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Planning Your Trip
Visiting D.C.


Capitol Visitor Center

Artist's rendition of the Capitol Visitor Center
Artist's rendition of the Capitol Visitor Center

Your visit to the historic U.S. Capitol begins as you enter the Capitol Visitor Center.  With its soaring spaces and skylight views of the Capitol dome, the Visitor Center welcomes you on a journey of discovery.  The Capitol is home to the U.S. Congress and its two legislative bodies, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  Through films, exhibits, and tours, you will learn about how Congress works, how this magnificent building was built, and how citizens can participate in this extraordinary experiment called representative democracy.


The Capitol Visitor Center, the new main entrance to the U.S. Capitol, is located below the East Plaza of the Capitol between Constitution and Independence Avenues.

The Visitor Center is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  It is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Inauguration Day.

Official Business:  Visitors with official business appointments may enter the Visitor Center as early as 7:15 a.m.

For more information, go to the Capitol Visitor Center Web site.


Capitol Virtual Tour

Live video stream of the U.S. Capitol dome.

Prohibited Items

Plan ahead.  The items on this list are not allowed in the Capitol Building or in the Galleries.

Capitol Virtual Tour

Take a look inside the Capitol with our 360 degree virtual tour!


Floor Activity

Find out what is happening on the Senate floor today in our Legislation & Records section!