Getting to the Capitol

Walking to the Capitol

The United States Capitol is bordered by Constitution Avenue to the north and Independence Avenue to the south. It is located at the far eastern end of the National Mall beyond the Capitol Reflecting Pool. The Capitol Visitor Center, the 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. 

The Capitol Grounds are open to visitors.

Visitor Services Shuttle to Capitol Visitor Center Entrance

For your convenience, the Capitol Visitor Center provides an on-demand shuttle for those with mobility issues or in manual wheelchairs.  The shuttles run from the southwest corner of Capitol Square at Independence Ave. and First Street, SW, to the Capitol Visitor Center entrance at the center of the Capitol’s East Plaza.  Please ask the Office of Congressional Accessibility Services at 202.224.4048, Capitol Visitor Center staff in red shirts or vests, or at either of the kiosks located at the southwest corner of Capitol Square or on the east side of the Capitol near the corner of First St. NE/SE and East Capitol Street.  Please provide as much advance notice as possible to help facilitate your request.

If you are traveling with a large group requesting mobility assistance, we strongly recommend that you contact the Office of Congressional Accessibility Services at 202.224.4048 prior to your visit.  Please provide as much advance notice as possible to help facilitate your request.

Getting to the Capitol by Bicycle

Bicycle racks are located near the entrance to the Capitol Visitor Center along First Street SE and First Street NE. These racks are in addition to numerous bike racks provided on the West Front of the Capitol, between the Russell and Dirksen Senate Office Buildings, and by each of the House Office Buildings.

The District Department of Transportation’s bike sharing program, Capital Bikeshare, allows you to take a bicycle from more than 350 stations across the Washington, DC, metro region and return it to any station near your destination. 

Getting to the Capitol by Subway

There are three subway stops found within walking distance of the Capitol:

  • Union Station – Located at First Street, NW, and Massachusetts Avenue.
  • Capitol South – Located at First Street between C and D Streets, SE.
  • Federal Center, SW – Located at the southwest corner of Third and D Streets, SW.

Additional information on riding the subway, which is called the Metro, is available at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority homepage

Two DC Circulator routes, (Union Station – Navy Yard Route and National Mall Route) include stops near the U.S. Capitol. The Circulator is another kind of public bus, and you will find more information about this option at

Getting to the Capitol by Car

Please keep in mind that there is very little public parking available near the Capitol. The nearest public parking facility is at Union Station, to the north of the Capitol.

Metered street parking is found along the Mall to the west of the Capitol.

Tour Bus Route and Commercial Bus Restrictions on U.S. Capitol Grounds

Click here to view the tour bus route (Updated 11/07)

The following security measures will be implemented as part of continued efforts by the U.S. Capitol Police to enhance security within the Capitol complex. These measures are precautionary, and are not predicated on any known threats.

Effective Saturday, June 9, 2007, all commercial buses will be prohibited from accessing the following areas on U.S. Capitol Grounds. This policy does not affect public transit buses, or sight seeing trolleys:

  • Independence Ave., between Washington Ave., SW and 2nd Street, SE
  • Constitution Ave., between Louisiana Ave., NW and 2nd Street, NE
  • 1st Street between D Street, NE and D Street, SE
  • 1st Street between Maryland Ave., and Independence Ave., SW
  • 2nd Street between D Street, NE and D Street, SE

Tour bus operators must adhere to the following vehicle regulations:

Tour buses may ENTER U.S. Capitol Grounds at:

  • 3rd and Maryland Ave., SW
  • 3rd and Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Tour buses may EXIT U.S. Capitol Grounds at:

  • 3rd and Maryland Ave., SW
  • 3rd and Pennsylvania Ave., NW
  • 1st and Louisiana Ave., NW

LOADING and UNLOADING of passengers MUST occur at the east curb of:

  • 1st and Maryland Ave., SW (east curb of Garfield Circle)
  • 1st St., SW/NW between Pennsylvania and Maryland Avenues
  • 1st and Pennsylvania Ave., NW (east curb of Peace Circle)

Traversing Constitution Avenue, Independence Avenue or First Street and Second Street, NE/SE in front of the U.S. Capitol is prohibited. Tour bus standing, idling or parking is not permitted. Vehicular Security Checkpoints may be activated at any time without notice. Please follow police directions, posted street signs, and/or illuminated message boards to facilitate your visit to the U.S. Capitol.

Additional recorded information can be obtained by calling the U.S. Capitol Police Bulletin Board at 1.877.872.7111, or by emailing

If there are any questions about these events or security procedures, you may contact the United States Capitol Police Public Information Office at 202.224.1677.

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