Library of Congress

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Library of Congress: Our most recommended tours and activities

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Electric Vehicle Tour

1. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Electric Vehicle Tour

Test your night photography skills and see some jaw-dropping views while learning the history of the United States on this monuments tour at night. Hop into the electric-powered vehicle and learn about the monuments illuminated at night with your guide. Start at the Smithsonian Metro station, before heading towards the Smithsonian complex. Your guide will regale you with the story behind the amazing museums at the largest museum complex in the world. Drive past two of the city's most famous monuments, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. Afterward, wander through the Franklin D Roosevelt and Martin Luthe King memorials and enjoy a stroll along the serene Tidal Basin at sunset.  Continue past the World War I and World War II Memorials before arriving at the Lincoln Memorial. Here, be amazed by the views of the Potomac River and the National Mall sparkling in the dark.  Be entertained by stories of the city’s history, statues, and famous buildings on your way to the White House. Take a monument here to capture what is possibly the most iconic American landmark, known worldwide.  Your tour will end by exploring Capitol Hill. Home to the world-famous dome of the United States Capitol, plus the United States Supreme Court Building and the Library of Congress. 

Washington DC: National Archives Building

2. Washington DC: National Archives Building

Tour around the presidential highlights of the nation's capital, Washington, DC by luxury tour bus. Check out every memorial of the National Mall as you voyage around the city. Hop on and off as you please to visit the most important landmarks, and hear the important history from your guide. This excursion begins with an in-depth look at some of the city’s most poignant sights and sounds, from the White House to the war memorials and the U.S. Capitol Building. In summer, enjoy a leisurely boat cruise after lunch, taking in the pretty Potomac and Georgetown Waterfront. Meanwhile, winter brings a scenic bus tour through Virginia in the afternoon, taking in The Pentagon, Air Force Memorial, Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery along the way. Enjoy a fascinating look at the interior of the National Archives as the final attraction of the tour.

Bike Tour: Capitol Hill, Lincoln Memorial, National Mall

3. Bike Tour: Capitol Hill, Lincoln Memorial, National Mall

Take a guided bike tour in Washington, D.C. to see all the city’s important sights and landmarks. The tour route includes Capitol Hill and the National Mall, Union Station, the Lincoln Memorial, and more. Along the way you’ll see the Smithsonian museums, the Washington Monument, and the war memorials. You’ll learn about the city's history and current events from your guide as you cycle past the major monuments and memorials. You'll also get some practical touring tips for later use! Take in the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, the White House, the World War II Memorial, and many more important sights. This cycling tour is rated as easy and covers approximately 7 miles on level terrain.

Washington D.C.: The Ghosts of Washington D.C. Walking Tour

4. Washington D.C.: The Ghosts of Washington D.C. Walking Tour

Enjoy a family-friendly walking tour of Washington D.C. and immerse yourself in the Capital's dark past. Visit some of Capitol Hill's most haunted historical sites and discover the mysterious past of its most prominent residents. Learn more about poltergeists, assassination attempts, and the city's historical architecture as you admire spooky sights such as the Folger Shakespeare Library and Cannon House Office Building.

Washington: National Mall Exploration Game

5. Washington: National Mall Exploration Game

Explore the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. with a city exploration game on your smartphone. Solve clues and puzzles that lead you to the next interesting location while learning about the history of Philip Reid. Stop and start as you please with plenty of time to see each attraction. Begin the game at Columbus Circle and embark on a 2-hour exploration of the U.S. Capitol. At each location, solve the puzzle or related clue on your phone and take on the role of a famous historian. Follow the paths of Philip Reid and discover this important U.S. monument. Tickle your brain as you see important sites such as the Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and other lesser-known places. Learn the fascinating story of the National Botanic Garden in the National Mall and enjoy a unique way to learn about the U.S. Move through the game at your own pace. Just pause and resume at any time from the location where you last stopped. Enjoy on your own, in a large group, or in several smaller groups that compete against each other.

Washington D.C: Self-Guided Walking Tour with GPS and Audio

6. Washington D.C: Self-Guided Walking Tour with GPS and Audio

Spend the day exploring Washington D.C., listening to the history narrated by professional voice artists, and reading the information curated by creative writers. See the iconic monuments and buildings of this historic city on this self-guided tour. Begin next to Pershing Park, right across from the White House south lawn. From here, make your way to the White House itself, admire the seat of American power, and learn some facts about its construction.  From here, head south toward Constitution Gardens and pick up some insight into D.C.’s complicated history along the way. Through the gardens, find what was once the city’s most controversial monument: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Next, head to the Lincoln Memorial, and then the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Hear about the fraught political struggle which wracked the White House during this bloody conflict. Discover the aftermath of the War of 1812, and how D.C. grew into what it is today. The next monument will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, honoring the nation’s most revered civil rights leader. Then cross the Kutz Bridge and learn why the Potomac River is so significant to this city’s history. From this bridge, see the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Then, reach the National Mall. Here’s you’ll get an up-close look at the Washington Monument and learn the history of George Washington’s connection to this important city. Along this route, pass many museums. This includes the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the National Gallery of Art.  On the final leg of the tour, arrive at three of the most crucial buildings in the city: The Library of Congress, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court of the United States. The tour will conclude here, amid these three awe-inspiring structures.

