United States Capitol, Washington DC

Magnificent, breathtaking, and regal. This iconic architectural beauty is worth a visit even if Congress isn’t in session.

United States Capitol, Washington DC: Our most recommended tours and activities

Washington DC: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Spirit

1. Washington DC: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Spirit

See the sights of Washington DC from onboard the Spirit of Washington with a lunch or dinner cruise on the Potomac River. Enjoy a buffet dining experience as you sail, and delight in panoramic views. Board your vessel and receive a personal greeting. Have your photo taken by the ship's photographer to capture the memory before being seated at your private table. Once there, gorge on your lunch or dinner buffet consisting of creative entrees prepared fresh daily and listen to the onboard music. After your meal, visit any of the three climate-controlled decks as you glide by the sights.

Washington, DC: Old Town Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley City Tour

2. Washington, DC: Old Town Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley City Tour

Named "Washington's Best Tour" by the Washingtonian Magazine and one of the top 10 hop-on hop-off tours in the world by Forbes, the Old Town Trolley offers the most comprehensive tour of the nation's capital. Relax while expert tour guides help you discover the beauty and majesty of Washington, D.C. This popular tour covers Washington's major attractions such as the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, and Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. Expert guides share colorful anecdotes, humorous stories and well-researched historical information. Upgrade to include a trolley tour of Arlington National Cemetery, an enduring tribute to those who’ve dedicated their lives to defending the nation. You’ll be transported to some of the most notable graves and memorials. DC City Tour Trolley stops: 1. 1001 E. St. NW: Washington Welcome Center/Ford's Theatre/Peterson House 2. 1401 Pennsylvania Ave: The White House/The White House Visitor Center/WWI Memorial 3. 701 Constitution Ave NW: National Archives (West/East Gallery of the NGA, Navy Memorial) 4. 400 New Jersey Ave NW: Japanese American Memorial/Hyatt Regency 5. 50 Massachusetts Ave NE: Union Station and the Smithsonian Postal Museum 6. 1st St. NE: US Capitol (Botanic Gardens, Supreme Court and Library of Congress) 7. 600 Independence Ave SW: Air/Space Museum, Museum of the American Indian/Eisenhower Memorial 8. Maine Ave SW at 9th St. SW: The Wharf 9. 700 L'Enfant Plaza SW: International Spy Museum 10. 1398 Independence Ave SW: Washington Monument, Smithsonian Museums and Castle, Holocaust Memorial Museum 11. 16 E Basin Dr SW: Jefferson Memorial/George Mason Memorial 12. 1964 Independence Ave SW: Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial/Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial 13. 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir. NW: Lincoln Memorial/Vietnam Veterans Memorial/Korean War Veterans Memorial/World War II Memorial 14. 1400 Constitution Ave NW: National Museum of American History/National Museum of African American History & Culture/National Museum of Natural History 15. 800 F St. NW: National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum (temp closed for Holiday Market) Arlington Cemetery Trolley stops: • Arlington National Cemetery • President John F. Kennedy Gravesite • US Coast Guard Memorial • John J. Pershing • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier • Arlington House • US Marine Corps War Memorial Iwo Jima • Arlington Niche Wall Columbarium Courts

Washington, DC: Capitol Hill and Library of Congress Tour

3. Washington, DC: Capitol Hill and Library of Congress Tour

Immerse yourself in the sights of Washington, DC on a guided walking tour. Enjoy entry tickets to the Library of Congress and Capitol Building. View the Supreme Court building and walk on Capitol Hill and learn about the country's legislative and judicial branches. Begin your tour at the top of "the Hill" and hear fascinating anecdotes and facts about the country's legal system. Originally named Jenkins Hill, find out how this area quickly expanded to become the epicenter of American government and politics. Walk by the Supreme Court building, known as "The Marble Palace", and the surrounding Congressional office buildings. Tour inside the Library of Congress, the national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the country. Proceed to the Capitol Building to marvel at its neoclassical style and iconic architecture, while your guide details its rich history. Before concluding your tour, your guide will bring you into the US Capitol Visitor Center to arrange for your teacher-led tour of the capitol.

From NYC: Washington D.C. Day Trip

4. From NYC: Washington D.C. Day Trip

Depart from New York City, and pass through the states of New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland before arriving in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. On this full-day tour you’ll see the iconic landmarks of the U.S. government, such as the Capitol, home to the U.S. Congress, and the White House, home to the president. Continue on to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum before visiting the Lincoln, Washington, Korean War, and Vietnam War memorials. In the late afternoon you’ll enjoy a panoramic city tour before setting off on your return journey to New York City, arriving in the early evening.

New York City: Full-Day Washington DC City Highlights Tour

5. New York City: Full-Day Washington DC City Highlights Tour

Discover the political center of the world on a full-day trip to the Capital City of Washington DC. See the iconic buildings of Capitol Hill and visit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Depart from central New York and head south to Washington in comfortable air-conditioned buses or minivans. Pass through New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland before arriving in the nation's capital. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery and stand at the Kennedy family gravesite. Continue to Capitol Hill, and see the Capitol, Senate, and White House. Learn about the buildings and their functions in the US government. Arrive at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, before visiting the Lincoln, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials. In the late afternoon, embark on a panoramic city tour before your departure back to New York.

