US Capitol Opening Hours
The US Capitol Opening Hours really refers to the opening hours of the Visitors Center. 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday – Saturday. Closed Sundays. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day, Inauguration Day. The last tour starts at 3:20 PM.
Fees at the US Capitol
Entry is always free. You still need a ticket. You can try to book online in advance from their website. They also give out first-come, first-serve tickets on the spot. You may have to wait for a while to get in. If they are very busy, you may be turned away.
Where to eat at the US Capitol
The US Capitol Visitors Center has a cafe with basic breakfast and lunch. Open 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
The Madison Building of the Library of Congress has a cafeteria open to the public from 9:00 – 10:30 AM and from 12:30 – 3:00 PM. There is also a snack bar in the building.
The Supreme Court has a cafeteria open to the public from 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM (but closed to the public from noon to 1:00 PM).
Longworth Building Cafeteria — each of the House office buildings has a cafeteria open to the public. During the heart of the lunch hour, the lines are long, but food is pretty decent with a lot of choices. Inexpensive. Open 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM.
Handicapped Access to the US Capitol
If you arrive at the SW corner of the building on 1st St. NW, there are electric golf cart shuttle services available for handicapped or elderly people to the visitors center. There is a kiosk that will arrange this.
Tours around the US Capitol
There are special outdoor tours of the grounds available on Saturday at 1:00 PM. There are tours of the Brumidi Corridors within the Capitol Monday and Friday at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Get tickets for each of these at the Visitors Center.
Sightseeing Tours of Washington DC
One of the best ways to see the US Capitol and the National Mall is to visit it as part of a tour. Nonpartisan Pedicab offers tours of the National Mall and memorials that take approximately 2-3 hours. Many guests say that this is the highlight of their trip to Washington DC.
Looking for the Best Tours of Washington DC?
US Botanic Garden, Library of Congress, Supreme Court
As long as you are there, visit the US Botanic Garden. It is lovely. It is also free. Open from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM every day. The Library of Congress is also open to the public 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (last entry 4:30 PM). This building is spectacular. The Supreme Court is open Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM.
Parking at the US Capitol
Don’t drive. If you do, park at the commercial garage at Union Station. If Congress is out of session, you can usually get away with parking around the US Capitol reflecting pool on the west side of the Capitol. Very occasionally, you will get a ticket here. If Congress is in session, you will surely get a ticket.
Metro to the US Capitol
Capitol South and Federal Center SW are on the Blue/Orange/Silver lines. Union Station is on the red line.
For more information, look up the official website.