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About NIH

Visitor Information

NIH Headquarters

The NIH headquarters, known as "NIH campus" to the local community, are located in Bethesda, Maryland. Administrative and program operations facilities are also located in off-campus buildings in the surrounding area. Here is a list of NIH facilities, both headquarters and off-campus. You can search the list by location, type of service, facility manager, and image map.

NIH scientists conduct their research in laboratories located on the main campus, and in several field units across the country and abroad.

Security at NIH

Information about entering the NIH campus, parking, and shuttles is available on the Visitor Security page.

NIH is a tobacco-free campus. The use of all tobacco products (including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, or other tobacco products) is prohibited at all times.

Driving to NIH

When driving to NIH, plan some extra time to get through the security checkpoints at the visitor entrances to campus. Be aware that visitor parking lots on the NIH campus can fill up quickly. Consider taking public transportation as an alternative.

NIH Visitor Gateway Center

Visitors must enter through the NIH Gateway Center. Information about visitor parking, non-commercial vehicle inspection and visitor ID processing is available at

Parking Information

Visitor Parking is extremely difficult to find at NIH, so if at all possible, take public transportation. There is a Metro station on the NIH campus with shuttle bus service to the main buildings. Short-term, metered parking and long term, attendant-controlled parking are available to visitors at a cost of $2 per hour for the first three hours or $12 per day. There is free, validated parking for patients and visitors to patients in the Clinical Center.

Public Transportation

Metrorail service is available from Washington's National Airport and from Union Station (railway). Take Metro's Red Line to the Medical Center Station. The station's escalators come out on the NIH campus. To get to Building 10, walk from the top of the escalators past the bus stops down South Drive. Cross the street and veer right onto Center Drive (past the Anchor). Remain on Center Drive as it veers left and uphill. The NIH Clinical Center (Building 10) is at the top of the hill on the left side of Center Drive. OR—just take the NIH campus shuttle bus which provides service to Building 10 and stops at the Metro station every 15 to 20 minutes.

Finding the Visitor Information Center

The NIH Visitor Information Center (VIC) is located in the Natcher Conference Center (Building 45), Room 1AS-13. The telephone number is 301-496-1776 and the fax number is 301-402-0601. Go through the main entrance on South Drive (see NIH Visitor's Map); Building 45 is located south on Center Drive near Rockville Pike. Entering the main lobby, the NIH Visitor Information Center is located left of the dining services area.

  • For information on a specific patient, call Clinical Center Admissions, 301-496-3315.
  • For questions regarding participation in a clinical study, call the Patient Recruitment and Referral Center, 1-800-411-1222.
  • For press inquiries relating to patients, patient care programs, or the Clinical Center, call the Clinical Center Office of Communications, 10 Cloister Court, Building 61, Room 100, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892, 301-496-2563.

Popular NIH Destinations

Map of United States with a stars over Bethesda, Maryland; Hamilton, Montana; Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and Phoenix, Arizona

The NIH campus is located in Bethesda, Maryland, just 10 miles from the center of Washington, D.C.

Planning your trip:

To find out if NIH is open, see OPM's Washington, D.C. Area Operating Status Web site External Web Site Policy

Bethesda area information External Web Site Policy

Washington, D.C. area information External Web Site Policy

Other Federal research facilities are located in:

This page last reviewed on September 18, 2012

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