Washington DC Day Trip by Bus from New York City

6. Washington DC Day Trip by Bus from New York City

Discover the monuments of Washington DC on a day trip from New York City. Learn about the government and dive into key historic moments like the American Revolution and Civil War. See sights like Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Arlington Cemetery.  Depart New York City and travel in a spacious and airconditioned bus to Washington DC. Relax on the scenic drive and head to Capital Hill once your get to DC to find out where congress meets.  Stop at the White House to see the official home of the President of the United States, including the West Wing where the Oval Office, Cabinet Room, Situation Room and Roosevelt Room are located.  Admire the memorials to Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and Lincoln who ended slavery in 1860. Visit the Iwo Jima and Vietnam Veterans Memorials to understand how these events changed the country. Get a glimpse of Arlington Cemetery where over 200,000 soldiers have been buried since the Civil War. Spend some time at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum (closed for renovations until November 2022).

Washington, DC: 3-Hour Holiday Lights Night-Time Bus Tour

7. Washington, DC: 3-Hour Holiday Lights Night-Time Bus Tour

Take in the illuminated beauty of some of Washington DC’s most famous buildings and monuments, with all their festive décor. Be in awe as you travel through the streets of America’s capital city with its twinkling lights. Your tour will be led by a licensed DC tourist guide who will share stories about the history of this national festival and its fun historic local roots. Your first stop will be the West Lawn to view the People’s Tree evergreen Christmas tree, which has been displayed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building since 1964. Each year, the lighting of this tree marks the start of the holiday season on Capitol Hill. This majestic illuminated tree shining in front of the U.S. Capitol is a unique and beautiful part of the Capitol’s holiday season. Next stop is the White House Ellipse, where you will disembark the bus to visit D.C.'s own Pageant of Peace, which symbolizes America’s wish for peace around the world. The centerpiece of the Pageant is the National Christmas Tree decorated with thousands of beautiful twinkling lights. With the backdrop of the White House, it is one of the most glorious holiday sites in D.C. Radiating out from the National Christmas Tree are 56 additional Christmas trees, decorated with hand-made ornaments from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia. A life-size nativity scene and 20 foot tall Menorah are also on the Ellipse. There will also be a stop in the historic Georgetown area to visit one of the installations of the GLOW Light Art Exhibition, which is an outdoor multi-site exhibition featuring national and international pieces of art using light in creative and innovative ways. You will also get a glimpse of the holiday decorations along the main shopping street of this exclusive quaint neighborhood, which was founded in the 17th-century. Along the way, you will experience breathtaking views of the National Mall, with a clear view of both the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol Building, which is a photographer’s dream.

Washington, DC: Arlington Cemetery & DC Monuments Tour

8. Washington, DC: Arlington Cemetery & DC Monuments Tour

Join this 5-hour tour that starts with Arlington National Cemetery, and then see some of the most famous Washington, DC monuments. Start with a 90 minute walk through Arlington National Cemetery and visit John F. Kennedy's gravesite, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Changing of the Guard. Once you finish the walking tour of Arlington Cemetery, you will be picked up to start your guided tour of many of the top sights of Washington, DC. Travel by an air-conditioned bus from one sight to the next. Hop off the bus at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Martin Luther King  Jr Memorial, the Korean Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Vietnam Women's Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the exterior of the White House, and the exterior of the U.S Capitol. Your guides will detail the history surrounding each site. Enjoy ample time for photo opportunities at each stop.  The tour ends from 1:00 PM at the Lincoln Memorial.

Washington DC: Walking Tour and African American Museum

9. Washington DC: Walking Tour and African American Museum

Join a walking tour of Washington and see iconic monuments like Capitol One, Washington Monument, and more with a guide. Later, use your entry tickets to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture at your own pace. Meet your guide at the White House and begin your tour of Washington DC. From the outside, learn about the history of the White House and the people who inhabited it. Your local guide will share stories about America’s history and the influence of African Americans in DC. Next, see Capitol One, one of the most architecturally impressive buildings in the world. Hear about the neoclassical United States Capitol, which is home to the House of Representatives and Senate. Finally, your guide will take you to the Washington Monument. Made of white marble and 550 feet tall, the obelisk is an iconic Washington DC landmark. After the walking tour, use your reserved entry tickets to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Explore the museum on your own at your own pace.

Washington DC: Washington Monument Entry & DC Highlights

10. Washington DC: Washington Monument Entry & DC Highlights

Experience Washington DC’s most sought-after attractions/landmarks! On this half-day tour, you’ll continue to DC’s most famous landmarks and monuments: including the outside of the U.S. Capitol Building and the White House, with stops at the Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and the historic Martin Luther King Memorial. Beat the long entrance lines and enjoy reserved entry into the Washington Monument. Take the elevator to the 500' observation deck, which provides breathtaking views on the North, South, East, and West sides of the Monument. As well, you can walk down to the small museum located on the 490' level. See all of DC’s major monuments and memorials up-close; taking about 10 to 15-minutes at each stop as your guide shadows you at all attractions. Take advantage of the guided walks and photo opportunities!

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What people are saying about United States Capitol, Washington DC

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 5,330 reviews

DJ was excellent. He was very knowledgeable and patient with my 4 boys (ages 6-11). He entertained all their questions and catered our tour to their interests! We felt very safe with him and would highly recommend him to everyone visiting DC!

Dr. Koura was extremely knowledgeable as well as entertaining! After sharing our experience with friends, they too want to take the tour. Inclusion of the NMAAHC was a bonus. Truly an engaging experience...

Joe, our guide was personable, professional, and extremely knowledgeable. My family really enjoyed the Segway tour. It was informative.

Such a wonderful night! Our driver/tour guide was awesome. Our 14/&1/ year old boys loved it also

Very informative. We had an amazing guide to make it more fun.