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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

From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

1. From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

Learn about American history on a tour of Washington DC and Philadelphia, both of which played important roles in the development of democracy in the USA. Visit the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall, Independence Hall, and more on a guided day trip with roundtrip transfers from NYC. Your day will begin with an early morning departure from Times Square in Manhattan, where you’ll be greeted by your bilingual tour guide for the day. After 4-5 hours, your first destination will be the nation's current capital, Washington, DC. Once there, visit the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. During the tour, stop for a classic outside view of the White House, home and office of the U.S. President, and the Capitol Building, home of the U.S. Congress. Your visit to Washington concludes with free time for lunch on your own. Your next destination, after a 3-hour journey, will be the first-ever U.S. capital, Philadelphia, PA. Visit its historic Old City neighborhood and the Independence National Historical Park where your guide will lead you on a brief walking tour. Then, ascend to the top of the Rocky Steps before returning to Times Square in Manhattan.

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

2. 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: Big Bus Panoramic Night Tour

3. Washington, DC: Big Bus Panoramic Night Tour

Experience the beauty of DC by night from the unique vantage point of an open-top double-decker tour. Discover the grandeur and significance of the nation's monuments and memorials dramatically illuminated by the city lights. As the official National Park Services tour partner, Big Bus gets you closest to the best DC has to offer: •National Mall •The White House •Lincoln Memorial •Martin Luther King Memorial •Jefferson Memorial •The Capitol Building •WWII Memorial Sit back, relax, and take photos as you learn the history and hidden stories of the Nation's Capital from the entertaining and expert digital commentary (earbuds provided).

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

4. 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: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Spirit

5. 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. LUNCH/DINNER BUFFET SAMPLE MENU SALADS FIELD GREEN SALAD (G*)(VG)Tomatoes | Cucumbers | Carrots | Ranch Dressing | Balsamic Dressing KALE QUINOA SALAD (G*)(VG)(V)Quinoa | Roasted Red Pepper | Spinach | Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette GREEN GODDESS PASTA SALAD (V)Sweet Peas | White Beans | Scallions MAIN HONEY SESAME CHICKEN (G*)Scallions | Fresno Chillies OVEN ROASTED WHITEFISH (G*)Spicy Tomato | White Bean Ragu BAKED ZITI PASTA (V)Aged Reggiano Parmesan Cheese | Mozzarella Cheese | Spinach Cream Sauce ROOT VEGETABLE FRICASSEE (G*)(VG)(V)Idaho Potatoes | Broccoli | Grape Tomatoes | Gremolata | Cauliflower Coconut Cream Sauce COMPLEMENTSROASTED BROCCOLI (G*)(VG)(V)Toasted Garlic | Chili Flakes GARLIC MASHED POTATOES (G*)(V)Idaho Potatoes | Roasted Garlic DESSERTSIGNATURE DESSERT STATION (V)Cakes | Brownies | Seasonal Fruit | *May Contain Nuts *Menus subject to change

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 air-conditioned 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. Visit Arlington Cemetery where over 200,000 soldiers since the Civil War and the Kennedys were buried. Finally, spend some time at the magnificent Union Station.

Washington DC: National Mall Tour by Electric Vehicle

7. Washington DC: National Mall Tour by Electric Vehicle

Glide around the streets of Washington DC on a guided tour by a battery-operated electric cart. See all the major monuments of the United States capital, like Capitol Hill, the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial with an onboard guide. After getting comfortable onboard, head first towards the Smithsonian complex. Admire the size of the largest museum and research complex in the world.  Next, discover three of the most well-known monuments in Washington DC. Admire the monuments to Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, arguably the three most beloved presidents of the U.S. From here, take a moment to pause and remember those who lost their lives in battle as you visit various war memorials. Pause at the memorials to World War I, World War II, the Korean War Veterans, and Vietnam War Veterans memorial sites.  Get your camera ready for when you pass by one of the most recognizable landmarks in the whole world, the White House, the home of the U.S President. Finally, feast your eyes on Capitol Hill, home to the United States Congress.

Washington, DC: Capitol Hill and Library of Congress Tour

8. 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.

Washington DC: National Mall Night Bus Tour

9. Washington DC: National Mall Night Bus Tour

Admire the atmospheric landmarks of the capital from an open-top or glass-top bus as the sun sets on Washington, DC. Take a trip to the twilight zone with mesmerizing views of the city highlights at dusk. See the most famous monuments lit up, casting a glimmering glow over the city. Begin at the U.S. Navy Memorial, before heading through the half-light to capture views of the White House, the Korean War Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Each monument features special illuminations at night, with regular opportunities to hop off and see the spectacular sculpture work up close, along with countless photo opportunities. Marvel at the full shimmering skyline at the start and endpoint of your tour, which also includes views of the twinkling Tidal Basin and Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Night tours don’t get much more magical than this, and pair perfectly with a day tour the following day.

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Electric Vehicle Tour

10. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Electric Vehicle Tour

Test your night photography skills and see some jaw-dropping views while learning the history of the United States on this monuments tour at night. Hop into the electric-powered vehicle and learn about the monuments illuminated at night with your guide. Start at National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, before heading towards the Smithsonian complex. Your guide will regale you with the story behind the amazing museums at the largest museum complex in the world. Drive past two of the city's most famous monuments, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. Afterward, wander through the Franklin D Roosevelt and Martin Luthe King memorials and enjoy a stroll along the serene Tidal Basin at sunset.  Continue past the World War I and World War II Memorials before arriving at the Lincoln Memorial. Here, be amazed by the views of the Potomac River and the National Mall sparkling in the dark.  Be entertained by stories of the city’s history, statues, and famous buildings on your way to the White House. Take a monument here to capture what is possibly the most iconic American landmark, known worldwide.  Your tour will end by exploring Capitol Hill. Home to the world-famous dome of the United States Capitol, plus the United States Supreme Court Building and the Library of Congress. 

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What people are saying about United States Capitol, Washington DC

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 5,513 reviews

This was an excellent overview of what the National Mall has to offer in terms of the monuments and attractions. The information shared was insightful and can inform what you choose to explore later in more detail.

Nick did a wonderful job of giving our Spanishvisitors just enough information about the monuments mall Capitol and White House. He was very sweet with the 4 year old in our group. He is a very skilled driver.

Fun and educational. It was a quick way to check out all of the major monuments without the hassle of navigating and parking.

Joe Brady was a great tour guide. We started as novice Segway riders and his patient instruction had has riding like pros

Our guide was excellent. Sense of humor and very knowledgeable