U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C.

U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C. (must see)

The U.S. Capitol stands at the opposite end of the National Mall from the Washington Monument. This huge building holds the House of Representatives in the south wing, and the Congress in the north wing. There are 540 rooms, five floors and the beautiful Capitol Rotunda which additionally houses art and sculptures. This artwork depicts events and figures from American history. Interestingly, both the east side and west side of the Capitol can be designated as the front, so just be aware that “front” is not the best descriptive designation here.

After much wrangling about the design, the Capitol cornerstone was laid by President Washington on September 18, 1793. The President was dressed in full Mason attire as he laid the stone. The building was completed in 1811. Portions of the Capitol were burned in August of 1814 during the burning of Washington during the War of 1812. The damaged portions were rebuilt and the Rotunda was added. Construction was completed in 1826. In the 1850s the Capitol was expanded and a new cast-iron dome was added to replace the wooden Rotunda. Several renovations and expansions have been done since then. The Apotheosis of Washington is the fresco painted on the inside of the dome and is visible through the oculus from the Rotunda floor.

The Capitol is open to visitors and the tour is free. Tickets are available at the Capitol Visitor Center and they are first come-first served. This center is new, having opened in 2008. There is a 15-minute orientation film about the Capitol that is worth viewing. A cafeteria, two gift shops, and restrooms are available.

The Capitol also has galleries where visitors can watch Congress in action. Passes are available from the offices of Senators and Representatives. If visiting when Congress is in session, be sure to contact your local official and see government in action.

Tip:
First off, book your 45-min tour early to avoid missing out and to give yourself a bigger range of time slots.
You'll still have to go to the desk to pick up your ticket by showing the online receipt on your phone.
Get there 30-45 mins before your tour, due to security checks before entry (food & drinks are prohibited).
Don't miss the opportunity to see the House of Reps and the Senate in action BUT you will need more passes AND if you are not American, you will need proper ID.
Overseas visitors apply for the passes at the Senate Appointment Desk and the House Appointment Desk inside the Capitol Building (pretty easy and quick to apply).
When you've finished your visit, use the tunnel just before the exit to go directly to the Library of Congress (no additional security check).

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8:30am-4:30pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Washington D.C., USA within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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U.S. Capitol on Map

Sight Name: U.S. Capitol
Sight Location: Washington D.C., USA
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Washington D.C., USA

Create Your Own Walk in Washington D.C.

Create Your Own Walk in Washington D.C.

Creating your own self-guided walk in Washington D.C. is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historic Monuments and Memorials Walking Tour

Historic Monuments and Memorials Walking Tour

Washington D.C. is a city of historic memorials and monuments that commemorate key chapters in American history. They are dedicated to all the noteworthy generals, politicians, statesmen and artists who played a major role in shaping the American nation. This walking tour will offer you a glimpse into the history of the U.S.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles
Nightclubs Tour

Nightclubs Tour

Washington D.C. offers a great nightlife. You can dance all night long in any of the clubs from its liveliest neighborhoods, playing rock, hip hop, punk, jazz, country, gospel or alternative music. Make sure not to miss such an exciting opportunity by checking out the tour below with the suggested music and dance clubs.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.6 Km or 4.1 Miles
Gardens and Parks Walking Tour

Gardens and Parks Walking Tour

If you are looking for getaway spots from the hustle and bustle of politics and city life, this walking tour in Washington D.C. offers plenty of opportunities for that. There are many large parks and gorgeous gardens where you can admire beautiful flowers, landscape and even learn various historical facts.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Washington DC without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Washington D.C., that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 Km or 3.3 Miles
Federal Buildings Walking Tour

Federal Buildings Walking Tour

Washington D.C. is a federal district and serves as the permanent national capital. It is is filled with important and memorable places to visit. Most of the nation's monuments and federal buildings can be found in the downtown of the city. The following walking tour will guide you to the most significant federal buildings in Washington D.C.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.3 Km or 3.9 Miles
Washington D.C. Introduction Walk

Washington D.C. Introduction Walk

Washington D.C, capital of the United States, is a cocktail of politics, cosmopolitan energy and multiculturalism manifested in a thriving and diverse dining, nightlife and shopping setting. The city is renowned for its historic neighborhoods, world-class museums, memorials, beautiful gardens and arts venues. Take this self-guided walk and discover the city which defines some of the greatest...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles

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