White House Visitor Center
Gain insight into many aspects of the White House, including its architecture, furnishings, social events, and the lives of the first families. Start with the 14-minute film White House: Reflections from Within. Go on an interactive touchscreen tour of the White House, supplemented by informative panels. See and touch 3D models of the White House. In addition to anecdotes, photos, and archival footage, there are nearly 100 historical artifacts, many displayed for the first time.
Things to know before you go
- It’s free to visit the White House Visitor Center.
- All visitors must undergo a security screening to enter the center.
- There’s a well-stocked gift shop and restrooms on-site.
- The center is wheelchair accessible.
How to get there
The White House Visitor Center is located inside Baldridge Hall of the Department of Commerce Building. It’s best to use public transportation as parking is limited in the area. The closest metro stops are Metro Center and Federal Triangle.
When to get there
The White House Visitor Center is open Wednesday through Saturday, with closures on regular holiday days such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Most visitors spend around 30 to 45 minutes here. Visitors going on a White House tour may find it helpful to visit the center first.
Touring the White House
Those who wish to tour the White House must plan well in advance. Requests must be made through your member of Congress (for US residents) or embassy in Washington DC (for foreign visitors), and must be made at least 21 days and up to three months in advance. Tours usually cover select rooms in the East Wing. Tours of the West Wing are by invitation only.
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