Welcome to the U.S. Capitol
Aside from the general tour of the U.S. Capitol offered Monday through Saturday from 8:50 a.m. until 3:20 p.m., there are a number of special activities you may take advantage of.
By providing a place for debate and compromise, Congress has led the nation through challenging times. Several items in the Capitol Visitor Center’s exhibit, “Conflict and Compromise,” focus on the Mexican War and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. War between the U.S. and Mexico arose from disputes regarding their international boundary and U.S. attempts to expand its territory into Mexico. In March 1848, the Senate approved for ratification the treaty ending the Mexican War, which was signed in Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico, on February 2. The display includes the actual Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed with wax seals on February 2, 1848. Also included is a sketch from the Office of the Mexican Boundary Survey showing the area south of the Rio Gila, which is now part of Arizona. There are many other treasured documents loaned from the National Archives and the Library of Congress that you won’t want to miss. Exhibition Hall, is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Twenty-minute Exhibition Hall Tours are available Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and Monday through Saturday at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. No reservations or passes are needed to visit Exhibition Hall, which is located on the lower level of the Visitor Center, behind the plaster model of the Statue of Freedom.
Curious about what happened at the U.S. Capitol and in Congress during the Civil War? Explore our new Website, "Building A More Perfect Union."
Plan a Visit
Hours: The Capitol Visitor Center is open to visitors from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Inauguration Day. Tours of the U.S. Capitol are conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Visitors with official business appointments may enter the Visitor Center as early as 7:15 a.m.
The Capitol Visitor Center, the new main entrance to the U.S. Capitol, is located beneath the East Front plaza of the U.S. Capitol at First Street and East Capitol Street. Click here for directions to the Capitol.
Backpack Warning: Do not bring large daypacks, backpacks or luggage into the Capitol. Any bag larger than 18" wide x 14" high x 8.5" deep is prohibited. Click here for a full list of prohibited items.