Welcome to the U.S. Capitol

Plan a Visit

 Hours: 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 U.S. Capitol are conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Visitors with official business appointments may enter the Visitor Center as early as 7:15 a.m.

 Book a Tour: Tours of the U.S. Capitol are free, but tour passes are required.

 The Capitol Visitor Center, the new main entrance to the U.S. Capitol, is located beneath the East Front plaza of the U.S. Capitol at First Street and East Capitol Street. Click here for directions to the Capitol.

 Prohibited Items: Do not bring large daypacks, backpacks or luggage into the Capitol. Any bag larger than 18" wide x 14" high x 8.5" deep is prohibited. Click here for a full list of prohibited items.

Special Activities

Aside from the general tour of the U.S. Capitol offered Monday through Saturday from 8:50 a.m. until 3:20 p.m., there are a number of special activities you may take advantage of.

Student Orientation Video

Student Orientation Video

Watch this short student orientation video before you visit the U.S. Capitol.

Time Lapse Video

CVC Time Lapse Video

Watch this 3-minute time lapse video of a day in life of the Capitol Visitor Center.

Preparation for Capitol Dome Restoration

Dome Lapse Video

As part of the Capitol Dome Restoration Project a five-layer, 6,100 lbs., 14,700-square-foot safety canopy was placed in the Capitol Rotunda. The work shown in this video occurred from April 12 to April 29, 2014.

 

What's Happening

The United States Capitol

The Capitol is among the most architecturally impressive and symbolically important buildings in the world. The Senate and the House of Representatives have met here for more than two centuries. Begun in 1793, the Capitol has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored; today, it stands as a monument not only to its builders but also to the American people and their government.

Whether you are here to get information about an upcoming visit, to involve yourself in the workings of the Senate and House of Representatives, or to be inspired by two centuries of art and architecture, this site will be a gateway to your Capitol experience.

The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center is the newest addition to this historic complex. At nearly 580,000 square feet, the Visitor Center is the largest project in the Capitol's more than two-century history and is approximately three quarters the size of the Capitol itself. The entire facility is located underground on the east side of the Capitol so as not to detract from the appearance of the Capitol and the grounds designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1874.

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