Building Access & Hours

Receiving certain United States Capitol Police Messages through Alert DC

The United States Capitol Police has a strong partnership with DC’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA).  During significant planned or no-notice events, the Department may contact HSEMA with certain messages, such as for major road closures, police activity, and life-safety events.
HSEMA, on behalf of the USCP, may target specific, nearby neighborhood user groups, such as the Capitol Hill user group, with important information.  To receive these alerts while visiting Capitol Hill, visitors may sign up for Alert DC to receive USCP alerts provided to HSEMA.   Please vist Alert DC at to sign up.   

U.S. Capitol & U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

The public entrance to the U.S. Capitol is through the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

The U.S. Capitol is open to the public for tours Monday – Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. It is closed on Sundays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, and Inauguration Day.
The Capitol Visitor Center is open from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.  Tours are available 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

Visitors with official business appointments may enter the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center beginning at 7:15 a.m.

Congressional Office Buildings

House Office Buildings (Cannon, Ford, Longworth, Rayburn)
Open to the public Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Doors close at 5:00 p.m. when House is in recess)

Senate Office Buildings (Dirksen, Hart, Russell)
Open to the public Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Doors close at 6:30 p.m. when Senate is in recess)

House & Senate Galleries (as of September 12, 2022)

Visitors wanting to watch the proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate in person should follow the guidance below.

House Galleries:  When the House is in session, the Galleries will be open to Members of Congress who personally escort guests to the Galleries.  The Galleries will open 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the session.  The House Galleries are closed when the House is out of session and during all Pro Forma sessions.  

Senate Galleries:  Two Senate Galleries are now open to the public.  They will open 30 minutes prior to the session and will remain open until adjournment each day.  If the Senate is in session past 4 p.m., one U.S. Capitol Police security screening area will be open in the Capitol Visitor Center’s north screening area to accommodate Gallery access.  When the Senate is not in session, the two Senate Galleries will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, with the exception of Federal holidays.  

Gallery passes are required to enter the Senate galleries and may be obtained through your Senator’s office by visiting the Senate Appointment Desk after entering the building through security screening.  


Library of Congress Buildings

Every Library of Congress visitor must reserve timed-entry passes in order to maintain safe capacity levels in the Thomas Jefferson Building.  The Thomas Jefferson Building is open to visitors Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Note: Last entry is at 4:30 p.m.  Closed to the public on Sundays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. 

Please visit for more information on visiting the Library of Congress.

U.S. Botanic Garden

Open 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily, including all weekends and holidays.

National Garden 
Open 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily, including all weekends and holidays.  This gated outdoor garden has extended evening hours; staying open until 7 p.m. from April 1 to September 15 each year.

Bartholdi Park 
Open dawn to dusk, daily, including all weekends and holidays.

Visit for more information about visiting the U.S. Botanic Garden.

Accessibility Services

The Office of Congressional Accessibility Services (OCAS) provides a variety of services for individuals with disabilities. Services include, but are not limited to, wheelchair loans, sign language interpreting services, and adaptive tours. The OCAS can assist with questions regarding accessibility issues in the U.S. Capitol, U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Senate.

For detailed information about the many services available and/or questions, please visit or contact OCAS at (202) 224-4048 (Voice) or (202) 224-4049 (TTY).