Visiting the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC

When traveling to the nation’s capitol, visiting the United States Capitol Building is a must. The U.S. Capitol is situated on East Capitol St NE & First St SE in the National Mall, near our Washington DC bed and breakfast. This historical building is impossible to miss during your stroll through downtown DC with its iconic neoclassical style dome. The Capitol Building, built in 1793, houses both the Senate and House of Representatives Chambers that to this day are used for conducting meetings, bill proposals and voting for our nation’s legislation. The Capitol’s Visitor Center is open for anyone to visit and tour with free admission 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

How should I plan my visit? From July 25 through September 5, Monday through Saturday, guided tours begin every 10 minutes from 8:40 a.m. – 3:20 p.m. It is recommended that you book your tour in advance as they tend to book up quickly. These tours are a 45-minute guided group tours. Although admission is free, you must obtain a ticket by scheduling it via their website. It is suggested that you arrive at the Capitol Visitor Center 45-minutes prior to your tour as their are often long lines to enter the building with a security checkpoint. No food, drinks or gum are allowed inside the building, and there is no place to store bags.

What should I expect on my tour? Every tour begins with an introductory film entitled “Out of Many, One” which provides an informative overview of the history of the U.S. Congress. Afterwards, your tour guide will show and discuss with you some of the most historically significant rooms and pieces of artwork on Capitol Hill. After your tour, you are welcome to get a free pass to view The Crypt and Exhibition Hall. If you are interested in viewing the Senate and/or the House of Representatives while they’re in session you must go to your state’s Representative or Senate office to receive a pass.

Shannon Stiles, Innkeeper at American Guest House

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