Written February 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Barbara M
Stockbridge, GA19 contributions
Jul 2021 • Friends
I visited during Michael Pendry’s “Les Colombes” (the Doves), art installation. The art was memorizing, calming, peaceful and beautiful. The cathedral itself is such an incredible architectural work of art, in every window, carving, sculpture it’s too much to take in all at once. Absolutely one of the most incredible buildings in America. I hope to return to attend mass one day.
Written July 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Worldlycouple
Tampa, FL232 contributions
Mar 2022
It is currently covered in scaffolding due to Earthquake repairs, but it is as beautiful as a chapel can be. In the Gothic design with hints of Notre Dame. You do need tickets ($3) and you must register online before hand. Worth the trip. Also, if you have kids, the school playground next door is open to the public and it is a very nice plae for the kiddies to burn off some energy.
Written March 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

KKTraveler
26 contributions
Dec 2019
So, this is a bigger church than Norte Dame. Very similar gothic styles. The stained glass windows are beautiful and interesting things in the cathedral such as needlepoint cushions depicting famous people...Edgar Allen Poe, Winston Churchill...the amount you learn depends on the guide you get. Interestingly, there is no security and we took an elevator up to the top to look out the towers. Beautiful architecture everywhere. Fee around $15 I think. We saw this because had been to D.C. before and haven’t been here. Then went to zoo to see pandas....too adorable.
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

kathymY1120SY
Vancleave, MS, United States40 contributions
Feb 2020
Was glad to visit now that is open to the public after the damage from an earthquake in 2011. The chapels in the lower level are very nice, individual and intimate, as are the ones to the right and left of the main cathedral hall. It's a stunning building, with beautiful stained glass and beautiful woodwork. We arrived late and made a hurried tour through the lower level chapels...and stayed to listen to the choir practice and the pipe organ play. Very moving experience.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Stella-Dot
Leigh-on Sea, UK696 contributions
Feb 2019
No wonder it is highly rated by American architects. The building is huge and kept immaculate within its Neo-gothic design. It is used for all major church-based events and is famous throughout the land. Some huge restoration has been carried out over the past few years following not only natural disasters but also the effects of longevity. Its grandness is worthy of pulpit renditions by the late Martin Luther King. Take in as much as you can while you are there.
Written January 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Christine
New York350 contributions
Mar 2022
Depending on where you get your information, this is the second largest Cathedral in the United States. It is quite large and stunning. This was my third time in DC, but first time visiting the Cathedral as it is not near the rest of the sites in town and is not accessible by subway.

There is a lot to see, if you like to tour churches, then I would recommend. The Space Window is really quite unique. Washington National Cathedral is also the final resting place for the only US President buried within DC, Woodrow Wilson.

The view from the top of the church looks out over all of DC, so don't forget to make it up in the elevator before you leave.

Would say that if there are other things on your mind that you want to prioritize in DC, this can wait (particularly if time is of the essence), but if you're visiting for a few days, or a repeat visitor looking to do something new, this is a great site to see.
Written April 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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