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“Book a tour through your Congressional Representative”

Library of Congress
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Private Moonlight DC City Tour by Van
Ranked #15 of 466 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: 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.
Reviewed March 30, 2014

If you're lucky, like we were, you can get a special tour through your representative's or senator's office (or be related to your tour guide and get the same advantage). You then can get 'skip the line' privileges, where you don't have to go with a big group. Senators and Representatives' offices have a certain number of passes available for visiting constituents, so be sure to try to stop by their offices or contact them ahead of time (preferable). There are so many extraordinary things to see--original documents, gorgeous architecture, beautiful rooms, that you shouldn't miss it (unless you have very small children who might not appreciate it as much as older teens).

Thank Maryland54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"reading room"
in 694 reviews
"beautiful building"
in 832 reviews
"gutenberg bible"
in 305 reviews
"jefferson building"
in 283 reviews
"book collection"
in 91 reviews
"bob hope"
in 82 reviews
"underground tunnel"
in 149 reviews
"great hall"
in 101 reviews
"thomas jefferson"
in 168 reviews
"guided tour"
in 263 reviews
"amazing architecture"
in 87 reviews
"free tour"
in 171 reviews
"national treasure"
in 151 reviews
"on display"
in 227 reviews
"supreme court"
in 127 reviews
"capitol hill"
in 110 reviews
"interesting exhibits"
in 66 reviews

4,784 - 4,788 of 7,767 reviews

Reviewed March 29, 2014

This is truely one of the most amazing buildings. There is a lot packed into a relatively small space. A work of art.

Thank Robyn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2014

Visiting the the Library Of Congress was the highlight of my recent visit to Washington DC. The unique combination of artifacts, exhibits, and architecture within the Jefferson Building was absolutely breath-taking. I would strongly recommend taking a guided tour first to see the library's highlights, followed by self exploration of the various secondary exhibits. In addition, although flash photography is by in large prohibited, there are still a lot of great photo ops. So make sure you bring a camera. You will not be disappointed.

1  Thank JoeG_52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2014

In DC the Library of Congress is a must-see. We very nearly didn't make it due to dwindling time but made a last minute choice to look inside. It is an impressive place and one would need a week to get a full dose of a little bit of all there is to take in. The gift shop alone could take hours and hours to look at properly. Unfortunately the Library itself is closed off to the public (except 1 day a year with a waiting list that takes literally years to get through. You get a view inside from a balcony and if your with one of the guided tours, there are many impressive things of which to take note.
In the movies (National Treasure, for example) the entire place is accessible and just like a regular library, which is not the reality. The view is rather good, as is the tour, and there are a lot of places within that magnificent structure that will surprise you and inspire awe. This, even after a full day of seeing shockingly cool things as they are all next door to each other... you'll kick yourself if you forget a camera (best to just pack it now) for the outside, but I think they strongly discourage using cameras inside so you have to be discrete or don't take pictures indoors at all.
Still, I sure would have loved to get in there and look around! Advice is to just do it, though weary from museums you may be. It can be an hour or a full day, but it never feels like enough time, no matter how much you apportion for each attraction in DC!

Thank Thomas S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 28, 2014

I'll start with a little trick. there's a tunnel connecting the library and capitol hill and it's open for visitors so if there's a line in the capitol hill visitor center you can go through the library and vice versa.
The library itself is amazing! it has over 150 million books over 4 buildings. the view from the glass window of all those books gives you that old library feeling like you're in a movie. the exhibitions weren't that interesting besides the Thomas Jeffereson's library that was re-created. you can also go down inside the library if you go across the street, issue a library card and register for free as a reader, but we didn't have time for that.

1  Thank amiroi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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