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“Insightful tour that is also free!”
Review of U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol
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US$89.00*
and up
Deluxe Half Day Tour of DC with Reserved US Capitol Entry
Ranked #20 of 465 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Capitol is among the most architecturally impressive and symbolically important buildings in the world. The Senate and the House of Representatives have met here for more than two centuries. Begun in 1793, the Capitol has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored; today, it stands as a monument not only to its builders but also to the American people and their government.
Reviewed 7 November 2013

I am so glad I took this tour. I learnt a lot of interesting facts about the US Capitol and its development to become the seat and beacon of US democracy.The tour guide was really charismatic and really knew his stuff. You start at the visitor's centre which is worth visiting in itself. You watch a short movie about the building and then are split into groups. You get to see the crypt and the very center of the Capitol (where they had planed to bury George Washington), lots of beautiful State statues, the magnificent Rotunda (the Dome), the original Supreme Court and the original house of representatives (with more statues). Being British I was so glad to get to see the Winston Churchill bust that what recently donated to the Capitol. It is only on public view for 90 days before being moved to the house of the Senate. In relation to the 'houses' the houses of the Senate and Representatives were not included in the tour.

Considering the tour is free, you really have nothing to lose.

4  Thank walshyfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,207 - 3,211 of 5,136 reviews

Reviewed 3 November 2013

The building itself, with its underground facilities, is huge but the actual chambers are surprisingly small. It's amazing how they fit so many in there. It helps to put all those state of the union speeches in perspective.

You can also walk underground to the Library of Congress from here.

2  Thank notleo01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013

The cradle of democracy. Visiting here is to see and feel the true purpose of democracy, to feel the history of the United States, to understand the nation's trials and tribulations to make the best system of government yet devised work, and work well. Not to be missed.

The tour requires you passing through an airport-style security checkpoint, so be sure to leave all sharp objects at home. No food or beverages or weapons. Reservations are a good idea, particularly during busy season. Walk-up passes are available in limited numbers dependent on reservations.

1  Thank Ussafs3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2013

The tour guide, Lisa, was on her first tour as a guide but you would have never known until she said so after the tour finished she was so accomplished. I admit that as a Brit, American politics is not high on my understanding list but the pre tour film and the tour itself explained it in such a way as to enlighten me a bit more.

The highlight has to be standing under the dome and hearing about the painting of what I and others thought was a 3D mural. So many statues!

One downside was that we couldn't take drinking water through.

Thank Richard R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2013

Like the Pentagon tour, the official Capitol tour is great but only a glimpse. My recommendation is to do the official tour scheduled through the Visitors Center, rather than your Senator/Representatives office, because the CVC guides are professionals who know everything there is to know about the building, rather than Congressional staffers who have full time jobs doing other things and give tours sometimes.

But then I recommend either walking through the other buildings (complex is open to the public) or having a staffer show you around the other areas as there is a lot to take in that you can't on the official tour.

Also, get gallery passes from your Senator/Representatives office so that you can go visit the galleries, either while empty or when they are in session.

1  Thank JPC451
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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