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“Beautiful Building”

Pennsylvania State Capitol
Ranked #2 of 54 things to do in Harrisburg
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Teddy Roosevelt declared that this Italian Renaissance-style building was “the handsomest building I ever saw”. Indeed, the State Capitol, with its vaulted dome and grand staircase and the murals and painted floors inside, is thing to behold.
Halifax, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
429 reviews
225 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
“Beautiful Building”
Reviewed October 28, 2013

If you are in Harrisburg Pennsylvania you must go to the state capital building. The history of the building and the structure are amazing. Even from the outside the building is impressive but once inside it is wonderful. The tours are free and last one hour and take you to the rooms of the different levels of government.
Well worth the trip.

Visited October 2013
Thank gjsamson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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718 reviews from our community

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Indianapolis, Indiana
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Who would have thought?”
Reviewed October 27, 2013

If it wasn't for Trip Advisor, I would not have thought to add this to our Gettysburg-Hershey-Baltimore itinerary. Even with the great reviews, the tour totally exceeded our expectations. The structure was so beautiful that it was hard for the eyes to believe and take it all in. The tour guide shared her appreciation of the capitol for its purpose, value, art, history and meanings within as well as her fun personal stories as a child playing with her sisters while her mother worked there. This made the tour most interesting for my 10-year-old who even got to stand in the exact spot Theodore Roosevelt was at the building's dedication. An older lady on our tour mentioned that this was her 43rd state capitol building tour (7 states to go!), and said this was by far the most beautiful. The before & after comparisons of the restoration were neat to hear about. A must see, even if you don't typically think of taking a tour of this type on vacation or in your spare time. Just wow.

TIP: We went on the earliest tour on a Saturday (9:00) simply because it worked with our itinerary. Glad we did as there were roughly only 10 people on the tour. The later tours get more traffic (I heard 60-ish people). So if you would like the tour more personalized/smaller group, go early.

Visited October 2013
Thank Jill W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North East England, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
66 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Smashing visit”
Reviewed October 24, 2013

Visiting Harrisburg from the UK to visit a niece. We visited on a Tuesday morning and were delighted to have a tour led by a lady called Jackie I think. Excellent tour of a beautiful building, I found it difficult to accept how well it had been restored. It really is a stunning building, what was especially good for us was that it was open having suffered from the shutdown on our Heritage tour. So thank you. I urge you to visit if you are in the area.

Visited October 2013
Thank Bilje29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Killingly, Connecticut
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“A Capitol Idea”
Reviewed October 20, 2013

We heard about the beautiful capitol building from the hotel desk clerk & visited here on a Saturday afternoon. Admission & parking were free (free parking on weekends). One hour tours are at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00 & 4:00. Our tour guide told us she has been coming to the capitol since she was 9 because her mother worked in the building. We learned about the fire that destroyed the original building & that President Theodore Roosevelt was present at the new building's dedication in 1907. We saw the beautiful rooms for the Senate, House of Representatives & Supreme Court.

Visited October 2013
Thank Ontheroad A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frederiksberg, Denmark
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Why the PA State Capitol is so highly rated”
Reviewed October 16, 2013

I didn't really know what to except visiting the Pennsylvania State Capitol as a European. My impression is that it's almost only Americans that visits it (which is pretty much confirmed scrolling through the reviews here). This is a big shame, because the building is well worth a good drive - and there's a free tour every half hour.

Entering Harrisburg my expectations weren't that high, and even though the State Capitol was big, and reminded me of some of the buildings at the mall in Washington DC, it still really didn't raise my expectations much while approaching it. That is: until we got inside. Almost as soon as we went through the entrance in the old main building, I was very impressed by the building' interior! The main staircase, the dome, the decor, the hallways - it was all really well done.

Before our tour started we were able to walk down and see the Governors office and some of the hallways not included in the tour. The tour itself took us through the story of the building, some really interesting historical and architectural stories/facts, the House Chamber, the Senate Chamber and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chamber.

It's possible to do self guided tours, but I would strongly recommend to join one of the guided ones, and then spend some time on your own afterwards. If possible I would also recommend going through the entrance in the front of the old main building up the big stairs. The new wing is the place where it seems that all school classes enter, and the acoustics is also really horrible here.

It's worth mentioning that there is quite a few lunch/dinner options on 2nd Street just a short walk (5-10 minutes) from the Capitol Building.

Visited October 2013
Thank Vrangbak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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