Capitol Etiquette

To ensure that everyone has an enjoyable visit to the Capitol, we ask that you share these guidelines with your students and chaperones.

Please be respectful to our staff and your fellow visitors. We want everyone to feel welcome at the U.S. Capitol.

We need everyone’s cooperation to help us preserve the building and its collections for future visitors. Adherence to security and safety requirements is important.

When entering the Capitol Visitor Center:

  • Everyone will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering the Capitol Visitor Center. We ask that students leave their backpacks or large bags and metal jewelry behind on the bus to help expedite the security check.

  • Food, beverages (including bottled water) are prohibited in the building. Click herefor a complete list of items prohibited in the Capitol.

  • The Capitol is a working office building. Therefore, you are expected to dress appropriately and behave in a respectful manner in this business environment.

While in the Capitol Visitor Center and the historic Capitol:

  • As a courtesy to those around you, please silence your cell phone or other electronic devices during the orientation film and while touring the Capitol.

  • Use your quiet voice when walking through the Capitol and exploring the Capitol Visitor Center’s Exhibition Hall.

  • Please DO NOT TOUCH art objects including sculptures, statues, walls, and cases. The oils and acids even in clean hands can cause irreparable damage to works of art.

  • Refrain from leaning on the walls or using the walls, display cases, or pedestals for note-taking.

  • Do not sit on displays or sculptures for picture-taking.

  • Do not block doorways or aisles or sit on stairs or floors. Seating is provided throughout the buildings.

  • Stay together as a group. Be attentive to your guide’s instructions at all times and especially when moving from one area to another in the Capitol. Watch your step, always use handrails when on the stairs, and use escalators with caution.

  • Respect any areas that are roped off.

  • Please don’t run, push, shove, or take any other actions that may endanger other visitors, staff, or the works of art.

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