Washington DC: Best of Capitol Hill Guided Bike Tour

7. Washington DC: Best of Capitol Hill Guided Bike Tour

Learn your civics by cycle. Visit the 3 branches of the US Government—Executive (White House), Legislative (Congress), and Judiciary (Supreme Court). See the Capitol Building from all angles and take a photo in front of the majestic Supreme Court Building. See where America's most important political decisions get made before cruising down Capitol Hill towards the most famous avenue in the city, Pennsylvania Avenue, where there is a protected bike lane all the way to the White House. Learn about the movers and shakers of American politics—past and present. Where do presidents go out to eat? Where do foreign dignitaries stay when they come to DC? Who put the Capitol on that hill? Find the answers to all these questions and more. See the new Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial and get tips for visiting newly re-opened Smithsonian Museums. Get insider anecdotes and fun facts from your guide as you take in all the sights on this high-energy, 2-hour guided bike tour. This tour has some uphill routes to be aware of. Please feel free to upgrade to an electric bike if you want an easier ride.

Washington DC: Capitol Hill - Guided Walking Tour

8. Washington DC: Capitol Hill - Guided Walking Tour

This is the best way to cover the US capital's political highlights, passing by the buildings where the biggest decisions of this country were taken. Let a local expert English-speaking guide help you get the most out of your time at Capitol Hill, making sure you see all the highlights. Your guide will not only be an expert on Capitol, but they will also share a mix of historical and political information, background stories and surprising details with you. At the end, you’ll have enjoyed yourself so much that you won’t even realize how the hours have passed and you’ll be on your way to becoming an expert on the US Capitol yourself. With so much to see on Capitol Hill, you’ll be thankful to your guide for navigating you. More than just storytellers, your passionate and engaging guide will approach touring in a different way. They will bring a personal touch to each tour, adding their own favorite anecdotes and tips along the way. They are there to listen to you, to answer your questions and to create a dialogue – unlike other tours where they tend to lecture you as you go along. That’s the whole reason why the private and small group tour options are offered - to make sure you get the most out of your experience.  On this tour, highlights include: - The stunning exterior of the Supreme Court, - The majestic exterior of the Library of Congress and the interior of the Main Reading Room. - The iconic exterior of the Capitol building. - The Statue of Freedom - Going inside the Thomas Jefferson library and checking out a real Gutenberg Bible. - Learn about the judicial system at the Museum of the Supreme Court and maybe get a peek inside the actual courtroom. - There is a possibility to get tickets for a tour of the Capitol’s interior, where politicians and legislatures work tirelessly for the American people.

Washington: National Mall & Capitol Hill Guided Combo Tour

9. Washington: National Mall & Capitol Hill Guided Combo Tour

Start off with your guide exploring the world-class monuments dedicated to notable figures including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln at the National Mall. Learn about their stories as well as the history behind the many wars immortalized around the National Mall, including World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. You might even catch a glimpse of the president and first lady while passing by the White House.   Next, visit some of the most important places in DC, including the stunning exteriors of the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and Capitol Hill. Go inside the Thomas Jefferson Library and check out a real Gutenberg Bible. Learn about the judicial system at the Museum of the Supreme Court, and maybe get a peek inside the actual courtroom. There is a possibility to get tickets for a tour of the Capitol’s interior, where politicians and legislatures work tirelessly for the American people. This tour will allow you to see most of the major sights all in one day. Highlights generally include: Lincoln Memorial Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial (the Wall) Washington Monument Korean Veteran's Memorial World War II Memorial Views of the White House  Exterior of the Capitol Exterior of the Supreme Court Museum of the Supreme Court Possible viewing of the Courtroom View of the Main Reading Room of Library of Congress Gutenberg Bible Thomas Jefferson’s library Statue of Freedom Possible tickets to Capitol interior tour

Washington DC: Capitol Hill Iconic Architecture Walking Tour

10. Washington DC: Capitol Hill Iconic Architecture Walking Tour

Learn all about the history, design, and controversy surrounding these famous buildings as you stroll around Washinton DC. Your guide will tell you the story of the construction of the Capitol grounds as you get up close and personal with these world-famous buildings. Meet your guide in the sumptuous Great Hall at Washington's famous Union Station. Begin by learning about this impressive building, before walking over to the US Capitol grounds. Once there, immerse yourself in its history as well as that of the surrounding buildings. Learn all about the architecture of famous structures like the Supreme Court and Library of Congress. Hear fascinating stories about the tumultuous politics behind their planning and development. Discover the secrets behind the architecture and its designers including Thomas Jefferson and Frederick Law Olmstead.

Other Sightseeing Options in Library of Congress

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What people are saying about Library of Congress

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 650 reviews

Kevin was literally the best guide we could have asked for! He was full of all the facts and super fun at the same time. I wish he could be my best friend! He even gave us some tips for the rest of our trip on what else we should see and do. Would definitely recommend to everyone and anyone! (Just be sure to empty your bladder ahead of time, toilets are scarce on the tour…… NOT Kevin’s fault!!)

Roy was an excellent tour guide. Very knowledgeable and very friendly. He is entertaining and interactive with the group. We learned a lot about DC’s ghostly history and you will tour the exact locations where the ghostly history took place. My daughter and I had a great time, kid friendly. Thank you for a great time.

Tom was a GREAT guide, and this tour was wonderful! We hit all the main sites with plenty of time to look and learn and enjoy. The cart was a fun element, and the whole evening felt very Covid safe. Excellent!

Bruce was informative and entertaining. He provided lots of historical info and gave us lots of photo opportunities. The eve was delightful.

Amazing tour, got to see so much in a small amount of time. DJ the tour guide was absolutely incredible.