Many sites in D.C. require tickets for entry. Some require them year-round and some require them only during the tourist season, primarily March - August.  Most of these sites offer the opportunity to acquire tickets in advance for a small booking fee.  

It is also sometimes possible to obtain tickets to some of these attractions through the office of your U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator.  



 1.  White House Tours


2.  U.S. Capitol Tours


 3.  Washington Monument: 

      The Washington Monument closed in Sepetember 2016 for repairs to the elevator.  No date for re-opening has been announced. 


4.  Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture

      Opening in September 2016, this is the newest of the Smithsonian museums and the only one to require tickets (free) for admission.  Advance tickets through March 2017 have all been distributed.  The date when advance tickets for April - June will be available will be announced on the museum's website.  Based on past experience, these tickets will be snapped up within a day or two.  A very limited number of same day tickets  are distributed beginning at 9:15 am, but reportedly people are lining up for these tickets beginning at 6:00 am.



5.  Ford's Theatre

      Various combinations of access to the theatre, the museum and ranger talks


6.  Holocaust Museum Permanent Exhibition (from March - August)


7.   National Archives

       Access to the Archives does not require a ticket, but the Timed Entry is recommended in the tourist season due to long lines.  Guided tours are also available.   and go to "Plan Your Visit" 


 8.  Bureau of Engraving and Printing

      The BEP requires tickets for admission  from March through August but these are only available on a same-day basis


9.  Mount Vernon

    Advance tickets are not required, but you are now able to reserve a particular time for a mansion tour if you buy tickets ahead of your visit.


10.  Pentagon

       Must reserve 14-90 days in advance; no reservations outside these timeframes


11.  State Department, Diplomatic Reception Rooms


12.  Marine Corps Evening Parade  

        Advance reservations for the Friday evening parades at the Marine Corps Barracks are highly recommended.  The Tuesday evening parades at the Iwo Jima Memorial do not require any reservations.  Both of these parades take place only in the summer months. 



Many of the "pay" museums offer ticketing in advance. Of those, only consider getting tickets in advance (during the tourist season)  for the International Spy Museum because those tickets are time-specific; some times do get sold out; and because the lines to purchase tickets once you get here can be quite long.


 Foreign visitors can obtain tickets online or in person to any of these attractions except for tours of the White House.  The White House website directs foreign visitors to go through their Embassy to request tickets but no embassies now process these requests.  Some foreign visitors have reported success in obtaining tickets  by contacting a U.S. Representative (just as U.S. citizens do).