Visit the Center of Democracy At the US Capitol Building
The United States Capitol is more than just a working office building. It is also a monument that stands as one of the most recognizable symbols of representative democracy in the world. Visitors can witness democracy in action when the U.S. congress is in session, take a guided tour to learn about the history of the building and enjoy refreshments throughout the day at the US Capitol Building's own restaurant, located on the lower level.
Admission to the Capitol Visitor Center is free. However, passes are required for tours of the historic Capitol and other special events. All visitors to the Capitol are required to go through security screening.
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 on Inauguration Day.
Art & Architecture Tours
Live Congressional Sessions
Capitol Visitor's Center
US Legislative Activities
Outdoor Walking Tours
What public transportation is closest to the capitol?
The easiest public transportation option for visiting the US Capitol is by subway. There are three subway stops found within walking distance of the Capitol - Union Station, Capitol South and Federal Center SW. You can also take the DC Circulator - a type of public bus. There are two routes that stop near the US Capitol building - the Union Station/Navy Yard Route and the National Mall Route.
How do we get passes to watch congress in session?
The Senate and House galleries are open to visitors whenever either legislative body is in session, however passes are required to enter either gallery at any time. Visitors may obtain free gallery passes from the offices of their Senators or Representatives. International visitors can inquire about passes at the House and Senate Appointment Desks on the upper level of the Capitol Visitor Center.