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“Should be on your list to do!”
Review of U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol
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2.5-Hour U.S. Capitol Building and Capitol Hill...
Ranked #28 of 472 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed June 13, 2014

This was one of the highlights of our trip. We hadn't pre-booked so were worried that me might not get a space on the tour but it was not a problem. Brandon was our tour guide and we really enjoyed his chat! He gave us a great tour and made us laugh too. The only downside is that the earphones supplied were pretty poor and Brandon was struggling to get a working set for everyone in the group. Hopefully the visitor centre will replace these soon so that the tour guides don't have to be embarrassed by this. But didn't ruin the tour. This is a must do if your are visiting Washington DC

1  Thank EllieA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,272 - 3,276 of 5,355 reviews

Reviewed June 13, 2014

My husband and I and our two boys took a congressional tour of the Capitol in late May (also known as the height of the tourist season in D.C). We were so glad we had a congressional tour because it was just us and a representative from our congressman's office. The public tour groups had HUNDREDS of people in them. The building is fascinating and our tour was fantastic as she tried to avoid the path of other groups and was fairly successful, except of course in the rotunda and main portions of the building. The tour takes you through the old Supreme Court chambers as well as the old Senate, both are just beautiful. You can also watch the house or senate (whichever is in session) but you need passes from your congressman's office, we sat in for three full arguments and votes and thought it was fascinating. My 16 year old thought it was so cool to watch bills get voted on in person (he may become a fan of C-Span after this trip :) ). The only down-side to the guided tour is that there are other places to explore in the Capitol but my little ones were tuckered out after the tour so I am sure we missed plenty like the slave labor commemorative marker and the table from Lincoln's second inauguration. Just make sure you have fresh feet for this one, we went after the White House tour which could have been a mistake.

2  Thank NYGiantsGrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2014

We decided to take a tour of the Capitol at the last minute and were pleasantly surprised. It had been 10 years since we last visited and the organization has improved greatly. We did not have a reservation, yet we did not have to wait more than 5 min. We entered through the security screening area, no line, and followed the signs to the Capitol Tour area. We checked in at the desk and were given a paper badge to wear. 5 minutes later we were ushered into a large theater to watch a 15 minute movie on the history of the Capitol. After the movie we were assigned a group to line up with and given headphones for the tour. Our tour guide then ushered us into the Capitol. The guide was well informed and interesting to listen to. There were various tours going on at the same time, but the headphones made hearing our tour guide no problem.
Someone put a lot of time into planning how to move a lot of people efficiently through the Capitol. It's nice to see that planning paid off. For the brief time we did have to wait we were in a nice air conditioned, building rather than a long line outside in the sun.
Maybe we were just lucky, but we were there on Memorial Day weekend and there were tons of people around. I loved this tour of our Capitol! I thought we were going to wait for at least an hour, but instead we walked right in.
After the tour we took the marked tunnel to the National Library. We did not have to go through security again, or sweat outside on a rather humid day as a result!

2  Thank Kapro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2014

You can't say you've visited D.C without this place .We've been there yesterday. Take a free tour and saw the House meeting. I don't think you have to reserve a ticket online. They can organize things really fast. I've to wait like 1-2 minutes for a ticket. The tour guide is very friendly and informative. If you go there on a right time, you can go to watch representatives meeting, both House and Senator. Just asking guides or staffs for a ticket. You've to leave almost everything on the storage room.
Ps. Water, sprays and food is prohibited in this building. I've brought a lot of snacks there and have to dump all of them.

2  Thank slimender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 7, 2014

My husband and I were in Washington DC last week. We contacted our State Senator to receive a tour of the White House and US Capitol. It turns out that the White House you need to book 4-5 months in advance! However, we received a private tour of the White House from one of the Senator's Interns (Senator Murray's intern, Ryan).

It started at the Russell Senate building and took the underground train to the US Capitol building. Although Ryan had only been an intern 2 weeks, he was a Master's Student in Political Science and knew the US Capitol VERY well. We went to the typical areas of the Capitol, but also got to see other areas off the public tour like the path a new President takes for their inauguration. Fascinating. Well worth organizing and taking the time to go!

Also received tickets to go into the Senate and House of Representatives. The House was in session, so we stopped there to see that too. Democracy in action.

2  Thank Jmdavies001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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