Book a tour of the US Capitol in Washington, DC

The Capitol Tour is a must see for those visiting Washington, DC and because the tour schedules can fill up well in advance, we recommend you make a reservation as soon as you know the dates you will be available for the tour. The tour itself is free and takes about an hour, but you need to leave extra time before the tour to get through security.

If you are a US Resident, you can book a tour through your Senator or Representative or go to the following link to book a tour yourself: http://www.visitthecapitol.gov/

The Visit the Capitol site also has information on the visitors center and special events. The Capitol Visitor Center is open to visitors from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Inauguration Day. Tours of the Capitol are conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Inside the Capitol Visitor Center is the Exhibition Hall that has numerous exhibits that tell the story of the building of the Capitol. The visitors center also has a cafeteria and since you are not allowed to bring food or drinks into the Capitol, it's a great place to stop before or after the tour.

There are two gift shops on the north and south end of visitors center on the same level as the entrance. The gift shops have many unique items that are hard to find in other shops in the DC area.

If you just stop by for a quick look around, or you are going on a tour, make sure you check the Architect of the Capitol web site (see the link below) for security rules. There are restrictions on the size of bags and what you can bring through security.

I highly recommend you take the tunnel to the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress on your way out. It is near the south exit of the visitors center and it saves you from having to go through security again. The Library of Congress also has numerous exhibits and a free tour. They are much easier to get into and you can check their web site at: http://www.loc.gov/visit/tours/ for more information on the tours or: http://www.loc.gov/ for more information on the Library of Congress.

The Architect of the Capitol web site also has a tremendous amount of information on the Capitol and its history and can be found at the following link: http://www.aoc.gov/

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