Which attractions require tickets in Washington DC?


Many of Washington, DC’s major attractions such as the Smithsonian museums, the National Gallery of Art and the national monuments and memorials are open for the public and do not require tickets. Washington, DC’s most popular ticketed attractions, the Newseum, National Museum of Crime & Punishment, Madame Tussauds, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Washington Monument and International Spy Museum, allow visitors to avoid waiting in line by pre-reserving their tour tickets for a small fee.

Also the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, Ford’s Theatre, the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian museums do not require tickets.

Visitors can pre-reserve individual tickets for the Washington Monument for a fee of $1.50 per ticket by calling 1-877-444-6777 or visiting recreation.gov.  You will have to go to the 15th Street kiosk to get your ticket (beginning at 8:30 am).

Timed passes are needed for the permanent exhibition at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Passes are free and are distributed daily beginning at 10 am on a first-come, first served basis.

The Bureau of Printing and Engraving requires tickets for its tours from March through August only; these are only distributed on the day of your visit, beginning at 8 am. The Bureau is closed on weekends, federal holidays and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Tickets are also required to tour the US Capitol. To guarantee availability, you should reserve your tour in advance online at visitthecapitol.gov or through your congressional representative or senator. A limited number of same-day tour tickets may also be available at the Capitol Visitor Center. Tickets are not required to tour the Capitol Visitor Center, which is open 8:30 AM-4:30 PM, Monday through Saturday. Visit aoc.gov for more information.

Tours of the White House are only available by advance arrangement through your member of congress or senator. You can contact your representative or senator’s office up to six months in advance to request a tour. More information is available at whitehouse.gov.

Enjoy your visit in Washington DC! Jonathan

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