Up until 2008, we would have told you to skip the U.S. Capitol altogether (not worth the hours of waiting in line sans restrooms or restaurants), but the introduction of the Capitol Visitors Center changed everything. Now, you can see where the Senate and the House of Representatives have been meeting for almost two centuries in a way that’s both accessible and exciting. All visits include a guided tour through the lobby rotunda, the Emancipation Hall (so named in honor of the slaves who built the Capitol), the National Statuary Hall, and the Chamber of Congress. The tours give context into the fascinating history surrounding the Capitol (did you know, for example, that the Congress met in eight different cities before settling down here?). You'll need to schedule your tour in advance (we recommend reserving at least one month ahead) either through the office of your Representative or Senator or online, but the reward is well worth the effort.
- Open Hours: Monday to Sunday from 09:00 AM to 04:30 PM
Attractions & Landmarks
- Nearest Train: Union Station or Capitol South