Congress Gallery Tours
Congress Gallery Tours, Capitol
Congress Gallery Tours

Congress Gallery Tours

The United States Congress is the legislative branch of the Federal government that represents the American people and makes the nation's laws. It shares power with the executive branch and the judicial branch. Only the Congressional branch is elected directly by the people.


Congress is divided into two institutions; the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House and Senate Galleries are located in the US Capitol and are open to visitors whenever either branch is in session. The galleries are not included in a Capitol tour, however, and passes are required to enter either gallery at any time. Passes to the galleries may be requested by contacting your representative or one of your senators.




When the House of Representatives is not in session, visitors with passes are admitted to the Gallery from 9am to 4:15pm. When the Senate is in recess for a week or more, visitors with passes are admitted between 9am and 4:15pm. 




Requesting admission to the House or Senate Galleries


  • Must send request through your State Senator or Congressional Representative. If you are unsure who is your representative, you can check online at and enter your zip code. Typically, you'll find a link for Washington DC Tours, where you can make the request. Be prepared to supply information including names, addresses, phone numbers, and arrival/departure dates.

  • Requests are accepted up to six months in advance, but must be at least 21 days prior.

  • The US Capitol is handicap accessible, using their limited number of wheelchairs. Make a request immediately upon arrival at the Capitol entrance. Likewise, service animals may be permitted in the Capitol, with advance notice.

  • Gallery viewing is subject to last minute cancellation.


Learn about touring other Washington DC buildings in these articles:



Get your vacation to Washington DC started! 

Try searching by keyword or choose a specific date.
By Date: